Review: Tokina 11-16mm F2.8 Apherical AT-X 116 PRO DX

A review coming soon… πŸ˜‰

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Comparison with AT-X 124 PRO

Here’s some comparison side by side the Tokina AT-X 116 PRO with Tokina AT-X 124 PRO lens.

Left is AT-X 124 PRO – Right is AT-X 116 PRO

Front View

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Rear View

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Top View

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As you can see, these two lenses are so very similar!

Don’t forget that the AT-X 116 PRO is a F2.8 lens, while the AT-X 124 is a F4 lens.

Built Quality / AF MF Switch

The lens feels solid in hand. Tokina AT-X PRO series of lenses are very well designed. Focus ring and zoom ring is large and good texture, making manual focusing or zooming with ease.

The AF/MF switch design of the lens is like all other Tokina AT-X PRO series lenses. Push forward to AF, Pull backward to change to MF. You can engage or disengage the AF/MF at any position! A great design that Tamron is following in some of their lenses now. πŸ™‚

Specifications

Just in case if are curious and want to read about the specifications of the lens…here they are:

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As shown above, this lens is ONLY available in Nikon and Canon mount. Only for Nikon DX or Canon APS-C sensor. For Pentax, Sony and Olympus (4/3rd) users…sorry…don’t blame me…you go ask Tokina.

Funs in Closeup! Megumi at 30cm!

The greatest strength in this lens in my opinion is the ability to focus till very very close to your subject!

My baby is touching the lens…oops…her fingers were even on the glass already! She is 8 months old…and the lens is within her reach when I took these photos. πŸ˜›

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Megumi:”Lai…lai…touch a little…”

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β€œLeft hand touch…”

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β€œRight hand touch…”

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β€œhem! Don’t touch don’t touch loh…!”

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I shall post some full size resolution sample soon. πŸ™‚

Distortion?

I have to admit that I did not really pay much time or attention in testing the lens, so here’s some quite sample shots of a wall of posters. I don’t see much pincushion distortion from the lens.

All photos are original none crop version, except curved, sharpen and resized to 1000px for web presentation.

At 11mm, side view of the wall

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At 11mm, front view of the wall

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At 16mm, front view of the wall

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Update: I did another distortion test with more proper target, slide metal curtains:

at 11mm

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at 16mm

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I can hardly notice any distortion from the lens! Very very good distortion control!

Sharpness?

This lens is sharp. Very very sharp. In order to show the sharpness of this lens…I sacrifice myself and become the test target of it…yeah…my fuzzy hair and mustache should be a nice area for focus testing.

To give a fair view of sharpness testing of the lens, I set my Nikon D200 to sharpness at NORMAL setting. All photos below are none edited except cropping to 100% in Paint Shop Pro. Colour setting is set to Portrait mode, so you don’t see very vibrant colour.

Flash used: Nikon SB-800 with Lambency flash diffuser

Here’s the full view of my mug shot (don’t try it on your wife… πŸ˜› )

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Below: 100% crop from the above photo
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How’s the bokeh?
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Full Size Sample (Jpeg Basic from D200)

Here’s some bonus files for you to download…if you want to zoom in and out in your monitor screen. πŸ™‚

Click the file name to download (around 1MB each)

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Flare Test (Added on 31st March 2008)

Since this lens will be used outdoor most of the time, so I think flare is an important issue here.

I took some worst case scenario by shooting directly into the sun:

Both vertical and horizontal shots I took at different exposure, so that flare or ghost can be seen clearly when under exposed.

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From the above tests, I can only see one spot of small flare/ghost in the image. In my opinion, the lens is very very flare resistance! Definitely a very well designed lens for a zoom!
Summary

At the price range of around US$720 range, it is a very worth for money lens. Sharpness is superb, minimum focusing distance of 30mm of this lens is amazing! You can create extraordinary portrait shots with this lens, or amazing close-up of wildlife with great nature background!

