Tokina VCM-S AT-X PRO SD 70-200 F4 (IF) FX review

For provided Tokina AT-X PRO SD 70-200mm F4.0 (IF) FX Lens for Nikon many thanks the store Bomberwhere you can find any photo equipment: tripods, studio light, the lenses, including lenses from Tokina.

Tokina VCM-S AT-X PRO SD 70-200 F4 (IF) FX

Enlarge image. Tokina VCM-S AT-X PRO Lens SD 70-200 F4 (IF) FX. Lens shown in film slr camera

Browse Navigation:

  1. Browse Navigation
  2. In short
  3. History
  4. Main Specifications
  5. Assembly
  6. Stabilizer
  7. Focusing
  8. Image quality
  9. Sample Photos
  10. My personal experience with the lens
  11. Prices / where to buy
  12. Alternatives
  13. Results
  14. User Comments
  15. Add your review or question on the lens

In this review, the Tokina VCM-S AT-X PRO lens SD I will call 70-200 F4 (IF) FX N/AIS for short - 'Tokina 70-200/4 VCM-S'. Here I am reviewing the version for Nikon cameras.

Tokina VCM-S AT-X PRO SD 70-200 F4 (IF) FX

Tokina VCM-S AT-X PRO SD 70-200 F4 (IF) FX

In short

The Tokina 70-200 / 4 VCM-S is a noteworthy lens. It's optically good, with excellent build. This is a functional tool. Applications for a moderate telephoto lens aperture lots of. In this lens, Tokina first began to use many innovations.

Immediately on the main thing. In general, the Tokina 70-200 / 4 VCM-S is slightly worse than the original Nikon VR 70-200 / 4G. First of all, Tokina 70-200 / 4 VCM-S uses a weaker image stabilizer, works worse in backlight and worse in small things, such as the lack of a focusing distance limiter, defective permanent manual focus control, more weight, etc.

Tokina VCM-S AT-X PRO SD 70-200 F4 (IF) FX

Tokina VCM-S AT-X PRO SD 70-200 F4 (IF) FX


The Tokina 70-200 / 4 VCM-S is the first Tokina lens of its kind. Prior to this, the company had neither ultrasonic motor lenses nor IS lenses. In addition, this is the first lens from Tokina with such a set of aperture and focal lengths.

The most similar lenses, before the appearance of the Tokina 70-200 / 4 VCM-S, were Tokina AT-X 340 AF-II и Tokina AT-X 828AF PRO.

Important: Tokina 70-200 / 4 VCM-S is available only in the version for Nikon cameras with Nikon F mount. This is the first time I have seen a third-party lens manufacturer release a model for only one mount.

Tokina 70-200 / 4 VCM-S was released 2 years later than Nikon VR 70-200 / 4G and 10 years later than Canon IS 70-200 / 4L.

Tokina VCM-S AT-X PRO SD 70-200 F4 (IF) FX

Tokina VCM-S AT-X PRO SD 70-200 F4 (IF) FX, front lens coating

Main technical characteristics of Tokina VCM-S AT-X PRO SD 70-200 F4 (IF) FX (N / AIS version):

