Tokina AF 10-17mm f/3.5-4.5 AT-X DX Fisheye - Review / Test Report
Lens Reviews - Nikon / Nikkor (APS-C)

Review by Klaus Schroiff, published June 2007

Special thanks to Holger Winkelmann for providing this lens for testing!


The Tokina AF 10-17mm f/3.5-4.5 AT-X DX Fisheye is an interesting representative of its species. Traditionally fisheye lenses are only available as fix-focals but the Tokina breaks this rule. It is a pretty obvious result of the recent cooperation between Tokina and Pentax. In Pentax land the lens it is called Pentax SMC DA 10-17mm f/3.5-4.5 ED[IF]. The similarities between the two variants are limited to the optics - the mechanical implementation is different. It is a dedicated APS-C format lens as specified by the "DX" portion in the name. The full frame (APS-C) fisheye has a field-of-view ranging from 180 degrees (diagonal) at 10mm to 100 degrees at 17mm.

Traditionally fisheyes are often used for aerial-, underwater- and some kind of indoor photography. Due to the uncorrected extreme field-of-view the fisheye perspective can produce some oooohs and aaahs from your audience but it shouldn´t be used too often in presentations because the effect of awe-inspiring vistas fades rapidly. Besides it isn´t exactly easy to achieve a good composition. It is worth to note that you can now generate a distortion-corrected image by using distortion correction tools (e.g PTLens) so you can combine the best of both worlds (fisheye and corrected ultra-wides) if you're willing to invest some post-processing efforts.

Typical for most Tokina AT-X lenses the build quality is superb. The lens body is obviously made of metal and there's no wobbling whatsoever. The zoom and focus control rings operate very smooth. The zoom ring is also very well damped. The lens extends a few millimeters at 10mm and 17mm and the shortest length is reached at about 12mm. Regarding its extreme field-of-view it is impossible to mount any filters. A newly developed WP (Water Proof) coating has been applied to the front element making it easier to clean and more resistant against water and fingerprints.

The lens has no internal AF motor and relies on a slotted drive screw operated by the camera. As a result AF operation will generate a moderate degree of noise. The AF speed is quite fast but this is really meaningless with such a lens. The 10-17mm Fisheye is not an "AT-X Pro" lens because it does not feature Tokina's focus clutch mechanism so you have to use the AF/MF switch on the camera.

Equiv. focal length15-25.5 mm (full format equivalent)
Equiv. aperturef/5.3-6.8 (full format equivalent, in terms of depth-of-field)
Optical construction10 elements in 8 groups inc. 1SD elements
Number of aperture blades6
min. focus distance0.14 m (max. magnification ratio 1:2.56 @ 17 mm)
Dimensions70 x 72 mm
Weight350 g
Filter size-
Hoodbuilt-in, petal shaped (very tiny)
Other features-

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