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Tokina 11-16mm f/2.8 ATX Pro DX AF for Canon

Tokina 11-16mm f/2.8 ATX Pro DX AF for Canon

Product Details

The new Tokina AT-X 116 PRO DX is an ultra-wide angle lens with a fast f/2.8 aperture for better photography in low-light situations. Many photojournalists consider having an f/2.8 aperture a must for any lens in their camera bag.

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Tokina 11-16mm f/2.8 AT-X PRO DX Lens for Canon
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Photo.net Review Excerpt

The Tokina 11-16mm f/2.8 ATX DX lens, is designed for those who want to photograph ultra-wide on Canon and Nikon APS-C (small-frame sensor) digital cameras. What sets this lens apart from other wide-angle zoom lenses is its fast f/2.8 aperture through its entire range.

A lens with this wide a field of view (104°-82° according to Tokina’s web site) has very specialized uses. Remember that even at the long end of its very limited range, this lens is still very much in wide-angle territory. It’s not a lens that will generally stay on the camera all the time. Also, these very wide angles of view are not useful the same way as what most of us consider a “normal” wide angle lens, say 17-24mm (about 28-35mm field of view in 35mm full-frame terms). This isn’t a lens for “getting it all in”, because everything will be so small and spread out that it will likely make for boring photographs. This kind of lens really shines when showing off something in the foreground that contrasts with a background expanse to display a unique perspective distortion (not optical distortion) you can’t get with a “normal” wide-angle lens. Note that this lens is a rectilinear lens (straight lines are supposed to stay straight) as opposed to a fisheye (which would make dramatically curved images). I tested the lens on my Nikon D50.

The Tokina 11-16mm f/2.8 ATX DX lens, is designed for those who want to photograph ultra-wide on Canon and Nikon APS-C (small-frame sensor) digital cameras. What sets this lens apart from other wide-angle zoom lenses is its fast f/2.8 aperture through its entire range.

A lens with this wide a field of view (104°-82° according to Tokina’s web site) has very specialized uses. Remember that even at the long end of its very limited range, this lens is still very much in wide-angle territory. It’s not a lens that will generally stay on the camera all the time. Also, these very wide angles of view are not useful the same way as what most of us consider a “normal” wide angle lens, say 17-24mm (about 28-35mm field of view in 35mm full-frame terms). This isn’t a lens for “getting it all in”, because everything will be so small and spread out that it will likely make for boring photographs. This kind of lens really shines when showing off something in the foreground that contrasts with a background expanse to display a unique perspective distortion (not optical distortion) you can’t get with a “normal” wide-angle lens. Note that this lens is a rectilinear lens (straight lines are supposed to stay straight) as opposed to a fisheye (which would make dramatically curved images). I tested the lens on my Nikon D50.

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Comments From Review (37)

Kunal cephei , June 26, 2011; 04:22 P.M.

Some help guys. I am new to photography. I have a Canon 550D and need to buy a wide angle lens with large aperture specifically for astro-photography. I need something reasonably sharp in quality. Would you recommend this lens for me? I have already got an 18-135 but I do not think that is appropriate for astrophotography. Please help.

Luke Darma , April 25, 2011; 03:46 P.M.

The tested result are very similar to the ones found at Tokina Lens Review site.

It seems that Tokina's production is well controlled because we don't see any variation in the product.

I just hope they do a better job in terms of lens availability...

Luke Darma , April 06, 2011; 04:58 A.M.

Thanks for the great, in-depth Tokina 11-16 Review.

I am a user of this lens and can only say good things about it.

-Luke

deepak chourasia , March 20, 2011; 07:39 P.M.

very true. I have found very similar results.

you can check my results and solutions here:

http://deepsforyou.blogspot.com/2011/03/sharpest-tokina-11-16mm-and-its.html

 

Steve S. , February 22, 2010; 02:07 P.M.

@tizius:

In addition to the "measure to the film-plane" issue, recall that when shooting a self-portrait (or gear-portrat) straight into a mirror (as per the sample shot) your focus distance is doubled: not distance to mirror, but distance to the mirror and back to the lens.

Tom Martin , January 24, 2010; 10:55 A.M.

A wide angle f/2.8 lens lets in a ton of light. On a sunny day you may have exceeded the maximum shutter speed of your camera, resulting in the over exposed image.

Tim Eastman , September 02, 2009; 02:02 P.M.


First shot D80 in Program mode

After months of eager anticipation I got my Tokina 11-16 for my D80. The first shots were horribly overexposed in Program mode, so I thought it wasn't talking to the camera correctly and I went to Aperture priority. Subsequent shots and tests with a D300 and a comparison with a Nikon 12-24 have confirmed that exposure in my copy is wrong. I bought mine at my local camera shop anticipating that I might have problems. Anyone else experiencing overexposure? Had theirs fixed with good results? I hope mine can be made right. I have the first shots made with it and I feel confident that if it is not corrected that I should be refunded.

