Monday, January 19, 2009

Tokina 11-16mm f/2.8 lens review (an amateur approach)

Please, take this as a humble attempt to contribute to the pool of the wide angle Tokina lens reviews.

I just got mine for about 11,000 Czk (~400 Eur or ~530 USD). I do not feel experienced enough to compare this lens with other lenses, since my only other lens is Tamron 17-50 f/2.8. I use them on Canon 450D (Digital Rebel XSi). With comparison to my Tamron, the Tokina has much more silent autofocus motor. However, both do autofocus well, so no offense at all to the Tamron. I will probably keep adding new stuff to this review as I will get more experienced with this lens.

The important property of wide angle lenses which one has to kind of get used to is the perspective distortion. The nearer objects appear larger than distant objects. The shorter focal length (wider lens) you use, the bigger is the difference in size between the near and far objects.

This lens in rectlinear which means that all straight lines in the real world will remain straight on the photo as well. Unlike the fisheye lenses wich transform straight lines to curves.

Also the depth of field is deeper when compared to longer focal lengths at the same f-stop, so it is quite easy to focus manually. I do really like the focus ring on the Tokina. You only need to move it forward or backward to switch between auto-focus and manual-focus.

A much more thorough reviews can be found at kenrockwell's,,, ...and many others. I hope this review could be different because I have much more time for testing the lens than the professional lens reviewers do, since they use the lens only for some short time period of testing.


A tripod test - various apertures
All the following photos were taken on a tripod with 2 sec. self-timer plus a mirror lock-up, manually focused slightly nearer than infinity, focal length 11mm, ISO 100, stored to RAW, then converted to JPEG using rawstudio with camera's white balance settings (exposure was increased by 1 EV and saturation was increased as well).

In the following, there is always an image with a red rectangle indicating the crop area followed by 1:1 crops of photos taken with various apertures. Click on the images to see the details.


Park bench


All the following images (and some more) are stored at
...most of the pictures were taken at 11mm (17.6 eq. on fullframe). The purpose of this gallery is to give you an idea idea what kind of photos you can take with this lens. The quality and resolution of the pictures is not perfect. If anyone is interested in high-resolution ones, I can send them by email or somehow.


Some funny portraits I and my sister took at home (ISO 800-1600, no flash):

Our dog Taco:


Sun-star effect at f/16:

Sun-star effect at f/8 (not as visible as at f/16):



mildred said...

Michale, dík za test, ale ty fotky jsou téměř bez výjimky příšerně podexponovaný, což bohužel pak ovlivňuje i kresbu výslednýhi snímku. Polepši se...;)

Michal Fapšo said...

Zdravim, zrovna vcera som si skalibroval displej. Vazne su podexponovane. Na fotaku som nechal nastavenu kompenzaciu expozicie na 0 s "evaluative metering", tak asi budem musiet pridat tak +1 EV. Fotil som to do RAWu, tak by som mohol expoziciu rucne pridat, ale radsej porobim nove fotky. Vdaka za komentar :o)

Michal Fapšo said...

Ok, takze som v rawstudiu pridal vsetkym testovacim fotkam +1 EV. Myslim, ze co sa tyka expozicie, tak uz su fajn :o)

Anonymous said...

celkovo si spokojny s tymto sklom? nema prilis pomale ostrenie?

Michal Fapšo said...

Ano, som velmi spokojny, ale ako som pisal v uvode, nie som ziadny profik a nemal som v ruke este nejako vela objektivov, ale rychlost ostrenia tejto Tokiny je podla mna velmi dobra. Skusil som to teraz odmerat tak, ze som si nahral cez mikrofon zvuk ostrenia z nekonecna na 30cm (minimalna ostriaca vzdialenost) a potom aj opacne a pozrel som si vo zvukovom editore, kolko to trvalo a je to tak 0.5 sekundy. Inac aj ked som mal fotak uplne pri mikrofone, musel som este zapnut zosilnenie mikrofonu, aby som vobec na waveforme nieco videl :o) Na objektive je stupnica ostrenia od 0.3m cez 0.35, 0.4, 0.5, 0.7, 1, 2, nekonecno. Medzi vsetkymi dieliky je priblizne rovnaka vzdialenost. Podla mna, co sa tyka ostrenia by na tom mal byt tento objektiv celkom dobre aj vdaka vysokej svetelnosti.

dimz said...

Thanks for review, it was excellent and very informative.
thank you :)