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Tokina 12-28mm f/4
DX/APS-C; FX OK 18-28mm (2013-)
© 2013 KenRockwell.com. All rights reserved.

Intro   Specs   Performance   Compared   Usage   Recommendations

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Tokina 12-28mm

Tokina 12-28mm f/4 DX (intended for Nikon DX and Canon APS-C but also works great on full-frame from 18mm on, uses 77mm filters, 18.5 oz./524g, 0.8'/0.25m close focus, about $600.) enlarge. It comes in this Nikon version, as well as a Canon version. I'd get it at Adorama for Nikon or for Canon, or at Amazon for Nikon or Amazon for Canon. This free website's biggest source of support is when you use those or any of these links when you get anything, regardless of the country in which you live — but I receive nothing for my efforts if you buy elsewhere. I'm not NPR; I get no government hand-outs and run no pledge drives to support my research, so please always use any of these links for the best prices and service whenever you get anything. Thanks for helping me help you! Ken.

 

August 2013      More Tokina Reviews   All reviews

Nikon Reviews    Nikon Lenses    Canon Reviews    Canon Lenses

How to Use Ultrawide Lenses

Nikon 10-24mm DX

Nikon 12-24mm DX

Canon EF-s 10-22mm

Tokina 10-17mm DX Fisheye

Tokina 11-16mm f/2.8 DX

Tokina 11-16mm f/2.8 II DX

Tokina 17-35mm f/4 FX

 

Sample Image Files

Palm, 10 AM 02 Aug 2013

Palm. Tokina 12-28mm at 22mm, Nikon D7100, ISO 100, f/6.3 at 1/160. Camera-original © 24 MP LARGE BASIC JPG file. If you look at the original image at 100% on a typical 100 DPI monitor, the complete image printed at the same magnification would be 40 x 60" (1 x 1.5 meters)! Can you see the hummingbird? He's sitting there.

 

Fabric, 3PM,  01 Aug 2013

Macro: Lawn Chair Fabric. Tokina 12-28mm at 28mm at about 2 feet (0.6m), Nikon D7100, ISO 100, f/11 at 1/125. Camera-original ©  24MP LARGE BASIC JPG file. If you look at the original image at 100% on a typical 100 DPI monitor, the complete image printed at the same magnification would be 40 x 60" (1 x 1.5 meters)!

It's the same at the wider settings; I just didn't have a subject big enough or close enough to show performance well at 12mm.

 

Sample Image Files — on Full-Frame!!!

Palm, noon 05 Aug 2013

Palm (completely different day than above). Tokina 12-28mm at 28mm, Nikon D800E, SB-600 flash, ISO 100, f/8 at 1/250. Camera-original © 36 MP LARGE BASIC JPG file. If you look at the original image at 100% on a typical 100 DPI monitor, the complete image printed at the same magnification would be just bigger than 4 x 6 feet (1.25 x 1.9 meters)! Can you see the hummingbird? He's there again, different day.

 

Palm, noon 05 Aug 2013

Grass at 18mm on full-frame (not flat, so won't all be in focus). Tokina 12-28mm at 18mm, Nikon D800E, SB-600 flash, ISO 100, f11 at 1/125. Camera-original © 36 MP LARGE BASIC JPG file. If you look at the original image at 100% on a typical 100 DPI monitor, the complete image printed at the same magnification would be just bigger than 4 x 6 feet (1.25 x 1.9 meters)!

 

Introduction       top

Intro   Specs   Performance   Compared   Usage   Recommendations

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The Tokina 12-28mm f/4 is an ultrawide zoom with extraordinary optical performance. It has optics at least as good as Nikon's or Canon's own competitive lenses — and this Tokina sells for less and is built tougher!

This 12-28mm lens covers a broader zoom range than almost all other competitive lenses, and also focuses more closely. There is no sharper ultrawide DX zoom, nor is any other competitive lens more toughly built.

Getting to 28mm is unique in all the world. No other DX ultrawide zoom goes all the way to 28mm, which is the Perfect Normal lens on DX, equal to the diagonal of the image sensor.

