Tokina SZ 600mmPRO Reflex F8 MF CF review

The Tokina SZ 600mmPRO Reflex F8 MF CF is super-small for a super-tele lens, but there’s a catch

Tokina SZ 600mmPRO Reflex F8 MF CF
(Image: © Matthew Richards)

Digital Camera World Verdict

With its reflex/mirror design, this relatively compact and lightweight super-telephoto lens gives a monster 900mm effective focal length on APS-C format Fujifilm X and Sony E mirrorless cameras, boosted to 960mm on Canon M system cameras. You won’t need a steady hand so much as a sturdy tripod for reasonably sharp shots, as there’s no optical image stabilization. In the absence of autofocus, manual focusing is fiddly and even if you nail it, image quality is uninspiring.

Pros

  • +

    Compact and lightweight

  • +

    Strong metal-bodied construction

  • +

    0.4x macro magnification

Cons

  • -

    Poor image quality

  • -

    Finicky manual focusing

  • -

    No autofocus nor optical stabilization

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The Tokina SZ 600mmPRO Reflex F8 MF CF is a rare thing, being a super-telephoto prime that fits in the palm of your hand and tips the scales at just 545g. As a reflex or ‘mirror’ lens, it bounces the light back and forth internally before it hits the image sensor of the host camera body, enabling a much more compact and lightweight design.

It’s designed for APS-C format cameras and is available in Fujifilm X, Sony E and Canon M mount options. The 1.5x crop factor of the first two give it an effective focal length of 900mm, the Canon’s 1.6x crop factor resulting in an even greater 960mm. The lens takes up position in the middle ground of three SZ PRO reflex lenses with the same variety of mount options, the others being the tiny Tokina SZ 300mmPRO Reflex F7.1 MF CF and the frankly bonkers Tokina SZ 900mmPRO Reflex F11 MF CF.

Here’s how the relative sizes of the SZ PRO reflex lenses stack up, with the 600mm, 300mm and 900mm pictured left to right. (Image credit: Matthew Richards)

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Matthew Richards

Matthew Richards is a photographer and journalist who has spent years using and reviewing all manner of photo gear. He is Digital Camera World's principal lens reviewer – and has tested more primes and zooms than most people have had hot dinners! 


His expertise with equipment doesn’t end there, though. He is also an encyclopedia  when it comes to all manner of cameras, camera holsters and bags, flashguns, tripods and heads, printers, papers and inks, and just about anything imaging-related. 


In an earlier life he was a broadcast engineer at the BBC, as well as a former editor of PC Guide.