8 out of 10 points and recommendedvery sharp above all in the center of the frame, no visible C.A., construction qualityslow & little bit noisy autofocus, colors balance
I bought this lens mainly to fill the gap from my Canon EF-S 10-22 and the Canon EF 50 f1.8 II. The focal of 35 mm is exactly in the middle of this range and it is equivalent to 56 mm in F.F., then just little bit more then standard focal lens (50 mm) in the 24 x 36 Leica format.reviewed May 27th, 2009 (purchased for $500)
I choosed the Tokina because the Canon 35 mm f2 is too old (1991) and the 35 mm f1.4 of the same brand too expensive for me. Both do not have any macro capabilities.
The alternative was the Sigma 30 mm f1.4, but from the tests it seem to have some weak points. And it is quite expensive as well and no macro.
The construction quality of the Tokina is very high, in my opinion even better then the expensive Canon EF-S lenses.
The autofocus is quite slow, but it is not so important on a 35 mm lens. It is also little bit noisy. The clutch mechanism is quite precise.
The optical quality is near to the excellence. This lens is much more sharper then my Canon EF-S 18-55 mm IS at the same focal - same aperture. From my tests, it is sharp as my 50 mm f1.8, and it is a big compliment! The top of the performances in terms of MTF are from 4 to 5.6.
In normal shots, I have not seen any chromatic abberation problems. Only in two pictures I have noted this phenomena, but in high contrast situations.
The distorsion is basically nothing and the coma very well controlled. I have still to check the flare resistance.
Unfortunately, the colour balance is different from the Canon lens and I can note this difference changing lens. Honestly I prefer Canon.
The macro capabilities soffers of the very little minimum focus distance to have 1:1 ratio. You need to go very close to the subject, in some cases around 2 cm from the frontal element! Forget the bugs on the flowers! But you can get some interesting pictures of static objects.
The booken is excellent!