LensTip.com

Lens review

Tokina AT-X DX AF 16.5-135 mm f/3.5-5.6

3 February 2010
Arkadiusz Olech

11. Summary

Pros:
  • solidly looking barrel,
  • good image quality in the frame centre on slight stopping down,
  • distortion less bothersome than in the case of most of competitors,
  • slight chromatic aberration in the middle of the focal lengths range,
  • good work of focusing mechanism.

Cons:

  • significant zoom ring backlash,
  • very weak image quality at the maximum relative aperture,
  • 135 mm focal length not quite useful,
  • significant chromatic aberration at both focal range ends,
  • high vignetting at the wide angle,
  • noticeable astigmatism,
  • minimum focus amounts to as many as 0.5 meter,
  • bad price/possibilities ratio.

We rarely see a situation when we can present a rather unambiguous summary. Here I have no doubts what I should write, though. If the Tokina 16.5-135 mm was launched right after the initial announcements, so in the first half of 2006, it would stand a chance of interesting many customers. The Canon enthusiasts, apart from a cheap, plastic and optically weak EF-S 17-85 mm, had only a relatively expensive EF-S 17–85 mm at their disposal. It was equipped with stabilization and an USM but it compared badly with the Tokina when it came to the focal lengths’ range. Nikon had a plastic 18-55 mm “kit” lens and a more solid and optically better 18-70 mm. Once again both these devices had significantly narrower focal lengths’ range than the Tokina. Sony was just a novice and Pentax disposed of just a solid 18-55 mm kit lens and an optically and mechanically good 16-45 mm device.


Please Support Us

The coronavirus crisis has been adversely affecting many businesses and, sad but true, ours is not an exception. Despite that difficult situation we would like to preserve continuity and high quality of publications available on all our websites. Still, we are now aware it might be impossible without additional financial help. That's why we would like to ask all those who visit, read, and care about Optyczne.pl, LensTip.com i Allbinos.com for support - it's enough you send us a small sum of money via PayPal. If a lot people decide to support our websites we think we'll stand a chance and survive next months without any lasting harm. We count on your support and understanding, stay safe and be healthy.

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - advertisement - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Tokina had a delay of four years and in that time the situation on the market changed radically. Currently Canon offers such models as an EF-S 15–85 mm and an EF-S 18–135 mm – both stabilized, the first optically excellent and, additionally, a bit cheaper than the Tokina now. Nikon launched the Nikkors 16–85 mm VR, 18–135 mm and 18–105 mm VR. Sony has a brilliant Zeiss 16-80 mm and a significantly cheaper and optically decent 16-105 mm model. Pentaxt presented a 17-70 mm model. Also third-party competitors of Tokina, such as Sigma and Tamron, didn’t let slip the chance of improving their offers during that time.

The Tokina 16.5–135 mm, with such a weak performance at the maximum aperture and such chromatic aberration results at the wide angle, has rather slim chances of getting a good position on the market now. Its focal lengths’ range, undoubtedly interesting, is its only asset and it might prove to be definitely not enough.