Not only is the Tokina 12-28mm a fantastic performer on DX and APS-C, it is unique in performing excellently, complete with low distortion, on full-frame at 18mm and longer focal lengths. Its distortion is invisible throughout most of the range on DX and FX, unique among ultrawide zooms.

Instead of instant manual-focus override by grabbing the focus ring as on Nikon's and Canon's lenses, you can switch quickly between auto and manual focus by pushing or pulling the focus ring.

As a DX or 1.6x lens it only is supposed to work on smaller-format DSLRs, but to tell you a secret, it works great on full-frame between 18mm and 28mm.

 

Compatibility       intro      top

This Tokina 12-28mm f/4 comes in versions for Nikon and for Canon, only.

It has an internal autofocus motor, so it should work on even the cheapest Nikon DSLRs.

I'm addressing the Nikon mount version here; you may make the usual extrapolations for Canon.

This lens only covers DX or 1.6x. Used on full-frame, you'll get black corners at the widest settings, but excellent performance as wide as 18mm!

It should work fine on every DX Nikon and every 1.6x Canon.

Warning: as a non-camera-brand lens, there is never any guarantee that this Tokina lens will always work perfectly with every possible camera, especially with cameras you might buy many years from now. Neither Nikon nor Canon want any part of you using non-camera brand lenses on their cameras. This is the chance you take with off-brand lenses.

This Tokina works fine on all the Nikons on which I tried it, from my new D7100 to my 1988 Nikon F4 35mm autofocus camera. My only worry would be if it will still work with whatever new camera we buy ten years from now.

 

Tokina 12-28mm

Tokina 12-28mm. enlarge.

 

Specifications        top

Intro   Specs   Performance   Compared   Usage   Recommendations

 

Name       specs       top

Tokina calls this the Tokina SD 12-28mm F4 (IF) DX AT-X PRO.

SD: Magic low-dispersion glass.

IF: Internal Focus.

DX: Won't work on full-frame.

AT-X: Advanced Technology-seX.

PRO: Push-pull focus ring to select autofocus or manual focus.

∅77: 77mm filters.

Aspherical: Specially shaped lens elements for sharper pictures.

CE: (European) Consumer Electronics safety certified.

 

Optics       specs       top

Tokina 12-28mm construction

14 elements in 12 groups.

SD glass elements (same as Nikon's ED and Canon's UD).

Internal focusing.

Front and rear groups move inside the barrel as zoomed. The outer barrel never moves.

Multicoated.

 

Diaphragm       specs       top

Diaphragm, Tokina 12-28mm f/4 at f/5.6

Tokina 12-28mm f/4 at f/22.

9 mostly rounded blades.

Stops down to f/22.

This photo is lightened for clarity; Tokina's multicoatings are quite good and look much darker than this.

 

Coverage        top

Nikon DX and Canon 1.6x (APS-C).

It works great on full-frame from 18mm to 28mm, but isn't intended for full-frame.

 

Focal Length        top

12-28mm.

When used on a DX camera, it gives angles of view similar to what an 18-42mm lens gives when used on an FX or 35mm camera.

When used on a 1.6x camera, it gives angles of view similar to what a 19-45mm lens gives when used on a full-frame or 35mm camera.

 

Angle of View        top

99.37º ~ 54.73.º

 

Close Focus       specs       top

0.8 feet (0.25 meters).

 

Maximum Reproduction Ratio       specs       top

1:4:94 (0.202x).

 

Hard Infinity Focus Stop?       specs       top

No.

 

Focus Scale       specs       top

Yes.

 

Depth-of-Field Scale       specs       top

No.

 

Infra-Red Focus Indices       specs       top

No.

 

Aperture Ring       specs       top

No.

 

Filter Thread       specs       top

77mm, plastic.

Never moves.

 

Caps       specs       top

Tokina BH-77B Hood

Tokina 12-28mm with caps and reversed hood.

77mm front cap and rear cap included.

