Wide-angle lenses, as the name suggests, are a great way to capture the largest breadth viewpoint of a scene. In today’s market, we don’t just have the choice of same-as-camera-make brand lenses, but also a wealth of good lenses from third-party manufacturers.
Today’s focus will be on the best Tokina wide-angle lenses under $1000, mainly due to the company producing a good array of affordable and budget-conscious options, which all contain high-end, top-quality optics.
As we have a budget of $1000 to play with, we don’t just have to look for the best value versions. We can also look at the lenses with more pro features, which give us that extra squeeze of quality, along with fitting into our basic criteria.
1. Tokina FiRIN 20mm f/2 FE AF
If you’re lucky enough to be the Sony platform, then you can treat yourself to the rather wonderful Tokina FiRIN 20mm f/2 FE AF. This is a lens that slots just under our budget range, providing good quality optics as a wide-angle lens for the most common scenarios.
The 20mm f/2 FE AF is very useful on APS-C models, providing an equivalent 30mm viewpoint while almost verging on the standard of 35mm. Optically, the lens contains three super-low dispersion and two all-glass precision molded aspherical elements, along with a multi-layered coating for increasing image quality. The ultrasonic autofocus motor is extremely quick to lock onto focus and quiet enough for video use.
The f/2 aperture is a great addition for low-light work, making it a good solution for astrophotography. The lens displays very little barrel distortion, which is exactly what you need for the likes of landscape and architectural work. In summary, this is a great lens for the money.
2. Tokina opera 16-28mm f/2.8 FF
The opera 16-28mm f/2.8 FF is part of Tokina’s premium line and a good lens for any type of professional work. This particular model has a 24-42mm view on crop sensor cameras, with a bright f/2.8 aperture.
Three aspherical and three glass-molded low dispersion elements have been added to the optical mix. The bulbous front element provides low distortion levels and a handy lens hood is included to protect from unwanted knocks and scrapes.
The lens is quite sharp in the center with the aperture wide open but really comes into its own between the f/4-f/8 with the lens providing plenty of details throughout the depth of field. This makes the Tokina opera 16-28mm f/2.8 FF a great solution for those looking for a cost-effective and good quality wide-angle zoom lens.
3. Tokina AT-X 14-20mm f/2 PRO DX
This version of the Tokina AT-X 14-20mm f/2 is built specifically for the Nikon DX-format but there are versions for Canon as well. Standout features include the wide-for-a-zoom-lens f/2 aperture and its very usable zoom range.
To keep the optical quality up to standard, one plastic-molded aspherical, two Super-Low Dispersion, and two glass-molded aspherical SD glass elements have been included. All the elements have been treated to a multi-layer anti-reflective coating to increase sharpness, color, and overall contrast.
The lens has a one-touch focus clutch mechanism as well for quickly swapping between auto and manual focusing modes by sliding the focusing ring forward and backward.
The Tokina AT-X 14-20mm f/2 PRO DX feels extremely rock solid with fine detail coming in from f/4-f/16. For a lens under our price point, it will make a great solution for those who predominantly shoot landscapes and astrophotography.
4. Tokina atx-i 11-16mm f/2.8 CF (Budget Winner)
Even though the atx-i 11-16mm f/2.8 CF comes in as our budget winner, it’s far from a cheaply made piece of kit. On APS-C-formats, the focal length comes in at 17.6-25.6mm, while the f/2.8 aperture is wide and bright enough for low-light conditions.
Two aspherical and two SD low dispersion elements help minimize aspects such as chromatic aberration, with a multi-coating applied to all elements to improve image clarity and overall definition. This lens also has a one-touch focus clutch mechanism for swapping between auto and manual focusing. It features hard stops at each end for an easier time of nailing the focus sweet spot.
The Tokina atx-i 11-16mm f/2.8 CF is respectably sharp at f/2.8 and at a push can even produce reasonable bokeh effects when called on. The lens has plenty of definition throughout the depth of field, and you won’t be disappointed with the levels of color and contrast.
The 11-16mms produces great results for early morning or late evening landscape shots. It’s also a very classy looking lens, looking very professional for those who are more fashion-conscious about their lens choices.
Summing up the Best Tokina Wide-Angle Lenses Under $1000
As you can see from the examples above, Tokina has a good range of wide-angle optics available if you have around $1000 to play with. If you need ultimate optical quality and Sony is your preferred platform, then the FiRIN 20mm can provide bags of quality. It may not go as wide as the rest on the list, but you cannot fault the lens for its ultimate detail and definition.
For those out there who need zoom versatility, the opera 16-28mm f/2.8 FF is a fine piece of glass that should tick all the boxes for both professionals and amateurs alike. However, for the most bang for your buck, you can’t beat the atx-i 11-16mm f/2.8 CF for its price point and its ultimate width, without diving into the bulbous nature of fisheye lenses.
In many ways, you can’t go wrong with any of these Tokina wide-angle lenses under $1000 if wide images are your thing. Like many other third-party lenses, Tokina is no longer a second choice, but rather a great value option, containing world-class quality glass.