Built quality is great. The lens feels solid and sturdy in hand. Tokina is known to have great built/design of their AT-X PRO series lenses, which in my opinion is on par if not better than Nikon and Canon similar lenses. Better than Sigma and Tamron build quality for sure.

Try it…you will love it. πŸ˜‰

You can order the Tokina AT-X 116 lens at:

http://shashinki.com/shop/advanced_search_…

About Dr Koh 1513 Articles

An Entrepreneur, Photographer, Coder, Lecturer, Father, Hubby, Believer, Sinner…

108 Comments

  1. Thanks for sharing these photos. The second one is especially fun. I like the expression on your daughter’s face, and the way she is holding out her hands.

    I was wondering, did you crop any of these photos? From what I can see, there is no odd distortion/softness at the edges, even at f/2.8. This was a big problem with my Nikon 12-24 mm. Are you pleased with the image quality of this lens? Have you used any of the other lenses in this category (say, the Nikon 12-24 mm or the Sigma 10-20 mm)? Thanks very much. Have a great day!

    JP Denk

  2. Hi JP Denk,

    Thanks for the comments. πŸ™‚

    All the photos above are uncropped version. They are all original from Nikon D200, just resized for web purpose.

    I do have some test shots on a wall with posters. I shall post them out later today. πŸ™‚

    I have not tried the Nikon 12-24mm nor Sigma 10-20mm, so I can’t comment on the comparison.

    Personally, I must say that I was surprised and shocked by the sharpness of the Tokina AT-X 116 lens! I took some shots of my wife, I can count the hair of her eyebrows! Sorry, can’t post that photo though as she will kill me for posting her funny look with such a wide angle lens. πŸ˜›

    I shall update with some full resolution original files later. πŸ™‚

  3. Hello Again, KhoKing:

    Thank you for your return comments. It seems the Tokina 11-16 lens is very sharp. I am pleased to know there is no cropping in your photos. Usually, with my Nikon 12-24, I would have to crop quite a bit from the edges. This area almost always was far too “soft” to use. I will be interested to see any other photos you are able to post. (And I understand about not posting the photo of your wife. My wife also is not eager for her photo to be shown to the world! πŸ™‚ Thank you for your early review of this lens. So far, it is the only useful performance information I have been able to find.

    Hope you have a fine day.

    JP Denk

  4. Hi Terry and JP Denk,

    Thanks for revisiting my blog.

    I have updated the short review with more photos and some physical comparison with the Tokina AT-X 124 PRO lens.

    Hope you guys enjoy reading. πŸ™‚

  5. Thanks again, KhoKing! I appreciate you taking time to share these files and your impressions of the lens. Your input has been extremely helpful. Even pushed at f/2.8 and 11mm settings, this seems to be a very impressive lens. I’m leaning toward purchasing it. Hopefully, it will become available in the US soon. If not, I may purchase it via the Shashinki site. Thanks again for your help. Best wishes to you and your family. And happy photography!

  6. I’m thinking of getting myself one. I was almost going to buy the tokina 12-24mm last week when suddenly this lens was available at kakaku.com. The difference is about 10.000 yens, but if it’s a much better lens, I’m going to save some cash for the 11-16. Thanks for the short review Koh!

  7. I’m looking too for an Ultra Wide Lens πŸ™‚ Just to know… how bad is the vignetting on a film camera?

  8. Hi ene,

    Sorry, I have not tried this lens on film camera. As this lens is meant for DSLR with 1.5X or 1.6X cropped sensor, so you will definitely get pretty bag vignetting or round dark corner for full frame or film SLR.

    Thanks.

  9. I know that the 12-24 can be used from 16-17mm on 35mm with acceptable vignetting… i was hoping to gain a 16 f2.8 for my f100 πŸ™‚ maybe it’s too much…

  10. BK, my wife asked me to get your phone number…she wants to discuss something with you “seriously”… πŸ˜€

    Nah…with a baby commitment now, I have to use my money wisely…no more luxury… πŸ˜›

  11. KhoKing

    one more question.
    How about color saturation of 11-16 compare to 12-24 Tokina.
    I use 12-24 tokina and I think 12-24 tokina is less color saturate compare to Nikon lens.

