Tokina 20-35mm F3.5-4.5 AF A-mount lens review by QuietOC

reviewer#44069 date: May-26-2018
sharpness: 3.5
color: 4
build: 3
distortion: 4
flare control: 3
overall: 3.5
tested on:
  • film camera:Film camera
  • APS-C: 6MP6 MP; 10MP10 MP; 12MP12 MP; 14MP14 MP; 16MP16 MP; 20MP20 MP; 24MP24 MP
  • full frame: 12MP12 MP; 24MP24 MP; 36MP36 MP; 42MP42 MP; 61MP61 MP
ownership:I used to own this lens
compared to:Tokina AF 20-35 F3.5-4.5 II
Minolta AF 20 F2.8 & RS
Minolta AF 24 F2.8
Minolta AF 28 F2.8
Minolta MC 35 F2.8
Vivitar 35 F2.8
Minolta AF 24-50 F4
Sony DT 16-50 F2.8 SSM
Sony DT 18-55 SAM I/II
Tamron 17-50 F2.8
Sony E 16-50 PZ
Sony E 18-55 OSS
Sony E 20 F2.8
Sigma 10-20 F4-5.6
price paid:74 USD (used)
positive:20 mm full-frame
negative:Lateral CA at wide end
Mild purple fringing
Low contrast
Mild to moderate barrel distortion
Lack of any sealing
Narrow zoom control and heavy action
72 mm filter size
Size and weight
Odd wide/shallow circular metal hood that is difficult to mount and store reversed.
comment:The seller listed this on eBay as being in good clean condition, but there was heavy fungus on an inner element lens element that ruined all images. The seller gave a substantial partial refund, so I took the rear elements out and did my best cleaning them. This improved the contrast greatly at 20 mm, but the previous II version was much sharper. Perhaps I messed up the reassembly. "JAPAN"

The zoom mechanism is somewhat complicated and feels quite heavy but works smoothly and fairly consistently. The front element moves forward and backward slightly with zoom reaching a minimum between 28 and 24 mm. The rear element sticks out at 20 mm and moves forward about an inch at 35 mm. The front element rotates and moves forward with closer focus.

The build feels substantial until you look closely. There are holes and gaps all over for dust and debris to enter the lens.

Even in its current condition this lens is sharper than my better copy of the Minolta AF 20mm F2.8 (RS). It is good enough on an APS-C camera that it could be used instead of an APS-C kit lens. Then again the 18-55 kit lens has better image quality with much greater reach in a smaller, lighter body.

rating summary

lens image
  • total reviews: 7
  • sharpness: 3.71
  • color: 3.86
  • build: 4.00
  • distortion: 3.86
  • flare control: 3.71
  • overall: 3.83 - Home of the alpha system photographer
In memory of Cameron Hill - brettania