Monday, 21 January 2013

Tokina AT-X Pro 11-16mm f/2.8 DX Review


Tokina AT-X Pro 11-16mm f/2.8 DX

I have been using this lens for a few months and I really feel like writing down a review on it. Based on my experience of using it for most of my shots. I would basically categorised this lens as a creative wide-angle lens. I used the word 'creative' here to let everyone know that this is not like any other wide-angle lens produced by Nikon or Canon.

This lens is more like a mortar launcher than it is as a lens. The feel of the lens when you have it in your hands is like having Modern Warfare hallucination. Yes. It does feel secure. Its gonna make you feel safe. Since most of it is metal, including the mount, you won't be having problem banging it against someone. But please stay away from doing that. Due to the sheer presence of metal, it also weighs a lot. Yes. So much until you're gonna keep wondering if you are really carrying a camera. The weight is just too much to be used on my D7000. Except when you're using tripod, its gonna be your hell of the day. The focusing system uses shotgun-clutch type rather than normal switch system. No wonder this bastard is cheap. The zooming ring is very well constructed. Its tight and able to keep your framing precise. The focusing ring is quite loose while on Manual Mode. This lens does not have rear gasket to keep it dust free but since there's no moving parts while using the lens (zoom or focus) basically, no or very little air will be able to enter it.

On Nikon bodies without built-in motor, you won't be having AF. Only D90, D7000 and above would be having AF since it is using conventional AF screw for AF. However, the latest version would have built-in motor that enables AF even on older bodies such as the D3000. Canon and others won't suffer from such. Focusing speed is quite fast but not as fast as a Nikon lens. Due to its wide angle opening, you should be using it at f/5.6 and below. Using it at f/2.8 won't be a problem but it will be quite soft. Also, mind you that the focusing plane is not straight due to its distortion. Hunting is not a problem. Because I've never experienced it before. Everything is well focused but it has to be at small apertures to maintain focus.

Sharpness is not an issue if you go for smaller aperture. Large aperture really pose as a problem. Since the focusing plane is not really straight, you will lose sharpness in most subject. I mainly use this lens for landscaping rather than portraiture. For portrait, I use 35mm f/1.8 DX. It's not worth using this lens for portraiture. For group photos, its fine. Real world sharpness can differ according to the situation. Mine for example, loses a little sharpness even after stopping up to f/8. This is due to the reason that my environment is very damp and moisture level is very high (nearly 90% at all times).

This lens have a bit of a fish-eye effect due to the presence of barrel distortion. While it is not much, it does give you the fish-eye idea after you view your shots on your computer. You will be able to correct it with Adobe Photoshop. The distortion is not that bad and easily corrected.

I have experienced this a lot. Yes. A lot. Not circles of green but a straight line of lights. Basically occurring in the worst possible angle where the sun rays meet your lens' front element. And while landscaping, I'll always be there and also the ghost.

Pricing at the time of writing is at RM1,899. Some would charge more as this is a very difficult lens to get hold on to. Same like the Tokina 100 Macro. It's cheaper and sturdier compared to the Nikon and Canon.

This is a very good wide-angle lens. The price, the built and the optics are excellent. No wonder many photographers prefer to have this in their arsenal. However, right now many were tying to sell away their's. This maybe due to the reason that its zoom range is so little, it feels like you're not not zooming at all. From 11 to 16, even I feel that it is too wide. Unlike others where it gives 10 to 22/24, the large range gave those lenses versatility. But for this lens, you need creativity. Get this lens and never gave up on it.



  1. Wow! Its impressive but I cannot understand a thing. Then my abah tanya lens tu berapa? D90 pun boleh guna ja kan?

    1. thanks. :) yup. d90 pn boleh guna jgk..