Summary: Love this lens. Compared to others that can zoom out to 400mm this one is compact and lighter. Don't get me wrong. It isn't a light weight. Tokina makes excellent glass. This is my second Tokina lens, the other being a super wide angle 11-16mm lens. This lens sometimes gets mixed reviews but it is all about getting the results you want and knowing about how to get them. The auto focus seems fast. enough but isn't as fast as some of the newer lenses.
Summary: Auto focus tends to hunt for focus on cloudy days. Its a bit heavier than my Nikon lens, Overall, I am very, very happy. I used this lens in Peru and AK… Most people stated that they look like professional shots.
Summary: No it doesn't have Image Stabilization. Yes it is difficult to shoot @ 400mm for the first time. I have to shoot at least 1/400 and usually try to shoot 1/640. Autofocus is noisy but usable. It's a well thought out lens - with a zoom lock @ 80mm, included hood and bag and a decent tripod mount. For the 350 i picked this lens up it's an incredible value.
Summary: I am a devoted Tokina customer! I have had negative experiences with Tameron and stay away from them. I am a sports photographer and having a lens that is well built and has quick performance is utmost for my profession. Tokina are excellent lens and most of the lens I own are Tokina. I only wish they would make this lens with an f/2.8 aperture! I am well pleased with the pictures as long as I don't have to shoot in low light.
Summary: I've owned this lens for about 6 months now and continue to be amazed at the image quality from this super compact beauty. In fact I owned the Canon 100-400L at the same time so have a great basis of comparison. AF speed is the same for both. The IS on the Canon was nice, but at this focal length I generally use my monopod or other support aid and the IS didn't produce better images at 400mm.
Summary: I have had this lens for over a year and i shot some really good pictures with it. It is by far the most compact 80-400 in the market and the sharpness and the colors are lot better than what you would expect from a third party manufacturer. (I also have the tokina 12-24 and that is also really good) The built Quality is Great it is solid, when you hold it you feel metal not some plastic.
Summary: This is not a technical review. Just my personal observations. I've been taking pictures since I was 21 -- Pentax Spotmatic and then Canon F-1. I'm not a professional but I think I know what a good image looks like. I purchased this lens with some trepidation. First the price did not indicate a great lens and there were some iffy reviews. Also it doesn't have VR. I took a chance and bought it to replace a lens that didn't have enough range. Its mounted on my D300.