on July 25, 2012
Yes - this is the MK II version that was only released in Japan - I called the company (Gigabargains) to verify, and they managed to get a few in stock from the distributor. Auto Focus works GREAT on my d5000 (told you it was the MK II!) - very quick, very snappy. And since it focuses as close as 12 inches, you can take some VERY abstract fun photos/portraits with this lens (in addition to all the other reasons to get glass like this). New coatings seem to hold down flare and ghosting as well. Tokina did a fantastic job updating this already great lens. It's still SUPER sharp across the frame at f/5.6, and very respectable at f/2.8. Also, in terms of design, the push/pull focus ring I think is far superior than the switches found on Nikon lenses - more intuitive and much quicker to operate. Although I don't think it's worth upgrading if you have the older version, if you don't have an ultra-wide in your kit, this is the one to get! Worth noting that I have shot with Nikon's 10-24, and despite the shorter range, the Tokina's construction is much stronger, and operation of focus rings is far smoother. Given that ultra-wides have HUGE depth of field, I think being able to get down to 2.8 is worth more than people typically give it credit for. Given that this version has a focus motor, it's no contest against the Nikon. Thank you, Tokina (and Gigabargains)!
on March 19, 2013
I first used a DX wide angle years ago at my old job - the Nikon 12-24 f/4. Loved that lens, even at 12mm f/4.
So last summer when I was shopping for a DX WA of my own, the Nikon 10-24 3.5-4.5 seemed like a no brainer. I figured I would use it mostly wide open at 10mm, so the slightly larger aperture and wider end seemed like a step up. However, after using it for a while I was never really happy with the sharpness of the images my copy delivered. It was good but not great (I use WA's to feature a subject prominently in the frame, not for landscapes, so I like to shoot close to wide open if possible.)
I didn't have access to the Nikon 12-24 f/4 anymore to compare to, but after discovering the Tokina 11-16 f/2.8, I decided to look into the Tokina 11-16 as a possible replacement.
After almost a year and a lot of research, I decided to go for a Tokina 11-16. Since I still had the 10-24, I did tripod comparisons with a remote shutter, comparing the lenses at 11mm f/3.5, 11mm f/5.6, 11mm f/8, 16mm f/4, 16mm f/5.6, 16mm f/8 from exactly the same position, without moving the tripod.
In every shot comparison the Tokina images at 100% were obviously sharper than the Nikon images - just as I suspected, and as my research suggested. Wonderful! Now, I may have received a great copy of the Tokina, and had a not-so-great copy of the Nikon. But in my real-world tests using the Nikon previously, I never thought the sharpness was "bad" - just not amazing. And I always wondered if starting at f/2.8 meant a sharper f/8 when I got there. The answer for me is: it does. This Tokina's sharpness is great! As a bonus, I get f/2.8 throughout the limited range if I need it.
So, in summary...
TOKINA 11-16 PROS:
- Sharp. Sharper than the Nikon 10-24 between 11-16mm and f/4-8.
- Fast. Option of using f/2.8 throughout the range.
- Solid. This lens feels pro grade and the Nikon feels plasticky.
- Price! Remarkably, this lens is currently $200 less expensive brand new then the Nikon 10-24 is, brand new.
TOKINA 11-16 CONS:
- Range. Less range than the 10-24. Sometimes being able to go to 24mm was handy and meant I wouldn't need to swap lenses.
TOKINA 11-16 NEUTRAL:
- Color/Contrast. Color overall seems better delivered on the Nikon. Although to be fair, I didn't test for this (i.e. used AWB in all shots.) Contrast seems to be about the same as the Nikon.