    Thank you very much

    lkunl

  12. Hi lkunl,

    I did not do test comparison of the two lenses, so can’t really comment on that.

    Color saturation is very much depends on your DSLR, and it can be easily punched in during computer editing.

    Do that note that I did not dial in extra sharpness in my Nikon D200, as I prefer to do it in computer post processing later. In my mug shot above, I can easily unsharp mask and get very sharp final image. So, don’t blame the lens for unsharp images, but do appreciate the details it delivers.

    I have just uploaded another TWO distortion test images at 11mm and 16mm. πŸ™‚

  13. Hi there,

    I think a lot of people are wondering about how this lens handles flare, since this focal length will be used outdoors a lot. I guess the simplest way to check is just to go outdoors and have the sun just out of frame or in the very corners…

    Anyways, thanks for posting what you’ve already gotten up!

  14. Also, how are chromatic abberations? These are less of a problem for me but I know others have been wanting to see how this lens performs in terms of that.

  15. I have just bought from ebay japan store. First impressions : after using canon 10-22 and sigma 10-20 : this lens is different . manuel focus–automatic focus ring is very fine (this is first time for tokina :))
    and lens is so silent
    lens focus is very good
    lens body is very good
    sharpness is not bad
    I am not pro so I dont know how to revew a lens ::)

  16. hi Khoking.

    excellent review. I wonder if Normal thickness B+W CPL filter will cause vignetting ? Possible to test on your side ?

  17. Ken Rockwell also did a glowing review of this lens (www.kenrockwell.com/tokina/11-16mm.htm). If it perfoms as well as it appears, I suspect Tokina will have a backorder situation once it hits the U.S

  18. Thank your sharing.Can your compare canon 10-22 and tokina 11-16 which one better,this two lens price close.

  19. Thank you VERY MUCH for the flare/ghosting check.

    I really appreciate that, and I have ordered the lens at E-Bay – it is the only place to get it for the time being, I will not wait untill it arrives in Denmark in a month or so.

  20. Thanks for the review KK. After reading yours and Ken Rockwell’s reviews I almost succumbed to the temptation today while watching a customer at a shop took one out to play with. I’m sure the lens is shaprer than anything in this range but I’m still tossed about whether I’d want to lose the practicality of having 4mm more on the long end of my Sigma 10-20 which has so far, served me very well. Thus far, the arguments for giving up on my 10-20 are — (i) f2.8 makes indoor shots so much easier to handle compared to the very slow f4-5.6 (ii) much better sharpness on the edge compared to the 10-20 according to the reviews (iii) it looks like a smaller and lighter lens compared to the Sigma. In the “against” camp – (i) 11-16 range is in all practicality, a fixed focus lens (ii) CA appear to be a problem (iii) lose 1mm on the wide end which is not a big deal (iv) a lighter wallet (though in HK here, it costs only HK$3,800 (apr. US$500) which is substantially cheaper than the EUR600 asking that I saw posted elsewhere)

  21. Michael, where in Hong Kong can you find this lens for $3,800 – very few dealers have it and the cheapest qupoted so far is $4,300…? Thanks

  22. hi! i’m just wondering how is the customer support for tokina here in KL. I was informed that each time there is a problem for this lens, they have to all the way send the lens to singapore for repair which is I think would take time and hassle to the customer. I hope you can make this known to us because this is the only reason why i don’t buy tokina lenses

  23. The distributor of Tokina lenses is a Singapore company, they are controlling the Malaysia market, that is why lenses have to be sent to Singapore when warranty is needed.

    My stock is not from Singapore though, but directly from Japan. I checked and tested every lenses before sending to my customers, trying to minimize the chance of customer getting a bad copy.

