Tokina 11-16mm

Started Aug 19, 2013 | Discussions
bathgate
Contributing MemberPosts: 790Gear list
Like?
Tokina 11-16mm
Aug 19, 2013

Thought I'd share these. I recently picked up a Tokina 11-6mm, f2.8. Overall, I like the lens. It handles well, feels well-built and is pretty good in low light. My only issue with it is how quickly sharpness falls off as you move from the center of the frame. Here are two shots that I think illustrate the problem. In each, the center is very sharp. I'd expected some falloff closer to the edges/corners, but I was surprised by how quickly it falls off. You don't have to get far from center at all to see it. So I guess I'm asking others who have worked with this lens if what I'm seeing here is typical or if there is something I'm missing in shooting with this one.

Michael

 bathgate's gear list:bathgate's gear list
Nikon D80 Nikon D7000 Nikon AF-S DX Nikkor 18-105mm f/3.5-5.6G ED VR Nikon AF-S DX Nikkor 35mm f/1.8G Nikon AF-S Nikkor 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6G VR +2 more
autre_pensee
Regular MemberPosts: 203Gear list
Like?
Re: Tokina 11-16mm
In reply to bathgate, Aug 19, 2013

I dont have the lens but I was looking at it.

Could this be an issue of the physical dof line / circle of confusion being spherical as opposed to your flat subject?

Just a thought since I cannot tell whether it is soft or out of focus.

-- hide signature --

Nikon D7000 + 18-105 + 50mm f1.8g + 70-300 VC
SONY HX-100V

 autre_pensee's gear list:autre_pensee's gear list
Nikon D7000 Nikon AF-S DX Nikkor 18-105mm f/3.5-5.6G ED VR Nikon AF-S DX Nikkor 12-24mm f/4G ED-IF Tamron SP 70-300mm F/4-5.6 Di VC USD Nikon AF-S Nikkor 50mm f/1.8G +1 more
Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
sworth
Contributing MemberPosts: 703
Like?
Re: Tokina 11-16mm
In reply to autre_pensee, Aug 19, 2013

That's exactly it. Stop down a hair and you'll have no problem with that.

Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
aVolanche
Veteran MemberPosts: 3,553Gear list
Like?
Re: Tokina 11-16mm
In reply to bathgate, Aug 19, 2013

It's pretty typical of UWAs  at wide apertures. Should improve a lot at f8.

Fred

Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
BillD7000
Contributing MemberPosts: 592
Like?
Re: Tokina 11-16mm
In reply to bathgate, Aug 19, 2013

Is this model a second-hand purchase, or new?

The original release had some copies that were not assembled properly, greatly underperforming in comparison to a proper copy.

Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
bathgate
Contributing MemberPosts: 790Gear list
Like?
Re: Tokina 11-16mm
In reply to autre_pensee, Aug 19, 2013

klaminero wrote:

Could this be an issue of the physical dof line / circle of confusion being spherical as opposed to your flat subject?

Beats me.  I've never heard of DOF being spherical.  It is the "circle of confusion," not the sphere, yes?

Just a thought since I cannot tell whether it is soft or out of focus.

If you look at the images at anything approaching 100% I think you'll see that focus is fine at the center.

Thanks,

Michael

 bathgate's gear list:bathgate's gear list
Nikon D80 Nikon D7000 Nikon AF-S DX Nikkor 18-105mm f/3.5-5.6G ED VR Nikon AF-S DX Nikkor 35mm f/1.8G Nikon AF-S Nikkor 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6G VR +2 more
Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
bathgate
Contributing MemberPosts: 790Gear list
Like?
Re: Tokina 11-16mm
In reply to BillD7000, Aug 19, 2013

Good call.  Bought the lens 2nd hand on eBay.  It likely is an older version.  However, I don't think it is a problem copy.  It is pretty sharp at f8.  Shooting close to wide open is more the issue, which isn't uncommon.

Michael

 bathgate's gear list:bathgate's gear list
Nikon D80 Nikon D7000 Nikon AF-S DX Nikkor 18-105mm f/3.5-5.6G ED VR Nikon AF-S DX Nikkor 35mm f/1.8G Nikon AF-S Nikkor 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6G VR +2 more
Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
BillD7000
Contributing MemberPosts: 592
Like?
Re: Tokina 11-16mm
In reply to bathgate, Aug 19, 2013

bathgate wrote:

Good call. Bought the lens 2nd hand on eBay. It likely is an older version. However, I don't think it is a problem copy. It is pretty sharp at f8. Shooting close to wide open is more the issue, which isn't uncommon.

