8 out of 10 points and recommendedImage Quality, Nice Colors and good Contrast, Accurate AFSome CA's at Large Apetures, Some Corner Softness Wide Open at 16 & 50mm
The lens feels really nice in your hand and is built like a tank. The size of the lens is on the large size for my taste and I don't think I would like using anything bigger than this lens for every day use. The AF feels fast and is not too noisy. The damping in the manual focus feels fantastic!!!!!reviewed December 26th, 2009 (purchased for $549)
The lens is at Its sharpest from corner to corner between 20 to about 40mm. Wide open at 16 & 50mm you get a little more corner softness. In fact at 50mm wide open the corner softness help with the bokeh. And when you are shooting a lens wide open you are trying to isolate the subject, so a little corner softness IMO is not a bad thing. Central sharpness is good from 16-50mm even with the lens wide open.
At the default JPG camera standard sharpening of +3 with my D300 if you pixel peep you might find the images are on the soft side. If you want sharper images right out of the box the easy fix is to bump up your sharpening to a +5-+7 if your are using a D300. For best results with JPG’s right out of the box if you use a Nikon download and use the D2X Mode’s and bump up the sharpening to +5-+7.
Over-all for my taste I would rather have softer images compared to over-sharpened images so when I shoot JPG’s, and I mainly shoot Raw, I set my sharpening to +4 or +5 on my D300. The processed Raw shots look great with good colors and contrast. I use Lightroom and for processing of my D300 Raw files I always use the D2X modes.
The AF of my Tokina appears to be dead on. I tested the AF for back/front focus issues using a simple test consisting of a battery standing in front of box with a large label. So far all my AF test shots have been dead on and have not encountered one out of focus shot. For my needs focus accuracy is very important. I can fix soft images but I can't fix out of focus images.
I have en countered some CA's in my Raw wide open shots at 16mm. The D300’s JPG engine gets rid of the CA and I have not encountered any CA’s in my JPG shots. The CA's I encountered in some of my wide open shots were very easily removed by Lightroom.
In conclusion I really like this lens. It produces top notch images with good color and contrast. The AF is fast and accurate and the lens is a joy to hold and handle.