As a final note, I was concerned that the Auto Distortion Control menu option on my Nikon DSLR would be greyed out with the Tokina 11-16 as it is with my old discontinued Tokina 50-135. But the answer is, it is not! The camera recognizes the lens for Auto Distortion Control. Meaning I can get straight lines SOOC just like I did with the Nikon lens. Very convenient if you're like me and try to get as much right as possible in the camera to avoid post processing.
on August 23, 2012
I have several Tokina lenses in my lens cabinet, all carefully selected and this one has joined its brother and sisters in my Nikon and Pentax Glass and is going to stay there. I have given it a real work out under and around The Woodrow Wilson Bridge in Alexandria with perfect distortion free results..sharp, saturated and contrasty. Observe all the composition cautions when using such glass and you will be well pleased. Built the way I like a lens built...strong. I'm even going to mount it on my Fuji XPRO 1 via adapter and give it a test which I fully expect will be stunning. I love it on the D7000 and am waiting for a 24 mp DX from Nikon to go along with my D800 and D700. Five Stars from a fussy glass picker!
on October 29, 2014
This is some fine piece of glass for its price. I mean a super wide angle lens at f/2.8 and a built in AF motor for this price is a dream.
I bought this lens for a trip to Zion National Park for some nice landscapes. Paired up with my D7000 I must say that this lens produces very sharp photos. The stock 18-105mm lens just doesn't compare. With all these great features, it came with some flaws as well.
First thing is the AF. This lens has some crazy back-focusing issues. Even with the AF fine tune, it just doesn't focus on the subject properly. This really only happens when shooting wide open at f2.8-3.5. Sure this is a landscape lens so you wouldn't be shooting at such a high aperture anyways, but I still don't like the idea.
Another flaw was the lens flares. If you shoot landscapes at noon, you're bound to have harsh rays. And with that light, you get these ugly blotches of light in your pictures. It gets really annoying.
Also with every wide angle lens you get distortion on the corners of your pictures and this lens is no exception. Of course you can always adjust that in post so it's no big deal.
Overall this is a pretty good lens that produces sharp images and is really good deal for what you get. As long as you avoid midday sun and don't shoot too much at 2.8 then this lens is an excellent choice for the average photographer!
on March 20, 2013
What can I say - super fast, super wide - excellent color rendition and sharpness - the tiniest barrell distortion at ultra wide - which is expected and desired for some of those really fun up close and personal shots - who doesn't want a dog with a four foot snout? I am uber impressed with both the quality of the lens and the images it produces. I know some complained of focus issues - maybe I got a model that has been improved - not sure - however I shot all day inside a museum and another entire evening was spent shooting long exposure after dark skyline shots - I found it hunted less than my Nikon 80-200 2.8 and was super sharp 99% of the time - beautiful sunstars around all of the lights.... I love this lens. I let my daughter use it all day on her D3200 and it focused fine on that body as well - in fact it was due to her d3200 that I bought the VII - so she could use it in autofocus - I was compensating for the fact that the Tokina 2.6 28-70mm I bought doesn't focus for her on the d3200:( nor does my 50mm 1.4 prime or the 80-200 2.8 ... Anyway - I would seriously reccomend this lens to anyone who wants to add a superwide to their repetoire and would prefer not to sell one of their kidneys. Get it - just do it - do it...you will not regret it.
on October 9, 2012
I picked up the newest "DX II" version of this lens, the successor to the phenomenal 11-16 atx pro dx, based on how good the old version was. Optically, it's still the great lens the old one was. I can't see any benefit or difference the "new improved coatings" makes. It still does have the same sun flares that the old one had, but only in abusive situations (direct sunshine at an angle entering from the sides). So I can't really see the improvements in the coatings. Its a light magnet for sure, roughly a full f-stop faster than its competitors. The zoom feel is great---smooth and no creep when pointed down. Its definitely well built, and better optically than any other wide-for-nikon I've tried.
