The New Tokina Cinema Lenses Offer Vintage-Looking Bokeh

Artistic cinematographers will soon have another tool for creative shots in their toolkits, thanks to a new series of Tokina cinema lenses.

Tokina specifically designed the new lineup, dubbed Vista-P, with plenty of vintage character on the edges of the frame while promising excellent resolution in the center.

Tokina’s Cinema Vista Prime lenses are frequently customized by third-party groups in order to alter the image quality on the edge of the frame for a more “cinematic,” less perfect look. As Newsshooter explains, users achieve the soft-edged look by modifying the air gap between the elements at the rear of the lens. Some use shims to add space between the elements, which provides a modest change.

Users would need to add spacing between other elements within the lens for dramatic results, which is a much more complicated process. That’s where Tokina Cinema has stepped in. The company has re-designed its Vista Prime lenses, offering this modification directly from the factory.

A woman stands with a guitar in front of forest of orange leaves.
This image was taken with the original Tokina Cinema Vista Prime lens.
A woman stands with a guitar in front of forest of orange leaves.
The new Vista-P lenses will produce softer bokeh with a swirly look.

In the newly designed Vista-P lenses, Tokina Cinema re-positioned lens elements throughout the lens, not only at the rear, adding more space between glass surfaces. This adjustment results in strong spherical distortion on the edges for a swirled bokeh look, which is typical in vintage lenses such as a Petzval optic. However, the center maintains high resolution for sharp subjects. The Vista-P lenses also produce lower contrast than the Vista Prime lenses, delivering an overall softer look.

The Vista-P lenses are available in multiple focal lengths right off the bat. Users can choose from 18mm, 25mm, 35mm, 50mm and 85mm. Like the original Vista Prime lenses, all focal lengths feature a constant T1.5, nine-blade aperture for attractive bokeh, and 46.7mm area of definition to cover large format cinema cameras. Plus, Tokina Cinema promises nearly zero focus breathing. They are available in PL, LPL, Sony E, EF, or MFT mount variations and keep the exterior design of the standard Vista Primes.

The 25mm, 35mm, 50mm, and 85mm Vista-P lenses will cost $7,499 each, while the 18mm will cost $8,999. The Vista-P lenses are listed on the Tokina Cinema website now but are not yet available for purchase.

Users are in luck if they already own Vista Prime lenses and want the more dramatic look found in the factory-modified Vista-P lenses. They can mail Vista Prime lenses to the Tokina Cinema factory in Japan, though modification will cost $2,000 per lens, plus shipping.

Image credits: Photographs by Tokina Cinema