Tokina opera 50mm F1.4 FF Landscape Performance
Article and all photos by Alireza Vafa
Landscape photography really challenges the optical performance of any lens. This is the main reason why 50mm lenses are still widely used by professional landscape photographers.
If I decide to carry only one lens for landscape purpose in both day and night (i.e. landscape and nightscape), it would be definitely a high quality fast 50mm lens. To cover wide fields, a 50mm lens could become an easily solution to capture multi shots for creating wide angle panoramic images or hyper resolution mosaic photos. In fact, as subjects are highly controllable in landscape genre, I prefer to create high resolution multi shot images through normal lenses instead of a single shot, so in practice my wide angle lenses are not frequently used for this purpose!
High resolution 120 megapixel image, created by 13 individual images captured through Tokina opera 50mm at f/5.0 on D610 body at ISO-400. Taleqan Lake, Iran.
My new lens, Tokina opera 50mm F1.4 FF in Nikon mount was received around date of public release on October. This time coincided with the beginning of beautiful autumn in Northern hemisphere with plenty of gorgeous landscapes. Tokina opera 50mm F1.4 FF incorporates one of the most sophisticated optical formulas till now for a normal lens, in addition to plenty of state of the art technologies like spherical and SD (Super-low Dispersion) glasses, ELR (Extremely Low Reflection) coating, round-shaped 9 blade diaphragm and electric diaphragm (for Nikon F mount). I was wondering how these cutting-edge technologies render the light for superior performance in practice and it was the best time to go out in the nature to test the lens on one of the most challenging missions; Landscape photos.
The first light shot through this lens was a real surprise. I was planning a photography trip towards the heights of Alborz Mountains. On the way, I went through colorful villages in mild misty mountain valleys which are illuminated by the sun from behind, a typical challenging condition for lens coating to examine how it resists to ghost and flares. And the result is thoroughly fascinating without any sign of such issues!
Panoramic view of colorful village composed of 9 exposures right to left by Tokina opera 50mm F1.4 FF at f/5.6 on Nikon D610 body at ISO-50. Meygun, Iran.
At this location, all subjects were aimed at infinity with lots of details so it was a proper time and site to test sharpness on the field. I chose three 100% crops from different parts of the scene shown as follow;
This table shows 100% crop of previous photo at center, far right and far left corner. Notice how Tokina opera 50mm shows a brilliant solid performance at different apertures.