Tokina 20-35mm F2.8 AT-X 235 AF PRO A-mount lens reviews

reviews found: 8   
reviewer#10733 date: Nov-28-2012
sharpness: 4
color: 5
build: 5
distortion: 5
flare control: 4
overall: 4.6
tested on:
  • film camera:Film camera
  • APS-C: 6MP6 MP; 10MP10 MP; 12MP12 MP; 14MP14 MP; 16MP16 MP; 20MP20 MP; 24MP24 MP
  • full frame: 24MP24 MP36MP36 MP12MP12 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:Tokina 28-70mm f/2.8
Tamron 28-75mm f/2.8
Sigma 10-20mm f/4-5.6
price paid:230CAD (Used)
positive:-Build quality is exactly like the other ATX Pro lenses, heavy, metal mount and alloy body.
-Constant f/2.8 aperture
-77mm thread like most pro/full frame lenses so you can use your old filters etc.
-Comparatively low distortion
negative:-Back focuses quite a bit, had to do a -5 micro adjust for the lens to get more accurate focus. Problem is even after adjustment my copy isn't as sharp as the 28-70mm, but then again the 28-70 is notoriously razor sharp.
comment:Upgraded to a full-frame so I sold my Sigma 10-20mm, which was incredibly sharp and amazing wide angle range. The Sony/Minolta 17-35s constant 2.8 are in the 1k range, but found this little gem and had to act on it.
Shooting with the Sigma 10-20 my biggest and only real complaint is the variable aperture. When you're shooting in light situations that aren't perfect, the 2.8 is not only going to help but it makes sure you get your exposure no matter the focal distance.
The build quality I already know of from having the Tokina 28-70, so I thought it'd be a great addition as a FF lens to my kit. I'm slightly disappointed that it's not tack sharp at 2.8 like the 28-70mm is, but what's bad is if I micro-adjust the 20-35 and save that profile in my a99; the camera reads the 28-70 as the same lens and makes the same adjustments. So if I'm switching between the two lenses I have to always remember to change the micro adjust again. Bit of a pain, especially since there's no remedy for it, but overall I'm still super happy with the lens.
You can't find a constant 2.8 full frame Wide-angle zoom for under $1000, even Tokina's 11-16mm 2.8 for cropped sensors is in the $700 range.
If you can find one of these I think you'll be happy with it.
reviewer#9566 date: Nov-5-2011
sharpness: 4.5
color: 5
build: 4
distortion: 5
flare control: 4
overall: 4.5
tested on:
  • film camera:Film camera
  • APS-C: 6MP6 MP; 10MP10 MP; 12MP12 MP; 14MP14 MP; 16MP16 MP; 20MP20 MP; 24MP24 MP
  • full frame: 24MP24 MP36MP36 MP12MP12 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:SAL 18-250 (distortion only)
price paid:300 USD (used)
positive:-built (as in "like a tank")
-colour
-sharpness
-distortion and vignetting largely not an issue
negative:-passable flare control
-built (zoom ring unglued)
comment:This is a Tokina PRO lens and it does live up to this tag.

Overall remarks: This lens has a short zoom range (20-35 mm) but fast aperture (f/2.8) resulting in physically not very large but quite heavy, conical shape body. The lens is all-metal, built "like a tank", but I was surprised the zoom ring on my copy came unglued only after a month use (second hand, though). Filter diameter is 77 mm, probably a bit large to work with a flash on the hotshoe (I have not tried it). Once you start to use it, you will understand that the narrow zoom range makes perfect sense but on a full frame/film camera only. Autofocus works great on A900 (firmware 1.2). I use it at 20 mm 80 % of the time. This lens has 2 main uses: 1. Landscape 2. No flash interior and group shots inside. It has been carefully built to suit those two purposes and it performs admirably for both, especially at this price. If you use it for other purpose, in all likelyhood it will disappoint you, but it won't be lens' fault. In my opinion this is a highly specialized tool as a pro would require.

Flare: Flare control is not great but not horrendous either. There will be flare if shot directly into the sun or bright lights but those situations tend not to produce keepers anyway, so that is the least of your problems.

Distortion: Virtually free of barrel/pincusion distortion. Sweet!

Chromatic aberation: Prone to it at f/2.8 in strong light. It disappears by f/4. Someone who would shoot landscapes at f/2.8 will not get many keepers for other reasons (such as shallow dof), so that is, again, the least of your problems. For interior shots, it is hard to find the strong white highlights that can make CA visible, so not much issue there either.

Color: Simply great. Jpegs directly from camera show saturated, warm and contrasty images.

Sharpness: Excellent at f/4 and lower. Excellent in the centre, good to very good in the corners af f/2.8. To get the maximum corner sharpness at f/2.8 you would need good focusing and relatively flat subject. In such situations corners are about as sharp as the centre.

Vignetting: Even at f/2.8, pretty much none to speak of.