The rear cap is poor, and the front cap is pretty good.

 

Hood       specs       top

Tokina BH-77B Hood

BH-77B hood.

BH-77B plastic bayonet hood, included (same hood as 11-16mm f/2.8 and 11-16mm f/2.8 II).

 

Size       specs       top

3.3" (84mm) diameter by 3.6" (90.2mm) long, Nikon or Canon mount.

 

Weight       specs       top

18.490 oz. (524.2g) measured.

Tokina specifies 18.7 oz. (530g).

 

Quality       specs       top

Made in Japan.

 

Warranty       specs       top

3 years.

 

Price, USA       specs       top

$600, August 2013 (same for Nikon or Canon versions).

Tokina 12-28mm /4 box

Box, Tokina 12-28mm f/4.

 

Performance       top

Intro   Specs   Performance   Compared   Usage   Recommendations

Overall   Auto and Manual Focus    Distortion

Ergonomics   Eyeblow   Falloff    Filters

Flare and Ghosts   Focus Breathing   Full Frame  

Color Fringes     Macro   Mechanics

Sample Images   Sharpness   Sharpness (Full-Frame)

Spherochromatism   Sunstars   Survivability

 

Overall      performance      top

The Tokina 12-28mm is a tough, sharp, close-focusing ultrawide with a huge state-of-the-art zoom range and less distortion over most of the range than any other ultrawide zoom.

 

Auto and Manual Focus      performance      top

AF Speed

Autofocus is about the same as other lenses. It's not instantaneous.

 

AF Accuracy

AF is always dead-on on my D7100.

With these off-brand lenses, you may or may not sometimes need to dial-in a little AF fine-tuning. This sample was prefect for me.

Ultrawide lenses often have slightly curved fields. If you're wasting your time testing sharpness in the far corners, be sure to use magnified Live View and focus out there manually for the best results.

 

Manual Focus

Manual focus is beautiful! It's smooth and perfectly damped, and the big metal ring feels great.

 

Distortion      performance      top

The Tokina 12-28mm has less distortion than any other DX ultrawide I've ever tested. It has no visible distortion from about 14mm to 28mm, and has only the same barrel distortion at its 12mm setting as most other competitive lenses. From 16-28mm, there is no visible distortion.

Use it on full-frame, and it still has no visible distortion except at 18mm, which is the widest non-vignetting setting on full-frame.

For more exacting scientific use, plug these figures into Photoshop's lens distortion filter to correct it. These aren't facts or specifications, they are the results of my research that requires hours of photography and calculations on the resulting data.

 
DX at 10' (3m)
DX at infinity
FX at 10' (3m)
12mm
+3.5*
tbd
**
16mm
0.0
tbd
0.0** ***
18mm
tbd
tbd
+1.5*
20mm
-0.5
0.0
0.0*
24mm
-0.7
0.0
-0.7
28mm
-1.0
0.0
-1.0

© 2013 KenRockwell.com. All rights reserved.

* Some slight waviness remains.

** Vignettes.

*** Strong waviness remains

 

Ergonomics      performance      top

Tokina 12-28mm

Tokina 12-28mm.

Ergonomics are solid, with tough build quality, solid rubber grips and even a metal focus ring.

Zooming is well damped and smooth. You can zoom with moderate pressure from one fingertip, but it takes some effort. Two fingers are best.

Unlike 11-16mm lenses which do very little to the picture from one end of their "zoom" to the other, this 12-28mm covers a significant range.

For manual focus, pull the ring towards you and turn. Better than older Tokina lenses, you can just push it away from you to return to autofocus without having to align anything.

The metal focus ring and overall construction makes this lens feel much more solid than Nikon or Canon's ultrawide lenses.

 

Eyeblow       performance     top

Not much air pumps in and out as the 12-28mm f/4 is zoomed, so I can't detect any air blowing out of my eyepiece.

 

Falloff (darkened corners)      performance      top

Falloff on DX is invisible.