Review Instance Name The lens says: Tokina VCM-S AT-X PRO SD 70-200 F4 (IF) FX (gold letters), N/AIS (bayonet side) ø67 Japan CE. The box says: Tokina AT-X 70~200mm F4 PRO FX VCM-S N/Digital to fit Nikon
Basic properties
  • FX - the lens is designed for full-frame cameras. On the official website the lens is marked FF (Full Fframe)
  • AT-X Pro - the lens belongs to the professional line of Tokina AT-X Pro (Advanced Technology - EXbetween PROprofessional)
  • S (Ultra Sonic) - ring-type ultrasonic focusing motor
  • N / AIS - this version was developed for Nikon CLC
  • IF (Iinternal Focus) - internal focusing
  • Internal zoom
  • SD - the optical scheme uses low-dispersion elements Super low Ddispersion
  • VCM (Vvibration Ccorrection Module) - built-in image stabilization system (module)
  • TM-705 - support for a tripod ring, not included in the package
  • MC (Multi Coating) - special multi-coating optics (marking is present on the official website)
  • MP - waterproof design, there is a rubber seal for the bayonet (marking is present on the official website)
  • FTM (Full-Time Manual Focus) - permanent manual focusing capability
  • the lens transmits the focusing distance to the camera, analog Nikon 'D'
  • without aperture ring, analogue Nikon 'G'
  • 1: 4 constant relative aperture over the entire range of focal lengths
  • 2 years warranty (for different countries the warranty time varies)
Front Filter Diameter 67 mm, plastic thread for filters
Focal length 70-200 mm EGF for Nikon DX cameras is 105-300 mm
Zoom ratio 2.86X (often rounded to 3X)
Designed by for Nikon DX and FX digital cameras
Number of aperture blades 9 petals that form a fairly even hole
Tags a window with a focusing distance in meters and feet, focal length values ​​for 70, 85, 105, 135, 200 mm, a bayonet mount mark, a mark for setting the hood. Mark for the tripod foot.
Diaphragm from f / 4 over the entire range of focal lengths to f / 32. The lens does not have an aperture ring (G - lens type).
MDF (minimum focusing distance) 1.0 m over the entire range of focal lengths, the maximum zoom ratio is achieved by 200 mm focal length and is 1: 3.57.
The weight 980 g
Optical design 19 elements in 14 groups. The scheme includes 3 Tokina Super Low Dispersion glass elements (SD, the element is shown in pink in the optical scheme)

The image of the optical circuit is clickable.

Lens hood BH-672, plastic, bayonet type. It can be set to transport mode. Comes with the package.
Manufacturer country JAPAN (Japan)
Period From January 29, 2013 to the present day, however, on official website it is indicated that the lens is discontinued. The prototype was shown back in February 2012, but the announcement was postponed. The lenses went on sale only in May 2014.
3D view See
Instructions See

I'd love Tokina to update the model Tokina AT-X 828AF PRO... I hope the Tokina 70-200 / 4 VCM-S was a test of the pen, and in the future we will have similar wonderful lenses.

Tokina VCM-S AT-X PRO SD 70-200 F4 (IF) FX

Tokina VCM-S AT-X PRO SD 70-200 F4 (IF) FX. Enlightenment of the rear lens. The inscription N / AIS


The lens came to my review with a completely new one, in a complete boxed kit.

Tokina 70-200 / 4 VCM-S has a quality build. If I would not work with the old AT-X PRO line (lenses Tokina 828 AT-X PRO, 280AT-X PRO etc.), you could even write that the assembly is beyond praise. But, unfortunately or fortunately, Tokina 70-200 / 4 VCM-S uses more plastic elements than the previous similar lens Tokina AT-X 828AF PRO.

It is indicated that the lens has a waterproof housing. True, the instructions do not specifically anything about this. On the side of the metal mount is rubber compressorwhich prevents the ingress of dirt, dust and moisture.

The focus ring and zoom (zoom) are wide, rubberized and pleasant to handle. On the bayonet side there is a third decorative ring, which is also rubberized.

There is a bayonet mount mark and a mark on the case for quick installation of the hood. The lens uses a plastic hood BH-672, which is fixed in special grooves located near the front lens of the lens. The hood can be installed in the opposite direction for transportation. In this position, access to the focus ring is lost. On the inside, the hood is dustproof with a catching coating resembling velor (a nice little thing that adds prestige to the lens).

During focal length changes, the rear lens remains stationary (no 'vacuum cleaner effect'). The lens uses an internal zoom (does not change its size when the focal length is changed, the front lens remains stationary when the focal length is changed).

Sorry, but Tokina 70-200 / 4 VCM-S copied from Nikon VR 70-200 / 4G optional tripod ring option. Such a ring is not included in the delivery package and must be purchased separately. Ring Tokina TM-705 costs approximately 200-250 dollars. TM-705 is mounted on top of the rubber decorative ring on the bayonet side.

Tokina VCM-S AT-X PRO SD 70-200 F4 (IF) FX

Tokina VCM-S AT-X PRO SD 70-200 F4 (IF) FX


Tokina 70-200 / 4 VCM-S is Tokina's first lens (Kenko Tokina Co., Ltd.) which can use the built-in IS. With the introduction of the stabilization system, Tokina has lagged far behind other manufacturers. For example, Nikon's first stabilized lens is Nikkor VR 80-400 / 4.5-5.6D, was released back in 2000, which is 13 years earlier than Tokina 70-200 / 4 VCM-S.

