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Tokina adds focus motor to create AT-X 116 Pro DX II wide-angle for APS-C DSLRs

By dpreview staff on Jan 27, 2012 at 20:08 GMT

Tokina has announced an updated version of its highly-regarded 11-16mm F2.8 wideangle zoom for APS-C SLRs. The AT-X 116 PRO DX II adds a 'Silent Drive-Module' (SD-M) focus motor that enables it to autofocus on all Nikon SLRs. The latest version also includes improved surface coatings (which are particularly important for wide-angle lenses) and adds a 'GMR' sensor to locate the focus element's current position, to speed up autofocus - a technology first introduced on the AT-X 16-28 F2.8 PRO FX full-frame wide-angle. US distributor THK Photo tells us the Nikon version should be available around April with a Canon version following around August.

Unlike version 1 of the lens, there is no mention of a Sony version.

 Tokina AT-X 116 PRO DX II Specifications
Focal length  11 ~ 16mm 
Brightness  F2.8
Minimum aperture F22
Lens Construction  13 elements in 11 groups
Coating  Multilayer coating
Angle of view 104 ° to 82 ° (with Nikon)
Minimum focusing distance  0.3m 
Macro maximum magnification  1:11.6 
Filter Size  77mm 
Zoom mode  Rotating zoom
Number of aperture blades  Nine 
Greatest dimension  84.0mm 
Full-length  89.2mm 
Weight  550g 
Accessories Flower-shaped bayonet hood (BH-77A) 
Compatible Mount Nikon digital (APS-C) :4961607-634349
Canon digital (APS-C) :4961607-634356


Total comments: 43
By ulfben (Nov 26, 2012)

... just noticed I posted the same link twice.

Here's the 14mm one;

By ulfben (Oct 30, 2012)

@Frostee; I shot this lens on D600 (full frame) and find vignetting creeps in *below* 14mm.

Here's one example at 14mm:

Here's 13mm;

LOVE this lens btw. Can't recommend it enough.

(seems impossible to insert images or links nowadays?)

Comment edited 4 times, last edit 6 minutes after posting
By Frostee (Oct 10, 2012)

"I have both the CANON and NIKON versions, and while neither work on a full frame sensor (5D3) they are great lenses designed for APS-C."

This is not completely correct. I too have a Canon 5D # and this lens works on it at about 15mm up. Less than this the vignette is pronounced.

I cetrainly wouldn't be advocating getting this as a dedicated lens for a full frame camera, however if like me you also have a APS-C body, it is worth knowing it can be used on full frame with this limitation.

I've been using this lens for about a year on my 7D and I love it.

By RShuster (May 7, 2012)

I have both the CANON and NIKON versions, and while neither work on a full frame sensor (5D3) they are great lenses designed for APS-C. It's so good, DUCLOS mods this exact lens for PL mount and adds an aperture control. Thing is - what if you don't have the extra $4000 for the Duclos version. What I've done (when using a Pan AF100) is use the stock Canon ATX116 and add a EF/EOS to Micro4/3 adapter with aperture control. Can someone comment on the optical difference between a ATX116/EF->MFT aperture adapter vs. the Duclos version on a AF100 with a PL mount adapter. The Duclos way to go is about $5000 more and curious if there is any difference at all in this comparison. Any at all. Even a little bit.

By AngshuArun (Mar 11, 2012)

Waiting for DX II version, hope it'll come down to a reasonable price by the end of this year.

By jaykro (Feb 10, 2012)

How much?

By thlc (Feb 4, 2012)

I am saving my money now. I currently have a Nikon D60. The lens motor would be great. But I am also thinking about upgrading to a D7000. How concerned should I be about a lens motor for landscapes?

By WordsOfFarewell (Feb 3, 2012)

Tokina needs to start to produce their lenses for K-mount as well, I would love getting this lens for startrails and such. :)

By paul13walnut5 (Feb 1, 2012)

Or we could await bench tests. My example has pretty bad extreme border fringing. Not a huge problem for my stills work, can be problematic for my video work.

I do love this solid little lens and it's UWA and f2.8 make it a great video lens, but for that damn fringing.

If they resolve it, but manage to keep everything else that is good about the mk1 then I'll have my order in.

