Tokina’s 11-16mm f2.8 ultra wide lens is an unknown quantity to many people. The small range of lenses that Tokina produce leads many to dismiss the manufacturer as a sub standard third party manufacturer in the same league as Sigma or Tamron. Well that is plain wrong – Tokina make exceptional lenses,, the build quality of which is up there (if not better than) most of the Nikon or Canon lenses.
The 11-16 is a true ultra wide angle lens. Even when mounted on a cropped sensor dslr such as the Canon Rebel XSi the view is really wide, so much so that it can take some getting used to. Simply pointing at the horizon for run of the mill landscape shots tends to yield boring images. Instead to get the most from the wideness you need to either get low to the ground or ensure you have strong elements in the forefront of the frame in order to lead the viewers eye right through your composition. Once you get the hang of this you will be blown away by the results.
The build quality of this lens is truly up there with the best, feeling solid and study as you would expect. The real beauty about this lens however is the f2.8 aperture. This enables you to use it in very low light conditions while still maintaining sharp images via quick shutter speeds. The sharpness is great throughout.
If Canon or Nikon were to have made this lens I am sure it would be far more popular than it is. The build quality, image quality and performance are all spot on. If you are in the market for a new wide angle lens then this may be the one for you.