Lens review

Tokina AT-X PRO FX SD 17-35 mm f/4 (IF)

16 September 2013
Arkadiusz Olech

10. Autofocus

The Tokina AT-X PRO FX SD 17–35 mm f/4 doesn’t have any ultrasonic autofocus motor and it can be heard – it whirrs during the focusing and it is not a pleasant sound. The speed is just average – running through the whole scale takes about 0.8 of a second no matter whether you work with the Nikon D3x or the D7000 attached.

The accuracy of the focusing mechanism didn’t bowl us over either. In the studio conditions the lens missed in 12% of shots and it is not a good result, especially taking into account the fact that the parameters of the lens provide significant depth of field, which makes a lot of autofocus mistakes easily forgivable. What’s more, you can notice the randomness of the mechanism even without consulting the photos you get. After repetitive focusing, with the position of the camera and the testing chart unchanged, it was visible to the naked eye that the distance scale stopped in a slightly different position almost every time.

When it comes to the front or back focus tendencies, the situation is not simple either. While working on the D7000 the focus was set properly in about 3/4 of the cases (see the image below); in the rest of the shots the lens set the focus before the object, never behind it. The cooperation with the D3x was better, with the focus set properly in most of the cases, but, an interesting thing, if the lens misfocused once again it set the focus before the photographed object.

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Tokina AT-X PRO FX SD 17-35 mm f/4 (IF)  - Autofocus

Tokina AT-X PRO FX SD 17-35 mm f/4 (IF)  - Autofocus