Review Tokina 10-17 mm Fisheye (N APS-C)

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The Tokina 10-17 mm Fisheye (AT-X 107 DX) came to market in 2008, not only with its own brand name, but also in a slightly modified form under the brand name Pentax. The zoom range of the Tokina fisheye strongly resembles that of, for example, the Tokina 12-24 mm, but the characteristic fisheye design really delivers a completely different image. 

The Tokina 10-17 mm is a full-screen fisheye. That means that the field of view encompasses nearly 180 degrees and that the entire surface of the sensor is used. This is in contrast to a circular fisheye, which makes a circular-shaped image in which the corners are black. First, there was a version released with a fixed, flower-shaped sun cap. This was removed by some users of the lens on a camera with a full format sensor. We tested the new version (AT-X 107 NH), without a sun cap.

frontlens

test Tokina 10-17 mm
Field of View Tokina 10-17 mm 3.5-4.5 Fisheye @10 mm
Tokina Fisheye, Pentax 10-17 fisheye
Tokina 10-17 mm 3.5-4.5 Fisheye @17 mm

If if you are very close to your subject, you get an incredible amount in frame. That you can then also zoom in with this fisheye lens is fairly unique. The much more expensive Canon 8-15 mm Fisheye is the only other fisheye zoom that we've tested. The Tokina 10-17 mm is, in part because as a full-screen lens it is only suitable for cameras with a DX/APS-C sensor, nicely light and compact. Therefore this lens is also very popular for underwater photography and pictures shot from the sky. You really can't think of anything too crazy, because the Tokina 10-17 mm is a welcome companion for every project--unless you want to take a picture without distortion. On Flickr there are many HDR pictures of buildings made with this lens.

NikonD7100-Tokinafisheye-kootwijk

Construction and AF

As we're accustomed to from Tokina, this lens feels solid. The zoomring turns freely around the entire trajectory with the same pleasant resistance. The distance ring is small and its movement is quite supple. It isn't possible to place a filter on this compactly built lens. Because Tokina removed the sun cap, this version is also suitable for cameras with a small frame format. From a focal distance of about 12 mm, there's no screening visible. The lens is not equipped with an AF motor, so that with a Nikon D5200 or the Nikon D3200 has to be manually focused. Focusing happens quickly, in part thanks to the internal focus, due to which only a small lens element has to be moved by the AF motor. Focusing is not completely silent. There is seldom any sign of searching in low light.

Specifications
Tokina 10-17mm f/3.5-4.5 AT-X 107 AF DX Fisheye
Image Stabilization:-
lenses/ groups:10/8
length x diameter:71 / 70
filter size:-
Weight:350
Lens hood:-

Vignetting

From a compact lens with a very large field of view, you expect a lot of vignetting. And it's very difficult to precisely measure the vignetting of a lens with a big field of view. Therefore Photozone reports in their Tokina 10-17 mm test no results for vignetting. We consider our measurement results obtained at a focal length of 10 mm as a worst case: in practice it doesn't work as well as these measurements suggest.

In terms of vignetting, the Tokina performs remarkably well on a camera with a DX sensor. Only at the shortest focal lengths, specifically at full opening, is vignetting visible. It's logical, the field of view of so great that the light in the corners has to travel a much longer distance. For other focal lengths: if you use aperture f/5.6 or f/8.0, then there's no sign of vignetting--a very good performance for a lens with such a great field of view.

 

Nikonvignet

Distortion Tokina Fisheye

You only buy a fisheye lens to be able to create the right distortion. It's thus senseless to measure the distortion of a fisheye (but if you want to know: 32% at 10mm and 14% at 17mm). In calculating the total scores, distortion is ignored.

Horizontal lines that run directly through the center appear quite straight, both at a focal length of 10 mm and at 17 mm. But if a horizontal line, such as the horizon in the picture shown here, lies above or below the center, then visible distortion cannot be avoided.

praktijdistort

Flaring

You expecgt from a lens with such a large field of view a strong sensitivity to backlighting. This Tokina is a big surprise on this point: light flecks are not observed--even in night shots with lanterns in frame. The image is, however, a bit softer. All in all a great performance!

flare

Sharpness Tokina 1-17 mm

With Imatest, due to the distortion, it's not easy to measure the sharpness in the corners at a focal length of 10 mm. Therefore, only the resolution in the center and at the edges of the image are measured, which makes comparison with other lenses (for which the sharpness in the corners is measured) a bit more difficult.

Click with your mouse on the bar graph for all resolution measurements.

We of course made a lot of practice photos. At 10 mm, the sharpness improves somewhat after 1 stop stopping down. At the longer focal lengths the sharpness is a bit lower and you reach the highest resolution after 2 stops stopping down.

10mmresol

Chromatic aberration Tokina 10-17 mm

Due to the extreme field of view, we aren't sure if it's possible to reliably measure chromatic aberration with Imatest. We measured chromatic aberration on the edges and not in the corners. In the calculation of the total scores, chromatic aberration is ignored. Nikon cameras correct jpg files automatically for chromatic aberration. If you work in RAW, then you can encounter chromatic aberration and correct it quite simply with software.

ChromabNikon

Conclusion Tokina 10-17 mm Fisheye f/3.5-4.5 review

Tokinalenscap


Look in our overview of tested lenses or through our tested lenses with a Nikon mount in order to compare the performance of this lens with other lenses.

 

 

ECWYSIWYG score: This table shows the performance of this lens when you store the files in the camera as jpg, with all available in-camera lens corrections applied. This score gives you for this lens/test camera combination: "What you see is what you get".
10
15
fisheye
6.3
fisheye
13
20
fisheye
8.5
fisheye
17
26
fisheye
8.8
fisheye
Overall
Overall
fisheye
7.8
fisheye
ECPure RAW score: This table shows the performance of this lens when the file is stored in the camera in RAW format. This score approaches the intrinsic quality of the combination of lens and test camera.
10
15
8.8
7.1
5.5
13
20
8.9
8.7
5.5
17
26
8.9
fisheye
5.5
Overall
Overall
8.8
8.3
5.5

Advantages

  • Unique fisheye zoom
  • Very large field of view
  • Little flaring with backlighting
  • Very fast AF
  • Suitable for a full-frame sensor and for an APS-C format sensor
  • Good finish
  • Compact construction
  • Good price/quality ratio

Disadvantages

  • High chromatic aberration
  • Sharpness drops off at longer focal lengths
  • Moderate corner sharpness

The Tokina 10-17 mm is a unique fisheye zoom lens, made for APS-C cameras, but which can also be used well on full-frame. The lens is compactly built and offers fast auto focus. Vignetting is remarkably low, just as is sensitivity to backlighting. The distortion of the Tokina fisheye is high, but that is also the purpose of this type of lens. If you look on Flickr at pictures made with this lens, then you see that many users quite gratefully make use of the distinctive fsheye distortion.

We were unable to measure the corner sharpness of the Tokina fisheye due to the fisheye distortion. We thus only used the sharpness in the center and the edges for our assessment. Keep that in mind that if you compare the sharpness of this lens with other, non-fisheye lenses. The greatest disadvantage of this lens is the very strong chromatic aberration that comes up at higher contrasts. In any case you can adjust for this lens flaw quite well with the right software, and then you have a very specialized lens that invites photography. The price/quality ration of the Tokina 10-17 mm is justified.

Ivo Freriks
Author: Ivo Freriks
With Camera Review Stuff I hope to make a modest contribution to the pleasure that you get from photography. By testing cameras and lenses in the same way, evluating the results and weighing up the pros and cons, I hope to help you find the right camera or lens.

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