Tokina AT-X 12-28mm F4 Pro DX Review

June 19, 2014 | Mark Goldstein | Rating star Rating star Rating star Rating star


The Tokina AT-X 12-28mm F4 Pro DX is an impressive ultra-wide angle lens for Canon and Nikon APS-C DSLRs. Weighing in at more than half a kilo, it is quite a large optic, especially with the supplied lens hood fitted, but it does deliver distortion-free images at virtually all focal lengths, impressive for such a wide-angle lens. The images are a little soft in the centre and corners at the maximum aperture of f/4, but stopping down to f/5.6 improves things in the center, with f/8 and f/11 providing the best overall combination of center and edge sharpness.

The lack of built-in image stabilisation is concerning given that Canon and Nikon bodies don't offer built-in stabilisation, but on the other hand this heavy lens is best used mounted on a tripod for pin-sharp results. Landscape photographers will bemoan the large, expensive 77mm filter ring, and the lack of weather-sealing may put them off too.

Auto-focusing with the Tokina AT-X 12-28mm F4 Pro DX is satisfyingly quick and accurate, with little hunting except when using the camera's Live View mode. Tokina's AF system is still pretty noisy though despite claims of it being ultra-quiet. While not as versatile as Canon's FTM (full-time manual focusing) system, the One-touch Focus Clutch Mechanism does make it quick and simple to switch between manual and auto focusing.

In summary, the Tokina AT-X 12-28mm F4 Pro DX is a genuine alternative to the Canon and Nikon equivalents. It doesn't offer such a refined handling experience, but the image and especially the build quality are excellent.

4 stars

Ratings (out of 5)
Design 4.5
Features 4
Ease-of-use 4
Image quality 4
Value for money 4