Review Tokina AT-X 16.5-135mm F3.5-5.6 DX

According provided by Tokina AT-X 16.5-135mm F3.5-5.6 DX (for Nikon) lens huge thanks to the store you can find a huge number of different used photographic equipment, including this model.

Review Tokina AT-X 16.5-135mm F3.5-5.6 DX

Review Tokina AT-X 16.5-135mm F3.5-5.6 DX

I got a review of the Tokina AT-X 16.5-135mm F3.5-5.6 DX version for Nikon cameras, which, at first while you hold it in your hands, seems like something good, because it weighs as much as 610 grams, but the more you work with lens - the more disappointed you are.

The lens was originally conceived as a Tokina 17-135mm F3.5-5.6 DX. There is even a snapshot of the first prototype (see).

Tokina AT-X 16.5-135mm F3.5-5.6 DX at a focal length of 135mm

Tokina AT-X 16.5-135mm F3.5-5.6 DX at a focal length of 135mm

The Tokina 16.5-135 / 3.5-5.6 is well made, the review sample shows no backlash, the lens is very solid and looks pretty impressive. And the front lens is huge - it uses light filters with a diameter of 77mm. Usually such a lens is bought by amateurs as a universal standard zoom for all occasions, and in addition they will have to spend money on rather expensive 'professional' diameter filters. The lens comes with a nice plastic hood, which is easily and tightly fixed on the lens using special grooves near the front lens.

The zoom and focus rings are rubberized. And here's the first trouble - the zoom ring rotates in jerks, while in the focal length range of 50-135mm it generally rotates extremely tightly. All the time I was working with the lens, this circumstance irritated me very much. In addition, the lens warmed up in the sun and, when the focal length was changed, began to creak like an unlubricated door in my grandmother's house. Also, the zoom ring is too close to the camera mount and has an awkward grip. When compared with the native analogue from Nikon - Nikon DX AF-S Nikkor 18-135mm 1: 3.5-5.6G ED SWM IF Aspherical, then in the latter - the zoom ring is very wide and much more convenient.

Tokina AT-X 16.5-135mm F3.5-5.6 DX rear view

View from the Tokina AT-X 16.5-135mm F3.5-5.6 DX mount

Auto Focus Speed ​​When Using On Camera Nikon D80 - average. Internal focusing - nothing rotates and does not move forward. When the focal length is changed, the front lens does not rotate, only the trunk is lengthened, while the rear lens moves inside the lens, driving air back and forth.

The focus ring rotates only about 30 degrees, so manual focusing is not very convenient. But the minimum focusing distance is 50 cm, so at a 135 mm focal length you can shoot with a maximum magnification equal to 1: 5,4.

View Tokina AT-X 16.5-135mm F3.5-5.6 DX with covers

View Tokina AT-X 16.5-135mm F3.5-5.6 DX with covers

It's important: auto focus with this lens is available only when using him on cameras with built-in motor focusing.

Exact list Nikon DSLR cameras with a built-in focus motor, on which this lens will focus automatically:

Exact list Nikon DSLR cameras without a built-in focus motor, on which this lens will not focus automatically:

Only auto focus and sound confirmation of focus will not work with these cameras, all other important functions, such as automatic exposure metering and automatic iris control, will work well.

You will find a lot of useful information on the types of cameras and lenses Nikon here.

For Nikon cameras, the Tokina AT-X 16.5-135mm F3.5-5.6 DX lens is an analog of Nikon DX, AF, G, IF, ED, Aspherical.

Attention 2: There is no focus mode switch on the lens, to put the lens in manual mode focus should put the camera in manual mode focusing using the switch located near the camera mount.

Attention 3: During auto focus, the focus ring rotates and cannot be touched.

Attention 4: During autofocus, noise is heard from the camera motor and gears. This is not to say that autofocus is quiet. And even with manual focusing in the middle of the lens, the gears for the 'screwdriver' make a lot of noise.

Attention 5: when shooting using 16.5mm focal length EXIF pictures, a value equal to 17mm is written. Personally, I think the '16.5 'is more of a wide-angle enticement than a real advantage over its 18-xxx class. The real difference between Tokin's 16.5mm and Nikon's 18mm will be felt extremely rarely. Perhaps for Canon cameras, whose crop factor is 1.6XTokina 16.5-135 / 3.5-5.6 is of more interest.

Personally, it surprises me why to make a lens for Nikon cropped cameras, which does not have a focus motor, and at the same time the ability to focus on a huge amount amateur Nikon cameras... At the same time, the lens version for Canon cameras is equipped with such a motor, because for Canon it is a must. Was it really difficult to keep the focusing motor in the Nikon version of the lens? Due to such a shortcoming, the Tokina AT-X 16.5-135mm F3.5-5.6 DX (for Nikon) has lost a huge circle of users who could use it. For comparison, all native Nikon DX lenses (except for one highly specialized) use the Nikon SWM built-in quiet wave motor.