Stephen Asprey , August 01, 2009; 07:10 A.M.

I bought this lens over the Nikon for these reasons: Price Construction Speed Performance. The 12-24 Nikon on D300 runs out out at an effective 18. I wanted wider and no fish eye effect. When I upgrade to a D700, I'll sell it (easily) and make a new choice. I'm aware that QA at Tokina can lead to some inconsistency, but l=mine is sharp at from F4.

Michael Miller , July 27, 2009; 06:33 P.M.

Peter,

The things I have read (in reviews) and heard is that the sharpness is soft wide open but improves as it is stopped down. I have read this for all the competitive lenses from Tokina and Nikon (my equipment). Secondly, I have heard there was a problem with the autofocus not being accurate.

I have no idea if this is critical or an early release of the lens, but sharpness wide open is somewhat important for impact scenes. I do realize that most scenics are going to be shot stopped down, but even after f8 or f11, or smaller, the reviews say that the sharpness goes soft again. I was also disappointed at the Nikon 10-24 and the Sigmas, as well as the Tokina 12-24. It is true that I won't print over 13 X 19 (a printer I just upgraded to and is waiting on my shelf for installation). Up to now, I have only printed on 8.5 X 11 paper.

I would have been interested in the Nikkor, even with it's smaller and variable f stop range, but I don't hear great things except from the Nikon reps who attend our annual NE (national and international as well) photo conference, www.neccc.org. The reps say that the sharpness measurements in the magazines and online are subjective and not accurate and that the effective sharpness is fine for enlargements.

Any opinions on the 11-16 concerns and the 12-24 from all the mfrs?

tizius doppio , July 22, 2009; 11:40 A.M.

You are right I was measuring from the fron of the lens, i didn't know that, thank you. But anyway I was able to focus at just 24 cm at F.2.8 and to get closer if stopping down; like 16 cm at F7. I wuold like to see an head to head between Tokina 11-16 and Canon 10-22 -AT THE SAME F NUMBER...I'm not so sure that canon wins

Peter Hamm , July 22, 2009; 08:39 A.M.

I think you stopped down and got enough depth of field to make up for the fact that you were focused "too close". I do it a lot.

Or... you're measuring from the front of the lens? Published focusing specs are from the "film plane" (sensor plane these days), not the front of the lens.

tizius doppio , July 22, 2009; 08:33 A.M.


This picture was taken at around 7cm from the mirror, the focus is not perfect but surely it's not the MFD 30cm

tizius doppio , July 22, 2009; 08:26 A.M.

Hello to everyone I just bought the Tokina. I've been reading a lot of review and everywhere is written that the minimun focus distance is 30cm, I was able to focus in 16cm with F2.8 and get even closer if stopping down to F7! Do you know if canon 10 22 has got a better MFD?

Amiram Stark , May 18, 2009; 04:27 P.M.

Well, following my last comment, I purchased the Tokina - and as it turned out I did pay a learning price once again, only this time I just lost some (valuable) time, not any money.

The Tokina appeared to be razor-sharp at 16mm but quite blurry at 11mm, so I took some focus test shots and discovered a problem that I've never seen before - a front-focus problem that changes drastically over the focal length. At 16mm there was no need to adjust the focus at all, but at 11mm the front-focus was so strong that the autofocus point itself was out of focus (which is very strange anyhow considering the short focal length).

All of my lenses have some minor front or back focus issues, but they are always consistent over the whole focal range and I could adjust them easily on my camera. I couldn't do this on the Tokina, since my camera cannot set different correction factors for different focal lengths of the same lens.

I talked to the Tokina guys and they said that (unlike Sigma) they do not have the facilities to fix the lens locally, they have to send it back to the factory, and they cannot give me a replacement because they're out of stock, my lens was the last one they had.

So once again I've returned the Tokina (for a full refund this time) and got back to the old faithful Canon - slower but without any major focusing issues.

And I was so glad to own the faster Tokina for a whole day :=)

John Svoboda , May 18, 2009; 03:59 P.M.

I've had the Sigma since shortly after release- love it. Distortion high for architecture. I believe that I would be swapping lenses a lot more with 11-16 vs 10-20. Lens speed is almost irrelevant at this FOV, at least for me, at least at the wider end.

Peter Hamm , May 03, 2009; 05:01 P.M.

If I had Canon, and could afford it, I'd get the Canon, as great as it is.

Sorry that you had such a bad experience with the Sigma, but it seems that most who are using it are loving it.

Amiram Stark , May 02, 2009; 03:28 A.M.

Peter, you keep referring to the Sigma 10-20 as "highly regarded", "very good" and "great", so let me tell you about my experience with this lens.