I've exaggerated this by shooting a gray field and placing these on a gray background:

 

Tokina 12-28mm f/4 falloff on DX, no correction.

 
f/4
f/5.6
f/8
12mm
Tokina 12-28mm falloff Tokina 12-28mm falloff Tokina 12-28mm falloff
16mm
Tokina 12-28mm falloff Tokina 12-28mm falloff Tokina 12-28mm falloff
20mm
Tokina 12-28mm falloff Tokina 12-28mm falloff Tokina 12-28mm falloff
24mm
Tokina 12-28mm falloff Tokina 12-28mm falloff Tokina 12-28mm falloff
28mm
Tokina 12-28mm falloff Tokina 12-28mm falloff Tokina 12-28mm falloff

© 2013 KenRockwell.com. All rights reserved.

 

Falloff on Full-Frame is negligible to as wide as 18mm. See my section on Full-Frame coverage for more.

 

Filters, Use with      performance      top

There is no problem with vignetting, even with thick rotating filters.

In fact, two stacked regular filters (12mm total thickness excluding rear threads) work great, even barely at the 12mm setting on DX.

Vignetting doesn't vary as focused, and stopping down just makes a vignetted area more clearly delineated.

Used on full-frame, filters will limit how wide you dare go before vignetting. No big deal; you can get to 18mm with no filter, and to 19mm with one normal filter.

Never use a polarizer with any ultrawide lens simply because the results look funny, regardless of the lack of vignetting.

The filter ring never moves.

 

Flare and Ghosts      performance      top

Tokina 12-28mm ghost

Ghost, set to 24mm and f/8 and +1 stop exposure compensation. enlarge.

Ghost and flare performance is superb.

This is an extreme example: the live disk of the desert sun is blinding through the viewfinder on the top left of the image, while I overexposed the palms in shadow with +1 stop of exposure compensation to show any ghosts or flare that might be there, and there is almost nothing; this is the worst I could get.

This is without a filter; there may be more with a filter. The better your filter's coatings, the less extra flare and ghosting it may cause in deliberately foolish conditions like this. For real palm tree shots, we hide most of the sun so we can get a better sunstars instead of a completely washed-out sky as I have here.

 

Focus Breathing      performance      top

Of interest mostly to cinematographers focusing back and forth between two subjects, the image from the Tokina 12-28 f4 gets very slightly smaller as focused more closely. This effect is minor at 28mm, and pretty much invisible at 12mm.

 

Full-Frame, use on      performance      top

It works great on full-frame at 18mm and longer as you can see at the full-frame sample image files. It's sharp, undistorted and evenly illuminated:

 

Tokina 12-28mm coverage on full-frame at f/8, no correction:

at 12mm on FX
at 16mm on FX
at 18mm on FX
Tokina 12-28mm falloff Tokina 12-28mm falloff Tokina 12-28mm falloff
     
at 20mm on FX
at 24mm on FX
at 28mm on FX
Tokina 12-28mm falloff Tokina 12-28mm falloff Tokina 12-28mm falloff

© 2013 KenRockwell.com. All rights reserved.

 

These results are with no filter; a normal filter will show a little vignetting at 18mm and none by 19mm.

If you're only going to use it on full-frame, go right ahead! It's sharper and better than most older FX ultrawide zooms, but doesn't have as large a zoom range.

Another benefit of the 12-28 working so well on full frame is that you can carry just one lens if you plan to use it on both formats, or if you plan to move to full-frame later.

See also Full-Frame Sharpness.

 

Lateral Color Fringes      performance      top

As shot on the 24MP Nikon D7100, there is no lateral color fringing, The D7100 corrects this automatically, for any lens.

As seen via Live View which probably doesn't correct this, there is a little bit of yellow-blue lateral color.

I haven't tried it on Canon, for which there is no lens profile available and on which it might not perform as well.

On Nikon, it's simply extraordinary how well it performs.

 

Macro      performance      top

Tokina 12-28mm macro performance

As shot on DX at 28mm at close-focus distance on DX.

