Tokina Opera 16-28mm F2.8 FF Review

June 4, 2019 | Mark Goldstein | Rating star Rating star Rating star Rating star


The Opera 16-28mm F2.8 FF is the latest in a long line of wide-angle zoom lenses from Tokina, replacing the popular ATX 16-28mm f/2.8 Pro.

Sporting a more modern design that made its debut on the Opera 50mm f/1.4, this lens is well-suited to Canon and Nikon's high-end full-frame DSLRs in both styling and size.

Less appealing is the slightly sluggish, audible AF system, the inability to fit a traditional filter system, and the lack of any weather-sealing, whilst the push/pull focal clutch mechanism is satisfyingly retro but less convenient than automatic manual focus over-ride.

Image quality is very good. Chromatic aberrations are well controlled and bokeh is surprisingly appealing when shooting at 28mm.

The only real optical issues are obvious vignetting and some barrel distortion at at the 16mm wide-angle focal length, a slight lack of centre sharpness when shooting wide-open at f/2.8 throughout the zoom range, and rather poor corner sharpness between f/2.8-5.6.

The Opera 16-28mm F2.8 FF's main rivals include the 10-year-old Nikon 14-28mm f/2.8G ED (surely due for replacement soon), the Canon EF 11-28mm f/4L USM and EF 16-35mm f/2.8L II USM, the Sigma 14-24mm f/2.8 DG HSM Art and the Tamron SP 15-30mm f/2.8 Di VC USD. The latter two in particular have the edge over Tokina's new lens in terms of performance and feature-set, but the Tokina Opera 16-28mm is significantly cheaper than any of its rivals.

The Sigma 14-24mm f/2.8 DG HSM Art remains our ultra-wide-angle lens of choice, but if you can't stretch the budget that far, then the Tokina Opera 16-28mm F2.8 FF is certainly an appealing option that won't break the bank.

4 stars

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