LensTip.com

Lens review

Tokina AT-X 107 DX AF Fish-Eye 10-17 mm f/3.5-4.5

30 September 2007
Arkadiusz Olech

4. Image resolution

It is very difficult to test the 10 mm focal length equipment in this category. We face lots of difficulties and obstacles that we didn’t have before because of the presence of a large view angle and the big distortion in the corners of the frame. We don't know how distorted shape of black and white borders used in the Imatest program to determine the image resolution, influences the final result. The change of image scale caused by distortion, makes that the features on which we measure image resolution are farther from the center of view than in undistorted case. The test charts and their lighting were an additional problem. Even when we used the biggest available ISO test chart, the front lens is situated about 30cm from its center. It is hard to set up the studio lighting in such a way so it does not light up the object incorrectly and, at the same time, does not cause the camera shade on a test chart.

The picture below shows the difference between the pictures of our test chart taken with a classic 85 mm portrait lens (left) and with a 10-17 mm Tokina set up for 10 mm (right). You can clearly see how far the red marked resolution tested fields are moving away from the center of the frame. This must have some influence on the test, but it is hard to establish to what extent because of the declining tempo of sharpness, which is evident while moving away from the center of the frame. This is a unique characteristic of each lens and can not be extrapolated to other lenses.

Tokina AT-X 107 DX AF Fish-Eye 10-17 mm f/3.5-4.5 - Image resolution


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Because this is the first fisheye lens of its type, we are not sure how to interpret these results. The 10 mm focal length performance presented here is, in an absolute scale, very weak. The lens in its sharpest place reaches 30lpmm, which in the center of the frame in a classic lens is regarded as just decent. To obtain this extremely large view angle on a small detector must cause some problems. It’s possible that nobody can produce such a zoom lens with a better resolution for a 10 mm, or perhaps it is possible, but the costs would be two or three times higher. We do not know. What we do know is that it’s not easy – if it was, every manufacturer would make this kind of lens available.

Tokina AT-X 107 DX AF Fish-Eye 10-17 mm f/3.5-4.5 - Image resolution


Fortunately for many potential clients, the performance for 14 and 17 mm is getting much better. For such parameters the Tokina behaves like an average zoom.

Tokina AT-X 107 DX AF Fish-Eye 10-17 mm f/3.5-4.5 - Image resolution


The edges look the same. For the 14-17 mm range the Tokina is no worse than any ultra wide angle non-distortion zooms. For a 10 mm the results are very weak. Can it be done better? If yes, what are the costs? We, again, cannot answer these questions.

Tokina AT-X 107 DX AF Fish-Eye 10-17 mm f/3.5-4.5 - Image resolution