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Tokina 17mm f/3.5 AT-X 17 AF PRO

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16 109736 Dec 20, 2016
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100% of reviewers $279.00
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Name: Tokina 17mm f/3.5 AT-X 17 AF PRO Aspherical
Image Circle: 35mm
Type: Wide Prime
Focal Length: 17mm
APS Equivalent: 1.5x: 25.5mm; 1.6x: 27.2mm
Max Aperture: f/3.5
Min Aperture: f/22
Diaphragm Blades: 7
Lens Construction: 11 elements in 9 groups, including 1 aspherical element
Diagonal Angle of View
(Based on image circle): 103.7 degrees
Focus Details: Internal with Focus Clutch mechanism
Front Element Rotation: No
Zoom System: n/a
Closest Focus: 0.25m / 9.8 in.
Magnification Ratio: 0.11x / 1:9.5
Filter Size: 77mm
(Length x Diameter): 57mm x 84mm / 2.2 in. x 3.3 in.
Weight: 435g / 15.3 oz.
Notes: Available AF Mounts: Canon, Minolta, Nikon; Included Accessories: Flower type lens hood
Online Price: US$370


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Registered: Dec 20, 2016
Location: Belgium
Posts: 0
Review Date: Dec 20, 2016 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $250.00 | Rating: 9 

Pros: Sharp, compact, cheap, light, well built, no flare or vignetting, AF, 77mm filters
No IS, but for this price you can't complain! :-D

I sold my Canon 16-35 f4L IS for this lens, it's the second time I have this Tokina and again, it's a pleasure working with it (sharp, compact, light, well built, no flare or vignetting) and it accepts 77mm filters.

Reason is that I don't want to spend much money on UWA's anymore.
Especially if they are only f4 for a high pricetag.

First I planned to buy the Venus Optics 12 2.8 Zero D, but the price was too high for a manual lens and it takes too long for a release.
As I love the Sigma & Canon 15 2.8 fisheye primes (also compact, sharp, lightweight and relatively cheap).

As I like to have autofocus (so no Samyang/Zeis) there aren't many options for affordable UWA primes.

I had to choose between the Irix 15 2.4, Tamron 14 2.8 of 2003 (unfindable secondhand) and this Tokina (1999-2005).
Luckily this lens if often on Ebay, so I rebought it for only 250$, a quarter of the price of the Canon 16-35 f4L IS & Laowa Venus Optics of 999$ !!!

I hope in future lens manufacterers will make more UWA primes with AF for affordable prices as it's almost a niche!

Dec 20, 2016
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Registered: Nov 19, 2014
Location: United States
Posts: 182
Review Date: Dec 4, 2014 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $375.00 | Rating: 9 

Pros: Sharp, solid build, decently fast AF, cheap
soft in corners wide open, loud AF

by stroke of faith, i own both the old version with fixed metal hood ($275), and new crinkle finish with plastic hood ($375). No noticeable difference in sharpness. Very sharp stopped down, I use this for surf photography and find the AF is fast and accurate at f8-f11 (my range for the surf). Super solid build in both lens, heavy, better than many non L canon build. AF is noisy for both version of my lenses. Hood really does nothing. Some prefer the AF to MF toggle of the new lens, but I much prefer the switch on the old one. Can say much for a comparison to the 17-40 L as i do not own it, but as far as this lens goes, I've always been happy with the results. Very pro-like lens.

Dec 4, 2014
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Registered: Sep 3, 2014
Location: N/A
Posts: 0
Review Date: Sep 3, 2014 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $525.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: Very sharp, no flare, ultracompact, super lightweight, cheap price, built quality as a tank!

This lens is a hidden gem, it's not for sale anymore but it delivers! If you are lucky you can still find a copy on Ebay.

It's extremely sharper than my previous Canon 17-40L & 16-35 2.8L II corner to corner at only a fraction of the price!

Tokina is an underestimated professional brand with superb value, they should produce more and start a bigger market strategy!!!

Their second best uwa prime is the Tokina 16-28 f2.8, but this one has some disadvantages (althought optical also sharp corner to corner), it's flare sensitive, extremely heavy and accepts no filters.

Man, this compact prime here is a joy to use and what a price, Canon's 17-40's, 16-35's are really embarrased here, they should stop selling them!

Sep 3, 2014
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Registered: Oct 15, 2010
Location: Canada
Posts: 3304
Review Date: Apr 13, 2012 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $300.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: small size, build quality, super sharp, AF is pretty quick, PRICE, VALUE!
Weird clutch for mf/af, but not a big deal at all.