Tokina 70-200 / 4 VCM-S has a VCM stabilizer (Vvibration Ccorrection Module - vibration correction module) that can compensate 3 steps by shutter speed (measurements by CIPA). In numerical terms, this means that you can shoot at shutter speeds 8 times longer than what a lens without a stabilizer requires. By the standards of Tokina, the lens compensates for all 4 steps. By personal feeling, the stabilizer can withstand real 2-3 steps.

To enable / disable the stabilizer on the lens there 'VCM ON / OFF' switch. The stabilizer is activated when you press the focus activation button. The stabilizer works for another 2 seconds after stopping pressing the focus button. During switching on and off, the stabilizer makes quite loud clattering sounds. During operation, the stabilizer buzzes slightly, the type of sound may change from time to time. General noise from stabilizer operation is higherthan other similar lenses.

I was able to take pictures of stationary objects without blur and strong efforts at 200 mm focal length and 1/30 of a second. And if you try hard, you can get a sharp shot even on shutter speed 1/10 s and 200 mm of focal length.

Nowhere not specifiedwhether the stabilizer can track the movement of the camera during panoramic shooting. The instructions give recommendations for turning off the stabilizer during shooting with a tripod and shooting at very slow shutter speeds.

There is information on the net that at short shutter speeds the stabilizer may not improve, but, on the contrary, worsen the picture, adding extra blur to it. I did not find such problems with the lens from this review. Perhaps there really are some peculiarities of the stabilizer operation on the Tokina 70-200 / 4 VCM-S lens, after all, this is the first experience of Tokina digging in creating stabilizers.

Tokina VCM-S AT-X PRO SD 70-200 F4 (IF) FX

Tokina VCM-S AT-X PRO SD 70-200 F4 (IF) FX. Focus and stabilizer switches


Tokina 70-200 / 4 VCM-S - Tokina's first lens to have an integrated ultrasonic focus motor. Marking S (Ultra Sonic) in the name of the lens just indicates the presence of such a motor. It’s also nice to use high-grade large ring-type ultrasonic motor.

Tokina 70-200 / 4 VCM-S has focus mode switch 'AF / MF'. The lens does not need to be set to 'MF' for manual focusing. This model finally ditches the controversial 'One-touch Focus Clutch' (when you had to pull the focus ring towards the mount to switch to manual mode).

The lens supports mode FTM (Full-Time Manual Focus). But the function only remotely resembles native functions Nikon 'M / A' or Nikon 'A / M'. Unfortunately, it’s convenient to perform manual focus in auto focus mode only if the camera uses focus mode 'AF S'or' AF-A 'and only after successful auto focus. In focus mode 'AF-C'' camera can counteract manual focus control. Tokina 70-200 / 4 VCM-S does not turn off auto focus when you start to rotate the focus ring manually, which is why there are different incidents. But not everything is so bad, users who use the button focus method AF ON (or the buttons programmed for this function, or the remote control) may not feel the lack of a full mode Nikon 'M / A' or Nikon 'A / M.

When used on a camera Nikon D90 with unpretentious Multi-CAM 1000 focusing system the lens behaves well, rarely focuses incorrectly. I had no problems with focus accuracy and focus.

Auto focus speed high (closer to average). Focus speed does not depend on the selected focal length or on the orientation of the lens. The lens travel time from infinity to MDF roughly corresponds to Nikon VR 70-200 / 4G (in the position of the focus distance limiter 'Full' and 70 mm focal length).

During focusing, the front and rear lenses remain stationary, as the lens uses internal focusthat is indicated on the case by the letters'(IF)'-'Iinternal Focus' - 'Inner Focus'. During zooming, the front and rear lenses remain stationary - the lens has internal zoom. Thus, during focusing and changing the focal length, only the internal parts of the lens move. You can easily use any filters, for example polarizing or gradient.

During auto focus, the focus ring remains stationary. In manual focus mode, the focus ring rotates approximately 160 degrees. When extreme positions are reached, the focus ring does not rest, but continues to slide, without affecting the focus. Manual focus is comfortable enough.

