Just How Wide Is The Tokina 11-16mm f/2.8?

Today I went lens shopping, while I was out I tried the Tokina AT-X 116 PRO DX. I neglected to take a photo of it so here’s one from Bulliver on Flickr.Screen shot 2010-10-02 at 4.42.41 PM.png

Technically speaking, it’s pretty wide; on my Nikon D90 it provides an equivilent of 16.5mm-24mm. That’s just a little narower than the full frame compatible Nikon AF-S Nikkor 14-24mm f/2.8G ED* which is about 3× the price.

It’s worth nothing that the the Tokina 11-16mm is a 1.4× zoom and the Nikon 14-24mm is a 2x, it’s very apparent in the following photos that the difference between 11mm and 16mm is quite small. As someone who’s been known to take the odd landscape I have to say there are very few times where a cheaper prime wouldn’t be just as good.

In the case of landscape, or architectural photography when a manual focus lens would do, one with an accurate focusing scale would be preferable to one without. Focusing without a scale can make it difficult to focus at the hyperfocal distance, giving you more foreground working space. If you’re shooting things that move, get something that auto focuses.

I’m not saying the Tokina is a bad lens at all; lots of people love this lens, but I personally wasn’t impressed enough to hand over my own cash for it because for the kind of things I like to do, it just wasn’t right. It’d either need to be wide, or faster. If it were say 11-16 f/2 I’d be all over it.

Here are some samples.

Tokina at 11mmtoking-11-15vs181.jpg

Tokina at 16mmtoking-11-15vs182.jpg

Nikon at 18mmtoking-11-15vs183.jpg

And for your enjoyment some center crops:

Tokina at 11mmScreen shot 2010-10-02 at 4.34.40 PM.png

Tokina at 16mmScreen shot 2010-10-02 at 4.34.50 PM.png

Nikon at 18mmScreen shot 2010-10-02 at 4.34.56 PM.png

So there you have it.

*Does anyone else find Nikon’s use of Zoom-Nikkor and just plain Nikkor on zoom lenses oddly inconsistent?

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