Tokina AT-X 12-28mm f/4 Pro DX £540, $500
Tokina’s recently launched 12-28mm goes further than most at the long end of the zoom range
Bucking the trend of recent ultra-wide DX zoom lenses, this Tokina gives an ‘effective’ zoom range of 18-42mm. As such, the widest angle of view doesn’t hit triple figures, topping out at 99 degrees. The relative lack of width can be noticeable when shooting but, at the long end of the zoom range, it comes that bit closer to giving the perspective of a standard lens.
Typical of Tokina lenses, build quality feels reassuringly robust. More unusually, it features a new SD-M (Silent Drive-Module) autofocus system. Autofocus is much quicker and quieter than in most Tokina lenses, although it still lacks full-time manual override. At least the focus ring doesn’t rotate during autofocus, and the ‘one-touch focus clutch’ mechanism that’s common to many Tokina lenses is retained. This enables a quick and easy push-pull action of the focus ring for switching between autofocus and manual focus.
Along with the modest maximum viewing angle comes well-controlled barrel distortion at 12mm, shrinking to negligible amounts at mid to long zoom settings. Sharpness is respectable, while colour fringing peaks in the middle of the zoom range. In terms of price, it’s much more attractive in the USA than in the UK.