First Impressions: Tokina FiRIN 20mm f2 (Sony FE)

The first new lens in Tokina’s new FiRIN lineup of lenses is a manual focus offering with electronic contacts communicating with the Sony a7 camera bodies it’s designed for: and it’s called the Tokina FiRIN 20mm f2. Odd naming aside from a Japanese company using a Gaelic term, the lens is an all manual focus, manual aperture optic that is well designed from metal and targeted to both photographers and videographers. As a fast, compact, well built prime lens it’s designed from the ground up–and Tokina has done a very good job.

At Photokina 2016, we got the chance to get some personal fondling time with the lens.

Tech Specs

Focal Length 20mm
Aperture Maximum: f/2
Minimum: f/22
Camera Mount Type Sony E (Full-Frame)
Format Compatibility 35mm Film / Full-Frame Digital Sensor
Angle of View 92.6°
Minimum Focus Distance 11.02″ (28 cm)
Maximum Reproduction Ratio 1:10.3
Elements/Groups 13/11
Diaphragm Blades 9
Features
Autofocus No
Physical
Filter Thread Front: 62 mm
Dimensions (DxL) Approx. 2.72 x 3.21″ (69 x 81.5 mm)
Weight 1.08 lb (490 g)

Ergonomics

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The Tokina FiRIN 20mm f2 lens is one that looks a lot like many other compact prime manual focus lenses that have been created in the past couple of years, but this time around it’s being manufactured by a company that has been around for quite some time. The lens hood that comes with the lens is made of plastic–which is kind of odd as the lens’ exterior itself is made of metal.

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Take the hood off though and what you’ll get is a much smaller optic that you’d expect for a mirrorless camera. Don’t forget about the 62mm filter thread in the front.

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This view is essentially what you’ll be seeing most of the time. The aperture ring is near the front of the lens–Leica style. Then there is the focusing ring is towards the middle. Behind that is the effective depth of field scale–perfect for a 20mm lens.

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Above the aperture ring is a switch that you can use to make the lens have a clickless or clicked aperture. It’s a very nice implementation–though the best I’ve seen is from Voigtlander.

Build Quality

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The exterior of the lens is all metal, and very well designed. With the original a7, it’s bound to be simple to use. If you are an animal with bigger paws and using the a7 II series of cameras, the extra grip may cause your fingers to rub against the focusing ring. In that case, get ready to develop some calluses.

Tokina stated to us that this is a prototype and they’re still working on the lens; so the design could change roughly.

Ease of Use

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This is a manual focus lens; so if you’re from that camp that doesn’t know how to turn a lens ring, stop an aperture down, etc. then you’ll probably sit there and cry alone to yourself as you rock back and forth praying for salvation by the autofocus gods.

Don’t worry! Tokina says that this is going to be their only manual focus FiRIN lens.

Focusing

Like all other manual focus lenses out there, you’ll focus using the focusing ring. This isn’t difficult to do and you’ll also most likely use focus peaking. The lens has electronic contacts, so that’s a plus for sure!

Image Quality

The lens we played with is a prototype, so I wasn’t allowed to bring home images shot with the lens. From what I saw though, there isn’t very much distortion.

First Impressions