Summary: A great specialized tool for landscape/interior no flash shots on film/full frame. Please check the sample images uploaded, too, and make your own conclusion.



reviewer#6837 date: Jan-27-2010
sharpness: 4
color: 5
build: 5
distortion: 5
flare control: 3
overall: 4.4
tested on:
  • film camera:Film camera
  • APS-C: 6MP6 MP; 10MP10 MP; 12MP12 MP; 14MP14 MP; 16MP16 MP; 20MP20 MP; 24MP24 MP
  • full frame: 24MP24 MP36MP36 MP12MP12 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:Sigma 17-35
Minolta 28-135
price paid:299 EURO (NOS)
positive:Colours, lack of distortion, build
negative:
missing
comment:UPDATED review:

I had very frustrating focus problems with this lens on the a900 and v1 firmware. The v2 firmware appears to have fixed these and it behaves beautifully at all apertures and distances.

Colour is great. Looks like the 28-135.

Bokeh is pleasing Distortion appears very well controlled and little or no vignetting on FF.

All Tokinas appear to have the same lens ID which could be a problem if you need different microadjusts.
reviewer#6580 date: Dec-14-2009
sharpness: 5
color: 4
build: 5
distortion: 5
flare control: 4
overall: 4.6
tested on:
  • film camera:Film camera
  • APS-C: 6MP6 MP; 10MP10 MP; 12MP12 MP; 14MP14 MP; 16MP16 MP; 20MP20 MP; 24MP24 MP
  • full frame: 24MP24 MP36MP36 MP12MP12 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:-Tokina AT-X 235 AF II (20-35/3.5-4.5 version 2)
-Tokina AT-X 270 AF (28-70/2.8 first version with 72mm filter diameter)
price paid:27000 Yen
positive:-If focus correctly, razor sharp
-Tank structure, feel solid and metal
-Well MF damping
negative:-CA at F2.8
-MFD too far (a bit more than AT-X 235 AF II)
-Ext surface finish can be peeled off
comment:I've just got it last week. After done some field test in reallife situation, it performs impressively.

Many people say that this lens is very soft at wide open. Contrastly, I found that if the focus plane hit the correct position, the image will be very crisp sharp (with a bit dreamy soft effect at F2.8). For distortion, I think this lens rarely has it. Comparing to 235 AF II, distortion from 235 AF Pro is so far better than it's little brother. CA will often appear at every light situation by setting aperture to F2.8 and will be almost gone at F5.6.

In the same range as 270AF, it obviously lag behind the 270AF in term of sharpness at 2.8 and become closer while stopping down, finally as same sharpness as at F4 and above. That is only concerning of sharpness. For CA, no doubt, the 270AF beat it at every setting.

==================

UPDATE

I just finished my test of this lens against AT-X 235 AF II
follow this link :
http://www.photohobby.net/webboard/detail.php?topicid=22810

ps. I provided information in both Thai/English version. Enjoy reading.

==================

UPDATE

After I used it with my A900.
F2.8 is terrible, CA is toooooooooooooo much and can't be corrected easily. At the corner of the image is terrible too.

Ah.... I miss my old AT-X 235 AF II T_T

==================

Latest UPDATE !!!!

http://www.fotorelax.com/forum/index.php?topic=3008.0

This is my test , included with 4 others Tokinas I have.

may be difficult to read due to I'm not use any english in there. Sorry.

If you travel through website you may find my others Tokina's test. ^_^
reviewer#5578 date: Jun-22-2009
sharpness: 4.5
color: 4
build: 5
distortion: 4
flare control: 4
overall: 4.3
tested on:
  • film camera:Film camera
  • APS-C: 6MP6 MP; 10MP10 MP; 12MP12 MP; 14MP14 MP; 16MP16 MP; 20MP20 MP; 24MP24 MP
  • full frame: 24MP24 MP36MP36 MP12MP12 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:Sigma AF10-20, Sigma AF17-70, Sigma AF18-200, Minolta AF24-50, Minolta AF24-85, Minolta AF24-105D, Minolta AF28-135, Quantaray AF24 Super Wide II, Minolta AF28, Tokina ATX 17 Pro.
price paid:286 (Used)
positive:Fairly sharp wide open
Perfectly sharp from f3.5-4.5
Build quality
negative:Autofocus sluggish
Autofocus can miss in low light
comment:As others have reported this lens has pro's and con's. At first it had me in a situation of both liking it and at the same time disliking it. After being more familiar with the lens I like it a lot. It has become one of my favorite lenses and is in the same league as the Minolta AF28-135.

Pro's are constant f2.8 and ability to use it without a flash in those situations where you do not want to ruin the atmosphere by flashing lights. It is fairly sharp at the centre even at f2.8 - borders and corners are soft at f2.8. It can be used indoor with good results even without a flash.
Stop down to f3.3-f3.5 and it sharpens up - becoming close to perfectly sharp at f4-f4.5.
The lens is almost as sharp as the Minolta AF28-135 and delivers near-perfect results when stopped down a little. However, wide open the results are more than acceptable.

Build quality is perfect and color is fine (but not as saturated as classical Minolta lenses).

Contrast is a little weak/low, but it seems that the engineering focus has been on designing a lens with high resolution in image details. However, just as for the Minolta AF28-135 (that has similar slightly low/weak contrast) this issue is easily handled in PP.