 

Cropped macro performance

Crop from above 24MP DX image at 100%. If this is 6" (15cm) wide on your 100 DPI monitor, the complete printed image would be 40 x 60" (1 x 1.5 meters)!

This is much better than most ultrawide lenses. It gets close and it's sharp. I'm impressed.

This is at f/8. If you're crazy enough to try to shoot macro with this ultrawide lens wide-open at f/4, it's almost as sharp, but has some bluish flare as seen magnified here:

Cropped macro performance

Crop from similar image at f/4 at 100%. If this is 6" (15cm) wide on your 100 DPI monitor, the complete printed image would be 40 x 60" (1 x 1.5 meters)!

 

Mechanics      performance      top

Tokina 12-28mm

Rear, Tokina 12-28mm f/4. enlarge.

This Tokina is a tough lens, much tougher than the all-plastic offerings from Canon and Nikon.

 

Filter Threads

Plastic.

 

Hood

Plastic bayonet.

 

Hood Bayonet Mount

Plastic.

 

Fore Barrel

Plastic.

 

Focus Ring

Metal; rubber covered.

Distance markings seen behind a clear plastic window.

 

Mid-barrel Exterior

Plastic.

 

Zoom Ring

Plastic; rubber covered.

 

Aft Barrel Exterior

Plastic.

 

Internals

Seem like mostly metal.

 

Aperture Ring

None.

 

Mount

Metal. Mounts as well as Nikon's mounts, not grittier as other 3rd-party lenses often feel.

 

Markings

Paint.

 

Identity

Debossed gold-look plastic plate on midbarrel.

 

Serial Number

Sticker glued into a recess on the bottom of the barrel.

 

Rain seal at mount

Yes.

 

Noises When Shaken

Some clicking; sounds like a lot of metal inside.

 

Made in

Japan.

 

Sharpness      performance      top

Warning 1: Image sharpness depends more on you than your lens.

Warning 2: Lens sharpness doesn't mean much to good photographers.

See also Sample Image Files.

The Tokina 12-28mm is always sharp in the center and sides at all settings. This is 99% of what matters, and for this, this Tokina is perfection.

 

At 12mm and 16mm

It's perfect, even wide-open, throughout most of the image.

It's softer at 24MP in the far corners of DX at f/4. This improves greatly at f/5.6 and f/8, and is optimum at f/11.

 

At 20mm

It's perfect, even wide-open, throughout most of the image.

It's a little softer at 24MP in the far corners of DX at f/4. This improves greatly at f/5.6 and is optimum at f/8.

 

At 24mm

It's perfect, even wide-open, throughout most of the image.

It's almost perfect right out to the DX corners wide-open at f/4, and perfect by f/5.6.

 

At 28mm

It's perfect, even wide-open, throughout most of the image.

It's almost perfect right out to the DX corners wide-open at f/4, and perfect by f/5.6.

 

Here are Tokina's claimed MTF curves:

Tokina 12-28mm MTF at 12mm
Tokina 12-28mm MTF at 28mm
MTF at 12mm
MTF at 28mm

 

Sharpness, Full Frame      performance      top

Goodness, this DX lens is also super-sharp on full-frame as you can see at the full-frame sample image files. Even at 12mm where the sides are black, the rest of the image is all sharp.

On full-frame, the Tokina 12-28mm is always sharp in the center and sides at all settings. This is 99% of what matters, and for this, this Tokina is perfection.

 

At 17mm

It's perfect, even wide-open, throughout most of the image.

It's dimmer and much softer on 24MP FX in the far corners at f/4. This improves greatly at f/5.6 and f/8, and is pretty good at f/11.

 

At 20mm

It's perfect, even wide-open, throughout most of the image.

It's a little softer at 24MP in the far FX corners at f/4. It's optimum at f/11.

 

At 24mm

It's perfect, even wide-open, throughout most of the image.

It's a little softer at 24MP in the far FX corners at f/4. There is a little lateral color at the extreme FX corners. Corner sharpness is optimum by f/8.

