A Heavy, Well Built Lens
AT-X 16.5-135 DX
, is a 16.5-135mm f/3.5-5.6 AF
lens designed exclusively for
with APS-C sensors
.* This lens gives the
digital photographer an ultra wide-range
that has the
equivalent angle of view
This Tokina compact super wide zoom range begins
at 16.5mm and offers the
photographer a wider
angle of view than most lenses in its class that
start at 18mm. This makes the lens better suited
for scenic and
in addition to
being a great standard lens for most general
The AT-X 16.5-135 DX’s optical design benefits
from the latest advances in the industry. Three
aspherical elements, one all glass
precision-molded element and 2 compound elements
yield high contrast. Additionally two
Dispersion (SD) glass elements correct
The AT-X 16.5-135 DX has a newly designed
high-precision mechanical zoom cam system
minimizes play and eliminates zoom creep
Good build, quick and accurate focus, Sharp photos, April 7, 2010
By Fatih Eman "Concert photographer" (Switzerland)
This review is from: Tokina 16.5-135mm f/3.5-5.6 AF DX II Telephoto Zoom Lens for Canon EOS DIGITAL APS-C Cameras (Electronics)
It is declared all over the internet that this Tokina lens as well as the 11-16mm are specifically designed for APS-C format sensor cameras. What does that mean?
To begin with, these sensors have a crop factor of 1.6, so this lens will work as 26.4-216mm a very practical range for a general purpose lens. If used with a larger sensor camera, like I did with my EOS 1D Mark III which is APS-H (x1.3 rather than x1.6) or with a full frame camera, pictures will have dark corners, particularly at wide open apertures (anything wider than f/11). But, well, with a APS-C the image is already cropped and does not show the dark corners, but this cropping I can do myself with any picture editing software. I can also ignore it, if the corner information is of no importance to me, or I can even use it to my advantage to give a special effect in certain cases. All up to you for that matter.
For the rest, the picture quality in terms of Sharpness, color detail and contrast, I would say it's no less than many lenses that cost twice as much. Very good quality really. Also, the background blurr (boquet) when taking portraits at 135mm is very nice. I also tested this lens at night with room light compared with my Canon EF 28-135, the results from Tokina were much sharper and better field depth at exactly same settings.
Also compared to Sigma 24-135, the Tokina did a better job.
The Sigma gave better, bigger (nearer) and brighter pictures in the middle (around 70mm).
Some people criticise Tokina for not including an image stabilizer, like Canon did with their 28-135mm. I did not suffer from this at all, although at 56 years of age, I'm not a great example of stable hands and shoulders. Maybe at 300mm an image stabilizer is really necessary, but in my opinion, up to 200 you would only need it in dark environment, but then don't use a f/3.5-5.6; use no less than f/2.8 lenses. Honestly you invest much better if you pay for a better f/ range than for an image stabilizer, definitely, and you get better pictures. If at all, then use it with cameras that support higher iso sensitivity, like the Canon EOS 50D.
What else shall I say about this lens? It does not creep when carried downwards. The manual focus feels like screetching a bit, but works well. The red dot indicator to mate the lens in the camera is on the inside ring. Would be more comfortable ouside it. The lens extends when zoomed to 135mm, which is not shown in any of the lens pictures I have seen on the internet.
One more important thing, at 16.5 or anywhere near, the picture edges are slightly bent, but not much. Can easily be corrected by image editing. If you point at the target horizontally, this effect is minimal. Otherwise picture qulity is very pleasant.
In good daylight, use f/8 f/11 to get better and sharper pictures, especially if your subject has depth. This is true for all lenses.
The tests I did were with both a Canon EOS 50D and a Canon EOS 1D Mark III.
I'm planning to publish some example pictures later on, so stay tuned.
My advice: You will not find such a good quality lens for this price.
I hope this was useful.