The lens has a window with a distance scale with marks in meters and feet. The scale is small, on it there are labels only for 4, 2, 1.5, 1.2, 1 m and the label is 'infinity'. Such a scale in itself is of little use and is present more for show (justification of this thought here).

The minimum focusing distance is 100 cm (the distance from the sensor / focal plane of the camera to the subject). With such an MDF, the maximum magnification ratio is 1: 3.57. Thus, the lens allows you to shoot amateur 'close'.

Feature 1: unfortunately, unlike many telephoto lenses, the Tokina 70-200 / 4 VCM-S does not have a focusing distance limiter.

Feature 2: Despite claims that the focusing motor is silent, there is a slight noise from the focusing system during actual operation. The nature of the noise changes from time to time. This noise will greatly affect the sound quality during movie shooting using the microphone built into the camera.

Feature 3: This lens will automatically focus on all Nikon DSLR cameras. Tokina 70-200 / 4 VCM-S is an analog of the Nikon series lenses AF-S / AF-I, Nikon SWM.

Feature 4: Tokina 70-200 / 4 VCM-S has no focus problems in Live View.

Feature 5: the lens has a pronounced 'Focus Breathing' effect (changing the viewing angle during focusing). When focusing on MDF at 200 mm focal length, effective focal length equals approximately 100 mm.

Feature 6: while changing the focal length, focusing is a bit confused. The lens is very close to parfocal.

Feature 7: One of the implicit advantages of telephoto lenses with a maximum aperture of 1: 4 is that they can be used with teleconverters without any problems. Tokina 70-200 / 4 VCM-S is compatible with some teleconverters Kenko (Will work precisely with the MC4 DGX, MC7 DGX, Plus PRO300 1.4X DGX, PRO300 2X DGX). When using a tele-converter with a magnification of 1.4x, the lens turns into a '98 -280 / 5.6 ′, which allows automatic focusing on all Nikon digital SLR cameras. Even when using a teleconverter with a 2X magnification, Tokina 70-200 / 4 VCM-S turns into '140-400 / 8' and can be focused using phase focus sensors on some cameras. Cameras with phase focus sensors designed to work with a maximum aperture of F / 8 can work with such a set, they can be found here. At the same time, when using teleconverters with darker telephoto cameras, with auto focus, things can be much worse. This restriction may not affect focus in Live View.

Feature 8: Tokina 70-200 / 4 VCM-S is a third-party lens. It may happen that it will not work correctly with the new Nikon cameras, which will be presented after the announcement of this lens. Details on this issue are considered by me. here.

Tokina VCM-S AT-X PRO SD 70-200 F4 (IF) FX

Tokina VCM-S AT-X PRO SD 70-200 F4 (IF) FX

Image quality

The image quality is good. The Tokina 70-200 / 4 VCM-S has good contrast, micro-contrast, sharpness and detail. It feels like shooting with a prime lens. The picture has a 'glass sharpness', like that of a macro lens Tokina Macro 100 F2.8D AT-X PRO.

The lens creates a very sharp picture over the entire range of focal lengths already with the open aperture F / 4. Perhaps only the edges and angles on Nikon FX full-length cameras will have light sharpness problems. On Nikon DX cameras, sharpness is uniform from edge to edge.

The main disadvantage can be considered the presence of glare during operation in the backlight. True, the amount of glare is not so great as to worry about this.

Tokina 70-200 / 4 VCM-S has a nice bokeh. Generally suitable for portrait photography.

In general, I was very pleasantly surprised by the optical properties of the lens.

Box for Tokina VCM-S AT-X PRO SD 70-200 F4 (IF) FX

Box for Tokina VCM-S AT-X PRO SD 70-200 F4 (IF) FX

Sample Photos

Pictures are shown from the camera. Nikon D90. Pictures in the gallery below are shown without processing. During shooting was used safety filter Marumi DHG Super Lens Protect 67mm Made in Japan.

You can download the source files at this link.

Tokina VCM-S AT-X PRO SD 70-200 F4 (IF) FX

Tokina VCM-S AT-X PRO SD 70-200 F4 (IF) FX

My experience

I really like a similar range of focal lengths, which is very functional both in full frame and in crop.

I really liked the Tokina 70-200 / 4 VCM-S lens, but still I want to note that Nikon VR 70-200 / 4G in general, a little better.

