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Lens review

Tokina AT-X 116 PRO DX II AF 11-16 mm f/2.8

17 August 2013
Szymon Starczewski

11. Summary

Pros:
  • very solid casing,
  • sensible dimensions for offered parameters,
  • excellent image quality in the frame centre,
  • good image quality on the edge of the frame,
  • imperceptible longitudinal chromatic aberration,
  • good correction of astigmatism,
  • sensibly low vignetting for this class of equipment,
  • good price/quality and price/possibilities ratio.

Cons:

  • very high chromatic aberration across the whole focal range,
  • dreadful work against bright light,
  • loud focusing mechanism.

The Tokina AT-X 116 PRO DX II AF 11-16 mm f/2.8 is a lens which has really a lot to offer. First of all its parameters are unique – you can’t find such an angle of view with f/2.8 aperture in any other ultra wide-angle device for smaller sensors. Add to it a brilliant image quality in the frame centre and the lowest vignetting level in this class of equipment and it will be difficult to carp about the lens, especially that we praised its predecessor.

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Still there are problems and it would be difficult to pass over them. Lately there have been launches of several excellent lenses. It is obvious that many companies make the most of the advantages provided by the contemporary optics and electronics. The Tokina 11-16 mm stood out against its competitors in 2007. Now it does the same but you have to admit its flaws are somehow more pronounced. We are sure that in the era of computerized optics design it is possible to produce a lens without such a monstrous chromatic aberration. You can also design a casing and choose such coatings which will make the work against bright light a joy, not a tragedy. In times when almost all producers offer an ultrasonic autofocus drive you can equip the new version of your lens accordingly so it doesn’t lag behind its direct rivals. It is sad that the changes in the new version of the Tokina were just cosmetic – far less important than we expected – especially that there were a lot of areas to be improved on.

Tokina’s saving grace remains its good aperture fastness - none of its direct competitors offer you f/2.8. If you need such an aperture in your lens you really have no choice. The Tokina AT-X 116 PRO DX II AF 11-16 mm f/2.8 will also provide sharp images in the frame centre, a solid casing and a price which suits the possibilities of the instrument well. Turn a blind eye to its flaws and wait for the version number 3.