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

reviewer#39949 date: Oct-6-2017
sharpness: 4
color: 4
build: 3
distortion: 4
flare control: 4
overall: 3.8
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 F4-5.6Samyang 12 F2
Rokinon 16 F2
Sony E 16 F2.8
Sony DT 16-50 F2.8 SSM
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
Tamron 17-50 F2.8
Sony E 16-50 PZ
Sony E 18-55 OSS
price paid:90 USD (used)
positive:20 mm full-frame
Center sharpness wide-open
negative:Lateral CA at wide end
Mild purple fringing
Low contrast
Warm color cast
Mild to moderate barrel distortion
Lack of any sealing
Narrow zoom control and heavy action
77 mm filter size
Size and weight
comment:The seller listed this on eBay as being in near mint condition, but the lens has several problems including visible rust. The aperture mechanism and focus ring were both stuck hard. After some pushing and wiggling just one of the aperture blades is still stuck half way open. The focal length encoder is also not functioning, and the hood is missing. The optics however do seem to be in very good condition. "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 77 mm filter threads are stationary with both zoom and focus.

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

My closest comparable lens is my former Minolta AF 24-50mm F4. The Tokina has somewhat better image quality at the same focal lengths. It is pretty similar to the 20mm F2.8 at 20 mm and noticeably wider than that lens. It is better than the old 35mm F2.8 lenses at 35 mm. 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 lenses have better image quality with much greater reach in smaller, lighter bodies.

rating summary

lens image
  • total reviews: 12
  • sharpness: 4.58
  • color: 4.50
  • build: 4.83
  • distortion: 4.17
  • flare control: 4.17
  • overall: 4.45 - Home of the alpha system photographer
In memory of Cameron Hill - brettania