My copy is sharpest at 20mm and becomes marginally softer at 35mm. Note that the minimum focus distance changes a little over the zoom range (closer at 20mm and a little longer at 35mm).

Con is the Autofocus that can be sluggish and can miss the correct focus in low light. The latter is the most significant problem with this lens as the whole purpose of having a fast f2.8 zoom ought to be the ability to use it in low light. This is especially annoying as the lens in fact is very sharp indeed - as said even sharp wide open. When the lens is used outdoor the Autofocus is fast and reliable.

Distortion is lower than expected - buildings are not bending at any length.
Flare control is average, and easy to control.

So on one hand I really like the sharpness and image details of the lens and on the other hand I'm annoyed with the inconsistent indoor focus. In spite of my critic against the con's of this lens, I'll keep it both due to the excellent sharpness and due to the fact it fills in the gab between the sigma AF10-20 and the Minolta AF28-135 (and has one stop more light than the Minolta AF24-50).

A highly recommendable lens if you can find it.
reviewer#2600 date: Aug-2-2007
sharpness: 4
color: 5
build: 5
distortion: 5
flare control: 3
overall: 4.4
tested on:
  • film camera:Film camera
  • APS-C: 6MP6 MP; 10MP10 MP; 12MP12 MP; 14MP14 MP; 16MP16 MP; 20MP20 MP; 24MP24 MP
  • full frame: 24MP24 MP36MP36 MP12MP12 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:18-70(kit)
28-75 F2.8
28 F1.8
price paid:200 USD(used)
positive:Super Fast AF
9 circular aperture blades
Sharp, Constrasty
Well made
Smooth Zoom
negative:Soft at 20mm wide-open
Cannot see distance at AF mode
Minimum focus 50cm
comment:I bought this lens at a great price.
auto focusing speed was very fast and optical quality was great on 24~35mm. Stop down to F3.5 at 20mm then you will be satisfied.

when the clutch is on MF mode. you can see the distance, but on AF mode you cannot see the distance. not a big deal...
seeing is better.

nice bokeh with circular blades.

reviewer#586 date: Mar-15-2006
sharpness: 4.5
color: 4
build: 5
distortion: 4
flare control: 5
overall: 4.5
tested on:
  • film camera:Film camera
  • APS-C: 6MP6 MP; 10MP10 MP; 12MP12 MP; 14MP14 MP; 16MP16 MP; 20MP20 MP; 24MP24 MP
  • full frame: 24MP24 MP36MP36 MP12MP12 MP
ownership:I have experience with this lens
compared to:18-70 (kit) 28-75/2.8
50/1.4, 28/2.8, 35/2
price paid:
missing
positive:Sharp, little distortion, great colors.
negative:Problems with focusing at the wide end. Gives soft pictures below f5.6 unless care it taken when focusing
comment:This is a fine lens! Care must be taken at the wide end as it back-focuses on my 7D (which is calibrated by Minolta and is spot-on with other lenses). When I first got this lens, I was very disappointed with the extremely soft results I got at 20mm 2.8. After a while I figured out that it was the AF that failed. I assume that the reason it was OK at f4 and up was because of the wider DOF. Any way, It is easy to use manual focus and compensate for this, or as I often do lock focus on an object a bit closer. The DOF is big on 20mm any way so that is easy. Of course I would really like this lens to have precise focus all the time, but it has other great qualities that compensates for this flaw. I find this lens to be used almost as much as my 28-75/2.8 because of the great results I can get from it.

Update:
I changed the focusing screen to a Haoda split screen. After doing so, focusing manually AND strange enough, even auto-focus was spot on! This sounds crazy and I have no explanation why changing the screen also helped auto-focus with this lens. Does anyone have a clue why this happens?

I found that using a UV filter gave flare problems, even if the filter used was of good quality. When I removed the filter, I god much better quality from my pictures. I have changed my ratings accordingly.
reviewer#230 date: Nov-22-2005
sharpness: 4
color: 5
build: 5
distortion: 5
flare control: 4
overall: 4.6
tested on:
  • film camera:Film camera
  • APS-C: 6MP6 MP; 10MP10 MP; 12MP12 MP; 14MP14 MP; 16MP16 MP; 20MP20 MP; 24MP24 MP
  • full frame: 24MP24 MP36MP36 MP12MP12 MP
ownership:I have experience with this lens
compared to:
missing
price paid:
missing
positive:Feels well-made, handles well, smooth zoom, quick AF (with clutch disengaged), contrasty, sharp, nice crackle finish, comes with petal hood.
negative:Slight play at lens mount...hard to tell if body or lens is out of tolerance. Small amount of play is rotational, not in the vertical or horizontal plane.
comment:I like this lens. It's better than my old Canon slr lenses as far as manipulation and smoothness is concerned.

The optical performance overall is excellent; the only fault I can see is sharpness falling off at the edges and corners when shooting wide open at 20mm. I'm sure that there are better lens around but I'm happy with this one.
reviews found: 8   

rating summary

lens image
  • total reviews: 8
  • sharpness: 4.31
  • color: 4.63
  • build: 4.88
  • distortion: 4.75
  • flare control: 3.88
  • overall: 4.49

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