Michael

OK, not to be an alarmist, but this lens should be very sharp way before f/8.  The info I shared earlier was from two Tokina techs.  There's a review on Nikonians where the reviewer got a poor copy that really underperforms.  I had two myself.

Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
Hisma
Regular MemberPosts: 154
Like?
Re: Tokina 11-16mm
In reply to BillD7000, Aug 20, 2013

BillD7000 wrote:

Is this model a second-hand purchase, or new?

The original release had some copies that were not assembled properly, greatly underperforming in comparison to a proper copy.

can you expand on this?  was this corrected in later runs of the older version?

I have the older version, but I bought it new in box just 2 months ago.

It performs pretty well, but I too have felt it looks softer than I would like wide open.  I haven't gotten around to performing any real tests with it... I get best results around f/5.6, but even there it's not as tack sharp as my sigma 35mm f/1.4 (but really, what other lenses are?)

I'm happy with my lens, but I always wonder if it could perform even better.

Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
bathgate
Contributing MemberPosts: 790Gear list
Like?
Re: Tokina 11-16mm
In reply to BillD7000, Aug 20, 2013

BillD7000 wrote:

bathgate wrote:

Good call. Bought the lens 2nd hand on eBay. It likely is an older version. However, I don't think it is a problem copy. It is pretty sharp at f8. Shooting close to wide open is more the issue, which isn't uncommon.

Michael

OK, not to be an alarmist, but this lens should be very sharp way before f/8. The info I shared earlier was from two Tokina techs. There's a review on Nikonians where the reviewer got a poor copy that really underperforms. I had two myself.

Sorry if that was misleading.  I really didn't mean to suggest that you have to stop it all the way down to f8 before it performs well.  It looks quite good at f5.6 or even at f5.  Open much wider than f4, though, and I do start to see some softness at the edges.  It quickly gets worse from there to the point where the entire image is softer than I'd like when shooting at f2.8.  I expect some of that.

Michael

 bathgate's gear list:bathgate's gear list
Nikon D80 Nikon D7000 Nikon AF-S DX Nikkor 18-105mm f/3.5-5.6G ED VR Nikon AF-S DX Nikkor 35mm f/1.8G Nikon AF-S Nikkor 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6G VR +2 more
Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
BillD7000
Contributing MemberPosts: 592
Like?
Re: Tokina 11-16mm
In reply to bathgate, Aug 20, 2013

Sorry if that was misleading. I really didn't mean to suggest that you have to stop it all the way down to f8 before it performs well. It looks quite good at f5.6 or even at f5. Open much wider than f4, though, and I do start to see some softness at the edges. It quickly gets worse from there to the point where the entire image is softer than I'd like when shooting at f2.8. I expect some of that.

Michael

I would check with other owners, but if memory serves, this lens is sharp at 2.8 (dead-center), and very quickly is sharp across the field by f/4 and so on...

Photozone: "The lens did not show a single significant weakness throughout the range. The center resolution is excellent, even outstanding towards the long end, and the borders are easily on a very good level at large apertures and excellent around the sweet spot at f/5.6. The extreme corners are not much worse."

Thom Hogan: "As with other Tokina lenses I've tested, this is a very sharp lens, especially in the central region, and even decently sharp wide open... One thing that gives me pause is the number of sample variation reports I've gotten from others who've used this lens, many of which were triggered by my reporting I had changed to this lens from my Nikkor. These people report sub-par optical sharpness on this lens, and I asked them to send me samples. Clearly, their copies of this lens don't perform up to the level my copy does. In at least one case, the person followed up by having their lens replaced and got something that seems similar to mine."

Ken Rockwell:  "The Tokina 11-16mm is always sharp in the center, even wide-open. The corners are softer at f/2.8, but not enough to notice in the situations in which I'd be shooting at f/2.8. I only can see it doing something stupid like shooting test charts at infinity in broad daylight at f/2.8.  The corners improve greatly at f/4, which is how this Tokina smokes the Nikon lens at f/4.  By f/5.6 the corners are perfect.

Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
BillD7000
Contributing MemberPosts: 592
Like?
Re: Tokina 11-16mm
In reply to Hisma, Aug 20, 2013

I'm happy with my lens, but I always wonder if it could perform even better.

Obviously I can't directly comment on your lens.  On a recent post, I quoted 3 other reviewers, and you can subjectively compare your impressions with theirs...

I bought one of the first copies of this lens, and it didn't seem sharp at all, plus, the AF was severely backfocusing.  A replacement had the same issues.

