There are plenty of reasons why a photographer will need an ultra wide-angle lens with top-level performance. The reasons may range from the simple fun of capturing the widest scenes possible, making virtual tours, landscapes or architectural photography. Whichever your preference, the best Tokina ultra wide-angle lenses under $1000 can deliver in all these departments, while also being very affordable and within budget.
If you have a reasonable amount of cash to splash out with, it opens up options for not just the best value glass, but also high-end offerings, which fits nicely into the wide-angle realm. An ultra-wide lens will always need good quality glass to make sure every detail is pin-sharp from the center to the edges of the frame. Luckily for us, Tokina has a good few quality options in this department, which cover the most useful of focal lengths.
1. Tokina FiRIN 20mm f/2 FE AF (Overall Winner)
For those lucky enough to be on the Sony platform, the Tokina FiRIN 20mm f/2 FE AF may not provide the widest views on this list, but it sure makes up ground with its quality of optics. The lens provides extremely sharp results and is a good lens for both landscape and architectural work.
The FiRIN 20mm features a wide and bright f/2 aperture, with three super-low dispersion and two moulded aspherical elements to correct for the most likely of lens anomalies. It also has a multilayered coating applied to each element to reduce the likes of lens flare and ghosting.
The autofocus system is respectably quick, but may be a little too loud for video work. But where this lens stands out is in its sharpness and detail, with great center sharpness at f/2 and the best detail across the frame from f/4. It’s also reasonably well weighted for a high-quality prime, weighing in at only 464g.
2. Tokina opera 16-28mm f/2.8 FF
Tokina’s opera line is designed to be a cut above the rest, preferring optical quality over budget-friendly features. The 16-28mm benefits from a constant f/2.8 aperture, with a rock-solid build quality to venture into most environmental conditions.
Internally, the lens comprises three aspherical and low dispersion elements, with a bulbous front element for minimizing distortion. A multicoating has also been applied to each element to suppress lens flare and ghosting, along with increasing image quality.
Along with looking the part, the lens has a quick and quiet autofocus system, with a very smooth manual focusing ring. It may also be a little on the heavy side at 950g, but the weight-bearing is worth it for the resulting image quality.
3. Tokina AT-X 11-20mm f/2.8 PRO DX
The Tokina AT-X 11-20mm f/2.8 PRO DX doesn’t just provide one of the widest zoom views on this list, but it’s also has a nice balance between price point and optics.
The lens benefits from a constant f/2.8 aperture, with a good deal of glass contained within an arrangement of 14 elements in 12 groups. The total elements include one P-MO hybrid aspherical, two glass-molded aspherical and three SD ultra-low dispersion elements, plus a multilayer coating applied to each to again reduce the usual amount of lens flare and ghosting. The lens also benefits from a one-touch focus clutch mechanism for quickly swapping between auto and manual focus.
There is no faulting the image quality for the price point, as it produces wonderfully sharp images from f/4, and delivers plenty of clarity with rich colors and definition.
4. Tokina atx-i 11-16mm f/2.8 CF
The atx-i 11-16mm f/2.8 CF is one of those standout lenses which nicely balances price with optical quality. The lens features a wide and bright f/2.8 aperture, with a very useful 11-16mm focal range and Tokina’s unique one-touch focus clutch mechanism.
To maintain image quality throughout the focal lengths, two aspherical and SD low dispersion elements have been included, along with a multicoating applied to each. This lens may have a shorter range than the option above, but this also means it maintains great sharpness throughout its focal lengths.
The very wide and bright f/2.8 aperture will also work extremely well for night-time shots and low light conditions, making the atx-i 11-16mm one of the top ultra wide-angle lenses under $1000.
5. Tokina AT-X 17-35mm f/4 PRO FX (Budget Winner)
To maintain a good balance between price point and optics, the Tokina AT-X 17-35mm f/4 PRO FX slots in nicely as our budget winner. This lens still provides wide angles at 17mm, while approaching more of a standard view at its longest focal length.
As with all quality lenses, two super-low dispersion and one aspheric element have been included to maintain image quality. The front 82mm filter is capable of accepting the likes of circular polarizers and ND filters for landscape use.
The AT-X 17-35mm may not have an aperture as wide as the other options above, but for most wide-angle shots where you need detail in every bit of the depth of field, the lens is extremely sharp between f/5.6-f/8. Ultimately, this lens will be a good solution for those who want extreme wide angles to a normal standard viewpoint. Essentially, for those types who want a more rounded lens solution.
What Are the Best Tokina Ultra Wide-Angle Lenses Under $1000?
As with any ultra wide-angle lens, the best solution will depend on your intended use and your budget range. For those who want the very best quality and are on the Sony platform, the FiRIN 20mm provides excellent image quality, with the widest aperture on our list. The opera 16-28mm is also an excellent wide-angle zoom in the right circumstances, which also provides the versatility of a zoom lens in a very cost-effective package.
The other zooms on the list above are equally capable, with the AT-X 11-20mm f/2.8 providing extremely wide viewpoints with excellent optics without having to venture into the world of bulbous fisheye lenses.