The march of Sony’s FE mirrorless mount continues as today Tokina officially unveiled a special treat; a new version of their [amazon_textlink asin=’B06XC8PS7H’ text=’20mm F2 FE’ template=’ProductLink’ store=’thephobl-20′ marketplace=’US’ link_id=’b245aada-18fe-11e8-88e0-8b3c1aadfc9f’]. But rather than being manual focus, this time Tokina went the distance and added Autofocus! The lens had leaked earlier in the day, but it seems that it only just beat the presses, as the lens was officially unveiled just hours later. This lens is Tokina’s second prime lens in the FiRIN family of lenses.
As noted above, the Tokina 20mm F2 FE AF is a refresh of a lens that Tokina had previously announced – the Tokina 20mm F2 FE. The difference is the new model has AF where the old model was MF only. Let’s be real honest here, this is a huge deal. The popularity of lenses with AF vs without is obvious as most photographers these days rely on AF to focus their images. Tokina say’s they did not even change the optical design; It’s the same 13 elements 11 group design, only the company now added a ring-type Ultrasonic Motor. This AF version of the lens will look much more like a Sony AF lens too, so it should fit in better with your current kit of FE lenses better than the MF version did.
Additionally, the lens will be fully compatible with Sony’s full range of AF functions and features, with Tokina promising that the lens will offer the same sort of AF performance other native Sony FE lenses enjoy. This is great news too, as that is always a concern with third-party lenses, and in the DSLR realm that was commonly a problem. So it is great to see that Tokina will be making it a point to produce a lens that doesn’t become pointless due to AF issues.
Another ‘good to know’ point about this lens is that (as you would expect) it is comparable with Sony’s IBIS technology and as such will provide a stabilized shooting experience on Sony cameras featuring IBIS (like the [amazon_textlink asin=’B00PX8CHO6′ text=’A7 II’ template=’ProductLink’ store=’thephobl-20′ marketplace=’US’ link_id=’d05c7f77-18ff-11e8-9634-55449fbeab63′] and [amazon_textlink asin=’B076TGDHPT’ text=’A7R III’ template=’ProductLink’ store=’thephobl-20′ marketplace=’US’ link_id=’d8fa0125-18ff-11e8-b3e2-fb6fa776ab29′]).
Tokina says to expect the lens around the end of April in Japan and closer to the end of May in the rest of the World. Unfortunately, the new lens was not announced with any pricing information, so we will have to wait and see what sort of premium Tokina plans to tack onto the AF version of this lens over the manual focus one ($799).
More details of this launch can be found over on the Tokina website. Stay tuned and we will make sure to note once a price is announced.