I was told by two Tokina techs in California that some of the early batches were not assembled properly (misaligned shims relative to lens element placement).  They also said the core assembly was not something they could fix/adjust, so the solution at the time was to just send a whole new lens.

I simply went with another product.

Having said that, one would assume that eventually things were sorted out in Japan.  When this lens performs to spec, it is supposed to be excellent, across the range...

That's what I know.

Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
Hisma
Regular MemberPosts: 154
Like?
Re: Tokina 11-16mm
In reply to BillD7000, Aug 20, 2013

BillD7000 wrote:

I'm happy with my lens, but I always wonder if it could perform even better.

Obviously I can't directly comment on your lens. On a recent post, I quoted 3 other reviewers, and you can subjectively compare your impressions with theirs...

I bought one of the first copies of this lens, and it didn't seem sharp at all, plus, the AF was severely backfocusing. A replacement had the same issues.

I was told by two Tokina techs in California that some of the early batches were not assembled properly (misaligned shims relative to lens element placement). They also said the core assembly was not something they could fix/adjust, so the solution at the time was to just send a whole new lens.

I simply went with another product.

Having said that, one would assume that eventually things were sorted out in Japan. When this lens performs to spec, it is supposed to be excellent, across the range...

That's what I know.

Thanks for the info.  I am going to try to test my lens for back-focus, as I really do think it could be sharper.  I've been meaning to do it for some time now, but never got around to it.  I believe the lens has a 2 yr warranty, so I should really get around to testing it and getting it replaced if I need to.  I wouldn't mind paying the $100 for the newer version of this lens if that's what I have to do.  Something tells me my lens could be better, judging from what those reviewers are saying.

Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
stevenjames
Contributing MemberPosts: 912Gear list
Like?
Re: Tokina 11-16mm
In reply to bathgate, Aug 20, 2013

I'm very pleased with my Tokina f2.8 11-16mm, its as good as all of my other Nikon f2.8 glass.

Steve

-- hide signature --

www.StevenJamesPhotography.com

 stevenjames's gear list:stevenjames's gear list
Fujifilm X100S Nikon D7100 Nikon AF-S DX Nikkor 35mm f/1.8G Nikon AF-S DX Micro-Nikkor 85mm f/3.5G ED VR Tokina AT-X Pro 12-24mm f/4 DX II +8 more
Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
autre_pensee
Regular MemberPosts: 203Gear list
Like?
Re: Tokina 11-16mm
In reply to bathgate, Aug 20, 2013

bathgate wrote:

klaminero wrote:

Could this be an issue of the physical dof line / circle of confusion being spherical as opposed to your flat subject?

Beats me. I've never heard of DOF being spherical. It is the "circle of confusion," not the sphere, yes?

Just a thought since I cannot tell whether it is soft or out of focus.

If you look at the images at anything approaching 100% I think you'll see that focus is fine at the center.

Thanks,

Michael

Focus is spherical because it is based on distance from the lens. The representation of a plane on which every point is equidistant from the center of your lens is a sphere. Keep in mind I am talking about the focus plane here being spherical.  but your front and near focus limits are spherical as well.

This is why the focus could be fine in the center but off at the corners. However, I dont know enough about dof values to know if that is the case here,

-- hide signature --

Nikon D7000 + 18-105 + 50mm f1.8g + 70-300 VC
SONY HX-100V

 autre_pensee's gear list:autre_pensee's gear list
Nikon D7000 Nikon AF-S DX Nikkor 18-105mm f/3.5-5.6G ED VR Nikon AF-S DX Nikkor 12-24mm f/4G ED-IF Tamron SP 70-300mm F/4-5.6 Di VC USD Nikon AF-S Nikkor 50mm f/1.8G +1 more
Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
kenju4u
Regular MemberPosts: 136Gear list
Like?
Re: Tokina 11-16mm
In reply to bathgate, Aug 20, 2013

Guess its not apples to apples but I have a Tokina F4 12 - 24 and notice similar issues as well. With higher DOF it becomes much better but whats the point of having a lens that does F4 if its not good at it on f4. I drove my self crazy thinking i had back focus issues and all kinds of craziness with testing and calibrating stuff. In the end I just go up a few F stops and its all good.

- Ken

-- hide signature --

CAMERAS :Nikon D7000
---------------------------------------------------------
LENS:Nikon 18-200 VR II, Nikon 35mm F1.8, Tokina F4 124 Pro
Flickr Photostream: http://www.flickr.com/photos/22428626@N03/

 kenju4u's gear list:kenju4u's gear list
Nikon D7000
Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
Keyboard shortcuts:
FForum MMy threads