Due to the fact that Tokina 70-200 / 4 VCM-S is significantly cheaper Nikon VR 70-200 / 4GIt makes sense to dwell on Tokina 70-200 / 4 VCM-S.

Directly for artistic photography (especially portrait), I recommend looking at a faster lens, albeit without a stabilizer and without a built-in focus motor - Nikon ED AF Nikkor 80-200mm 1: 2.8D (MKIII).

It bothers me a bit why two years have not passed since the start of sales of the lens, and on the official website it is indicated that it has already been discontinued (Japanese '【生産 終了】' in the site header, and Japanese 'こ の 製品 製 は を 終了 い た し ま し た' in red). My guess is that Tokina has some problems with the release of this lens, which may be related to patent claims for the stabilization system or the ultrasonic motor. This is indirectly evidenced by the fact that the next 'serious' lens AT-X 24-70mm f / 2.8 PRO FX, which was released in 2015, has neither a stabilizer nor an ultrasonic motor. Also, the promised version of the Tokina 70-200 / 4 VCM-S for Canon EOS cameras has not yet been released (most likely they will not be released). It will be a pity if Tokina 70-200 / 4 VCM-S will suffer the same fate as Tokina AT-X PRO SD 50-135 F2.8 DX.

Tokina VCM-S AT-X PRO SD 70-200 F4 (IF) FX with BH-672 hood

Tokina VCM-S AT-X PRO SD 70-200 F4 (IF) FX with BH-672 hood


There are very few such telephoto lenses for Nikon cameras with a constant 1: 4 relative aperture over the entire range of focal lengths, and even with an image stabilizer.

Instead of Tokina 70-200 / 4 VCM-S, you can use a similar original Nikon VR 70-200 / 4G.

For many photo tasks, darker zooms with a stabilizer can serve as a replacement: Nikon VR 70-300 / 4.5-5.6G, Sigma OS 70-300 / 4-5.6 и Tamron VC 70-300 / 4-5.6.

At the cost of the new Tokina 70-200 / 4 VCM-S lens, you can find used Nikon VR (1) 70-200 / 2.8G or Sigma OS 70-200 / 2.8.

All Original Similar Nikon FX Telephoto Lenses

Below is a list of all Nikon Nikkor telephoto lenses without high aperture and with auto focus support:

  1. Nikon AF Nikkor 70-210mm 1: 4, 1986-1987
  2. Nikon AF Nikkor 70-210mm 1:4-5.6, 1987-1993
  3. Nikon AF Nikkor 75-300mm 1:4.5-5.6, 1989-1998
  4. Nikon AF Nikkor 80-200mm 1:4.5-5.6D, 1991-1999
  5. Nikon AF Nikkor 70-210mm 1:4-5.6D, 1993-2000
  6. Nikon AF Micro Nikkor 70-180mm 1: 4.5-5.6D ED, 1997-2005
  7. Nikon AF Nikkor 75-240mm 1:4.5-5.6D, 1999-2000
  8. Nikon AF Nikkor 70-300mm 1:4-5.6D ED, 1998-2006
  9. Nikon AF Nikkor 70-300mm 1:4-5.6D, 1998-2006 (?)
  10. Nikon AF Nikkor 70-300mm 1:4-5.6G, from 2000 to 2014, black or silver
  11. Nikon AF S Nikkor 70-300mm 1:4.5-5.6G ED VR IF SWM, from 2006 to 2017
  12. Nikon AF S Nikkor 70-200mm 1: 4G ED SWM VR IF N Nano Crystal Coat, from 2012 to the present day
  13. Nikon AF-P Nikkor 70-300mm 1:4.5-5.6E VR ED, 2017 to present

The names of the lenses are indicated according to their spelling on the case.

Tokina VCM-S AT-X PRO SD 70-200 F4 (IF) FX

Tokina VCM-S AT-X PRO SD 70-200 F4 (IF) FX


Prices for the Tokina VCM-S AT-X PRO SD 70-200 F4 (IF) FX lens in popular online stores can look at this link.

