Tokina 17mm F3.5 AT-X 17 AF A-mount lens review by QuietOC

reviewer#44176 date: Nov-17-2018
sharpness: 3
color: 4
build: 3
distortion: 4
flare control: 3
overall: 3.4
tested on:
  • film camera:Film camera
  • APS-C: 6MP6 MP; 10MP10 MP; 12MP12 MP; 14MP14 MP; 16MP16 MP; 20MP20 MP; 24MP24 MP
  • full frame: 12MP12 MP; 24MP24 MP; 36MP36 MP; 42MP42 MP; 61MP61 MP
ownership:I have experience with this lens
compared to:Sigma 10-20 F4-5.6
Sigma 12-24 EX DG HSM
Samyang 12 F2
Rokinon 16 F2
Sony E 16 F2.8
Tamron SP 17-35 F2.8-4
Samyang AF 18 F2.8 FE
Sigma 19 F2.8 DN Art
Sigma 20 F1.8 EX DG
Sony E 20 F2.8
Minolta AF 20 F2.8 & RS
Tokina 20-35 F3.5-4.5 I & II
price paid:Shipping cost (used)
positive:Rectilinear ultra wide
135 format full-frame
Minimal barrel distortion
Wider than Minolta/Sony 20 F2.8
negative:Size & weight
Purple fringing
Chromatic aberration
Warm color cast
Raspy focus mechanism
Not wider than 18 mm zooms
comment:A clean copy with original caps and hard case. Part of a trade of a Sigma 50-150 F2.8 to Photosopher for this lens and a Minolta AF 28 F2. We ended up returning these to each other.

It uses a simple unit focus design like most Tokina lenses. The filter threads do not rotate but do extend. It is similar in size to the Minolta/Sony AF 20 F2.8. The fixed metal hood petals are similar in size to those on the removable hood of the Minolta/Sony 20 F2.8 but about a centimeter narrower. It shares the 72mm filter size with that lens and the original Tokina AF 20-35 F3.5-4.5. It borrows the lens ID of the Minolta 28-85 F3.5-4.5. "JAPAN"

There is a directional glow on high contrast edges wide-open (coma) on this copy indicating an alignment problem. It has better contrast than the 20-35 F3.5-4.5 zooms but less resolution. It has much less distortion than the 20-35 at 20 mm or the Minolta/Sony AF 20 F2.8 or the 18-x zooms. The focus plane is not as flat as the Minolta/Sony 20 F2.8. It has a much warmer color cast than the Minolta primes.

The angle-of-view is narrower than APS-C 18-x zooms. The image quality is not as good as the 18-55 APS-C kit zooms. The little Sony E 16 F2.8 pancake lens is much wider and much sharper wide-open in the center. This is the worst ultra wide lens I have tried so far.

rating summary

lens image
  • total reviews: 14
  • sharpness: 4.64
  • color: 4.71
  • build: 4.64
  • distortion: 4.36
  • flare control: 4.29
  • overall: 4.53 - Home of the alpha system photographer
In memory of Cameron Hill - brettania