BUT...this model, which does have its own a/f motor built in, repeated fails to focus. It hunts, and usually locks just behind the subject. At far focus, it always goes beyond infinity all the way to the hard stop at the far end of its travel. This really lets down a great lens, which can be tack-sharp when focused manually, but only about 50% of the time when using automatic focus. Shooting at or above F/8 does help, but the lower f/2.8 is why I bought this lens in the first place, so I'm a little disappointed. I verified this on two bodies...the D5000 and a D90. Its not just the sample i have...Ken Rockwell stated a similar issue in his review of this lens as well. Hopefully this is a first run issue and Tokina will get the bugs worked out soon. If you have a Nikon with a built in motor, get the old version and skip this one for now. If you have a 3000, 5000, 3100, 3200, 5100, wait for the kinks to be worked out first. Im sure Tokina will get this corrected, and it will be a fantastic lens. Then its a 5 star product for sure!
on December 17, 2014
(This item was sold by Web Offers and fulfilled by Amazon, and it came with the full 3-year US warranty card. Me likey.)
This lens is my first lens purchase after getting my D3300 kit. I got this mainly to use for capturing the night sky, so I valued its wide aperture of f2.8 and its wide angle of 11mm (effectively 16.5mm on my APS-C sensor). I brought it up into the Los Angeles mountains for a night shoot of the Geminid meteor shower, and it performed beautifully!
I did a lot of research before buying this lens so I knew what to expect, but some people may be surprised by certain limitations of this Tokina lens.
- Chromatic Aberration is pretty pronounced everywhere except the center, but nothing post processing can't fix.
- Coma/Astigmatism is bad towards the edges, but apparently people agree that it's better than most. Very visible on stars.
- Lens flare is HORRIBLE. Any source of light is going to cause intense flare.
- Autofocus is fast, however not always accurate as it often lands at different spots for the same composition.
This is my first wide angle so I'm a little disappointed by the above, however seeing as it's considered normal for these type of lenses I'm not going to count it against Tokina. Autofocus is not important for night shots since it won't autofocus with such little light anyway. The lens flare however is considered worse than normal on the Tokina so I'm taking off a star.
Overall this is a great lens with great build quality, and pretty much the only option for a fast wide-angle crop sensor lens. Understand its limitations and you'll be happy.
on February 20, 2013
As others have already mentioned, this lens does have some CA and flaring under extreme conditions but IMO is a great lens nonetheless.
Yes it's sharp, even wide open, more important to me is the color and contrast it reproduces. I used to own some quality glass back in the film days and I was beginning to think that my DSLR was incapable of capturing color the way I remember doing with film, this lens set me straight. Prior to this lens I would bump up my vibrancy and saturation which would invariably lead to inaccurate colors, with this lens the color is already there, rich, full and accurate with very little tweaking needed. I am finding, after only a few days of using it, that I am actually reducing contrast a touch where before I would nearly always need to increase it.
The construction quality is nice but didn't feel as precision as my old Nikkor 80-200 f2.8. Maybe it's the cold metal of the Nikon that made it feel more like a precision instrument, the Tokina has some rubberized plastic surfaces that make it warmer to the touch which is nice but makes it feel more like an electronic device than an instrument (no biggy). The important thing to me is the mechanical design, since all moving elements are located inside a strong metal barrel they are protected from bumps and bruises. Believe me this is a big deal, I know, I've ruined 2 lenses due to frontal impact and the second one wasn't even an impact but rather 20 pounds of steady pressure against it. Unlike the Tokina, many of the cheap lenses are highly susceptible to damage because impact energy is transferred directly to the moving parts.
Focus is fast, accurate and quiet (nearly silent). The manual focus engagement via the focus ring is much better than the switch on some Nikon lenses but is probably not as good as the instant over-ride of the HSM lenses. Distortion is well controlled and exposure seems accurate but admit I haven't done any significant testing yet.
Zoom.............If your anything like me the limited zoom range is a stumbling block and was the one thing that almost kept me from buying the lens, I'm so glad I overcame that and bought it anyway. With an ultra-wide you really want to zoom with your feet anyways, in fact, simply leaning forward a little makes a huge difference. Regardless, what you give up in zoom range you more than make up for in speed and distortion control.