  24. Just bought and returned my Tokina 11-16mm f2.8. Worked fine for a day and then the zoom range wouldnt go past 12-15mm. Odd. Later the focus range also wouldnt commit the full range(only about a third). Both problems were intermitent but persistent. Its gone back.

  25. Hi,Kho King! I have a question regarding lens distortion.(Tokina AT-X 116 PRO DX 11-16mm F2.8)So, as we can see onexemple with metal curtains there is really not much distortion here.But on another exemples with outdoor shoots ,buildings seems to be badly falling inwards.Looks like distortion?Where I am wrong?
    And sorry for my english-still can’t learn it properly.
    Thank You.

  26. Donatas the kind of distortions that you can see at the buildings are very well controled with ps and i dont think that is a problem ,at least we are talking for a 11mm lens !!!Sometimes that kind of distortions giving us a very preety effect…

  27. After shooting couple of hours love-hate-relationship begins…
    Maybe it is that lens or my Canon D40 but photos seems to be quite soft.
    Seems also that my Canon with that lens cannot meter light correct…
    Basic skylight / hard contrast makes photos absolutely too dark, sky is burned white, odd colors…
    am I missing something? Should I really use only manual settings? or convert to black & white

    Some snapshots on a rainy day http://rockdata.org/tokina/

    -Latvis

  28. hi KKK,need ur opinion,is it worth to ” upgrade ” to tokina 11-16 if i oledi got the Canon 10-22mm? The 2.8 and sharpness is very tempting πŸ™‚

  29. I do not own it yet but itching to get one. My question is — will this auto-focus on my Nikon D80? I would appreciate an answer from anybody.

  30. Hi Mic,

    IMO, since you already have the Canon 10-22mm, there is no point to get the Tokina lens just for the F2.8 aperture. For wide angle shots, DOF is normally very deep, and if you are shooting landscape, most of the time you will want to stop down as well.

  31. KK,

    Do u still have stock for this tokina lens now? Im going to Borobudur Jogyakarta on July 18 and I’m thinking of buying this lens. Will this lens be able to deliver within this week?

  32. Thanks alot for the review and (mail). I am pretty much set now! πŸ™‚ pics really look great! fine by me! πŸ™‚
    thanks,

  33. Is it worth getting the tokina 11-16mm with the f2.8 over the sigma 10-20mm considering the sigma has been giving great reviews and is slightly cheaper to buy?

  34. Hi Dibsy,

    I think you need to take note that Tokina ATX116 is for digital cropped sensor, while Sigma 10-20mm is a truly fully frame lens. So it depends on your DSLR used.

    Tokina has great built quality and great image quality. While for the Sigma, I am not really sure of the image quality, built is fine though not as good as the Tokina.

  35. thanks khoking ,i,,m using the nikon d80 so the tokina was made for this body. just worried abit because there has been some negative posts about the tokina saying that even with the f2.8 the images are soft at the higher f stop.
    images are ok from say f8 -f12.Now knowing the sigma is a full frame lens and the rumour is it will take my megapixels down to 5 megapixels i will be buying the tokina for sure.
    thank you very much for your time KHOKING.

  36. hi thanks for the write-up. i’m considering buying a wide angle lens, and this one apparently can be the best choice! Thanks again

  37. Thanks for the review KhoKing. Very Positive. Having been a Nikon professional shooter exclusively for the past 35 years, for the very first time I’m seriously considering this lens after yours and Ken Rockwell’s reviews. I like the cost and the weight factors as well as the image quality. I’m sick of lugging these bigger and weightier “wide” lenses around, photography starts to become a bit of a chore. Are Tokina lenses, in general , the better of the non camera manufactures lenses of Nikon and Canon. Can you recomend any long distance zoom lenses from these third party lens manufacturers. I shoot Nikon D2Xs. Many thanks again

  38. Hi Mik,

    Thank you for dropping by! Glad that you found my “review” useful. πŸ™‚

    The three main third party lens makers are Tokina, Tamron and Sigma. There is no which one is best. It depends on the lens. For example, my opinion is that Tokina makes the best wide angle lens, while Sigma is better in 70-200mm and telephoto range. Tamron is for its lowest price range among them, and is more popular in 17-70mm range (SP 17-50mm and SP 28-70mm).

