Tokina 11-16mm vs Canon 10-22mm (APS-C)

Wide angle rivals

Canon EF-S 10-22mm f/3.5-4.5 vs Tokina 11-16mm 2.8

If you have an APS-C camera body – meaning 1.6x crop and want to go as wide as possible, there only few options available. On a Canon body the first choice would be of course the Canons EF-S 10-22mm f3.5–4.5 USM, but what about the less expensive Tokina 11-16mm f2.8?

There is not much left to say about the Canon EF-S 10-22mm. Its zoom range is equivalent to a 16-35mm on a full frame body. Its build quality feels solid and firm, and it has a fast and silent USM motor with a full-time manual focusing as well.

Tokina also targets APS-C dslr market. It has a slightly narrower field of view but it is almost one full stop faster than Canon. This advantage in speed didn’t come for free as it due to that lacks some zoom range. Its field of view equals to 18-26mm on a full format camera. It is well build with its outer shell made of quality polycarbonate, and the zoom mechanism made of metal.

It is well known that primes are better choice for constant focal range. Smaller zoom range lenses could and should produce more quality pictures compared to bigger zoom ranges. Find out how did  Tokina cope with Canon. Smaller zoom range, but great maximum aperture at f/2.8.

Focus

Tokina focusing speed is satisfying; some noise is noticeable but not obtrusive. Focus is precise but if you try and focus on the object several times, it tends to back focus sometimes so keep an eye on that just in case. Switching between manual focus and auto focus is rather specific. On most lenses you have a switch but here you have to push-pull the focus ring in order to change from AF to MF. This is something that we find not so practical at first and it takes time to get used to. Also you won’t be able to use full-time manual focusing like on Canon.

Sharpness

When it comes to sharpness, Tokina beats the Canon in center and corners of the image. Beside the benefit of f2.8, better sharpness is one of the main characteristics of the 11-16mm. Border sharpness on Canon 10-22 is generally good except at 22mm where they’re a little soft at wide-open aperture. Stopping down improves the quality at 10mm but at 22mm the border quality improves from f/5.6 to f/8.On the other hand, barrel distortion on a wide end is slightly noticeable with Tokina, but the real minus are chromatic aberrations for both lenses.

 

Comparison of  sharpness: Canon 10-22mm at f/4 vs Tokina 11-16mm at  f/4.0 – mouse over to compare

You can go with your mouse over picture taken with Canon to see Tokina crop at same aperture (f4.0) in small square.

Please note that we are still testing this feature and it might have small hick-ups.

If it doesn’t work you can always check:

Side by side comparison (f/4.0, f/8, f/16 and f/22)

Canon 10-22mm Tokina 11-16mm
@16mm and f/4 @ 16mm and f/4
 @ 16mm and f/8  @ 16mm and f/8
 @ 16mm and f/16  @ 16mm and f/16
 @ 16mm and f/22   @ 16mm and f/22

 

Chromatic aberrations

Chromatic aberrations as color shadows on hard contrast transitions are present throughout the range.

What we can see on this pictures is that Canon is not far behind Tokina, both lenses suffer from CA. But that should not concern you so much as there is easy and simple way to remove CA in Lightroom or Photoshop.

Default picture is Canon 10-22mm and mouse over small square is Tokina 11-16mm both at wides zoom range and f/4.

Canon 10-22mm Tokina 11-16mm
@10mm and f/4 @ 11mm and f/4

 

Specs Canon 10-22mm Tokina 11-16mm
Max Format Size APS-C APS-C / DX
Focal Length 10-22mm 11-16mm
Lens Mount Canon EF-S Canon EF
Image Stabilization No No
Maximum Aperture f3.5 – f4.5 f2.8
Minimum Aperture f22 – f27 f22
Diaphragm Blades 6 9
Elements/Groups 13/10 13/11
Minimum Focus 0.24m (9.45″) 0.30m (11.81″)
Full Time Manual Focus Yes No
Weight 385 g (0.85 lb) 560 g (1.23 lb)
Diameter/Length 84 mm (3.29″) / 90 mm (3.54″) 84 mm (3.31″) / 89 mm (3.51″)
Filter thread 77mm 77mm
Hood supplied No Yes

 

Bottom Line

The Canon has slightly less Chromatic aberrations, wider zoom range and somewhat better contra light performance (less flare).
Tokina is sharper, faster (f2.8), better built and shows less vignetting.
The Tokina f/2.8 AT-X 116 PRO DX is around $100 cheaper and comes with more accessories. If you appreciate the extra full stop throughout the range, you will most definitely choose the Tokina because you won’t mind the barrel distortions or event the CA. But if your main concern is zoom-range while you don’t have need for f2.8 and you feel devoted to Canon, EF-S 10-22mm is your weapon of choice.

Check prices for Canon 10-22mm at online stores:

 

Check prices for Tokina 11-16mm at online stores:

Some sample shots from both lenses:

Tokina 11-16mm:
The Journey Begins Here
+ cold_fire
The Greatest City in the World
Industrial Autumn

You can check more photos from Tokina here.

Canon 10-20mm:
MOVE
Exotic Bali
Alone in the Water

You can check more photos from Canon here.

About ivan

Ivan is a freelance photographer, an adventure traveler and a car enthusiast. Besides driving all around the continent and taking car shots, he enjoys action photography and has been a part of many sporting events in Europe.
  • http://mattjanaway.co.uk/ Matt Janaway

    Exactly what I have been looking for, thanks. I’m visiting Iceland soon so need a wide-angle lens with the widest aperture possible to get the best out of the Northern Lights. It sounds like the Tokina is the lens I need.

    • http://www.canon5dtips.com Tommy

      No problem Matt, we will cover many more, no matter of all tests out there, we will make, real life comparison.

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