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A wide-angle, yes, but which one? (Part 2)

Thursday January 26 2012

Lens Review
A wide-angle, yes, but which one? (Part 2)

As we continue our survey of wide-angle lenses currently on the market, let’s take a look at the Tokina AT-X 11-16mm PRO DX on a Nikon D7000 and on a Canon EOS 7D.

Tokina AT-X 11-16mm PRO DX on a Nikon D7000 and on a Canon EOS 7D

What we like:

  • A very good quality-to-price ratio.
  • Very good resolution for this kind of lens.
  • Negligeable distortion - a pleasant surprise for a short focal lens.
  • Pleasingly low vignetting.

What we don’t like:

  • Significant chromatic aberrations.
  • A somewhat heavy lens.

Not bad at all, but let’s see how the Tokina stacks up against some of its chief competitors, first on a Canon mount:

The Tokina AT-X 11-16mm PRO DX Canon vs Canon EF-S 10-22mm f/3.5-4.5 USM vs Sigma 8-16mm F4.5-5.6 DC HSM Canon on a Canon EOS 7D

Tokina AT-X 11-16mm PRO DX Canon vs Canon EF-S 10-22mm f/3.5-4.5 USM vs Sigma 8-16mm F4.5-5.6 DC HSM Canon on a Canon EOS 7D

Tokina AT-X 11-16mm PRO DX Canon

Strong pointsWeak points
PriceSignificant chromatic aberrations
Low distortion 
Low vignetting 
Transmission 
Resolution 

Canon EF-S 10-22mm f/3.5-4.5 USM

Strong pointsWeak points
Few chromatic aberrationsWeight
Low distortionVignetting
 Price

Sigma 8-16mm F4.5-5.6 DC HSM Canon

Strong pointsWeak points
ResolutionTransmission
WeightVignetting
Few chromatic aberrations 

So far, so good: while the Tokina’s chromatic aberrations are more significant, it shares or exceeds many of the same strengths as its selected competitors, and beats both the Canon and Sigma lenses in other areas, especially for transmission and vignetting.

The Tokina AT-X 11-16mm PRO DX Nikon vs Nikon AF-S DX Nikkor 10-24mm f/3.5-4.5G ED vs Sigma 8-16mm F4.5-5.6 DC HSM Nikon on a Nikon D7000

The Tokina AT-X 11-16mm PRO DX Nikon vs Nikon AF-S DX Nikkor 10-24mm f/3.5-4.5G ED vs Sigma 8-16mm F4.5-5.6 DC HSM Nikon on a Nikon D7000

Tokina AT-X 11-16mm PRO DX Nikon

Strong pointsWeak points
PriceSignificant chromatic aberrations
Transmission 
Resolution 

Nikon AF-S DX Nikkor 10-24mm f/3.5-4.5G ED

Strong pointsWeak points
Few chromatic aberrationsPrice
Low distortionTransmission
Weight 

Sigma 8-16mm F4.5-5.6 DC HSM Nikon

Strong pointsWeak points
WeightTransmission
 Distortion

On a Nikon mount, the Tokina has a slightly less impressive showing against its competitors, but still comes out ahead in terms of its quality-to-price ratio.

In conclusion, just like the Tokina AT-X 12-24 AF PRO DX Canon and Nikon models, the Tokina 11-16mm holds its own against the competition. In fact, it’s a great choice for any photographer who doesn’t mind having to spend some post-processing time dealing with chromatic aberrations.