Tokina FíRIN 100mm f/2.8 FE macro - Review / Test Report - Sample Images & Verdict
Lens Reviews - Sony Alpha (Full Format)

Sample Images

Click on an image for downloading the full-size variant.

MakeSONY
ModelILCE-7RM2
ISO Speed400
Focal Length100.0mm
Aperture:f/2.8
Exposure1/800s

MakeSONY
ModelILCE-7RM2
ISO Speed640
Focal Length100.0mm
Aperture:f/5.6
Exposure1/200s

MakeSONY
ModelILCE-7RM2
ISO Speed400
Focal Length100.0mm
Aperture:f/5.6
Exposure1/125s

MakeSONY
ModelILCE-7RM2
ISO Speed400
Focal Length100.0mm
Aperture:f/2.8
Exposure1/1600s

MakeSONY
ModelILCE-7RM2
ISO Speed400
Focal Length100.0mm
Aperture:f/5.6
Exposure1/400s

MakeSONY
ModelILCE-7RM2
ISO Speed400
Focal Length100.0mm
Aperture:f/2.8
Exposure1/1250s

MakeSONY
ModelILCE-7RM2
ISO Speed400
Focal Length100.0mm
Aperture:f/2.8
Exposure1/400s

MakeSONY
ModelILCE-7RM2
ISO Speed160
Focal Length100.0mm
Aperture:f/2.8
Exposure1/2000s

MakeSONY
ModelILCE-7RM2
ISO Speed160
Focal Length100.0mm
Aperture:f/5.0
Exposure1/400s

MakeSONY
ModelILCE-7RM2
ISO Speed160
Focal Length100.0mm
Aperture:f/8.0
Exposure1/800s

MakeSONY
ModelILCE-7RM2
ISO Speed160
Focal Length100.0mm
Aperture:f/4.0
Exposure1/3200s

MakeSONY
ModelILCE-7RM2
ISO Speed800
Focal Length100.0mm
Aperture:f/11.0
Exposure1/1600s

MakeSONY
ModelILCE-7RM2
ISO Speed160
Focal Length100.0mm
Aperture:f/9.0
Exposure1/320s

MakeSONY
ModelILCE-7RM2
ISO Speed160
Focal Length100.0mm
Aperture:f/9.0
Exposure1/400s

MakeSONY
ModelILCE-7RM2
ISO Speed400
Focal Length100.0mm
Aperture:f/2.8
Exposure1/1600s

Competition

The Tokina FíRIN 100mm f/2.8 FE macro (left) is competing against 3-4 alternatives (ignoring exotics). There is, of course, the already mentioned Sony FE 90mm f/2.8 OSS macro (center) - which is quite a bit sharper but also substantially more expensive and the bokeh isn't quite on the level that the Tokina provides. If you can live with a shorter focal length you may also include the Sigma 70mm f/2.8 ART macro (to the right) into the list - it's another transformed DSLR lens. The Sony is not the best lens in this group though - that honour goes to the Voigtlander APO-Lanthar 110mm f/2.5 (not shown). The Voigtlander lens is one of the few that does actually correct bokeh fringing. On the downside, it is more expensive still - pretty much the double price of the Tokina - and it's a manual focus lens only. If you are only interested in macro photography this may be a lesser issue though.

Visual comparison courtesy of camerasize.com.

Verdict

The Tokina FíRIN 100mm f/2.8 FE macro is a pretty decent lens albeit it has it's downsides as well. It is capable of delivering an outstanding center performance but the border/corner quality could be a little better at large apertures. The bokeh is great and among the best that we have seen from a conventional lens. Images are also perfectly free of distortions. Lateral and axial CAs are slightly higher than average. A weak spot is purple fringing at f/2.8 which can be a spoiler in certain scenes. Vignetting is not much of an issue.
The build quality of the Tokina lens is very high thanks to quality materials and tight tolerances. We really like the new matte finish of the latest Tokina lenses - it is grippy and doesn't collect fingerprints as a hobby. The somewhat older base design does, however, show up in the fact that it extends during focusing operations. Auto-focusing is also on the slow side of the spectrum.
Overall it's quite obvious that the Tokina is trying to differentiate itself by delivering value for your hard-earned bucks and it does a good job at that.
Optical Quality:    
★★★★★
Mechanical Quality:
★★★★★
Price/Performance:
★★★★★

What does this mean ?