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Tokina enters the E-Mount fray, bringing a $500 85mm f/1.8 prime lens

Sony E-Mount photographers could soon have more budget-friendly optics. On Friday, January 17, Tokina launched the ATX-M 85mm f/1.8 FE, effectively entering the E-Mount optics for the first time with a new series.

The new ATX-M line is designed with a Sony E-Mount while adhering to Sony’s requirements — resulting in a lens that Tokina says works with all the camera body functions, including autofocus, in-body image stabilization, Eye AF, manual focus assist, and the camera’s electronic distance scale.

Tokina ATX-M 85mm

Rather than taking an existing Tokina lens and work it into an E-Mount, the ATX-M 85mm f/1.8 FE is a new design. The company says that the lens was designed with a larger front element, which helps handle light fall off. That, coupled with the focal length and bright aperture, is ideal for a portrait lens, Tokina says, as well as landscapes, street photography, and close-ups.

The lens is designed from 10 glass elements, with Super Low Reflection Coatings to help minimize flare and ghosting. The coating also helps repel water, oil, and dust from the front of the lens. Tokina says the design helps to create contrast will minimizing distortion. The company says the lens offers “corner to corner” resolution. That build creates a lens that weighs just under a pound and a half.

Tokina says that the autofocus motor is both fast and accurate, while all-metal parts result in smooth manual focusing.

Tokina, an optics company founded in 1950 and based in Japan, hasn’t yet shared what lenses are headed to the new series next. The ATM in the series names stands for advanced technology, while the M represents both mirrorless and motif.

The new Tokina lens will cost $100 less than the Sony-made lens with similar specs. While the Sony offers the same focal length and aperture, it’s designed with nine glass elements and weighs significantly less than the Tokina at 13.1 ounces. Sony also has a narrower minimum aperture at f/22, compared to the Tokina lens’ f/16.

The Tokina ATX-M 85mm f/1.8 FE goes on sale beginning February 7 at a $499 list price. Some stores, including B&H Photo and Video, have pre-orders open now.

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