Jonathan Fleming's Blog

A Photography Blog

New Lens! Tokina 11-16mm f/2.8 ATX PRO

with 5 comments

Nikon D90 + Tokina 11-16mm f/2.8 at 13mm f/5.6, ISO 200, 1/125 Second

Nikon D90 + Tokina 11-16mm f/2.8 at 13mm f/5.6, ISO 200, 1/125 Second

Panasonic Lumix LX3, 5.1mm f/2.0, ISO 320 1/30 Second

Panasonic Lumix LX3, 5.1mm f/2.0, ISO 320 1/30 Second

Well, after wanting an ultra wide angle zoom lens for months and months, I finally bought one today. I’ve been scouring around trying to find the sold-out-everywhere Tokina 11-16mm f/2.8 ATX PRO DX lens for some time now, and until today was considering just going for the highly praised 12-24 f/4 from Tokina as it is readily stocked by many dealers. I’ve been checking back at places like B&H every morning for a few weeks (that’s how I was able to snag my hard to get AFS 35mm 1.8G), with no success in finding the 11-16 in stock. This afternoon I did a search for Tokina dealers in the San Francisco bay area, and found that there’s only ONE in San Francisco. Not expecting much, I called and asked if they had any 11-16’s, and WHAT!? One Nikon mount left!

Nikon D90 + Tokina 11-16mm f/2.8 at 11mm f/11, ISO640, 1/60 Second (cropped slightly to straighten)

Nikon D90 + Tokina 11-16mm f/2.8 at 11mm f/11, ISO640, 1/60 Second (cropped slightly to straighten)

I rushed over and picked it up without hesitation. While I was there the guy at the shop (really cool staff there) let me try a bunch of lenses while he rang up the bill. I tried the Tokina 12-24,  and while I liked that it extends out to 24mm, I was more swayed by the 1mm extra on the wide end of the 11-16 AND the 2.8 constant aperture, despite it’s very limited zoom range. I tried the very interesting (and very new) Tokina 16.5-135mm lens, as well as Nikon’s highly regarded consumer lens, the 16-85mm 3.5-5.6 VR, which I found of similar to size to the 18-70 I used to use on my D70, but it felt much heavier! I really liked the 16-85mm’s range and the fact that it has built in VR, and I may want to pick that lens up for travel when more money comes in.

But back to the important lens! My wife and I (and doggie) strolled around downtown after leaving the shop and I got to snap off a few shots before the sun went down (I really wanted to get some sunset and dusk shots but we hadn’t eaten dinner!). Initial impression is veeery favorable. I am absolutely floored at the sharpness of this Tokina, even at its widest aperture. The build quality is outstanding as well, and overall I am really excited about putting this thing to use. I’m going to bed with a huge grin on my face! More shooting tomorrow!

5 Responses

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  1. Congratulations on your successful lens hunting. The shots look really great. I wonder what’s your impression of the Tokina 16.5-135? It certainly seems very interesting but there are no reports about the IQ yet.


    August 10, 2009 at 4:18 pm

    • Thanks for the comment! Can’t really comment on the IQ of the 16.5-135 Tokina, however I can say it’s pretty compact for such a wide range, and has great build quality. There’s no VR built in, but the focal range felt really flexible. On the downside, I really disliked the zoom ring on the 16.5-135 I mounted on my camera that day. It doesn’t rotate in a smooth fashion and required too much effort to operate. We’ll see how it does in the reviews!


      August 12, 2009 at 5:06 am

  2. Jon,
    What a sweet lens! Congrats on the new purchase. I was looking into wide angle and narrowed my choices to Nikkor (of course) and Tokina. So in the future if I have any questions, I’ll turn to you.
    And it’s so nice to see your stunning images again!! The wide angle shot on that classic Benz is just incredible.

    Keep it up!!!


    August 11, 2009 at 12:10 am

    • What’s up Jay, Thanks for stopping by! This blog is much lonelier than flickr haha.

      Can’t go wrong with the Nikkors of course, but dude, you MUST get a wide angle. MUST! =)


      August 11, 2009 at 12:26 am

  3. Wonderful shots. Been eyeing for this lens for the longest time.

    Love to photo of the Benz. 😉


    January 11, 2011 at 7:31 pm

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