Tokina AF 11-16mm f/2.8 AT-X Pro DX (Canon) - Review / Lab Test Report
Lens Reviews -
Canon EOS (APS-C)
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Review by Klaus Schroiff, published August 2011
We tested the Tokina AF 11-16mm f/2.8 AT-X Pro DX already back in 2008 so we've reused most of the old article for this new test.
Special thanks to Daniel Flinkmann for providing this lens for testing purposes!
The AF 12-24mm f/4 AT-X Pro DX was a huge success for Tokina and it remains one of the most attractive lenses from a price/performance perspective. Obviously this wasn't enough for Tokina though - in 2008 they released the Tokina AF 11-16mm f/2.8 AT-X Pro DX. The lens still targets the APS-C DSLR market only but it offers a little kick at the wide end plus a full extra f-stop in speed. These two improvements didn't come for free - Tokina had to limit the zoom range to a mere 5mm (1.45x). Some of the readers out there were already joking whether this is a fix-focal or zoom lens. However, when thinking about it the decision is actually quite smart. By avoiding a bigger zoom ratio Tokina seemed to have focused on quality rather than quantity and most users have a standard zoom lenses starting at 17mm or 18mm so there isn't much pain in limiting the range at 16mm. The covered field-of-view is equivalent to 18-26mm (1.6x crop) on full format cameras so we are obviously talking about an ultra-wide angle zoom lens here. The Tokina AF 11-16mm f/2.8 AT-X Pro DX is currently offered for Canon, Nikon and Sony APS-C DSLRs.
The 11-16mm f/2.8 looks and feels virtually identical to its 12-24mm f/4 cousin - consequently it shares all its qualities here like the excellent build quality. The outer shell is made of high-quality polycarbonate whereas the zoom mechanism is made of metal. The lens has a crinkle finish similar to some Nikkors giving it a pleasant look and feel.
The physical size of the lens remains constant regardless of zoom or focusing operations although the inner tube moves a little. Typical for all lenses with internal focusing (IF) the front element does not rotate.
The 11-16mm f/2.8 uses a standard micro-motor for auto-focusing which is a little dated in the Canon world. The focusing speed is Ok - regarding the ultra-wide character of the lens the motor doesn't get much work anyway. Noise-wise it is noticeable but not obtrusive. Switching between manual and auto-focus isn't done via a small switch as typical for most lenses but via a focus clutch mechanism by moving the focus ring back and forth. This can be done in any focus position.
|equiv. focal length (full format)||18-26mm|
|equiv. aperture (depth-of-field)||f/4|
|Optical construction||13 elements in 11 groups inc. 2 aspherical elements and 1 SD element|
|Number of aperture blades||9|
|min. focus distance||0.30m (max. magnification ratio ~1:11.6)|
|Filter size||77mm (non-rotating)|
|Other features||focus-clutch AF/MF switch|