Why does the Tokina 16-50 2.8 get such little love?


TPF Noob!
May 30, 2011
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Surrey, UK
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I am searching for a mid range zoom to replace my 18-55 and 35mm 1.8 still, I really want the new Sigma 17-50 OS but it's too pricey for me.

I have looked at some reviews of the Tokina 16-50 2.8 and it seems to be a pretty strong performer, amazing build quality and very sharp. Why does this lens draw such minor attention? The Tamron 17-50 2.8 is the one I always hear recommended and I think I may go for the Tammy due to its amazing performance at a budget price, but the Tokina seems like a great competitor especially when you take into account the build quality factor. The Tokina 11-16 2.8 seems to be the wide angle lens to go for many, but I am just mystified that the Tokina 16-50 is rarely mentioned. It seems the only major drawback of the Tokina is CA issues, which seem to affect most Tokina lenses on the market.

Tokina AF 16-50mm f/2.8 AT-X Pro DX (Nikon) - Review / Test Report - Analysis

Your thoughts will be appreciated, I am now considering this alongside the Tamron 17-50. It is also a 16mm, which means you get the 24mm equiv. wide angle view, which seems like a bonus!
I have the Tamron version for Canon.

Just based on the MTF chart, and the CA issue with the Tokina, I'd rather have the Tamron. As for build quality, it is not as good as other, but it is fine with me. The build quality is similar to my 50mm f/1.4.
It seems that Tokina just does not attract attention the way Tamron does. Maybe it's the name of the company. Seriously---Canon, Nikon,Tamron--it fits, visually, and audibly...the name might be one reason Tamron has such wide acceptance, and Tokina simply does not. I looked at the 17-50 Tamron (non VC) and the Tokina 16-50 reviews,and both seem to have similar problems, and similar strengths. Either lens would probably make a good tool for you.

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