Tokina 16-28mm F/2.8 AT-X Pro For Filmmakers

Tokina 16-28mm F/2.8 AT-X Pro For Filmmakers In 2019. Is this hidden filmmaking gem, the best value pro lens for video?

The Best Value Pro Lens For Video

This ultra wide angle zoom lens is part of Tokina’s Premium AT-X Pro Range. It is designed for full frame Nikon or Canon cameras, but will of course fit in front many cheaper, APSC sized sensors.

With an all plastic exterior & budget price on the used market of around £350, you may be mistaken into thinking it’s a budget lens. But with it’s complex, 15 element optics & huge 950gram weight, this is anything but a budget lens.

With a 9 blade design & constant aperture of f/2.8, it’s obviously a good choice for lower light performance, as well as being good at delivering a smooth and uniform bokeh. Combined with that 16-28mm focal range, it may well be the perfect lens for vloggers or YouTube creators. So enough of the specs, lets gets straight into the good parts of this lens.

Tokina 16-28mm AT-X Pro – The Good

Value for money, it has to be said, and not just because I’m a bargain hunter! But truly, on the used market this lens represent incredible value. If you consider that the similar aged canon 16-35 cost around twice this on the used market, you start to see the value you’re getting from the Tokina. 

With that value you also get the fantastic build quality. And really it is built like a tank, coming in at almost 1kilo in weight. Underneath the plastic exterior there’s clearly a lot of metal and glass, and even just by looking at the front element you can see the quality this lens oozes. All round it feels entirely premium in hand. The only draw back is perhaps that slightly unusual Push-Pull Auto to manual Focus clutch.

Finally is obviously the optics and all round versatile aesthetics this lens renders for you. Although slightly softer in the corners at maximum aperture, the shallow depth and smooth bokeh you get, really make it a joy to film with. The wide angle focal range is also fantastic for video, easily allowing two people in a frame or comfortably accommodating for those handheld selfie style vloggers out there. 

The Bad Bits

Tokina’s Silent DC motor, is anything but. The autofocus motor produces noticeable noise in a video context & when recording audio with an internal or hot shoe mounted mic, you will hear noticeable noise from the lens. 

It’s also a very heavy lens. Now, this isn’t a bad point necessarily, more a word of caution. If you do mount this on a smaller APS-C dslr, your camera will become front heavy & if you do decide to use it in a vlogging or handheld situation, that added weight is going to become a consideration for you. 

Tokina 16-28mm AT-X Pro - The Best Budget Lens For Video

Beyond this we have smaller, but significant issues such as the lack of image stabilisation, which again for handheld shooters will become an issue. To be fair when you consider the optic quality, build & price of this lens, it is a fair compromise to have to deal with. 


When you account for all the good bits of this lens, from its build & optics to it’s insanely low price point, you have to say it truly is a hidden gem for filmmakers. Sure it doesn’t offer the same allure of canon’s red ringed L series, but it truly competes as a premium lens for film, but on a much lower budget. So for any filmmakers out there, looking for your first pro-grade lens for video, you definitely won’t be disappointed with the Tokina 16-28mm F/2.8 AT-X Pro. 

🛒 Tokina 16-28mm F/2.8 AT-X Pro – Find The Best Prices
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  1. Is this a hidden gem of a lens for video? When you consider the price on the used market, I definitely think so! But what is your favourite hidden gem of a filmmaking tool that we should know about?

  2. HIDDEN JEM! I would say no, because I've seen it at several used camera stores. Now, you just reminded me of a good lens to buy down the road for shooting videos. (:
    Do you all have or use the Sigma ART lenses? 2.8 or faster stops yes?

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