Tokina VCM-S AT-X PRO SD 70-200 F4 (IF) FX and Tokina AT-X 80-400mm 1: 4.5-5.6 (AT-X 840 AF-II)

Tokina VCM-S AT-X PRO SD 70-200 F4 (IF) FX and Tokina AT-X 80-400mm 1: 4.5-5.6 (AT-X 840 AF-II)


The Tokina VCM-S AT-X PRO SD 70-200 F4 (IF) FX is a good and functional telephoto lens with few drawbacks. Excellent build, excellent image quality, fast focusing, built-in stabilizer. Recommend.

Material prepared Arkady Shapoval. Training/Consultations | Youtube | Facebook | Instagram | Twitter | Telegram

Add a comment:



Comments: 22, on the topic: Tokina VCM-S AT-X PRO SD 70-200 F4 (IF) FX review

  • Eugene

    Hello, if not difficult, indicate on which photo from the review you can see the microcontrast?

    • Arkady Shapoval

      For example, DSC_5793.NEF in the archive of RAWs

      • Eugene

        Sorry for the importunity, but the picture you indicated demonstrates the opposite and allows you to ask the question: what do you think of microcontrast?

        • Arkady Shapoval

          In my opinion, micro-contrast is a contrast in small details

          • Eugene

            And I have a version that Microcontrast is the ability of the lens to transmit the richness and variety of inter-tonal shifts between the brighter and darker parts in the area of ​​very similar colors to the camera’s sensor. Taken from here

            • Oleg

              In what units is the microcontrast measured? And the volume?

            • anonym

              Evgeny! Thank you so much for the link to the article about MICROCONTRAST. As we see most photographers (both pros and amateurs), even with great experience they do not understand this term at all. Autumn liked a brief overview of the lenses (according to the Main brands) in terms of micro-contrast. Thanks again!

              • Valery A.

                Yes, yes, thank you!

  • zengarden

    Harsh ... yes, he is simply gorgeous for his money.
    Once I wanted to buy his darker brother, in the commission room it was expensive, but he flatly refused to focus on the long end, a solid soap. And this one was impressive.

    • Arkady Shapoval

      In fact, this is one of the latest lenses from Tokina.

  • Simon

    Nice picture and sharp ... you can see without even peering ... +++

  • Simon

    Kapets is some kind of handsome, sharp, and only 60000 rubles.

    • zengarden

      Compare with the cost of Nikon ...

      • Simon

        already compared ... aha ... 2,8 can be taken ...

  • andrei2911

    You definitely need Tamron 70-200 f / 2.8 (A009) for a review.

  • Pastor

    Cool lens. Stub on such focal points is very important in my opinion, I'm glad that Tokina realized this. But the fact of discontinuation from production is depressing. In general, a few years ago Tokina was number one for me after my own lenses. Sigma and Tamron gave out both decent and mediocre lenses, and tokina almost always did something worthwhile. But now Tokina releases glass less and less, everything also refuses to release fixes with a few exceptions and rarely puts stubs in glass. Tamron and Sigma took a step further, began to release excellent fixes - sigma their own series of art, and Tamron new fixes with stubs. Tamron also bungled a whole line of excellent stable zooms 15-30 2.8vs, 24-70 2.8vs, 70-200 2.8vs. Sigma releases super light zooms with 1.8 and 2.0. But Tokina is somehow marking time and cannot offer anything really new. It is very sad to observe this.

    • Arkady Shapoval

      The wide tokina makes good, from the last 14-20 / 2

      • Pastor

        Indeed, I forgot about this novelty. Really interesting lens and 2.0 speaks working. But 14mm is not enough for a crop width, so my observations show that this tokina is not very popular. On the forums it is little discussed, judging by the reviews on the network, there are only a few real owners, and even the price is too biting. Although it may decrease over time and there will be more owners. Well deserved 11-16 2.8 and 11-20 2.8 are popular. And again, judging by the forums, I can note that people are often confused even by 11mm wide - they would rather take a less light, but wider lens (at least most). In general, of course, the tokina has not yet drowned, but in my opinion, if they do not release something interesting, they will soon disappear from sight. And buyers from this one sadness - less competition.

  • anonym

    All good destroys
    century of marketing g ... !!!

  • Igor

    Price for it, as for Nikon 70-200 f / 4

  • JulianTew

    Thank you all who have not ignored. Thank you all. Special thanks to Admin

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