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Defective Tokina 100mm 2.8 Macro?

Nikon Lenses - www.thephotoforum.com
A bit of back ground info first: I've been doing some photography for about 4 years now, just a hobby, I'm nothing of a pro for sure. I started off with a used, old D70. My primary lens was a 35mm 1.8 DX. It gave me fantastic results consistently. Just a year ago I decided it was time for something newer and better, so I picked of a D7100 on a great sale. I was so pleased with the better low light performance and dynamic range compared to the D70. But, Its like I could not get really crisp, sharp photos. Not even with my trusty 35mm. I then spent the year thinking it was from lack of skill or expensive lenses. The year went with little to no improvement UNTIL I discovered the AF fine tune setting. After adding a +10 to the 35mm, my photos were sharp as ever. I recently picked up a Tokina 100mm 2.8 Macro after reading so many glowing reviews (if you are not aware, the aperture decreases the closer you are to your focal point. Its only 2.8 at infinity). When taking Macro shots (which drops to f/5.6 I believe) the photos are unbelievably sharp! But when I attempted some portrait photos of my wive (f/2.8) the photo was beyond soft. So I began the AF fine tune procedure again. Unfortunately, even at +20 (and yes it needs + not -) its better but still soft. But if I take the photo with live view where it focuses from the sensor, the image is sharp. So I sent the D7100 off to Nikon hoping they can help. In my aggravation (which brings not well thought out decisions) I ordered a D610, the FX camera I've been longing for. I immediately began checking my AF lenses with the AF fine tune on the new D610 last night after work. Both my Nikons (Nikkor 35mm 1.8 DX and Nikkor 200-500mm 5.6 FX) did not require any adjustments! I was so pleased! But the Tokina 100mm 2.8 required a +14 to achieve a sharp photo at 2.8 (from what I could tell in my poorly lit home last night using a tripod and remote, I have yet to bring it out in the sun, should do that today).

So my questions is, should I exchange the Tokina since it appears to require such an adjustment? Am I having unrealistic expectations at f/2.8 even though everything I've read says its sharp at ever aperture? Or is an adjustment like +14 normal on a none Nikon lens? And if it truly is focusing properly at 2.8 (which I shall know this evening when I can take it out in the light) should I just stick with it and its +14 adjustment? Sorry for being long winded and thanks for your opinions!

 


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