I like a good monopod while hiking, simply because I use it as a walking stick also. I also have a light and heavy tripod. The light tripod... I just might sell. I might take it on hikes where I want a good family portrait, but that would be about it. The heavy one is highly helpful for wildlife shooting, portraits, and there is a pretty cool comet coming up I want to shoot with my 500/8.
And from what I've heard, every Tokina is built like a tank. This is a great little indoor lens, where I don't need to employ porters to carry it for me over rolling hills.
The Tamron USD came. Oh My. I've just been shooting with it indoors, and here is what I have to say about it:
Nicely fast AF
Reasonable quite AF
I never thought that starting at 70mm @ f/4 over 4.5 would matter that much. I think it does. It suddenly gets useful indoors if you are in a bind.
Nice size. Very baby bear. Not too big, but with a solid balanced weight.
Manual focus is able to be done one the fly! Too cool. It can be in AF mode, but depressing the shutter half-way (to AF) allow MF to microfocus.
Things I may not like, but you never know:
It looks like pixel peeping above 250mm might be an issue.
This lens is currently $349 after the $100 Tamron rebate. If you need a good telezoom, buy this one. I tried a Sony 70-300G, and it may be a matter of this lens being 98% of the G. But at nearly 1/3 the price after the rebate, its a winner.
Sony Zeiss 55/1.8
Minolta 100/2, 28-135/4-4.5, 17-35 D
Minolta MC 50/1.4, MD 35-70/3.5, 300/4.5