by Alan Trammel
Tokina Opera 50mm f/1.4 FF lens for Nikon
This lens is insanely large and heavy, however, I found that it balanced well on my Nikon camera bodies. This lens is 2.1/lbs., compared to a lightweight Nikon 50mm f/1.8 G which weighs in at 6.5 ounces. The weight seems to be in proportion to its quality. This lens is built like a tank and feels like it will last a lifetime.
This was my first foray into f/1.4 lenses and I am impressed. The rounded nine-blade diaphragm generates creamy, puffy, cotton candy like bokeh that is extremely pleasing. I really love the way this lens renders.
The autofocus is fast and quiet, quickly locking onto subjects. I haven’t experienced any “hunting” while focusing even in low light conditions. Full-time manual focus override is available at any time by simply rotating the focus ring. While not a macro lens, the minimum focusing distance of 15.8 inches allows you to get really close to your subject.
One thing that immediately amazed me when I started to use this lens is the exceptional optical quality and sharpness when shooting wide open at f/1.4. This lens is razor sharp, producing crisp and crystal clear details. It produces phenomenal images that have a “cinematic” feel to them. This lens produces photos that have lots of character.
Are there any negatives? The price at $949 is certainly high but in life I have found “you get what you pay for.” After using the lens and thoroughly loving it, I feel the price is justified. The petal shaped lens hood is a little clumsy to put on but that is a minor issue.
Bottom line… this is top shelf glass that renders unbelievable images!