I purchased the Sigma because it was considerably cheaper than the Canon. It didn't take me long to realize that the lens had a severe out-of-focus (turned out to be a severe back-focus) issue. I had to travel and spend quite some time at the Sigma's service center to have it calibrated (couldn't send it in because they had to do it on my body).

After calibration the focus in the center of the image was ok, but the edges were still totally out of focus even at mid-range apertures such as F8 or F11 (power lines turned into blurry power clowds, signs at the edges of the image were almost unreadable).

I took it back, and they decided that this particular lens was faulty and gave me a new one out of the box. I insisted that they calibrate it right there, which was a good thing to do because the new lens turned out to have a back-focus issue too, but when I took it to work I found out that it had exactly the same edge sharpness issues as the previous one and was virtually useless for anything beyond Web resolution.

The bottom line, I sold the Sigma at a considerable loss and purchased the Canon, which was sharp enough edge-to-edge and did not exhibit any serious problems (the Tokina wasn't out at that time). Quite an expensive learning price.

Now all my gear was stolen and the insurance doesn't force me to purchase exactly the same items, so I guess I'll go for the Tokina - it seems to have some benefits over the Canon and the price is more attractive. I only hope that I won't have to pay the same learning price again :-(

G Hom , April 30, 2009; 03:59 P.M.

Peter, et al, After seeing your images, I definitely want to get a superwide. I have never had a superwide before and am looking at the 11-16, but I'm going to be using it on the D40 or D5000 and can't get autofocus from the lens. I was wondering, as a practical matter, when you're out in the field, do you tend to rely a lot on autofocus with this lens? I'm thinking that it takes so much attention and effort to compose (since one of your examples show how the impact of an image can change by moving a few inches here and there) and also the huge depth-of-field, that you're probably manually focusing in most cases. If I'm wrong about the assumptions, then maybe I need to be looking at the 12-24 generation "II". Any guidance you can provide (before I plunk down the coin) would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!

Michael Miller , April 27, 2009; 01:51 P.M.

Albert, thanks for your review also. Would like to hear from you about the left and right edges bowing.

Michael Miller , April 27, 2009; 01:20 P.M.

To Peter and the others who put up pictures. Peter, excellent review. I am in the market for a new wide angle lens, but can't afford/justify the Nikon f2.8's and f4 and they don't even seem to have good straight lines control nor that good of edge sharpness at the lowest mm and widest aperature(s).

Peter, in your interior room shot, I looked carefully at the vertical walls and the horiz ceiling lines and didn't notice any bowing. But, in the others' pictures (and "others" please comment) there is significant bowing.

Is that caused by them using an up angle in those pictures? I have the Nikon 18-70 AF-S that I use as my standard, because of its mm range, but it also has significant bowing at 18mm. (some day, I'd like to replace it with a more pro lense at f2.8 in the mid-range)

I have not tried shots with absolute horiz and vert straightness, at 18mm, tho. If the Tokina 11-16 is going to bow everything significantly at 11mm, then it may defeat the scenics or pictures with horiz and vert lines in them. What say you all?

Thanks,

Michael

Stuart Baldwin , April 22, 2009; 10:09 A.M.

Jaina - look for the focus confirmation dot in the bottom left corner of the viewfinder. I have the same issue re: glasses, but because the viewfinder is so close you should still be able to see the focus confirmation dot.

Jaina Mishra , April 20, 2009; 11:28 P.M.

The only unfortunate part is that it does not auto-focus on my D60.........

And I wear glasses (can't see too well far away) - which I take off to look thru' the viewfinder - and my own uncorrected eyesight didn't lead to very good manual focussing for distant building shots !

:(

Jaina Mishra

Sergey Green , March 12, 2009; 02:51 P.M.

It is a good lens for travel, but otherwise (shame) I do not use it as often as I should. Few from January (Tokina 11-16/2.8),
Some are also here,
http://www.pbase.com/sngreen/algarve

- sergey

Jim Matthews , March 11, 2009; 12:46 P.M.

Maybe I missed it in the thread, but may I ask if any of the submitted images have been taken on a Canon 40D? I'm very interested to see how this lens works w/ a cropped body.

Thanks, Jim

Peter Hamm , February 18, 2009; 09:44 A.M.

Michael, your test is excellent, although your sample is softer at f2.8 and f4 than mine I think. Might want to have it checked.

Folks, visit Mike's page for some GREAT crops of detail from this lens.

Michal Fapso , January 20, 2009; 01:09 P.M.

Hi all, I have bought the Tokina 11-16 recently and I did some tests. If you are interested, take a look here: http://michalfapso.blogspot.com/2009/01/tokina-11-16mm-f28-lens-review-by.html

Bard Fosse , December 14, 2008; 10:44 A.M.