 

At 28mm

It's perfect, even wide-open, throughout most of the image.

It's a little softer at 24MP in the extreme FX corners. Corner sharpness is optimum by f/8.

 

Spherochromatism       performance     top

I can't see any spherochromatism, which is colored fringes around out-of-focus highlights. I didn't expect to see any; this is most visible with longer, faster lenses.

 

Sunstars      performance      top

Sunstar, Tokina 12-28mm sunstars, 01 August 2013

Sunstar, set to 28mm and f/13. enlarge.

With its curved 9-bladed diaphragm, this Tokina 12-28 makes broad 18-pointed sunstars on brilliant points of light. Because each dagger is spread over a slight arc due to the curved blades, sunstars are more diffuse and less visible than the sharp daggers made by straight diaphragm blades.

 

Survivability       performance     top

The Tokina 12-28mm f/4 is pretty tough.

All zooming and focus is internal to the barrel, so beating the outside of the lens won't directly impact any of the internal mechanisms.

It autofocuses with an internal motor. If this specialized motor dies and Tokina won't fix it or supply parts, you no longer have autofocus.

It's typical that as the years roll on that this lens may or may not work on newer cameras. We take for granted that ten or twenty years down the road that our Canon EF and Nikon DX lenses will just work with the newer cameras, but it is not uncommon for off-brand lenses to have compatibility problems with some models years in the future, and that there probably will be no fix for that.

 

Compared             top

Intro   Specs   Performance   Compared   Usage   Recommendations

This Tokina is as sharp as the Nikon and Canon lenses. It costs less, and is just as good or better than the Nikon and Canon lenses.

This Tokina has less distortion throughout most of the range than the other lenses, although it's about the same at 12mm.

The Tokina 11-16mm f/2.8 lenses are a stop faster than any other ultrawide DX zooms, but have a zoom range so restricted that they don't really seem to zoom at all! They only go as long as 16mm, which is still on the wide side of this 12-28mm lens.

This Tokina 12-28mm focuses more closely than any of the other Tokina or Nikon ultrawides. Only the Canon 10-22mm gets as close.

Nikon's 12-24mm is a precise, tough semi-pro lens.

Nikon's 10-24mm is a dinky made-in-China consumer lens. It's optically and ergonomically excellent, but costs more and feels more cheaply made. The Nikon 10-24mm does have a similarly broad zoom range, with both ends wider than this Tokina. The Nikon 10-24mm has a lot more distortion, but Nikon cameras often can correct for this.

Canon's lens is wonderful, and much lighter weight than any of the others. If you want a tough lens, go for this Tokina, or get the Canon for light weight.

 
Filter
77mm
77mm
77mm
77mm
77mm
77mm
Filter Ring
Plastic
Plastic
Plastic
Plastic
Plastic
Plastic
Manual focus switch
push/pull ring
push/pull ring
push/pull ring
just turn ring
just turn ring
just turn ring
Diaphragm blades
9 curved
9 straight
9 straight
7 curved
7 straight
 
Close focus
0.8'/0.25m
1'/0.3m
1'/0.3m
1'/0.3m
0.8'/0.24m
0.8'/0.24m
Max Repro Ratio
1:4.94
1:11.6
1:11.6
1:8.3
1:5
 
Made in
Japan
Japan
Japan
Japan
China
 
Weight
18.5 oz.
524 g.
19.2 oz.
544 g.
19.3 oz.
548 g.
16.2 oz.
461 g.
16.3 oz.
463 g.
13.6 oz.
385 g.
Price, 9/2012
n/a
Price, 8/2013

For use on full-frame, this DX lens works very well, in fact at 17mm, it's sharper than the Tokina 17-35mm f/4 FX, and has less distortion throughout the range, too!

 

Recommendations       top

Intro   Specs   Performance   Compared   Usage   Recommendations

 

Overall

Optically, this Tokina lens in unsurpassed. I've not tested a sharper DX ultrawide, and it has less distortion and focuses as close or closer than the others, too. If you simply want the best optics, toughest package or most practical zoom range, get this Tokina — and it costs less!

