Tokina 35mm Macro

Tokina 35mm Macro

Here’s the Tokina 35mm f2.8 Macro Review. This lens is available for both Canon and Nikon mount.

I used a normal 50mm lens equivalent when I first started photography and I simply love the focal length.

Tokina 35mm f/2.8 DX 1:1 Macro Lens

Lens Score (APS-C Sensor)
Optical Quality: 4.5 Stars (4.5 / 5)
Build Quality: 4.5 Stars (4.5 / 5)
Value for Money: 5 Stars (5 / 5)

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The 35mm focal length will give you the equivalent of a 50mm normal lens when used with a cropped sensor DSLR.

This is a good lens for anyone who is just starting photography and wanted to learn about the art of composition.

The 50mm lens will give you a good field of view to experiment with your subject’s composition.

A big plus on this lens is its macro capability. Not only you can use it to start learning photography, you can use it to shoot macro as well in the future (if you ever want to move to this area).

In terms of optical performance, this lens will satisfy all photography beginners with its sharpness, good distortion and vignetting control.

All in all, for the price, this lens is a steal and I highly recommend it for any beginning photographers.

See the complete Tokina 35mm f2.8 Macro review below.

Technical Specs

Official Name:
Tokina AT-X M35 PRO DX AF 35mm f/2.8 Macro

Focal Length Markings:
35mm

Features:
AT-X – Advanced technology that Tokina use to design and fabricate for the most advanced lens (this one is a marketing jargon, don’t pay too much attention)

PRO – Professional build quality for enhanced durability.

DX – You can only use this lens with cropped sensor DSLR. You shouldn’t use it with a full frame DSLR camera.

AF – Allows the lens to focus automatically on your subject.

Macro – A “true” 1:1 macro lens meaning the image on the sensor is the same size as the subject being photographed.

Full Technical Specs (from Tokina’s website):

Technical Specifications
Groups / Elements 8 / 9
Angle of View 43°
Number of Blade Diaphragm 9
Minimum Aperture f/22
Minimum Focusing Distance 5.5in.(0.14m)
Filter Thread 52mm
Weight 340g (11.99oz)
Dimension (Diameter x Length) ø2.93 x 2.42in. (ø73.2 x 60.4mm)
Macro Magnification Ratio 1:1

Optical Performance

Sharpness

Sharpness is very good overall in this lens, both in the border and in the center.

Even at the maximum aperture of f/2.8, this lens is noticeably sharp. Stopping down to f/5.6 will give the maximum sharpness.

The Macro performance of this lens is also superb, even at the closest focusing distance of 5.5in.

See the full sharpness test result on this Tokina 35mm f2.8 Macro review below.

Sharpness Scale (from Best to Worst):
(5) Excellent
(4) Great
(3) Good
(2) Fair
(1) Poor

Center Sharpness

Focal Length / Aperture f/2.8 f/4 f/5.6 f/8
35mm Excellent Excellent Excellent Excellent

Border Sharpness

Focal Length / Aperture f/2.8 f/4 f/5.6 f/8
35mm Great Excellent Excellent Great

Distortion

Distortion is very well controlled and is not field relevant.

See the distortion test chart below.

Distortion Test

Distortion Test

Vignetting

Being a DX lens, vignetting is visible at the widest aperture (f/2.8). Stopping down to f/4 will make vignetting non-field relevant.

See the result of the vignetting test on the chart below.

Vignetting Test

Vignetting Test

Chromatic Aberration

Tokina is known for its weakness on the chromatic aberration department, but this lens managed to fare quite well.

If you don’t want to fix chromatic aberration in post processing, then stop down to f/5.6 to reduce the chromatic aberration significantly.

Chromatic Aberration Scale (from Best to Worst):
(5) Negligible
(4) Very Low
(3) Low
(2) High
(1) Very High

Chromatic Aberration

Focal Length / Aperture f/2.8 f/4 f/5.6 f/8
35mm Low Very Low Very Low Low

Build Quality

Materials

The PRO designation indicates that Tokina used special finish to make the build more solid. Although not comparable to a Canon L lens, the build is definitely better than most consumer grade lens. Made in Japan.

Focusing

The autofocus speed is fast and accurate. The f/2.8 helps a lot during low light shooting and can prevent autofocus hunting.

The front element of this lens will not rotate during autofocus. So, using a polarizer is not a problem.

For Nikon user: This lens does NOT have a built in Motor, which means it will NOT autofocus when used with cameras with no internal focusing such as Nikon D40, D40x, D60, D3000, D3100, D5000 and D5100..

Compatibility

Being a DX lens, this lens can only be used for cropped sensor DSLR. You should not use this lens with a full frame DSLR such as the Nikon D3 or Canon 5D Mark II or a 35mm film camera.

Sample Image

Below are some pictures that I took using the this lens:

Sample Image 1

Sample Image 1

Sample Image 2

Sample Image 2

Sample Image 3

Sample Image 3

Sample Image 4

Sample Image 4

Sample Image 5

Sample Image 5

Conclusions

This lens is a very solid performer in all aspects given the price. It is sharp at any aperture and has good distortion and chromatic aberration control.

The only minor problem is the chromatic aberration at f/2.8 which can be easily corrected in post processing or by stopping down to f/5.6.

Below are the conclusions for for this lens:

Drawbacks

  • Slightly visible chromatic aberration at f/2.8. This can easily be fixed in post processing. Alternatively, you can stop down to f/5.6 to significantly reduce it.

Positives

  • Sharp at all aperture
  • Vignetting is very well controlled for a DX lens
  • Distortion is control is excellent
  • Excellent build quality for the price
  • Great macro capability
  • Excellent value for money

This Lens is Good For

All around walk-around normal and macro lens. Definitely the perfect “normal” lens for cropped sensor DSLR users.

This Lens is Not So Good For

Wide angle landscape photography. Being a 35mm lens, this lens won’t be wide enough to take a wide angle landscape shot in a cropped sensor DSLR.

What Others Are Saying…

by “M. Morgan”

Excellent lens for the price! I was all set to buy Canon’s 60mm f/2.8 macro…but I was hesitant because I really wanted something in the 30-50mm range that I could double up with as a portrait lens. I didn’t even know this lens existed until I randomly stumbled upon it at POTN….and the rest, as they say, is history…
Click here to read the full review

by “Joseph Massimino”

Bright, light, and easy to use. Easy pull out barrel to manual focus. Macro gives the lens more uses. Picture quality is excellent. I bought the Nikon model for my D90. Most of my other lens are Nikon, but once I got this Tokina, I bought another longer 2.8 Tokina lens soon after…
Click here to read the full review

Where to Buy

Tokina 35mm f/2.8 DX 1:1 Macro Lens

Lens Score (APS-C Sensor)
Optical Quality: 4.5 Stars (4.5 / 5)
Build Quality: 4.5 Stars (4.5 / 5)
Value for Money: 5 Stars (5 / 5)

Visit Website

Below are some links that you can use to get the best price online for this lens:

For Nikon Mount

For Canon Mount

Thanks for reading my Tokina 35mm f2.8 Macro Review – a great, light and small macro lens.

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