Tokina AT-X 11-20mm F2.8 (IF) PRO DX
– Wider Versatility meets Practicality
Photo: Editor with the NEW Tokina AT-X 11-20mm F2.8 (IF) PRO DX mounted on his NEW Nikon D5500.
17th March 2015, Singapore – Tokina surprised us with their latest wide angle zoom lens in the form of Tokina AT-X 11-20mm F2.8 (IF) PRO DX. On first look, the focal range 11-20mm F2.8 seems pretty direct in telling us that this is designed and made as the bigger brother of the award-winning AT-X 11-16 F2.8 with the added range, but at the meantime, it looks uncannily alike to the AT-X 12-28 F4 or the older award-winning AT-X 12-24mm F4 MarkII. While the industry speculates what exactly is Tokina up to, we decided to review the lens for ourselves.
To start things off, and for those new to Tokina, the lens barrel was made with the company’s proven thermal compound that are designed withstand most elements for both outdoor and indoor use. Although Tokina had retained most of the design cue of their releases, this is something that Tokina fans can relate to – Tokina is not giving fanciful designs but a lens that is designed for easy handling and practicality. Personally I like Tokina’s One-Touch Focus Clutch Mechanism since I gotten my first Tokina lens in 2010. The user can switch between Auto-focus and Manual-focus by pulling or pushing the focusing ring forward or backwards.
The new 11-20mm F2.8 has some interesting “changes”. The lens accepts 82mm filters (most Tokina Lens are on 77mm), and the lens is a little “fatter” now at 89mm x 92mm and with that, the lens gained a little weight at 560gm. This is really manageable as when I took it out for this review, I had hand held the lens mounted with my Nikon D5500 for almost 3.5 hours without feeling that my arms are falling off. On the glass, there are new advancements. The 11-20mm has 3 aspherical lens elements (one of the 3 is a PMO hybrid) that produce super contrasty and sharp images while correcting distortions at the same time. If that is not enough, Tokina also added 3 SD (anti-dispersion) glass elements to reduce CA to a negligible concern.
Photo: Useable F2.8 with interesting bokehs from the 9 blades aperture.
Other goodies remain largely the same. Made as a 9 blader (aperture) with a minimum opening of F22 to a wide F2.8, it starts focusing from 28cm to the front .Standard issue includes the Tokina’s “Advance Multi-Layer” lens coating on the front element and lastly, it has a good magnification of 1:8.62. (Tips: means you can shoot at small aperture, then crop an insane amount off the photo and your photo will still be sharp and usable).
I brought the Tokina 11-20mm out and visited an old estate and tried putting it through its paces. Check out the photos below. All photos was adjusted for the horizontal slant, crop and watermarks. Everything is else what you get from the camera direct.
Photo: The near fish-eye range creates very interesting perspectives if you know what you are doing. Corner to corner sharpness is evident without any signs of turning soft.
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At 11mm (or 16.5mm on FX/Full Frame/35mm) this lens will be excellent for interior shoot, landscape, cityscape and at the tele end of 20mm (or 30mm on FX/Full Frame/35mm); this lens is also excellent for street photography or close-range portraits, a very versatile lens. Well built and importantly, it produces high-quality ultra-wide angle images for APS-C cameras. Comfortable to handle and Very easy on the wallet, get yours today!
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