Tokina entered the cinema marked with the introduction of their Vista line of fast and full frame cine prime lenses. Now, a few years later, they introduce a limited edition, called the Tokina Vista One. The Ones sport a single-coated front element, resulting in more cinematic character. There’s also a new 50-125mm T2.9 mk II cine zoom lens!
While many cinematographers applauded to the optical quality of the original Vista series, some were missing a certain character. And that’s a thing in the high end cinema market: you don’t want a clinical look (sometimes you do but that’s another story). You want some soul, something that support the story at hand. That’s where the Tokina Vista One series of lenses come into picture.
Tokina Vista One Prime Lenses
The Tokina Vista One lenses tick all the boxes when it comes to serious cinematographic tools: full frame (even beyond that), 8K resolution, fast 1.5 T-stop, virtually no focus breathing, low chromatic aberration, 9-blade curved iris for pleasing bokeh, 300 degree focus throw, all-metal design with geared rings.. it’s all there. And still, something is missing from the original Vista primes: Less coating. The Tokina Vista One primes come with only a single-coated aspheric front element.
In fact, it’s a whole new front element Tokina has developed for the limited One edition. Furthermore, the lenses now come in a dark grey finish with blue and white lens markings. The new Ones will be available in 6 focal lengths:
- 18mm T1.5
- 25mm T1.5
- 35mm T1.5
- 50mm T1.5
- 85mm T1.5
- 105mm T1.5
All 6 lenses, just as with the original Vistas, share the exact same locations for iris and focus rings and they also share 144mm front diameter and accept 122mm front filters.
The single-coated front element actually is on double duty here: When the lenses are used with off-axis lighting overall contrast will be reduced while flaring is increased. This adds to an organic look a lot of cinematographers are after. But, and this is interesting, when used with a light source on-axis, the lens retains contrast and far less flaring is visible.
This is due to the single-coated front element: Other non-coated lenses offer nice reduced contrast (or even too less) and crazy flares but they can’t control them properly. Multi-coated lenses tend to produce a, well, too clinical look. With the Tokina you retain control over your images, while still adding character. It’s really a hybrid lens design in that regard.
50-135mm T2.9 mk II Cine Zoom Lens
If you want to be more flexible on set or simply don’t have any time to lose, the new 50-135mm T2.9 mk II zoom lens might be worth a closer look. Tokina engineers claim to have created a parfocal zoom with minimal focus breathing and reduced image shifting. It offers a de-clicked iris with 9 rounded blades for smooth bokeh and the minimum focus distance is only 3.3 feet which is not really great but ok given the 135mm focal length on the lenses far end.
Since this lens bears mk II in its name, it’s clear that we are dealing with an upgrade of an older lens and in this case it’s the Tokina 50-135mm T3 zoom lens. The new design sports an all new metal mechanical housing featuring industry standard 0.8 MOD cinema gears, 300 degree focus throw, updated T2.9 iris, and 95mm front diameter.
That makes the 50-135mm T2.9 mk II a perfect match for the existing Tokina Cinema 11- 20mm T2.9 zoom. Both lenses in the series feature an interchangeable mount between PL, EF, Sony E, MFT, and Nikon F mounts.
Pricing and Availability
The Tokina Vista One lenses are not available, yet but you can sign up over at Tokinacinemausa.com for updates on release. One thing worth mentioning: You can’t buy just one lens, you have to go all in and get the whole 6-lens kit. And I don’t think I’m wrong if I foresee a hearty price tag on these.. It’s a limited edition of the already pricey Vista series.
Same goes for the 50-135mm T2.9 mk II lens, there’s no word on availability just yet.
Have you ever worked with the Vista primes? What do you think about these new edition? Share your experiences in the comments below!