Tokina 11-16mm Review

Probably my most thorough lens review yet with lots of example shots.


I am reviewing the Tokina 11-16mmF/2.8 Pro AT-X116DX f/Canon version lens. I am going to discuss:

  1. Price,
  2. Show lots of b-roll I have shot, what this lens is good for,
  3. Sharpness test,
  4. Speed of focus,
  5. Build quality,
  6. Which cameras this works well for.

This is probably my most thorough lens review I have done.


tokina-11-16I would say like to say I am not Scott Bourne, if you don’t know who he is you should start listening to his podcast ‘photofocus’. I don’t own as many lenses as Scott does, so this review will be geared towards amateurs like myself that are on a budget.

First off, wow look at all these reviews of this lens on B&H, which is a ton for a 3rd party lens! I have high expectations. Better be good at $600 which is only $75 cheaper than the price of my camera. They say you should invest in your glass and not the camera body, I hope they are right!

But you really need to put this in perspective because if you wanted to buy something similar like the Canon Super Wide Angle EF 14mm f/2.8L II USM it goes for $2,220!

Isn’t pretty much all of Tokina and some of Canon’s glass all come from Hoya anyway?

I know a ton of people are searching for the Tokina 11-16mm on Craigslist to find an even cheaper used price. I looked in my area but no one was selling this lens used, they must like it too much to give it up.

Examples of What do you use it for?

Check out this shoot I got on the ski slopes, before I got kicked off, I love how dramatic the distortion of a wide angle gives you.

A wide angle lens like this has lots of uses, real estate videos, landscape, bathroom scene with knife. There is now way you could do a bath room scene like this with anything less than a 20mm.

2.8 is fast glass, so it is good for low light shooting where you need a fast shutter speed to capture the action for stills.

Constant aperture so you can zoom while you are filming.

With wide angle I hear from Trey Ratcliff say that f4 f5 everything is in focus after a few years, and I have say he is right.

Sharpness Test

Unfortunately Lightroom does not have a lens profile for this lens yet, I found a profile that someone else made perhaps I can install it.

Lightroom zoom in on corners to see if it is sharp. It is not as sharp in the corners but I hear that is a common trait of wide angle lenses.

Speed of Focus

Some of the expert photographers talk about how 3rd part lenses can’t focus as fast as Canon or Nikon, so I wanted to test this out.

Here I am comparing the speed of how fast this lens can focus by focusing out side for a far distance and then inside much closer, I am comparing it to my Canon 28-135mm. it sound like they can focus at the same speed.

Build Quality

Everyone talks about build quality I am very careful with my lenses. Not a pro so heavy is not good for my neck,  might get very old on vacation.

My friend who also owns a T2i borrowed this lens and he could get over how well built the lens felt and how wide it got, he kept saying, “I got to get one of these!”.

Which camera will this work well on?

You will get full use out of this lens on your Canon crop sensor. Look at the label on box. I bet this would not work well on the 5d because it would vignette at down at 11mm.

Other Info

Filter size is 77mm.

It has a 3 year warranty.

Caboose in Broomfield Colorado

Driving at night with the Tokina 11-16mm by Dave Besnette as I drove

Tokina 11-16mm - First Test Shot

Buy Yourself Something Nice – you deserve it!

If this review was informative enough for you to consider buying this lens, please consider supporting my site by purchasing your lens from B&H Photo Video through this link, it does not cost you anything extra and B&H usually has the best prices around.

If you do buy this lens, please send me an email and let me know what you think.

B&H is where I have purchase a lot of my own gear. They are also nice enough to loan me gear so I can get more experience and pass that on to you.