Cool lens, but hard to realize where to use it

Started 2 months ago | User reviews thread
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wjan
wjan Junior Member • Posts: 43
Cool lens, but hard to realize where to use it

Tokina went a very interesting route here and produced a truly unique instrument. But I am afraid its characteristics are probably not aligned well with typical usage scenarios. I often want to go much wider, up to 15mm (eq.) if I am shooting wide. For me 21mm (eq.) of this Tokina is pretty limiting. And if I am not shooting wide, I want to have some reach too. So one has to really love this weird 14-20mm focal range, despite of it being so narrow and partially overlapping with standard zooms' range.

Tokina tries to advertise this lens as 3 primes in one zoom (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u8qzHn8wrDU), but I think these are only 2 at most, as no one is using e.g. both 24mm and 28mm at the same time, they are to close to each other.

I guess this lens would be so much more useful if its range would be wider. Something like 12-18mm would suite my needs better. And 10-16mm would be just perfect (I do not know however if it would be feasible from technical perspective).

Another problem with this lens is its comparative performance. I shot the same scene (landscape) with it and with full-frame Tamron 17-35/2.8-4 OSD, both on 24MP cameras, and found Tamron producing better image quality. In the image center the difference was invisible, but in the corners very much so. Considering both lens-camera combinations had about the same weight and size and equivalent light gathering ability I chose Tamron in the end. Tamron is also obviously more versatile and can be used with high-MP full-frame bodies if desired. APS-C will always lag behind in this matter.
Also one may ask if it is not better to use some lighter prime lens like Samyang 12/2.0 or Sigma 16/1.4 instead of lugging this 750 g behemoth.

So, in summary: nice lens, but hard to think about where to use it, considering more interesting propositions from competitors. Still, it deserves 4.5 stars for its uniqueness.

Pros:
- unique combination of focal length and bright aperture
- very good sharpness in the center of the frame
- little vignetting
- works with FTZ adapter on Nikon Z50 without problems
- not expensive (around 400€)
- gives perception of quality build

Cons:
- big and heavy, definitely a bad ergonomic match for entry-level cameras
- slow and noisy focusing
- focus clutch is an ergonomic disaster, on mine specimen it was stucking in the intermidiate position half the time and had to be re-engaged
- typical Tokina's glare problems with bright sources of light
- soft and "foggy" at f/2 and minimal focusing distance
- weird non-neutral bokeh

P.S. There are very little good reviews of this lens in internet, the best one seems to be from Christopher Frost (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C9nm81NkFcc).

 wjan's gear list:wjan's gear list
Canon EOS RP Nikon Z50 Nikon Z6 II Nikon AF-S DX Micro-Nikkor 85mm f/3.5G ED VR Nikon AF-S DX Nikkor 55-200mm F4-5.6G VR II +11 more
Tokina AT-X 14-20mm F2 Pro DX
Wideangle zoom lens • Canon EF, Nikon F (DX)
Announced: Dec 28, 2015
wjan's score
4.5
Average community score
4.7
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