Sample shots

Tokina AT-X DX AF 16.5-135 mm f/3.5-5.6 - Summary
Tokina AT-X DX AF 16.5-135 mm f/3.5-5.6 - Summary
Tokina AT-X DX AF 16.5-135 mm f/3.5-5.6 - Summary
Camera: Canon 50D
Parameters: 16.5 mm, f/5.6, exp. 1/400 sec., ISO 100
File: JPEG, 4752×3168 pix, 6.13 MB
Camera: Canon 50D
Parameters: 135 mm, f/8.0, exp. 1/400 sec., ISO 100
File: JPEG, 4752×3168 pix, 4.02 MB
Camera: Canon 50D
Parameters: 60 mm, f/8.0, exp. 1/400 sec., ISO 100
File: JPEG, 4752×3168 pix, 4.43 MB
Tokina AT-X DX AF 16.5-135 mm f/3.5-5.6 - Summary
Tokina AT-X DX AF 16.5-135 mm f/3.5-5.6 - Summary
Tokina AT-X DX AF 16.5-135 mm f/3.5-5.6 - Summary
Camera: Canon 50D
Parameters: 38 mm, f/5.0, exp. 1/1250 sec., ISO 100
File: JPEG, 4752×3168 pix, 4.22 MB
Camera: Canon 50D
Parameters: 16.5 mm, f/3.5, exp. 1/2000 sec., ISO 100
File: JPEG, 4752×3168 pix, 4.22 MB
Camera: Canon 50D
Parameters: 16.5 mm, f/5.6, exp. 1/1250 sec., ISO 100
File: JPEG, 4752×3168 pix, 5 MB
Tokina AT-X DX AF 16.5-135 mm f/3.5-5.6 - Summary
Tokina AT-X DX AF 16.5-135 mm f/3.5-5.6 - Summary
Tokina AT-X DX AF 16.5-135 mm f/3.5-5.6 - Summary
Camera: Canon 50D
Parameters: 135 mm, f/5.6, exp. 1/640 sec., ISO 100
File: JPEG, 4752×3168 pix, 4.38 MB
Camera: Canon 50D
Parameters: 45 mm, f/5.6, exp. 1/500 sec., ISO 100
File: JPEG, 4752×3168 pix, 4.66 MB
Camera: Canon 50D
Parameters: 16.5 mm, f/7.1, exp. 1/320 sec., ISO 100
File: JPEG, 4752×3168 pix, 4.61 MB
Tokina AT-X DX AF 16.5-135 mm f/3.5-5.6 - Summary
Tokina AT-X DX AF 16.5-135 mm f/3.5-5.6 - Summary
Tokina AT-X DX AF 16.5-135 mm f/3.5-5.6 - Summary
Camera: Canon 50D
Parameters: 135 mm, f/9.0, exp. 1/320 sec., ISO 100
File: JPEG, 4752×3168 pix, 3.91 MB
Camera: Canon 50D
Parameters: 16.5 mm, f/3.5, exp. 1/800 sec., ISO 100
File: JPEG, 4752×3168 pix, 4.91 MB
Camera: Canon 50D
Parameters: 65 mm, f/5.0, exp. 1/250 sec., ISO 100
File: JPEG, 4752×3168 pix, 4.32 MB
Tokina AT-X DX AF 16.5-135 mm f/3.5-5.6 - Summary
Tokina AT-X DX AF 16.5-135 mm f/3.5-5.6 - Summary
Tokina AT-X DX AF 16.5-135 mm f/3.5-5.6 - Summary
Camera: Canon 50D
Parameters: 16.5 mm, f/3.5, exp. 1/800 sec., ISO 100
File: JPEG, 4752×3168 pix, 5.12 MB
Camera: Canon 50D
Parameters: 24 mm, f/5.6, exp. 1/250 sec., ISO 100
File: JPEG, 4752×3168 pix, 5.05 MB
Camera: Canon 50D
Parameters: 120 mm, f/5.6, exp. 1/320 sec., ISO 100
File: JPEG, 4752×3168 pix, 3.91 MB
Tokina AT-X DX AF 16.5-135 mm f/3.5-5.6 - Summary
Tokina AT-X DX AF 16.5-135 mm f/3.5-5.6 - Summary
Tokina AT-X DX AF 16.5-135 mm f/3.5-5.6 - Summary
Camera: Canon 50D
Parameters: 70 mm, f/5.0, exp. 1/320 sec., ISO 100
File: JPEG, 4752×3168 pix, 4.12 MB
Camera: Canon 50D
Parameters: 50 mm, f/5.0, exp. 1/125 sec., ISO 100
File: JPEG, 4752×3168 pix, 4.37 MB
Camera: Canon 50D
Parameters: 135 mm, f/5.6, exp. 1/200 sec., ISO 200
File: JPEG, 4752×3168 pix, 4.3 MB
Tokina AT-X DX AF 16.5-135 mm f/3.5-5.6 - Summary
Tokina AT-X DX AF 16.5-135 mm f/3.5-5.6 - Summary
Tokina AT-X DX AF 16.5-135 mm f/3.5-5.6 - Summary
Camera: Canon 50D
Parameters: 16.5 mm, f/5.6, exp. 1/100 sec., ISO 200
File: JPEG, 4752×3168 pix, 5.89 MB
Camera: Canon 50D
Parameters: 50 mm, f/8.0, exp. 1/200 sec., ISO 100
File: JPEG, 4752×3168 pix, 4.66 MB
Camera: Canon 50D
Parameters: 65 mm, f/8.0, exp. 1/160 sec., ISO 100
File: JPEG, 4752×3168 pix, 4.4 MB
Tokina AT-X DX AF 16.5-135 mm f/3.5-5.6 - Summary
Tokina AT-X DX AF 16.5-135 mm f/3.5-5.6 - Summary
Tokina AT-X DX AF 16.5-135 mm f/3.5-5.6 - Summary
Camera: Canon 50D
Parameters: 33 mm, f/8.0, exp. 1/200 sec., ISO 100
File: JPEG, 4752×3168 pix, 4.63 MB
Camera: Canon 50D
Parameters: 16.5 mm, f/4.0, exp. 1/200 sec., ISO 100
File: JPEG, 4752×3168 pix, 5.7 MB
Camera: Canon 50D
Parameters: 26 mm, f/4.0, exp. 1/100 sec., ISO 200
File: JPEG, 4752×3168 pix, 5.68 MB



Next chapter