Tokina 12-24 f4 vs Nikon 12-24 DX f4?

Started Sep 9, 2011 | Discussions thread
(unknown member) Veteran Member • Posts: 3,484
Re: Tokina 12-24 f4 vs Nikon 12-24 DX f4?

John Fleming wrote:

3.) The build quality is solid.

I have to disagree with your last point...

When it came time for me to add a DX lens to my stable of Nikkor lenses that were purchased over a 30 years period I naturally considered the Nikkor 12-24 to be the logical choice.

Unfortunately, the Nikkor 12-24 reminds me of the original Nikkor 180 2.8 AF lens: a plastic exterior with inferior focusing dampening. The Nikkor 12-24 zoom dampening just doesn't cut the mustard for me. It wasn't surprising to me that Nikon replaced the first generation 180 AF within a year or so with a metal exterior and improved manual focusing dampening.

The Nikkor 12-24 has slightly better optical quality, but as mentioned previously the increased CA and distortion of the Tokina can be easily fixed in post processing. Minimizing flare is easy to accomplish with proper technique, something that I do with all my lenses anyway...

Frankly, the Nikkor simply feels cheap to me. The Tokina feels and handles like a $1000 Nikkor should. I have a bunch of fast prime Nikkors and 2.8 zooms and the Nikkor 12-24 simply pales in comparison build-wise.

The only Nikkor lenses that I own that come close to the 12-24 in reduced build quality are my Series E 75-150 and 85 1.8 AF. Of course, both lenses have very good optics and cost considerably less than a Nikkor 12-24. (The Series E 75-150 cost around $110 when it was introduced. I purchased a mint-condition used 75-150 a number of years after it was discontinued for around $185 and I considered it to be a very good deal.)

I have used my Tokina 12-24 for five years for professional use and it has never let me down. It's still the only non-Nikkor lens in my bag, it is my most-used lens and one of the best photography gear deals in my experience.

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