This new constant-aperture, ultra-wide lens for crop-sensor cameras goes large on zoom range and offers impressive image quality. Find out why in our Tokina AT-X 12-28mm f/4 Pro review.
During the latest stage of its 60-year history, Tokina has been reinventing itself as something of a wide-angle specialist. The AT-X 11-16mm f/2.8 Pro is a particularly well-respected lens that’s just a bit short on zoom range. That’s been addressed by the new 12-28mm f/4 lens.
This focal length range for DX bodies is well suited to street photography. With an eye on quality, the design features an f/4 widest aperture throughout the zoom range, a nine-blade diaphragm, and new SD-M (Silent Drive-Module) autofocus. Autofocus is certainly very quiet and pretty speedy, although it lacks full-time manual override.
Overall build quality is up to Tokina’s usual robust standards, the 84x90mm lens weighing 530g, and there’s a rubber ring on its metal mounting plate to guard against dust and moisture. Hoya and Kenko low-profile 77mm filters, both made by Tokina’s parent company, are compatible with the lens.
Image quality is impressive across the frame. Typical of ultra-wide lenses, sharpness drops at the extreme corners, especially if combining the shortest focal length with the widest aperture.
Vignetting is also noticeable with this combination, but it’s no worse than in competing lenses.
Sharpness is impressive throughout the zoom range at f/8, and it’s also particularly good across most of the frame at f/4.
Sharpness at f/8, 12mm: 2375
Sharpness at f/8, 20mm: 2551
Sharpness at f/8, 28mm: 2765
Chromatic aberrations are controlled well. There’s negligible colour fringing at the short end of the zoom range.
Fringing at f/8, 12mm: 0.35
Fringing at f/8, 20mm: 1.19
Fringing at f/8, 28mm: 0.75
Barrel distortion at the shortest focal length is only to be expected, but the Tokina does well to keep it to a minimum.
Distortion at f/8, 12mm: -3.34
Distortion at f/8, 20mm: -0.38
Distortion at f/8, 28mm: -0.07
Image quality verdict
High-quality glass pays dividends, ensuring that the Tokina delivers very good performance. Ghosting and flare are also well controlled.
Price: from £540, $550
Final Score: 4/5
11 common lens errors (and how you can avoid them)
How to avoid lens flare when shooting wide-angle scenes
DO or Di? Your lens markings explained
DSLR Lenses: 7 questions photographers must ask about their next piece of glass
Best 50mm lens for your camera: 8 nifty fifty lenses tested and rated