By eyewundr (Jan 29, 2012)

If there`s a huge price difference between version 1 and version 2 then I would expect version 1 to continue to sell, at least for a while.
While the coatings on the newer lens may be a little better, version 1 is awfully good and you`ll have to look hard to see the difference.
So if you don`t need the new motor, and the price is much higher for version 2 . . . . .
The fast constant maximum aperture is one of the biggest advantages this lens has.
The narrower zoom range still offers dramatic change in field of view.
At its widest, the depth of field is so deep that an image focused on a foreground subject has a background with so little boket that most viewers don`t notice and usually photographers take a second look to pick it out.
So not a great lens for isolating a subject from the background.

By michael1234 (Jan 28, 2012)

Even for portrait lovers this could be a great addtiion. Great special effects. I used to own the first version. I am still tempted to get it but now this is awesome.

By WoodMaven (Jan 28, 2012)

I have the Tokina 11-16mm f/2.8 AT-X 116 PRO DX SD which I paid under $600 for. This lens is listed on the Japanese site for 95,500 yen ($1232), putting into the realm of high-end lenses. It's a fine lens but that's an awful lot of money just for a motorized version of a wide-angle lens that probably doesn't benefit much from the motor.

By Youngjun91 (May 2, 2012)

I'm wondering if it's cheaper to buy in the U.S. vs. Japan (which sometimes happens). Can you tell us as a comparison how much the DX I costs in yen on that website?

By StevenE (Jan 28, 2012)

This is an incredible lens. I have version 1 on a 60D, and it compares very well to my Canon 16-35 2.8 II on my 5DII. The Canon has USM and is less prone to flare. Otherwise the two lenses are both excellent.

As for the usefulness of this zoom range? This is a must have lens for video, and wide angle shots, street and otherwise, offer infinite opportunities for creative shots.

I'll buy the upgrade if the improved coatings reduce lens flare

Comment edited 19 seconds after posting
1 upvote
By brez (Jan 28, 2012)

Damn - I just bought the old version last week :S. Apart from the focus motor which I don't need, do you foresee any major improvements? Surface coatings to cut down on glare? I haven't used my new lens enough to know if that's a problem yet

By Edac2 (Jan 28, 2012)

Damn II - I just bought one at the end of December. I waited a three years to buy it, too, hoping they'd come out with a new version or the price would go down. The original is still an amazing lens, but auto focus with my D5100 would be welcome.

David J Taylor
By David J Taylor (Jan 29, 2012)

I bought the Tamron 10-24 mm instead as it /does/ have a focus motor for mu Nikon 5000, as well as a wider, more useful zoom range.

By glanglois (Jan 27, 2012)

Poor me - love to have this but I shoot Pentax for a variety of other reasons.

I cannot speak for others but this would allow me to shoot interiors of churches/cathedrals/museums stopped down to f/4 for sharpness or left at 2.8 if the interior is very dim. Many of these venues do not welcome tripods but have breathtaking wood carving and/or gilding that would greatly benefit from this.

Sigh ....

Comment edited 37 seconds after posting
By Jun2 (Jan 28, 2012)

buy a canon or Nikon.

By 88SAL (Jan 28, 2012)

Thats not the point. Pentax efforts of late in APSC cameras have been admirable, especially for the price point. The point is Glanglois shoot pentax, and wants the support it deserves. Pentax was once one of the TWO (with Nikon) great SLR producers, with Canon joining to make a trio through the golden SLR 70's.

Pentax is still a player, and deserves to be supported. CV supports pentax, thats a vote of confidence IMO.

By tkbslc (Jan 28, 2012)

I don't think Tokina cares who "deserves to be supported". They can't afford to make a production run unless they can turn a profit. There's not that many Pentax shooters out there and how many of them would buy a specialized lens like this? It's a much bigger gamble on Pentax than just about any other mount and apparently not one Tokina is in a position to make.

I guess the Pentax crowd will have to settle for the 14mm f2.8, which honestly is pretty close.

1 upvote
Joe Barnhart
By Joe Barnhart (Jan 29, 2012)

Actually, Tokina and Pentax co-design many lenses. I think their arrangement may preclude Tokina from offering Pentax mount lenses. But this is speculation on my part from the numerous examples of Tokina/Pentax lenses where Tokina does not market a Pentax mount version. I still hope to see a Pentax DA badged version of this design at some point.

1 upvote
David Kinston
By David Kinston (Jan 27, 2012)

One of the all-time great lenses! Why no review of it on this site?

By danm_cool (Jan 27, 2012)

That would make a nice complement to the Nikon 17-55 lens!

