Tokina 20-35mm F2.8 AT-X 235 AF PRO A-mount lens review by 3.0

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: 12MP12 MP24MP24 MP36MP36 MP42MP42 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.

rating summary

lens image
  • total reviews: 9
  • sharpness: 4.33
  • color: 4.56
  • build: 4.89
  • distortion: 4.78
  • flare control: 3.89
  • overall: 4.49 - Home of the alpha system photographer
In memory of Cameron Hill - brettania