Tokina AF 11-16mm f/2.8 AT-X Pro DX II (Canon) - Review / Test
Lens Reviews - Canon EOS (APS-C)

Review by Klaus Schroiff, published December 2018

Introduction

We don't really get many opportunities to test Tokina lenses here in the lab. Tokina is the smallest of the Japanese third-party manufacturers and they are releasing new lenses are a much lesser speed than Tamron or Sigma. However, they are pretty strong in a very specific niche - ultra-wide zoom lenses. They are offering no less than 7 of them. Besides two full format variants and an exotic fish-eye zoom lens, they have 4 different APS-C format ultra-wide zoom lenses in their lineup, each supporting a slightly different flavour of speed, range, and quality. In this review, we'll have a look at the Tokina AF 11-16mm f/2.8 AT-X Pro DX II. As you may conclude from the specs, it is emphasizing quality over zoom range. While the "II" may suggest a major update, there's actually not too much in it. Tokina mentions a new lens coating and updated mechanics in the Nikon version. The Tokina lens has a comparatively attractive price tag of around 500USD/EUR. That is similar to the competing Tamron and Canon variants but it is one stop(-ish) faster than those two.

Tokina lenses have always been known for their build quality and the 11-16mm f/2.8 AT-X Pro DX II follows this tradition. The lens body is made of "duraluminum" (aluminium alloy) which is both light-weight and reassuring. The broad, rubberized zoom and focus control rings operate smoothly. A one-touch Focus Clutch Mechanism is used to switch between AF and MF by pushing/pulling the focus ring. While this had some appeal a decade ago, it feels dated in an age when full-time manual focusing is the standard. A petal-shaped lens hood is also part of the package.

In their very latest lenses (Firin 20mm f/2 & Opera 50mm f/1.4), Tokina have moved to an ultrasonic AF motor but the 11-16mm f/2.8 AT-X Pro DX II does still rely on an old micro-motor for auto-focusing. It's rather slow and a bit noisy. That being said - AF speed isn't really an overly relevant characteristic in this specific class.

Specifications
Equivalent Full-Format focal length (field-of-view)"17.6-28.8mm"
Equivalent Full-Format aperture (depth-of-field)"f/4.5"
Optical construction13 Elements in 11 Groups including 2xSD, 2x aspherical elements
Number of aperture blades9 (rounded)
min. focus distance0.3m (max. magnification ratio 1:11.6)
Dimensions84x89mm
Weight 550g
Filter size77mm
Hoodpetal-shaped (bayonet mount, supplied)
Other featuresmoisture-protection, focus-clutch
MountaCanon EF, Nikon F, Sony A