1 upvote
By IcyVeins (Jan 27, 2012)

This is a pretty unintersting lens, f/2.8 is almost never useful at such a wide angle, and the zoom range is very poor. The Sigma 8-16mm is the class of all wide angle lenses.

Comment edited 26 seconds after posting
1 upvote
By marike6 (Jan 27, 2012)

f2.8 is useful on any lens. Not everyone is a landscape photographer. Large aperture wides are great for low-light, street shooting , video. In fact, this is one of the most popular lenses for HDSLR video shooters, etc.

The Sigma lens is a slow, variable aperture lens. As such, I doubt it's the class of anything.

Comment edited 38 seconds after posting
By IcyVeins (Jan 27, 2012)

Yeah, the Sigma only has the best image quality and widest reach of any aps-c wide angle lens on the planet. That's all.

Nobody shoots street photography at 11mm, that's ridiculously wide, not to mention you'd screw up everyone's faces, in which case you might as well use a fisheye.

The Sigma lens is flat out world class, it blows this lame lens out of the water. Wide angle lenses are for still shots, not any kind of action, and god knows why anyone would want narrow dof on a wide angle shot.

Anton Marcu
By Anton Marcu (Jan 27, 2012)

I'm glad that you've decided for the rest of us that we shouldn't shoot street photography or action shots or shallow dof on a wide angle, maybe you can provide a list of subjects that you approve of. Sheeesh!!!

By RPJG (Jan 28, 2012)

Hahaha, nice reply Anton. Clearly, IcyVeins has a very narrow photography world view. Wide angles are never useful for shallow DOF action? Brilliant :-)

Adventure Image
By Adventure Image (Jan 28, 2012)

Icy veins the lens is rectilinear so there is minimal distortion. It is not like a fisheye lens at all . I have had the nikon 10.5 fisheye and i currently have this lens (1st version) and there is no comparison. The lines are straight and the faces look normal! You have to try this lens to understand it is excellent. I will upgrade to this new version.

By eyewundr (Jan 28, 2012)

I've shot many, many frames on Canon with version 1 of this lens.
f2.8 is VERY useful just before/at dawn and just after sunset.
This lens produces great urban landscape images and great wide shots of festivals, races, or any busy event, especially at slower shutter speeds for a little motion blur.
There is obvious rectilinear distortion at the widest end but easily corrected in DxO, or even Photoshop.
I don't see a good reason to replace v1 with v2 but if you need a wide zoom for APS-C I like this lens better than any competitors in this range.
'Doesn't compete with a $1500 wide zoom on full frame,

By tkbslc (Jan 28, 2012)

You don't know what you are talking about, Icyveins. This is like having a couple wide primes in the bag, and f2.8 is incredibly useful for shooting in low light. The DOF is deep regardless of aperture at angles this wide.

The Sigma 8-16 is a very dim lens. It's not the same thing at all.

By prairiewinters (Jan 28, 2012)

and in the IcyVeins line of thinking:

a 300mm lens regardless of maker is terrible because it is so bad at wide angle.

a 20mm lens is terrible because it is so bad at telephoto shots

1 upvote
By mdorling (Jan 30, 2012)

Hey IcyVeins, looking at your "uninteresting" landscapes you could do well by getting off the computer and going out taking photos.

By tkbslc (Jan 27, 2012)

As with the 12-24, all this does is raise the price for Canon users . The current Canon one already had a motor.

By 88SAL (Jan 28, 2012)


Comment edited 2 minutes after posting
By EXX (Jan 27, 2012)

And no Sony version. Bummer...

By NumberOne (Feb 4, 2012)

The Sony version was discontinued some weeks/month ago... So, as expected, the new version doesn't offer a Sony mount.
A pity, but Tokina explained at that time, that there was not enough demand to justify its production...

Best regards,

1 upvote
A Schamber
By A Schamber (Jan 27, 2012)

Never ever a Pentax version...........

By viking79 (Jan 27, 2012)

At least if Pentax would make their own version, a DA* 11-16mm f/2.8 with weather sealing would be pretty nice.

1 upvote
By tkbslc (Jan 27, 2012)

Might not happen how that Pentax is not under the Hoya umbrella with Tokina.

By viking79 (Jan 28, 2012)

I believe Tokina and Pentax have had dealings well before Hoya bought Pentax.

1 upvote
By Digitall (Jan 27, 2012)

Good news! I want to buy this lens and have not yet purchased. I'll wait a little longer.

Total comments: 43