Another selling point for me was that the lens supposedly works at 16mm on full-frame cameras, this is a big deal to me. Having a 16mm f2.8 as part of an initial lens collection when I go full-frame is very appealing to me.
on January 30, 2013
I've owned several wide zooms for the DX format over the years, but this is the last stop. There's so much going for it that it's difficult to not sound like a fanboy or Tokina employee here. Let me just say that this lens has fewer (or none) of the negatives in the Sigma 10-20mm, Nikon 10-22mm, and even Tokina's own 12-24. Although I haven't used the Sigma 8-16mm, it doesn't accept filters and is slower with it's variable aperture (you would treat it as a f/5.6 lens, basically) so it's not very comparable in my mind.
Folks who balk at the relatively small zoom range compared to other offerings don't get it: this lens was designed to excel in a limited range. In the same way a prime is generally better than zooms (duh) this lens bests those lenses that cover broader focal lengths. Less distortion, vignetting, and edge softness. More overall resolution across the frame at all apertures. It's like having six primes, really.
The only negative aspect I can acknowledge is the level of lateral chromatic aberrations (visible as color shadows at harsh contrast transitions). This problem is there for most all wides, frankly, and can be handled in post process.
If you are on the fence in deciding on a wide, I can say that if you get a good copy of this lens you will never want to let it go - especially if you've tried the others first. For what it is and does and costs, it has no rival.
on December 26, 2015
I am using this lens with a Nikon D3200. I shoot landscapes mostly.
Firstly, if you have a DX camera (D3200, D3100, D5000, D5100, D7100, etc), this is the lens to have for wide angle. Trust me. I did a lot of research on the Sigmas, Tamrons, and others. I found this to be the best for the money and the fastest. Its also semi-compatible with full frame DSLRs. I needed a lens to replace the amazing 18-55mm Kit lens and this has passed the test for sure!
This lens is sharp! I don't know how anyone could complain about sharpness. Even at f2.8 its sharp! I mostly shoot landscapes from F/8 - F/18.
This lens is mad sharp at all apertures.
Angle of View:
Honestly, at first, I thought the angle of view would be even wider than it is at 11mm. But I guess I was just being irrational. 11mm is wide on this lens. Pretty much all you need for landscapes. The distortion isn't horrible and can be corrected in Lightroom.
Bokeh isn't all that flawless on this lens. I'm talking at f2.8... It seems sorta all over the place. But it's not distracting or anything.
One issue with shooting landscapes on my kit lens was that my shots often have trees in the white sky, this causes chromatic abberation from the contrast in dark trees against the bright sky. This lens seems to have none of that at tighter apertures. My photos look a lot more professional without the purple hue around the trees... P.S. Chromatic aberration is not always fully correctable in post.
Not digging the focus ring too much. When shooting landscapes, I autofocus on my focal point and then I set the lens to manual focus to shoot. Well, when pulling back on the focus ring to enter manual, I feel like it would be easy to accidentally put your camera out of focus.
The DXII (this model) has an internal focus motor. Make note of that if you do not have a D7000+... The focus motor is slow, as expected from a third party lens. The sound it makes when focusing is poor. Its not incredibly loud, but the sound is.. crappy.
I have had this camera for 2 days already and I want to burn the lens cap in a fire... Its not the fit though. It fits nicely. Way better than my sigma 70-300 lens cap. The problem is that the cap has little to no depth for your fingers on the squeeze buttons, so the cap likes to shoot out of your hand like a rocket when placing it on the lens.
This has to be the worst quality of this lens. It is heavy! Its comparable to my Sigma 70-300mm telephoto. I'm not sure why a wideangle has to be so heavy but it is. I can live with it!
So far, I have stacked 2 Altura 77mm ND filters on this lens and have absolutely no vingetting. I think ill try for 3 filters ;)
Overall, couldn't be happier with my purchase. Its clear that Tokina cut corners on the mechanics a bit to compensate for the great optics. Thats expected with a lens of this make. BUY IT.