With the WPPI show starting in Las Vegas and the CP+ show starting in Japan next week, it’s no surprise that our news feeds are being flooded with press releases. Among the most interesting of these today is the announcement of the new Tokina FiRIN 20mm f/2 FE autofocus lens for Sony-E mount. Tokina’s “FiRIN” line is about a year old and currently includes a single manual-focus lens exclusively designed for Sony-E (full-frame) mount, with 3 or 4 more fast wide angle and ultra-wide angle primes expected to be announced within the next year. These lenses will be both manual and auto-focus, but designed for mirrorless and therefore may be more compact than their DSLR counterparts.
Aside from the addition of autofocus, the new FiRIN lens is virtually identical to its manual-focus twin that has been on the market since last July, though the aperture ring has been removed. Autofocus comes from a ring-type ultrasonic motor, just as you’d find in Canon “L” lenses, and is coupled with a GMR sensor for speed and accuracy. The autofocus is compatible with all of Sony’s AF features, including Fast Hybrid AF and MF assist, and the lens transmits data to the body for IBIS and image correction. The lens optics include 13 elements in 11 groups with your usual assortment of multi-coatings and special glass types (two aspheric, three SLD).
Price & Availability
If production ramps up according to schedule, the FiRIN 20mm f/2 AF will begin shipping in Japan at the end of April and then the end of May throughout the rest of the world. No price has been announced, and though the lens is listed at B&H, they are not yet taking pre-orders. However, the FiRIN 20mm f/2 MF (manual focus) lens is available now for $699 at B&H with a rebate, and at $799 Amazon. I expect the AF version to cost a little closer to $1000.