Lens review

Tokina AT-X 124 PRO DX II AF 12-24 mm f/4

28 June 2010
Arkadiusz Olech

3. Build quality

Let’s start with a comparison between the tested Tokina, its predecessor and other competitors, making use of the following chart. As you can notice, the weight is the main difference between the old and the new version of the lens, the new model being by 30 grams physically lighter. Still the new Tokina remains the heaviest instrument of all – this is the joint result of a solid barrel and a significant number of elements, as the competitors feature even two elements less. The physical dimensions of the Tokina don’t stand out so much, although it isn’t a small lens as you can see in the picture below, where the tested lens was positioned between two standard zooms: a Tokina 16.5–135 mm and a Sigma 17–70 mm.

Tokina AT-X 124 PRO DX II AF 12-24 mm f/4 - Build quality

The tested lens starts with a metal bayonet mount. Inside, we’ll find a distinctly convex rear element which, at 12 mm focal length, is almost at the same level as the mount. On passing to 24 mm it hides a bit over 2 cm into the barrel. The situation is different in the case of the front elements system. The front is the most extended at the ends of the focal length range and the most folded inside the barrel at about f/16. The movement is very slight, though, as it covers the distance of just several millimeters.

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Tokina AT-X 124 PRO DX II AF 12-24 mm f/4 - Build quality

After the mount, already on the lens’s barrel, there is a ribbed zoom ring. It is 21 mm wide, works smoothly and is well-damped throughout the whole range. Next, we see a distance scale window. The scale, expressed in feet and meters, is very clear and legible.

After that we meet a wide, comfortable manual focus ring. If you want to change the mode from AF to MF you have to shift the ring in the direction of the mount. As I’ve already mentioned it several times, I am not fond of this solution; the movement of the ring often causes the movement and change of the focus. Apart of this flaw the ring is difficult to flaw. It is comfortable well-damped and moves smoothly so the work with it is very convenient. Running through the whole distance scale demands a 90-degree turn of the ring.

The lens ends with a non-rotating filter thread, 77 mm in diameter, which surrounds the front element with a diameter of almost 5 centimeters.

When it comes to the inner construction, the lens consists of 13 elements in 11 groups. Two elements are aspherical and two others are made of low-dispersion SD glass. All of this is complemented by an aperture with nine diaphragm blades, which can be closed down to f/22.

Tokina AT-X 124 PRO DX II AF 12-24 mm f/4 - Build quality

The buyer gets both caps and a petal-type lens hood included in box.

Tokina AT-X 124 PRO DX II AF 12-24 mm f/4 - Build quality