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Tokina AT-X 10-17mm f3.5-4.5 DX

Tested  with a Canon EOS 20D.

The Tokina  AT-X 10-17mm fisheye zoom is a very unusual super wide angle lens. Do you need a lens with an up to 180 degree field of view? The Tokina AT-X 10-17mm could be what you want.   Click here to see a Tokina 10-17mm Sample Image

Tokina atx107dxThe Tokina AT-X 10-17mm fisheye zoom was released towards the end of 2006, so is a relatively new design. Like most new lenses it is designed purely for digital SLR cameras, so it can not be used with 35mm film or full frame digital SLR’s.  First impressions are less good than with the lovely Tokina AT-X 12-24. The 10-17 is a Tokina AT-X as opposed to an AT-X Pro lens, and although it weighs 350g it feels like most modern lenses - lightweight and plastic. Construction quality and control movements are perfectly OK, but the feeling of class and quality  as soon as you touch the Tokina AT-X Pro 12-24 are completely missing. More important, perhaps, is another initial reaction - why a fisheye?  Over the years I’ve owned a couple of fisheye lenses, and they are useful for a shot now and again - especially as a 10mm fisheye actually covers a much wider field than a conventional 10mm. However the really obvious, in your face, sort of distortion that comes with all fisheye lenses, soon gets boring, and means that they have to be used very sparingly and with great care.

I know this only because I did what everyone does when they buy their first fisheye - I shot everything with it. Every customer started getting a fisheye shot or two, and very soon they all said “enough”, so my fisheye lens has sat in my equipment cupboard ever since.  I love wide angle lenses, but, where my Canon 10-22 EF-S is always in my camera bag - I’m pretty sure the Tokina AT-X 10-17, no matter how good a lens it is optically, would end up in my cupboard with the other fisheye.  In short, this seems like niche marketing to a tiny group of people who really need what this lens offers.  Most people would be much better off with a normal superwide zoom - like the Tokina ATX Pro 12-24mm.  That’s unless you can afford both of course.

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© David Gold
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