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Review: Tokina 11-16mm 2.8 ATX Pro

If you are using a digital camera and it is a DX (or cropped sensor) it is a challenge to get a really wide perspective. The standard FX format lenses, like a 20mm, end up being 30mm on your DX camera because of the 1.5x crop factor. That is where the Tokina 11-16mm 2.8 ATX Pro comes in. At a focal length of 11-16mm, it will provide you almost a full 16mm of wide angle glory on your DX camera. That has been plenty wide enough for me, and it has quickly become one of my favorite lenses.

I bought mine here from B&H.

Here is a list of things I like about this lens:

  • It produces sharp images with great color. Note: I’m not a pixel peeper, so your results may differ.
  • Great build quality.
  • The focus ring is smooth.
  • To switch to manual focus from auto-focus you just pull the focus ring back. Push it forward to get back to auto-focus.
  • Fairly light weight and easy to carry around.
  • Because it is an f2.8 you can use it to make pretty blurry backgrounds or use it to shoot in very low light since it lets quite a bit of light in.
  • It uses a fairly common 77mm filter size. Not that I used many filters with this lens, but I was able to use filters that I had from other lenses that were the same size.
  • Wide angles just offer a very cool and unique perspective. You can get a lot of wow from them!

Here is a list of things to note about this lens:

  • It is only 11-16mm, so it is a very specialized lens. It doesn’t offer a whole lot of zoom range. It is a one trick pony, but it is very good at that one trick.
  • Like all wide angle lenses, the Tokina 11-16 can encounter chromatic aberration in very high contrast scenes. If you are taking a picture of a dark object that is brightly lit behind it, you might see some funny colored lines around the edges of the foreground object. I have experienced this before with this lens, but I have always been able to fix it when I process the image on my computer. It has never been a problem in normal lighting. Again, I am not a pixel-peeper, and this stuff rarely bothers me.
  • This is a DX lens, if you are planning to move up to an FX (full frame sensor) this lens won’t work all that well. But for DX cameras, it is one of the best.
  • Auto focusing will not work on cameras like the Nikon D5000 since they do not have an on-body autofocus drive system. Metering and manual focus will still work just fine.

Wide Angle Photography Tip: It would seem logical that a wide angle lens would be perfect for landscape photography. Well, it kind of is and it kind of isn’t. If you point your 11mm lens at a horizon, you will capture the entire range of mountains, but they will look very small. Wide angle lenses are at there best when you put something interesting in the foreground and still have room to show off what is in the background. They work great for closeup portraits too!

What good is a review without some images? Here are some of my favorite images that I made with this great lens….

ALLLL...Aboard!

A Seat By The Fire

Yard Work

Comments

  1. ron rudolph says:

    Nice ecplanation and photos. How do you focus? live view?

    • Howdy Ron! I use it on my D300, and I normally AutoFocus. If I were to use it on a D5000, or D40 (a camera that doesn’t support AF with the Tokina) I might consider using LiveView. Let me know if you have any other questions.

  2. woot, thankyou! I finally came to a site where the webmaster knows what they’re talking about. Do you know how many results are in Google when I search.. too many! It’s so annoying having to go from page after page after page, wasting my day away with thousands of people just copying eachother’s articles… bah. Anyway, thankyou very much for the info anyway, much appreciated.

  3. Hi Justin

    Great HDR(?) and by coincidence I’m looking at the Tokina 11-16mm lens. I read somewhere that this lens is not great for HDR due to high levels of chromatic aberration, which isn’t apparent in you pictures. Any tips on what you are achieving, without giving too many secrets away :o), would be appreciated. It would be great to hear from you.

    • Howdy Bev!

      Thanks for the kind words. I have no problem giving away secrets…this site is all about helping others reach their creative goals!

      As for the Tokina…I have experienced CA with it…as I have with all lenses. I just use the Auto Lens correction in Lightroom to fix it. Hopefully that helps!

      Justin

  4. Tokina works fine on full frame (15-16 mm)

  5. Hi Justin,

    This is very informative. quick question, i have read on the web that this lens is not good for landscapes as it is sensitive with light flares.
    They also say that this lens is good for astrophotograhy and indoor and not good for outdoor and landscapes. but your images are not prone to light flares etc.

    What is the use of a lense which is not versatile, please help. I have bought the newly release 70d and want a wide angle lense for both astro and landscape photography and love Tokina 11-16 for its sharpness and astro capabilities.

    Shall i go for this lense or try something else ??

    Kind Regards
    Deep Dey

    • Howdy, thanks for stopping by!

      I never really experienced lens flare with it. All wide angle lenses are subject to lens flare at some point. However, you only will experience it when you are shooting directly into the sun. Which, is not all landscape images. If you like it, I say you are fine.

  6. I just picked up a 11-16mm DXII. When focusing at infinity the scale goes beyond the infinity symbol. Is this normal? Should I be exchanging it or, is this just a idiosyncrasy of this lens? I have read about this on other blogs but, never a definitive answer. I’m using this lens on a Nikon D7100.
    Thank you in advance. I love your web site and you are inspiring me to go out and just shoot!!!

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