Tokina AT-X 107 DX AF 10-17mm f/3.5-4.5 Fish-Eye

A creative approach to nature photography provided by this ultra-wide-angle zoom
Short Report: Tokina AT-X 107 DX AF 10-17mm ƒ/3.5-4.5 Fish-Eye

Tokina’s AT-X 107 DX AF 10-17mm ƒ/3.5-4.5 fish-eye zoom lens is the most fun I’ve had with a lens in a long while. It features an incredibly wide 180-degree field of view, and with its zoom, something unique for fish-eye lenses, it also acts effectively as a wide-angle lens (albeit with some barrel distortion).

Tokina AT-X 107 DX AF 10-17mm ƒ/3.5-4.5 Fish-EyeThe best way to visualize the "fish-eye" image you’ll get with the AT-X 107 DX AF 10-17mm ƒ/3.5-4.5 is to imagine the view you get when looking through the peephole of a door or a convex rearview mirror. The subject in the center will appear closer and larger than the rest of the image, while the lines of the background will curve into each other.

Tokina AT-X 107 DX AF 10-17mm ƒ/3.5-4.5 Fish-EyeFor practical photography, this lens has little use. For experimental photography, the possibilities are tremendous. By using a tripod and angling the AT-X 107 DX AF 10-17mm ƒ/3.5-4.5 straight up, you could take a picture of the whole sky, or a landscape that starts at your feet and ends all the way in the clouds above. (I accidentally included my feet in a few of my images, and had to learn to lean forward to get the shot I wanted.)

The corner-to-corner images are great. Though straight lines are curved, as they’re supposed to be with a fish-eye lens, there was no vignetting and no color or tonal loss along the corners of the image. The shots were sharp and clean, and the autofocus worked better than I expected it to, especially with a third-party lens purposely built for image distortion. The only problem I noticed was a slight purple bleed along the edges of backlit subjects.


 

 

Tokina AT-X 107 DX AF 10-17mm ƒ/3.5-4.5 Fish-Eye

Tokina AT-X 107 DX AF 10-17mm ƒ/3.5-4.5 Fish-EyeThe AT-X 107 DX AF also has a convenient autofocus-to-manual-focus switch ergonomically built in at the base of the lens, which was easy to find when I did feel the need to change to manual focus quickly. To reduce sun glare, there’s an internal hood, as a thread-on lens hood would block the angle of vision in a fish-eye lens, and the AT-X 107 DX AF feels very light at 12.3 ounces.

Tokina also has added a newly formulated WP coating for easier water spot and fingerprint mark removal. This came in handy for me, as I did some coastal shooting, and had to get pretty close to the spray of the surf in order to get a shot with more ocean and less beach.

Tokina developed the AT-X 107 DX AF 10-17mm ƒ/3.5-4.5 for APS-C sensors, and currently it’s available in mounts for Canon EOS and Nikon digital SLRs. Estimated Street Price: $525. Tokina AT-X 107 DX AF 10-17mm ƒ/3.5-4.5 Fish-Eye

Contact: THK Photo Products, (800) 421-1141, www.thkphoto.com.

[ Specs Of Note ]
Lens Construction: 10 elements in 8 groups
Min. Focus Distance: 14cm
Angle Of View: 180 degrees to approximately 100 degrees
Mounts: Canon EOS, Nikon-D APS-C-sized sensors only
Aperture Range: Approx. ƒ/3.5 to ƒ/22
Weight: 12.3 ounces

 

Standout Features

1 180-degree angle of view with dramatic curvature
2 Rotary-type zooming system on a fish-eye lens
3 Focus Clutch Mechanism for quick auto-to-manual focusing
4 WP (waterproof) anti-spotting coating

1 Comment

    David, thanks for telling us about this lens. I rented it about two years ago, and enjoyed it. This summer I also rented the Tokina 11-16 f/2.8. I found both to be very sharp, even to the corners. The fisheye had a bit of CA, but the 11-16 had almost none, and was hard to fault even wide open at f/2.8, throughout the zoom range. I also rented a Canon 10-22, and found it to be very soft other than in the center, even when closed down to f/8. It would appear they haven’t embraced ultra-wide zooms for crop sensors, the way they do full frame. Tokina certainly gets my vote for the best wide-zoom lenses for crop sensor cameras!

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