I've read a good deal of reviews on this lens versus the Canon 10-22 since I am on step to buy an UWA lens soon. From one review directly comparing it with the Nikon 12-24 it was the clear winner over the Nikon, and on another compared with the Canon it was sharper than the Canon and won over the Canon in all but fringing, which is not very hard to fix actually. So this has made me wonder what to buy, the Canon is almost the same price has a longer range and is lighter, vs sharper optics and 2.8 stop lens. Since it will be used for travel in companion with my excellent 17-55 it will extend the range of the 17-55 further to 11 or for Canon to 10 and probably I would use it when the 17-55 is not wide enough, like market places tight spots, interiors etc. So the speed of the lens would benefit I would think, lots of marketplaces in Asia is dark in the shade from light, and indoor the speed would obviously benefit I would think. So I am lenient towards the Tokina, it really looks promising with it's aperture and quality.

Juan Trinidad , September 23, 2008; 09:16 P.M.

You dont really have to try, as the flare is there, but I do agree that it is manageable. Photobucket Something I have also noticed, it gives the sky a amazing hue. Photobucket

Oskar Ojala , September 22, 2008; 04:28 P.M.

I use mine on a Nikon D300. Quality is good even though the D300 is a demanding camera. I suspect that better quality might be had with a full frame sensor and Nikon 14-24, but haven't compared and the cost and size are totally different anyway.

I'm used to primes, so the limited zoom range is not a big deal for me and there's a significant difference between 11 and 16 mm anyway. I tend to use it as my wide and carry a normal lens and short tele with it.

In terms of image quality, I found the lens (in practical use, not testing) extremely resistant to flare, but gets some small but strong ghosts in some situations where light from the sun enters at an angle. However, there's probably no superwide available that is completely devoid of this behavior.

All in all, a quite reasonably priced lens for being a high-quality ultrawide option for crop cameras. The 16 mm focal length will cover a full frame, but I have yet to try how the quality is.

Peter Hamm , September 22, 2008; 07:37 A.M.

Rene!

THANKS.

And thanks for the images. Everybody, look At Rene's stuff to see what you can do with a lens like this... not mine...

Rainer T , September 21, 2008; 02:53 P.M.

Nice review.

A minor flaw in the "Alternatives" paragraph, where you mention a "Canon at 10-20" ... its a 10-22 (as correctly mentioned later on in the review).

Rene' Villela , September 21, 2008; 12:38 P.M.


11 mm

Nice work Peter.

I just have to agree about this lens qualifying as a walk around lens.

About the on-camera flash, all you gotta do is tape the Sto-fen Omnibounce to the on-camera flash and that will do the trick. I was trying it 2 nights ago. It works.

Again, great work! Rene'

Albert Darmali , September 20, 2008; 08:37 P.M.

I must be the lucky one with sharp copy @f/2.8 then, haha...

Peter Hamm , September 20, 2008; 08:53 A.M.

Thanks, Albert,

I'm glad you like yours as much as I like mine, but I think for most people the zoom range is very limiting, so they have to be careful with it. If you shoot the same image at f2.8 and at f4 and f5.6, you will find, I'm reasonably positive) that it is a teeny bit softer at f2.8, as I state (and I checked this with others' experiences, too). But it is still usable at all apertures except the tiny ones where diffraction becomes a problem.

A great lens imho, but for most people buying an ultra-wide, something with more reach at the long end would probably be better.

Albert Darmali , September 19, 2008; 07:28 P.M.

I agree, this is indeed a nice lens, but for me this lens is perfectly fine for a walkaround street lens and not really as limiting or as specialty lens as you think. Providing you are okay (and able to) with a bit of footwork, I find this lens has many purposes. I am not sure why your sample is a bit soft at the centre wide open, but mine is actually very sharp wide open, and softness only appears around extreme corners.

I actually wrote a review for this lens if you want to have a quick read:

http://tokina11-16mm.blogspot.com/

Juan Trinidad , September 19, 2008; 01:32 A.M.

Great review. I really like my Tokina 11-16. Surprisingly, its turned into my walk around / travel lens. Using it makes me get really close and personal with my subjects. This is a very welcome side effect when traveling. I did want to mention that while some people may be frown at its limited zoom range, I bought the lens with the opposite in mind. I think of it as my flexible ultra-wide prime lens :) Photobucket Photobucket Photobucket Photobucket Photobucket Photobucket Photobucket Photobucket Photobucket Photobucket

Bruno Vieira , September 18, 2008; 10:44 P.M.

I have Sigma 10-20 and yes, it IS slow. I mean, you can shoot it on hand even with low speeds since it is so wide, but you can't expect the best results by doing that.... .....I always use it on a tripod thouhg, so that is not a big deal for me....