10mm or 11mm is nowhere near as useful as having a lens that goes all the way to 28mm. Few people are able to use 10mm or 11mm lenses properly on DX or APS-C cameras, while the range to 28mm is extremely useful as a normal lens.

Make your choice on ergonomics: do you prefer to move the focus ring forwards and back, or just move the focus ring with a fingertip for manual focus override? For fingertip override, get Canon or Nikon's lenses, and to move the ring back and forth, get this Tokina.

If your choice is for the sharpest and least distorted optics, just get this Tokina and don't look back.

Buying this Tokina lens, you won't be left scratching your head, wondering how you just got ripped-off paying for a plasticy lens from Nikon or Canon. Heck, Nikon's 10-24mm is made in China.

 

For Nikon

Shooting Nikon, I'd get this Tokina if you want a tough lens. The Nikon 10-24mm feels weak and cheap, even if its optics are great. The 2003-era 12-24mm Nikon is the only tough lens from Nikon or Canon, but it's very expensive. If money doesn't matter, get the Nikon 12-24mm; if you want a broader zoom range or if money matters, get this Tokina.

 

For Canon

For Canon, the choice is simple. If you like to keep all your lenses as pure Canon brand, stick with the Canon 10-22mm - but it won't even mount on Canon's full-frame cameras. If you want light weight, get the Canon 10-22mm. If money or toughness matter more, get this Tokina.

 

Versus the Tokina 11-16mm

I would pass on the Tokina 11-16mm f/2.8. You get an additional stop of speed which isn't needed anymore with the insanely clean high ISOs of today's digital cameras, and the 11mm end isn't that much different from 12mm. However, the huge zoom range you get with this 12-28mm makes it much more useful. I would get this 12-28mm in an instant; I have no real need for 11mm or f/2.8 when the 28mm end of the 12-28mm lets me remove another lens from my bag.

 

For Full-Frame

While it works great on full-frame, I wouldn't suggest this 12-28mm lens for use on full-frame unless I also planned to use it on DX simply because of its restricted zoom range (18-28mm) on FX. 18-28mm isn't much of a zoom range (of course on DX it works from 12-28mm which gives the equivalent angle of view as an 18-42mm lens on full frame).

On full-frame, the Nikon 16-35mm VR or Canon 17-40mm L have far more useful zoom ranges. For FX if money matters, I'd suggest the Nikon 20mm f/2.8 AF-D or Canon 20mm f/2.8 USM over this lens. These fixed lenses are faster, smaller, lighter and less expensive to cover effectively the same limited focal length range.

This Tokina 12-28mm is a tough, sharp lens for Nikon or Canon. It works at least as well as either Canon's or Nikon's lenses, for less money in a tougher package. This Tokina is a winner.

 

Don't worry about the price

Whatever lens you buy, it will still be working for you on your next DSLR, and the next. For instance, Nikon's top pro FX ultrawide zoom today is their 17-35mm f/2.8 AF-S, which I bought back in 1999. 14 years later, it's still Nikon's top pro FX ultrawide (the 16-35 is a consumer lens), long after I've forgotten the price I paid in 1999.

I don't suggest paying a lot for a digital camera, since they are disposable, but lenses should last decades. Don't cheat yourself out of the lenses you deserve; they will serve you a long time.

See Lens versus Camera.

 

Thank You!

If you've found my research helpful, know that no one pays me to write and share these reviews. I receive nothing for all my effort and expense if you take my help and foolishly risk buying at retail. My main source of support for this free website comes from when you get your things at any of these links, and if you get this lens, if you use this link to the 12-28mm at Adorama in Nikon mount or Canon mount, or at Amazon for Nikon or Amazon for Canon. Thanks for using any of these links to get the best prices and best service whenever you get anything. You save time, money and trouble, and it supports me to keep adding more information and reviews for everyone's benefit. Everyone wins, so thanks again for helping me help you! Ken.

 

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Tokina's page on the 12-28mm.

 

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