New Lens Arrived Today!

I ordered a Tokina 19-35mm AF193 lens a while ago and it arrived today. This is now the 6th lens in the shooting arsenal and will primarily be used on the secondary camera for wider angle shots. This specific lens is one of the “legendary” lens made originally for Minolta cameras and, since Sony adopted the A-Mount system, have remained in production. The lens is hard to come by as it is not sold often in South Africa.


Interestingly the lens has inherent “flaws” which gives photos a softer artistic edge look. Because of these “flaws” the lens obtained a “legendary” status amongst photographers who know how to use the “flaws” to their advantage. At F8 and up the lens is crystal sharp making it one of the great landscape photography lenses, but wider than F8 the edges tend to become soft and you have a natural light fall-off (aka vignetting). As a wedding photographer I have search for a long time for such a lens because these effects are usually brought in digitally in post-processing using Photoshop or other photo editing software. Using this lens at certain apertures the natural effect, which is better than any that can be digitally reproduced, can be obtained.


Have you ever noticed how many wedding photographers add a hard, unnatural-looking vignette (darkening of the edges of photos) to their photos? The idea came about in the old film days when lenses of certain construction would cause this darkening of the edges naturally. The edges would also become “soft” (blurrier). Modern wedding photographers still reproduce this effect in post processing of their images!


Most modern lenses are severely criticized if they have ANY vignetting (or light fall-off) because it is considered a “Bad Trait”. The reason most photographer don’t want vignetting is because it limits their cropping capability. If you crop a photo that has natural vignetting you will cut out the beautiful natural vignette. So, working with a lens that has natural vignetting is tricky as you have to frame your shots correctly and stop relying on cropping afterwards to fix you photos. Fortunately I am one of those photographer who try to frame every shot correctly so that I will not have to crop afterwards, and 95% of the time I get it correct, so this lens is great for me!


For those interested in what other lenses I use the list is now as follows:


SONY SAM 18-55

SONY SAM 28-75 F2.8

SONY 75-300

Minolta 35-70

Minolta 50mm Prime F1.7

Tokina AF913 19-35


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