I bought this lens to compliment my Canon 16-35 2.8 II L, and I'm completely blown away by this little beauty. I use it on my 5DII, and I am blown away by how sharp the corners are at any aperture compared to the zoom. The contrast and sharpness are excellent, and these are two very important factors for me.

The lens does have a little bit of CA on high contrast edges until f5.6, but they are easily fixed in LR. After f5.6, the lens shines...The CA is insignificant IMO.

The biggest surprise is the lack of vignetting of the lens. Its sweet!

Apr 13, 2012
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Registered: Jun 19, 2010
Location: United States
Posts: 3
Review Date: Feb 28, 2012 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

Pros: Outstanding Performance at a reasonable price
No longer made

First off - I think there are a couple of Tokina 17mm lenses that have similar names, but are not the same lens, at least physically. My lens looks like the one pictured on this review page.

I bought mine new as NOS from Sammy's about 3 years ago. I don't remember what I paid, but I think it was somewhere between $250 and $350.

This lens is an absolutely unbelievable value. I just tested it against a Canon 17-40mm L at 17mm and it's so much better in almost every way compared to my copy of the Canon that it's actually embarrassing! Sharper in the center - though both lenses are very critically sharp. Sharper across the middle frame - noticeably is some parts - and so much better in the corners that it's a joke. I bought the Canon 17-40 hoping to simplify my kit for some upcoming travel - but it looks like my WA primes are not going to a new home and will hit the road with me once again.

I'm a long time Zeiss fan and rented the 18mm Distagon ZE in 2010 to compare with the Tokina 17mm. The Zeiss is a better lens and I'll likely purchase one some day, but the Tokina is close enough in performance to the Zeiss that I'm not in any hurry to switch and will put my money into more meaningful upgrades in the meantime. BTW - the Zeiss 18mm Distagon ZE is an outstanding lens in spite of it's poor rating on this site. Rent one first if you are seriously interested and make up your own mind.

Back to the Tokina 17mm. This is a well built lens. I use mine almost exclusively as a MF lens, but the AF works just fine on both my 5D bodies. At f/8 my copy produces stunning 14" prints, excellent to excellent+ 20" prints and very good 30" prints. I come from a large format background and sell prints of my work for a living - so I'm quite critical. I also do color, BW and IR imaging - all of which this lens does very well.

Distortion is well controlled, particularly in comparison to the Canon 17-40, though I discount this because simple distortion (as with the Tokina) can be corrected in PS or similar and complex distortion (as with the Canon 17-40) can be corrected in DXO.

In summary: I love this focal length on a FF body and don't believe there is a better value out there for the EOS mount. For that matter, I'm not sure you can buy a lens of this approximate focal length that performs even equally as well for under $1000. If 10 is the top of our scale for performance - I'm giving this a 9.5 based on my 30+ years of experience and an 10 overall because of it's solid construction and outstanding value. I've also decided to keep this lens as long as I stick with the Canon bodies because even when I eventually get the Zeiss 18mm Distagon ZE (or ?), having this lens as a backup or mounted on a second body will be much more valuable to me than the couple of hundred dollars I would get for selling it.


Feb 28, 2012
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Manuel Barrera
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Registered: Sep 28, 2006
Location: United States
Posts: 27
Review Date: Feb 26, 2010 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $250.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: compact, built like a tank
if I have to mention something, lack of hsm type focus

I sold my 17-40 L when I purchased this lens, the lack of distortion compared to the 17-40 was amazing. This lens does well on digital but really seems to shine when used with good quality film. I have had this lens for about three years now.

Feb 26, 2010
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Registered: Mar 6, 2008
Location: United States
Posts: 3458
Review Date: Oct 29, 2009 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $220.00 | Rating: 9 

Pros: Low Price, Low Distortion, Flare Resistance, Decent IQ
Only Decent IQ, Cheap Lens Cap & Hood, Quirky AF/MF Clutch Mechanism

I picked up this lens very recently for use on a Canon 5D and so far I'm very pleased.

When I unpacked the lens, I was pleased with the decent build quality and heft of the lens. I was also pleased to see that it is a relatively compact lens.

Attaching the lens hood for the first time, I was a little turned off. It doesn't have an easy, satisfying click like the hoods on my Canon brand lenses. It sort of feels like it's being forced onto the lens. The lens cap is useless if the hood is on as well because of the release buttons being at the very edges of the lens. A center-pinch lens cap would have been a smarter, more user-friendly design.