    For telephoto lens, non third party makers have IS/VR in them, so I would recommend you get the original Nikon/Canon 70-200mm range, as IS/VR is very useful in such long focal length.

    Sigma does have OS in some of their long range lenses, but still not that popular and not in 70-200mm F2.8 series.

    Hope this helps.

  39. Hi,
    After reading your review and comments here I bought this lens here in USA. Got it today! I think that it is nice build. Took some photo with it with D300 and love what I see. I think it will supplement nicely my 18-200 Nikkor.
    Tomorrow I will go to shoot some more photos of Cincinnati from KY side of the Ohio river. I will try to post them on flickr.

  40. Very great and useful review khoking.it helps me a lot to choose between 11-16 or 12-24 TOKINA.the only problem is that this lens is for DX only πŸ™ .Guess i have to wait another time before jumping to FX cameras no lol.

    Please do post more pics since i really need something to truly convince myself before getting this lens.

    Regards from Indonesia

  41. Hi Ferry
    Another review of this lens by Ken Rockwell reckons you can use this lens on a FX camera. Yes there is vignetting at 11mm but OK at 15mm. You can crop out the vignetting at 11mm if you wish, Food for thought.
    Regards
    Mik

  42. How does it compare to the Canon EF-S 10-22mm. I read the Ken’s web and he suggest the Ef-S instead of the Tokina!

  43. I really want this lens for my Canon XTi.

    Crap. Where can I get one? Out of stock in most places, and I’m planning to go for a trip to Japan quite soon, so this lens would be so nice for all those sceneries. Crap.

  44. Yea, I’m thinking about that option. Only problem is, I really really want to have the lens there, so what if it’s sold out there? That’s why it would be more safe to get it before the trip. I guess it’s about 55k yen in Akihabara?

  45. It’s a huge possibility that it won’t be sold out in Japan, after all it’s made there. I think it would be sold out first anywhere else, but in Japan it would be available.

  46. Just received mine yesterday! What a beautiful lens. I highly recommend this one to anyone interested in wide angle photography!!!!

  47. Had some time to play with my new lens. everything is great! sharpest at F5.6, noting much to complain about…

    Pros: Sharp as ever, especially at 5.6, 2.8 for low light conditions, build is great, cheaper than the canon 10-22, faster than the sigma 10-20, cool manual focusing clutch.

    Cons: Doesn’t focus as close as the Canon 10-22, doesn’t focus as fast or as quiet as a real USM lens, petal hood wobbles when placed backwards to store on lens, short focal length (not a bad thing…), and honestly, im really trying to find things wrong with this lens.

    I’ve used almost all ultra wides available for crop sensor cameras for Canon, sigma, canon and now Tokina, minus the tamron. i must say, the Tokina win’s hands down as you all might have read from all the reviews on the net. As my previous post states, this is a beautiful lens, highly recommended!!!

    Stu

  48. i am only a beginner in photography, just bought my d80 a year ago and i am still using my kit lense and a 55-200mm nikkor. a week ago, i made up my mind in buying a wide angle but its hard when u dont know anything… my first plan is to purchase between sigma 10-22 and a tokina 12-24 but my friend told me about the tokina 11-16, i was amazed by the review.. im doing travel photography so i guess this would really fit my needs, when i checked amazon.com nikon mounts are out of stock and from the rest of the camera stores here in US are all backordered! i was about to give up and purchase the tokina 12-24 suddenly amazon have 2 units! i immediately purchased it then after finalizing my order i went back to the site and found out that they are again out of stock.. I’d be leaving US and go back to my country – Philippines and hope to use this during my beach travels! Hope i can share my pics here… hope to see more reviews!

