Adapt Tokina lens to Canon?
February 10, 2007 11:48 AM   Subscribe

the padres were cleaning out their house and came across some old camera lens' (along with my priceless collection of transformers), one is a Tokina 400mm. I currently have a Canon D20 and no telephoto, is it possible to purchase an adapter for this lens to get it to fit the Canon?
posted by dieguido to Sports, Hobbies, & Recreation (8 answers total)
I know there's a teleconverter for the Tokina->Canon, I think it's 2x. Unfortunately, unless your Tokina is f/4 or faster, you're probably going to be cutting a couple of stops of light. Not to mention, if it's an AF lens, it will be slooooow at focus tracking, which makes it practically useless for wildlife photography. What do you expect to use it for?
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 4:12 PM on February 10, 2007

im a newbie in the photography and dont shoot much wildlife but couldn't pass up the chance on a free glass 400mm lens to continue learning on. Not quite sure how to figure out the mount and if i am reading the lens right (which i prob am not) it says 5.6
posted by dieguido at 7:43 PM on February 10, 2007

That sounds right. A f/5.6 lens isn't very fast. That means it won't be terribly useful in low-light, which probably isn't much of a problem considering that a 400mm lens will magnify camera shake so much that you wouldn't be shooting in low light, anyway.

The problem is that a teleconverter will require you to add a couple of stops to the lens to make up for all the extra glass the light has to travel through. So instead of an f/5.6, it's going to be more like an f/8. Is that a problem? I don't know. A lot depends on your shooting style and subject matter.

Thing is, there aren't a whole lot of uses for a 400mm lens. Nature photography would be a good one. Or sports. But neither will work well at f/8. The problem is that you're going to have to shoot very fast shutter speeds with that large a lens (for nature/sports) in order to eliminate camera shake or lens slap. 1/1000 sec. or so. But if it's cloudy outside, you might need to dip down to f/4 or f/5.6 to get that kind of shutter speed. Which you can't do. You can only get down to f/8, which is going to cut out so much light that you have to shoot at, say, 1/350 sec.

I guess what I'm saying is that it's not going to be as useful a lens as you might think, and even less so once you strap a converter on it. You could get a brand new Canon f/4-5.6 75-300mm zoom for peanuts.
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 8:27 PM on February 10, 2007

f/5.6 sounds quite likely for a budget telephoto from tokina but you do need to figure out what mount it has - tokina just make the lenses and they make different versions for all the major camera mounts. You really don't want to use a 2x teleconverter on that lens, it'll end up f/11 and all but unusable.

Does it say FD, EF or canon on there anywhere? Or does it mention some other camera brand (minolta, pentax, nikon, etc)? Or does it perhaps have a huge thread (M42) on the end instead of bayonet fitting?

Perhaps if you posted a good photo of the camera-end of the lens we may be able to help some more.
posted by polyglot at 8:30 PM on February 10, 2007

The other thing is that if you slap on a 2x teleconverter, it becomes an 800mm f/11, which is getting into telescope territory... you either need bright light and very fast shutter or stationary subjects and long exposures. Like CD says, the usual telephoto users are nature and sports, neither of which have particularly stationary subjects.
posted by polyglot at 8:33 PM on February 10, 2007

Some of those budget 400mm and 500mm lenses had a universal screw mount onto which the specific camera mout was screwed. try and see if this is the case with your lens and unscreww the existing mount. Then the trouble would be finding the Nikon mount.
posted by Gungho at 10:33 AM on February 11, 2007

The mention of teleconverters is because the distance from film-plane to mount varies between camera mounts and to attach some lenses to some mounts requires the use of an optical element otherwise it would be impossible to focus at infinity; a simple adapter-ring is not sufficient. This optical element makes the adapter a teleconverter; the usual factors are 1.4x and 2x though for some systems with little variation in film-mount distance you can occasionally find something with not much magnification.

I'm not sure if this is the case for FD on EF but suspect it is. All that supposes that this old lens is FD-mount; it could be anything really.

dieguido... a picture of the lens?
posted by polyglot at 5:19 PM on February 11, 2007

Besides all that, the multi-coatings have come a long way since then, and I think you'll be disappointed by that part of it.
posted by unrepentanthippie at 6:25 AM on February 12, 2007

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