The lens sports a fairly fast aperture of f/3.5 which does very little to boost it's value as it's essentially useless at f/3.5 due to softness, especially at the corners, and vignetting. Stopped down to f/8 or f/11 this lens performs well. The vignetting is nearly gone, if not gone completely and the lens is acceptably sharp throughout the frame with some softness at the extreme corners.

This lens wont win any races as far as focus speed is concerned, but it's not slow either. Going from its closest focus distance to infinity takes a moment, but I think it speeds up a little in bright conditions. Speaking of focus, if you want to manually focus this lens, you've got to push the focus ring into MF mode to engage it and then slide the switch close to the camera body to MF just as you would on any other lens. Why Tokina has chosen this method, I don't know, but I've heard mention of it in regards to other Tokina lenses as well. For the money, it's a small quibble and if you're using this lens on a Nikon body (or others, I'm sure) I don't think you'll have to engage both buttons, just the focus ring. However, the focus ring is positioned nicely towards the end of the lens and feels good, but it's a little loose for my taste and doesn't give much resistance so it makes it a little hard to focus manually. With this being such a wide lens and me using it mostly at smaller apertures (f/8, f/11, etc.) I tend to trust the accuracy of the AF.

Perhaps this lens' best attributes are its extreme resistance to flare and it's low distortion. I get almost no flare when shooting into the sun with the sun in the frame and the lens holds colors and contrast well in these situations. The low distortion is a huge factor in the value of this lens for me. I get virtually no barrel distortion, even with vertical or horizontal lines at the extreme edges.

Given that there are very little alternatives for this lens save for a Tamron Adaptall version, a Canon TS-E (10x the price) and a couple of Olympus and Zeiss options (easily 2-5x the price), it's kind of gotten itself into a little niche that makes it more desirable than it probably normally would be. In comparing it with the Canon 20-35 USM and Canon 20/2.8 USM, the Canon wins in terms of sharpness across all apertures and focus speed, but other than that, I think the Tokina takes the cake. Much less distortion and at a few degrees wider, it's, to me, the clear winner.

Don't hesitate if you can get your hands on one of these. I don't see them too often, but they seem to hold their value well. I'm sure if you put $200 into it and decide it's not for you, you'll get your $200 back out of it. At least until someone decides to make something to compete.

Oct 29, 2009
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Registered: Mar 9, 2009
Location: United Kingdom
Posts: 0
Review Date: Mar 19, 2009 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

Pros: Cheap - Sharp - Great contrast - Small - a fantastic walking lens on a FF or 1.6x Crop body

I bought this lens used off a friend - I'd seen images he'd taken with it and when he mentioned he was selling it to buy a Canon 17-40 'L' zoom, I snapped it up.
I'm not a landscaper or an interior designer, I just use it to take wide snapshots whilst walking. for this purpose its the best I've owned
The colours are fantastic, as is the contrast and even wide open the lens is sharp enough even fitted on a FF body, there's some vignetting but IMO this suits such a wideangle lens.
It's the only wide angle/standard lens in my bag so this say's just how good it is.
So go try/buy one - NOW!!

Mar 19, 2009
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Registered: Jan 28, 2009
Location: United States
Posts: 5
Review Date: Mar 15, 2009 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $225.00 | Rating: 7 

Pros: surprisingly sharp in the center, good color rendition, solid feel
blurred in the corners (FF, but this is probably an issue with 95% of available WA lenses), awkward to switch from AF to MF

This is the first lens I tried on my Canon 5D. The center sharpness and colors were so fantastic, all I could think was, "Wow, I can't wait to get a good lens on this camera!" Except it then turned out that as I added lenses to my collections, most or all were hard-pressed to match the overall performance of the Tokina. So it is, after all, a good lens. I give it a 7 overall because the extreme corners are blurry no matter how small an aperture I shoot, and my copy is difficult to shift from AF to MF.

Mar 15, 2009
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Registered: Sep 21, 2006
Location: Ireland
Posts: 6
Review Date: Oct 18, 2007 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 9 

Pros: cheap sharp and great contrast use it all the time on my 400d on landscape even though i own a 17-40 f4L

Oct 18, 2007
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Registered: Jan 8, 2007
Location: Denmark
Posts: 5
Review Date: Jan 18, 2007 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $220.00 | Rating: 9 

Pros: Extremely sharp, great MF distance indicator and feels like good quality
A bit awkward clutch in the MF

I sold the Canon kit-linse 18-55 and bought a Canon 24-105 IS. Thus I needed something more wide, and while 10-20, 12-24 or so would have been nice it was a bit to expensive at that time.
This linse is really perfect in most ways. It's extremely sharp compared to the price and with great contrast - well most Canon L have better contrast, but they dont come for $220.