  49. I’m just new to the dslr world, so I am still using my kit 18-55 lens. First priority is to get a really good wide angle lens. Im stuck between sigma 10-22, Nikon 12-24, Tokina 12-24 and the Tokina 11-16. I believe only the sigma in this range will have auto focus to work on Nikon D40. I have heard auto focus is not as much a priority on wide angle lenses..my question is to anyone who has a d40 using any of the Tokina lenses is it worth purchasing even though I will have to manual focus or should I go with the Sigma 10-20 which has AF, some pretty good reviews and is cheaper? Or should I just go all out for the 11-16 some day down the track will upgrade to auto focus equiped body?

  50. hey mycke, i was able to buy one here in US.. but I havent tried it… hopefully i’ll get used to it… can anyone here recommend what filter to use specially when doing travel photos?? thanks

  51. Melanie, i have a Rodenstock on mine right now… seems to do a pretty good job… it’s not coated or anything, but the glass seems pretty good

  52. Kho Kho King,
    Thank you very much for your review. I am in the market for a W/A lens now.

    First, I had to scroll down about 150 meters to get to the bottom of these comments.
    Second, your daughter is beautiful and aware. I don’t think I’d let my grandchildren that close!
    Third, it always amazes me that with the internet I can talk to people from just about any country. That is amazing!

    Thanks again,

    Michael
    Connecticut USA

  53. Hi Michael,

    Thank you for dropping by. This is a lens that I think no one will regret buying, or can get a better version even from OEM. πŸ™‚

  54. Tokina 11mm – 16mm F/2.8 ATX Pro DX Autofocus Zoom for the NIkon. I am trying to buy in US but cannot find anyone who has stock. Can someone assist?

  55. Read so many good things about this lens. Tried very hard not to buy it…I failed. Got one from Mayer’s in Hidalgo(Manila) 3days ago…definitely no regrets! Beautiful, beautiful lens indeed.

    @ KhoKing: Your partly to blame why I am now P29k poorer hehe…more power!

  56. bought mine last december when they’re back-ordered… I am just lucky to browse amazon few minutes earlier than the others! there! got my very own tokina 11-16! I will post my sample pics soon….

  57. Hi KhoKing,
    I just got Tokina 11-16mm from my friend which he bought from shashinki in March 2009. I notice this lens is backfocus in autofocus mode when used it on my D80 and D70. When I set to manual focus, it is really sharp as in your test potrait. I’m little bit worried when read some forum about 11-16mm on D80, says that it is the lens problem and the send back to the shop. Can you comment on this and if it is the lens, how I should return back to shashinki for warranty? Thank you.

  58. I just got it yesterday from my friend and tested it today. I will email to you the detail of the product warranty. Thank you for prompt reply.

  59. Thanks. The only thing holding me back was the fact that there is no IS. Will this be an issue in low light condition?

  60. I wish to get one of this! But, is there any difference between the gold ring version and the silver ring version? As the 11-16 I saw in Tokina’s web is with golden ring, whereas the one you’re selling shows otherwise. And yes, they’ll both 11-16.

  61. impressive lens – especially for its price
    i love the 2nd daughter’s photo – she looks groovy already ;D
    thx for sharing & take care

  62. Hi KK, I am awaiting for my Nikon D3100 which is their latest entry level DSLR. Is Tokina AT-X 11-16/2.8 suitable for this D3100. I understand that the auto focus of this len will not work in Nikon D3100 and MF is the only way to go. Is this true and do you think Tokina will be marketing a new version of this len that will take care of the AF shortcoming face in Nikon. Thanks.

  63. Hi Ishak,
    For me, yes. It can create very unique view, however, should not shoot too many similar shots using this lens, else people will feel boring.

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