Tokina SZ 900mmPRO Reflex F11 MF CF review

The Tokina SZ 900mmPRO Reflex F11 MF CF may be small and lightweight, but it's catastrophically flawed

Tokina SZ 900mmPRO Reflex F11 MF CF
(Image: © Matthew Richards)

Digital Camera World Verdict

Shooting at 900mm is a big ask even on a full-frame camera. This 900mm APS-C format lens gives an even more humungous ‘effective’ focal length of 1,350mm on Fujifilm X and Sony E bodies, rising further still to 1,440mm on Canon M system cameras, in its three mount options. Couple that with a narrow, fixed aperture of f/11 and the lack of both autofocus and optical stabilization, and the net result is that getting a passable shot demands a lot of effort, determination and perseverance. And even then, image quality is disappointing.


  • +

    Very compact for a 900mm lens

  • +

    Strong but lightweight build

  • +

    0.4x maximum magnification


  • -

    Fidgety manual focus

  • -

    No optical stabilization

  • -

    Lackluster image quality

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The Tokina SZ 900mmPRO Reflex F11 MF CF serves a purpose, but we’re not entirely sure what that purpose is. Super-telephoto primes are generally the go-to choice for enthusiast and professional photographers who specialize in action, sports and wildlife photography, none of which are really within the remit of this lens. Instead, it’s more geared to shooters with Fujifilm X, Sony E or Canon M bodies, who want monster telephoto reach from a relatively compact, lightweight and inexpensive lens. But they’ll need the time and patience for fiddly manual focusing, and a rock-solid tripod.

The 900mm is actually the largest of three Tokina ‘PRO’ reflex/mirror lenses, with the most telephoto pulling power. Its smaller siblings are the SZ 300mmPRO Reflex F7.1 MF CF and the SZ 600mmPRO Reflex F8 MF CF.

Shown here on the right, the 900mm is noticeably larger than Tokina’s 600mm reflex lens and dwarfs the 300mm, but it’s still pretty lightweight at 725g. (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.