If you cant afford a zoom in the 1x-2x area and dont want a fisheye, this one is perfect.

Its used on a 20D so I cant say how it would FF, but on a 1.6x nothing negative can be said.

Well, one little negative thing. On AF its not USM and not the fastest fox in the forrest. But its a wide, so no problemo. Switching to MF is done by first swithing a switch (like normal) to MF and then "pulling" the focus ring when its placed on a certain spot. Since its a wide linse and not a tele I dont see it as a big problem, but this part could be improved.

Jan 18, 2007
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Geert Soenens
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Registered: Jul 25, 2003
Location: Belgium
Posts: 76
Review Date: Dec 31, 2005 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

Pros: Very well build. Feels like a good lens and it actually is. I use it on Canon 5D. Needs to stop down untill at least f5,6 - f8! Better then my Canon 17-40mm f4 L USM at 17mm! Almost no distortion. AF is ok. Not like my Canon L lenses of course. But i never use AF with such wide angle lenses. With f8 you have a depth of field from 0,5m untill unending! For its price a super lens!
Lens flare! Maybe because of lens hood? My Canon 16-35 f2,8 L USM had the same problem at 16mm. I sould it.

Dec 31, 2005
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Registered: Jul 6, 2005
Location: United States
Posts: 105
Review Date: Oct 15, 2005 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $225.00 | Rating: 9 

Pros: Extremely Sharp,Excellent Build Quality,Great Optics,Fast AF
Useless Lense Hood, Hunts In Dim Light On AF, I Use Mostly As MF

This was an ebay find, I couldn't believe no one else bid on it, It was during a holiday week-end,perhaps camera hounds were out sippin a few having bar-b-ques with the family, what-ever, I got a deal, and its an excellent lense, which I can use on both DSLR for average wideangle, or on SLR for 104 degree view. I don't like the focus engage disengage feature. So when is Tokina going to make a 14mm ?? Both Tamron, and Sigma do..Seriously though If you want a nice wide angle optic grab this and a polarizer and head to your favorite places with both a DSLR and an SLR..Leave the lense hood at home........

Oct 15, 2005
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Registered: Oct 28, 2004
Location: Canada
Posts: 361
Review Date: Sep 26, 2005 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

Pros: Very high quality feel and look, No barrel distortion. Nice weight Very Sharp.
apparently just discontinued and replaced by the 12-24.

I was drawn to the sigma 15-30 as well as the Tokina 12-24 but both were in the $ 500 range and out of reach for me.

At $ 389 new from B&H and in the $ 270 used but mint, this is a great bargain and a great lens. From my initial test the pictures are very sharp, as you would expect from a prime and has no barrel distortion that I can detect. the Pro series "focus clutch" works well, but it's not ring USM. I like it and it works. 17mm is just right on my 20D and this lens can be used on a full frame camera as well

Highly recommended, and still available, better get one soon.

Sep 26, 2005
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Registered: Dec 13, 2004
Location: Jamaica
Posts: 0
Review Date: Apr 16, 2005 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 9 

Pros: Extremely sharp and flare resistant, good build quality, excellent value for money
Goofy clutch AF system, junky hood

If you want a 17mm lens for a good price I could not recommend this lens enough.

Apr 16, 2005
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Jim Cowsert
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Registered: Jul 10, 2003
Location: United States
Posts: 1824
Review Date: Feb 16, 2005 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $200.00 | Rating: 8 

Pros: Excellent build quality. Sharp, contrasty, and lightweight.
Basically the hood is useless, push-pull clutch for MF-AF is a pain to work with.

I picked this lens up used for $200 and have been very happy with it. It produces wonderfully sharp/contrasty photos. The push-pull AF-MF is a pain to use but I keep mine on AF most of the time anyway so this really isn't an issue. I like the fact that the filter size is a standard 77mm so I can switch filters with the majority of my other lenses. Got to be careful with "flare" when shooting in sunlight, but this is expected when you shoot wide. This lens is an excellent alternative for someone wanting a wide angle without spending alot of money.

Feb 16, 2005
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Tokina 17mm f/3.5 AT-X 17 AF PRO

Buy from B&H Photo
Reviews Views Date of last review
16 109736 Dec 20, 2016
Recommended By Average Price
100% of reviewers $279.00
Build Quality Rating Price Rating Overall Rating