Why I think it was a clever move?
A lot have changed since the analog era.
In our days technology has evolved a lot providing a lot of helpful features in almost all camera models, despite their manufacturer.
Even an entry level camera today can produce great results of high quality (compared to previous models 5 to 10 years ago), and for sure can perform very well even in high ISO settings, which will help the photographer compensating his exposure for the fixed F8 aperture.
But most importantly, almost all mirrorless cameras, both APS-C and FX models, have In(ternal) Body Image Stabilization (IBIS) which can help the photographer capture sharp images in case of slower shutter speeds or in higher focal lengths without shaking.
Also, the mirrorless form, with smaller and lighter cameras (& lenses), provides the ability to have multiple type of lenses on your camera bag without hurting your back.
From personal experience I can say that there were many times I wish I could have a big telephoto lens on my camera bag, both for my professional work or while traveling, without the extra weight (and size).
We are also globally living in the era of COVID19 pandemic so I suppose that many photographers will not have the same available amount of budget for their potential new gear, so a relatively cheap and affordable telephoto lens with good performance is always a welcome option.
This is where the new Tokina SZX 400m F8 Reflex lens is situated with its announcement and market release.
Lets take a closer look on this new lens.