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

April 28, 2013  •  1 Comment

Tokina-5D

I very much enjoy shooting wide angle photos, particularly of beautiful landscapes. I just love the drama of wide angle and the interesting perspectives one gets especially placingthe camera low and shooting up. However since I moved to the full frame Canon 5D Mark 3, my older 12-24mm lens would no longer work as it was designed for crop sensor cameras

 

So I recently bought an ultrawide angle lens to fill the void. I opted for the Tokina AT-X 16-28mm F2.8 Pro FX. The lens currently cost about $749 through Amazon. Fortunately I only paid about $500 after $300 worth of Amazon gift cards I got from my Mom for my birthday!

Here's a quick review of the lens: 

What works...

  • Optical Quality, photos taken with this lens look great! The quality easily meets, and may even surpass the similar offering from Canon the 16-35mm F2.8L II, which costs nearly twice that of the Tokina.
  • Build Quality - The lens is built to last! Mostly made of metal, it will take a lot of abuse and keep working perfectly. It feels great in your hand and the zoom and focus rings are smooth to operate
  • One-touch focus control - A rather unique design in which you can change from autofocus to manual focus by simply snapping a ring forward and backward.
  • Large, "Fast" constant aperture - I love that this lens features a maximum aperture of 2.8 throughout the zoom range. This makes it useful when hand hold shooting during events in dark environments. Although I'll most likely use it mostly on a tripod for landscape work.

 

Tokina16-28-LensCap1 What could be better...

  • Weight - This thing weighs a little over 2 lbs, so when attached to my Canon 5DM3 with the grip and if you add on a flash, that's a recipe for sore hands and arms.
  • Integrated Lens hood - I kinda have a love/hate feeling for this. I like that the hood is built-in so you can't lose it, but that makes the lens cap huge, which you cannot fit in a pocket, and also you can't use any filters on this lens.
  • AF Motor is a bit noisy - No where near as quiet in comparison to the USM motors in my Canon lenses. Might be a bit of an issue when shooting in delicate situations like a wedding ceremony.
  • Lack of image stabilization - Not too big a deal, as you'll rarely need it at this wide a focal length, and i'll probably be on a tripod most of the time, but could be useful during event work.

 

Tokina16-28ATX-Pro

 

 

Bottom Line...

So far I'm quite pleased with the lens and it will be most useful for my landscape photography. It will also be handy to have around for when I'm shooting events indoors or at night. The weight isn't too bad as my Canon 5DM3+grip serves as a good counterbalance. I'd be hesitant to put his lens on a smaller camera body such as a Canon Rebel series camera or even a 60D. It would probably be okay on a Canon 6D or 7D however. Optically it kicks butt, and at half the price of the Canon 16-35mm F2.8L II its a no brainer. Despite the fact that it doesn't take filters doesn't bother me to much as I usually shoot HDR and deal with stuff in post.

 

Here are some shots that I took recently with the Tokina at Miramar beach off Highway 1 near Half Moon Bay.

MiramarBeachSunset_3

Miramar Beach Sunset 1, Shot at F10, at 1/100th of a second at ISO 100. 5 shots processed in Photomatix Pro & Aperture.

 

MiramarBeachSunset_2 Miramar Beach Sunset Vertical, Shot at F10, at 1/80th of a second at ISO 100.
5 shots processed in Photomatix Pro & Aperture. 

 

MiramarBeachSunset_4 Miramar Beach Sunset Path, Shot at F10, at 1/40th of a second at ISO 160. 5 shots processed in Photomatix Pro & Aperture.


Comments

Moritz(non-registered)
Good lens but even better photography! Stunning! And inspirational. Thanks so much for sharing.
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