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New Year, New Gear! Tokina 14-20mm F2.0 & More

A new, super fast ultra-wide angle arrives! Those of you who follow my Blog will know that I own the Canon 10-22mm F3.5-F4.5 EF-S and that recently this had to be repaired - see HERE. The £200 repair was fine and all that, but whilst I was without it I started looking at alternatives, especially ones with a better manual focus ring for shooting video. Plus I wanted a faster wide angle zoom lens - with constant F-stop for obvious reasons. I was well aware of the Tokina 11-16mm F2.8 (versions I and II) and the more recent Tokina 11-20mm F2.8 but stumbled upon the very latest Tokina ultra-wide, the 14-20mm F2.0 Pro DX.

Reading several reviews (especially the comparative review of all three of these lenses on this page of the
DXOMark website) revealed that this 14-20mm Tokina F2.0 was indeed "Top of the tree" (as they put it) in various important image quality aspects (sharpness, minimal chromatic aberration and distortion etc.). It seemed to be a remarkable lens - so I bought the EF mount version (£849 inc VAT from Wex Photographic in Norwich).

Very pleased with it but I've yet to find time to do a full test video. In the meantime here's a couple of pictures of it on my FS5, mounted via a Metabones MkIV adapter (Note - as it's a lens specifically designed for crop/S35 sensor cameras it won't "work" with my Metabones Ultra T "Speedbooster" of course - but reading the camera forums some people don't seem to understand this).

FS5Tokina1420Web (600)

It has a nice focus ring (not stiff, reasonable travel and zero play) and a much more resistive zoom ring (which is what's needed - so it'll stay where you put it, just like a mate's Tokina 11-16mm F2.8 that I tried recently in London). As fully expected, Autofocus does not work on this FS5/Metabones setup - but I will only ever want to use manual focus anyway. The Canon 10-22mm was horrible to manually focus with very narrow travel on it's ring - and lots of play! Autofocus works well on my Canon 7D and C100 with this new Tokina. Indeed, DPAF in Continuous mode actually works beautifully on the C100 (slower/more damped than with most Canon lenses), should I ever need that.

FS5Tokina1420Web2 (600)

Being able to shoot sharp wide angles (say 14mm at F2.0) is a huge plus for me. Sure, the limited range (to 20mm) is more for fine frame adjustment before you shoot. Think of it as a super fast wide prime with a little bit of framing flexibility thrown into the mix! And of course, if I really need even wider then I've still got my old Canon 10-22mm!

Whilst I was in shopping mood I also bought yet another Sennheisser G3 radio mic system (I use them with Rode Lavaliers, not the terrible ME2 they come with) and I finally pushed the button on a GoPro Hero 5, plus various accessories. It's not because I'm the jumping off a cliff/out of an aeroplane type but simply because I've several corporate jobs ongoing where the GoPro will help catch some of the fast moving, on body, on fork lift, on conveyor belts etc. type action. "GoPro Record Video" will be heard by a number of my clients this year as I love the ease that voice control brings with this latest GoPro. The new Linear view is pretty useful too as I always hated the fisheye look! And the ability to shoot 2.7K videos (with stabilisation) should be great (4K, which lacks this feature, will only be used in locked off shots I think).