Best wide-angle dslr lenses: 8 tested

Tokina 12-24mm f/4 AT-X 124 AF PRO DX II - £500

Tokina's 12-24mm Mark II lens is almost identical to the original, at least for Canon users. The only optical change is the new multi-coatings, reducing ghosting and flare. In the Nikon-fit version, the lens now has a built-in autofocus motor. It's quicker and slightly quieter than the old one, and means the lens will autofocus on Nikon bodies without built-in AF drives, such as the D3100 and D5100.

The shortest focal length of 12mm lags slightly behind most of the competition, but build quality is up to Tokina's typically high standards. Like the Sigma 10-20mm lens, the Tokina features a constant aperture throughout the zoom range, this time f/4 rather than f/3.5.

Best wide-angle dslr lenses: 8 tested

There's no full-time manual focus override, but the lens features a push-pull focus ring that slides forwards or backwards to engage auto or manual focus respectively. Our review sample proved very sharp at f/8 throughout the zoom range, though images were soft in the corners at f/4. At f/16 it's below average at 12mm, but very good at the middle and longest focal lengths.

Colour fringing proved less problematic with the Mark II lens than with the original model tested previously. Fringing was still clearly noticeable at the shortest focal length, but less so at longer focal lengths. Distortion is a little high at 12mm, but it diminishes towards the longer end of the zoom range, becoming negligible at 24mm.

Resolution sharpness test

Best wide-angle dslr lenses: 8 tested

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Centre sharpness is consistently high at all focal lengths, especially the longest. As with other lenses sharpness drops towards the edge.

Fringing test

Best wide-angle dslr lenses: 8 tested

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The Tokina lens consistently shows little sign of visible fringing at any focal length or at any point across the frame.

Distortion test

Best wide-angle dslr lenses: 8 tested

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Barrel distortion is visible at 12mm. At 18mm there's slight barrelling and at 24mm slight pinch distortion, but these aren't visible.

Image test verdict

At all focal lengths the Tokina shows consistently negligible signs of fringing. The optic's centre sharpness was also strong and consistent.

Score: 3/5

Read our full Tokina 12-24mm f/4 AT-X 124 AF PRO DX II review