5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars
Super wide angle, 3 Nov 2012
I received my Tokina 116 from ProCameraShop a few days ago, priced at £364. The lens has been attached to the front of my EOS 60d ever since. This review is about the lens, not the buying experience, but I'll say a few words on that front as well.
I bought this lens for several reasons:
1 - more or less universally recognised as the sharpest, highest image quality lens of the APSC ultra-wide set (not withstanding Ken Rockwell's championing of the Canon),
2 - excellent build quality,
3 - priced at same or less than all bar the Tamron lens, which is recognised in all reviews I have read as the weakest of the set in many ways,
4 - wide f:2.8 aperture.
1 - very short zoom, less than 1.5,
2 - reputation for chromatic aberration,
3 - and that's it.
So far I have put the lens to limited use indoors and out. The lens is superbly built - way tougher feeling than canon, sigma and Tamron offerings. I find the new angle of view exciting and it adds a dimension to my picture taking. The lens is very sharp indeed - notably better than the kit lens or my Sigma 18-200 os. I don't miss the extra zoom - indoors a single step forwards would give you the extra reach and out doors I think I'll either be stepping up to a much longer lens or staying within the range here.
I have found that at 2.8 images are acceptably sharp and I can get a snappy enough shutter to capture fast moving family members, at sensible ISO, and outdoors I can do what I like. Indoor test shots have worked wonderfully, and outdoors I have been able to get ridiculously sharp images with nice punchy contrast and colour. The much feared chromatic aberration hasn't been an issue - dimly visible at 100% but otherwise not.
I can't wait to get in some time making buildings loom and taking dramatic candid street captures. I will update this review after a few weeks of use.
In terms of buying, I would heartily recommend ProCameraShop - they are upfront that much of their stock is grey import, but they're UK-based and a little Web research will show how good their customer service is. If you are concerned about grey-Ness, you might like to consider how many of the sellers you are looking at now stock all genuine UK equipment only - a minority I fear.
Delivery was excellent and communications were great from the off. I will be buying from them again...
A little over 6 months on I have shot thousands of images through this lens and I love it. I use it for just about all I do - urban landscapes, family pics and street photography, and I find that you just need to get closer (I went on holiday with just this and my nifty 50 recently). This doesn't harm the images at all - quite the contrary, you just have to adapt your approach. I have attached my 18-200mm only once in all that time.
In terms of the common criticisms for this lens:
- Flare is an issue, but easily dealt with if you have a spare hand to provide a little extra shade. I have also had great fun shooting into the sun at f11 or above producing great effects with a little fill flash.
- Pop up flash does cast a shadow because of the size and angle of the lens, but shooting in daylight (pretty much the only time I use flash) this is generally not an issue as with a little thought you can lose it against some fairly bright background. Obviously, if you have external flash with you, then this isn't an issue.
- The slightly unusual manual/auto transition works well. Still not sure I wouldn't be just as happy with a switch. No sign of it getting loose or clunky in any case.
- Chromatic aberration really isn't an issue - very much overstated
- Short zoom range isn't an issue - it's rare I depart from 11mm so the option to go to 20mm wouldn't mean that much to me really.
I genuinely can't come up with any serious downsides to this lens. Recommended.