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Tokina AT-X 11-16mm T3 CINE Lens Review

Tokina AT-X 11-16mm T3 CINE Lens Review - Gary Wolstenholme reviews this new Tokina 11-16mm wide-angle lens for APS-C and Micro Four Thirds cameras.

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Category : Interchangeable Lenses
Product : Tokina AT-X 11-16mm T3.0 Cine Lens
Price : £1,349
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Handling and Features
Performance
Verdict
Specification

Tokina 11 16mm T3

With the explosion in DSLRs and Micro Four Thirds cameras being used by independent film makers, there is more demand for video-friendly lenses. In response, Tokina has redesigned two of their most popular wide angle lenses for cinematic use. In this review, we'll take a look at Tokina's Cinema version of their 11-16mm f/2.8 lens. Currently available to fit Canon EF and Micro Four Thirds mount cameras, this ultra-wide angle zoom promises crisp 4K footage, has a fast T/3 aperture throughout the zoom range and costs around £1300. This lens covers APS-C and smaller sensors, including Super 35mm and Micro Four Thirds Formats. In this review we will test the optical quality of the lens using a Canon EOS 7D SLR body.

Tokina AT-X 11-16mm T3.0 Cine Handling and Features

Tokina 11 16mm T3

Weighing 680g, this lens is noticeably heavier than the non-cine version, thanks to the lens barrel being constructed pretty much entirely from metal. Even so the lens balances well with the Canon EOS 7D body used for testing. 

The geared focus, aperture and zoom rings are a pleasure to operate, needing only light pressure to move them through the range, but with the mechanism having just the correct amount of damping to stay put. Several screw holes are supplied in the zoom and focus rings for attaching a lever to allow smooth operation of focus and zoom manually, whilst filming. Unlike the more expensive 16-28mm cinema lens from Tokina, values for each control are only marked on one side of the lens.


11-16mm T3.0 Cine Lens

The minimum focus distance of 30cm is just right for shooting in tight spaces and as focusing is performed internally. A 77mm filter thread makes finding compatible accessories easy.
Tokina 11 16mm T3

Tokina AT-X 11-16mm T3.0 Cine Performance

At 11mm, sharpness in the centre of the frame is already outstanding at maximum aperture, with good clarity being produced towards the edges of the frame. Stopping down barely improves performance across the frame, with very good levels of sharpness being achieved towards the edges of the frame between T/4 and T/11.

Zooming to 13mm results in a slight drop in performance in the centre at maximum aperture, with very good clarity in the centre and fairly good performance towards the edges. Stopping down to T/8 produces the best performance for this focal length, with outstanding sharpness in the centre, and excellent performance towards the edges.

Finally, at 16mm, performance in the centre of the frame remains very good to outstanding when stopped down. Towards the edges of the frame, sharpness is fair at maximum aperture and only reaches very good levels when stopped down to between T/11 and T/16.

 

MTF@11mm
MTF@11mm
MTF@13mm
MTF@13mm
MTF@16mm
MTF@16mm

How to read our charts

The blue column represents readings from the centre of the picture frame at the various apertures and the green is from the edges. Averaging them out gives the red weighted column.

The scale on the left side is an indication of actual image resolution. The taller the column, the better the lens performance. Simple.

For this review, the lens was tested on a Canon EOS 7D using Imatest

 

Levels of chromatic aberrations towards the edges of the frame are high throughout the zoom range, exceeding two pixel widths on occasion. This level may cause issues with any high contrast subjects towards the edges of the frame.

CA@11mm
CA@11mm
CA@13mm
CA@13mm
CA@16mm
CA@16mm

How to read our charts

Chromatic aberration is the lens' inability to focus on the sensor or film all colours of visible light at the same point. Severe chromatic aberration gives a noticeable fringing or a halo effect around sharp edges within the picture. It can be cured in software.

Apochromatic lenses have special lens elements (aspheric, extra-low dispersion etc) to minimize the problem, hence they usually cost more.

For this review, the lens was tested on a Canon EOS 7D using Imatest.

 

For such a wide lens, with a bright maximum aperture, falloff of illumination towards the corners is remarkably well controlled. At 11mm the corners are only 0.9 stops darker than the centre, and at 16mm this level drops to 0.4 stops. Visually uniform illumination is achieved at T/4 throughout the zoom range.

Distortion is very well controlled for a lens of this type, with barrel distortion of only 3.3% at 11mm and 1.07% at 16mm. At both ends of the zoom range, the distortion pattern is uniform across the frame, so it should be relatively easy to correct in editing software afterwards if required.

A deep, flock-lined petal-shaped hood is supplied with the lens, which does an excellent job of keeping extraneous light that may cause flare off the front element. Strong point sources of light, such as the sun can cause flare and loss of contrast when towards the edges of the frame, or just out of the imaging area, but only under severe circumstances.

Tokina AT-X 11-16mm T3.0 Cine Lens Sample Photos

Value For Money

Some folks may think it a little cheeky of Tokina to charge extra for a lens that is virtually the same as the standard 11-16mm lens, but has some gears stuck on the focus rings. If you're buying this lens for cinema work, rather than still and have all the fancy motorised equipment for operating the geared lens rings and stepless aperture, then it could be worth the extra. Whether £900 extra is a step too far is a question only you can answer.

 

Tokina AT-X 11-16mm T3.0 Cine Verdict

Those deeply into digital video work will really appreciate the performance and handling of this lens. It produces sharp, contrasty images with relatively low distortion and falloff.

Whether the improved handling it worth an extra £900 to Canon EOS camera system users is another matter. If you have already invested in all the equipment to take advantage of the geared focus and zoom rings, as well as the stepless aperture, then it could well be worth the extra to you.

 


 
  The Tokina AT-X 11-16mm T3.0 Cine lens delivers sharp, contrast images with low distortion and low falloff.

 

Tokina AT-X 11-16mm T3.0 Cine Pros

Very good sharpness

Low distortion for the type of lens

Low falloff

Excellent build quality

 

Tokina AT-X 11-16mm T3.0 Cine Cons

Chromatic aberrations towards the edges of the frame

Could be considered expensive, especially as the standard version can be picked up for around £900 less

 

FEATURES  
HANDLING  
PERFORMANCE  
VALUE FOR MONEY  
VERDICT  

 

With thanks to Harrison Cameras for providing the loan of the Canon EOS 7D.

Tokina AT-X 11-16mm T3.0 Cine Lens Specifications

General
Lens Mounts
  • Canon EF
Lens
Focal Length11mm - 16mm
Angle of View82 - 104
Max Aperturef/2.8
Min Aperturef/22
Filter Size77mm
35mm equivalentNo Data
Internal focusingYes
Focusing
Min Focus30cm
StabilisedNo
Construction
Blades9
Elements13
Groups11
Box Contents
Box ContentsNo Data
Dimensions
Weight680g
Height89.2mm

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Comments


Niknut e2
4 542 60 United Kingdom
23 Jun 2014 4:10PM
Mmmmm ???......In the 2nd paragraph the weight is quoted as 680gms, yet in the
specification list it states 560gms ?????????

Impressive IQ in the conservatory shots !

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joshwa e2
4 600 United Kingdom
23 Jun 2014 4:12PM
Hi Niknut, this has been corrected, thanks

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