Tokina AT-X 16-28mm F2.8 Pro FX Review

4.0
May 10, 2011 | Mark Goldstein |

Introduction

The Tokina AT-X 16-28mm F2.8 Pro FX is an affordable wide-angle lens for full-format DSLR users. Incredibly well-built, the Tokina 16-28mm is a good match for cameras like the Canon EOS 5D MK II that we tested it with. Read our Tokina AT-X 16-28mm F2.8 Pro FX Review to find out if it's worth considering instead of the Canon and Nikon alternatives.

The Tokina AT-X 16-28mm F2.8 Pro FX is ultrawide zoom lens for full-frame DSLR cameras. Incorporating a constant aperture of F/2.8, a fixed lens hood and a quiet focussing motor coupled with a GMR magnetic AF sensor, the Tokina 16-28mm lens also features the unique One-touch Focus Clutch Mechanism to switch between auto and manual focus simply by snapping the focus ring forward and back. The Tokina 16-28mm F2.8 has a large, multi-coated aspherical glass optical element in the front lens group, two additional aspherical elements in the rear group, and three super low-dispersion elements that reduce aberrations. Available for either Canon or Nikon bodies, the Tokina AT-X 16-28mm F2.8 Pro FX retails for £1,072 in the UK and $850 in the US.

Ease of Use

Tokina AT-X 16-28mm F2.8 Pro FXThe Tokina AT-X 16-28mm F2.8 Pro FX lens

Tokina AT-X 16-28mm F2.8 Pro FXThe Tokina AT-X 16-28mm F2.8 Pro FX lens attached to a Canon EOS 5D Mark II

Tokina AT-X 16-28mm F2.8 Pro FXThe Tokina AT-X 16-28mm F2.8 Pro FX lens attached to a Canon EOS 5D Mark II

Tokina AT-X 16-28mm F2.8 Pro FXThe Tokina AT-X 16-28mm F2.8 Pro FX lens attached to a Canon EOS 5D Mark II

The Tokina AT-X 16-28mm F2.8 Pro FX is large and heavy for an ultra-wide-angle zoom lens, covering a focal range of 16-28mm. About a quarter of its size is taken up by the fixed lens hood, which helps prevent lens flare and also protects the protruding front element from scratches and finger marks.
Tokina AT-X 16-28mm F2.8 Pro FXSide of lens

Tokina AT-X 16-28mm F2.8 Pro FXFront of lens, 16mm

Tokina AT-X 16-28mm F2.8 Pro FXFront of lens, 28mm



Zooming is external, so the front does extend, but never beyond the edge of the lens hood, so to all intents and purposes the lens always maintains its maximum length of 13.3cms, whatever focal length you choose. It's also very heavy at just under 1kg, with a very high-quality construction that gives it a solid, bulletproof feel.

Tokina AT-X 16-28mm F2.8 Pro FXFront of lens

Tokina AT-X 16-28mm F2.8 Pro FXRear of lens

In terms of features, the lens has a couple of notable features. There's a distance scale which displays the focus range (0.28cms to infinity). and the unique One-touch Focus Clutch Mechanism. This allows you to switch between auto and manual focus simply by snapping the focus ring forward and back, achieved with a very definite "clunk". There's no focus limiter and no image stabilisation, although the latter is no big deal really as camera-shake is much less common at such wide focal lengths.

Tokina AT-X 16-28mm F2.8 Pro FXRear of lens

The Tokina AT-X 16-28mm F2.8 Pro FX lens is superbly constructed, with a tactile plastic coating on the outside and mostly high-quality plastic internal parts, although the lens mount is thankfully metal . Tokina does not claim any sort of weather resistance for this lens, and indeed you cannot see a rubber seal around the mount.

Tokina AT-X 16-28mm F2.8 Pro FXFront of lens

The lens comes with an big integrated hood which can't be removed. This does mean that you can't fit filters to this lens, something that the bulbous front element wouldn't allow anyway.

Tokina AT-X 16-28mm F2.8 Pro FXLens cap

Tokina AT-X 16-28mm F2.8 Pro FXLens cap fitted

The Tokina AT-X 16-28mm F2.8 Pro FX has a massive plastic lens cap which pushes onto the integrated hood. There's no danger of this lens getting inadvertently scratched!

Focal Range

At the 16mm end of the zoom range, the lens has a diagonal angle of view of 107°..

Tokina AT-X 16-28mm F2.8 Pro FXField of view at 16mm

At the 28mm end, the angle of view is 76.87°.

Tokina AT-X 16-28mm F2.8 Pro FXField of view at 28mm

Focusing

The Tokina AT-X 16-28mm F2.8 Pro FX lens has a rather noisy auto-focusing system, with an easily audible mechanical whirr. In use, we found the system satisfyingly quick and accurate on the Canon EOS 5D Mark II, with no complaints about speed or accuracy.

Manual focusing is good, feeling natural in use with a throw of about 1/4 of a turn to move from the closest focsuing distance of 0.28cms to infinity. The focus ring is thick, tactile and more than adequate for the job, as is the zoom ring.

Chromatic Aberrations

Chromatic aberrations, typically seen as purple or blue fringes along contrasty edges, are not too much of a problem with this lens at either end of the focal range.

Tokina AT-X 16-28mm F2.8 Pro FX Tokina AT-X 16-28mm F2.8 Pro FX

Light Fall-off

With the lens set to its maximum aperture, you can see a little light fall-off in the corners, particularly at 16mm, but nothing too excessive. You will likely only notice this when photographing a subject with large homogeneous surfaces (see the distortion shot below for an example).

Distortion

For such a wide-angle lens, the Tokina AT-X 16-28mm F2.8 Pro FXdoesn't suffer too badly from distortion, even at the 16mm focal length.

Tokina AT-X 16-28mm F2.8 Pro FXDistortion at 16mm

Tokina AT-X 16-28mm F2.8 Pro FXDistortion at 28mm

Macro

The Tokina AT-X 16-28mm F2.8 Pro FX has a closest focusing distance of 28cm / 11 inches at all focal lengths and a maximum magnification ratio of 1:5.3, so it's no macro lens, although that's not surprising for such an ultra-wide-angle zoom lens.

Tokina AT-X 16-28mm F2.8 Pro FXClose-up performance

Sharpness

In order to show you how sharp this lens is, we are providing 100% crops on the following pages.

Entry Tags

review, wide-angle, lens, test, f2.8, wide angle, landscape, ultra wide-angle, F2.8, tokina, 16-28mm, 16-28, Tokina AT-X 16-28mm F2.8 Pro FX Review

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