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

May 10, 2011 | Mark Goldstein | Rating star Rating star Rating star Rating star


The Tokina AT-X 16-28mm F2.8 Pro FX is an impressive ultra-wide angle lens for Canon and Nikon full-frame DSLRs like the 5D Mark II and D3s. Weghing nearly a kilo and costing over £1,000, it is undoubtedly a large and expensive optic, but it does deliver excellent distortion-free images at virtually all focal lengths, impressive for such a wide-angle lens. The images are soft in the centre and corners at the maximum aperture of F/2.8, but stopping down to F/4 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 lack of a filter ring due to the integrated hood and bulbous front element, and the lack of weather-sealing may put them off too.

Auto-focusing with the Tokina AT-X 16-28mm F2.8 Pro FX is satisfyingly quick and accurate, with little hunting except when using the camera's Live View mode. Tokina's AF system is 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 16-28mm F2.8 Pro FX is a real alternative to the Canon and Nikon equivalents. It doesn't offer such a refined handling experience, but the image and build quality are truly excellent.

4 stars

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