Designations on Tokina AT-X 16.5-135mm F3.5-5.6 DX

Designations on Tokina AT-X 16.5-135mm F3.5-5.6 DX

The lens has a primitive focus distance scale in meters and feet, there is a scale with focal length values, as well as a mark for attaching the lens hood. On the case you can still find information about the filter diameter, serial number and country of manufacture (Japan).

Tokina AT-X 16.5-135mm F3.5-5.6 DX with hood

Tokina AT-X 16.5-135mm F3.5-5.6 DX with native hood BH-777

The lens uses an aperture with 9 petals, with which you can get the effect 18 ray star. Aperture closes to F / 22 @ 16.5mm and F / 36 @ 135mm.

Tokina AT-X 16.5-135mm F3.5-5.6 DX with hood for transportation

Tokina AT-X 16.5-135mm F3.5-5.6 DX with BH-777 hood for transportation

Tokina 16.5-135/3.5-5.6 has 8.2x zoom and can serve as one lens for all occasions. EGF lens on Nikon DX cameras is 24.75-202.5mm. It’s a pity that the lens has a rather weak maximum aperture, and shooting “with hands”At 135mm at F / 5.6 would require either a high ISO or a sunny day :).

Tokina AT-X 16.5-135mm F3.5-5.6 DX on ZK with the established hood

Tokina AT-X 16.5-135mm F3.5-5.6 DX on the ZK with the BH-777 hood installed

I believe that my relatives like zoom lenses Nikon DX AF-S Nikkor 18-135m 1: 3.5-5.6G ED SWM IF Aspherical и Nikon 18-105mm 1: 3.5-5.6G ED Nikkor VR AF-S SWM DX IF Aspherical much better instance from the review.

Tokina AT-X 16.5-135mm F3.5-5.6 DX on ZK

Tokina AT-X 16.5-135mm F3.5-5.6 DX on ZK

Despite the complex optical design, consisting of 15 elements in 9 groups, of which two elements are made of low-dispersion glass (Tokina SD – Super Low Dispersion), and three elements are aspherical (Tokina AS – Aspherical Optics, perhaps even hybrid, using plastic) – the image quality is low. First of all, I want to note the strengths chromatic aberrationespecially at 135mm and low sharpness that 'floats' when the focal length is changed. The range of 100-135mm gives acceptable image quality only at very closed apertures. There is also a strong vignette at 18@3.5. And strong distortion noticeably curves straight lines across the entire focal length range, which is surprising for Tokina, which produces excellent wide-angle lenses!

Solar expressionism

Solar expressionism performed by Tokina :)

But the lens boasts unusual rainbow flares, halos and bunnies when used in backlight :). This flaw can be used for artistic purposes and pass off the lack of glare resistance as a 'highlight'. Probably, I got not the best copy, and my complaints about the lens are in vain.

Here link to the archive with the originals - 334 MB, 38 photos in .NEF format (RAW) from the camera Nikon D80 (DX).

Nikon AF Nikkor 35-80mm 1: 4-5.6D and Tokina AT-X 16.5-135mm F3.5-5.6 DX

Nikon AF Nikkor 35-80mm 1: 4-5.6D (MKII) and Tokina AT-X 16.5-135mm F3.5-5.6 DX

Lens prices in popular online stores can look at this link.

Comments on this post do not require registration. Anyone can leave a comment. Many different photographic equipment can be found on AliExpress.


Tokina AT-X 16.5-135mm F3.5-5.6 DX (for Nikon) was a weak lens in every way. Perhaps the review was not the most successful model for me.

Material prepared Arkady Shapoval. Training/Consultations | Youtube | Facebook | Instagram | Twitter | Telegram

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Comments: 47, on the topic: Tokina AT-X 16.5-135mm F3.5-5.6 DX review

  • Ivan

    Disgusting picture at the lens.

  • Alexander Trekhsotkovich

    I liked the photo of the road sign with peeling paint) A gorgeous picture of the standard of our lives. It seems that this sign was not touched and was not updated for 800 years.

    • Arkady Shapoval

      This sign is also located on the territory of the university, all do not care.

    • Eugene

      The standard of living should be assessed as the average of the good and bad sides. No pessimism :)
      And the picture is yes, beautiful. I’ll go look for signs in my city;)

  • Oleg

    Thanks for the review !!!

  • Paul

    And I liked the mountain ash and calendula.

  • Jackie

    Arkady, and when you photograph the sun, do you work through the viewfinder, or in live view?

    • Arkady Shapoval

      Yes, I downloaded the firmware for the D80, now I also shoot videos on the D80 :). On business - in different ways, as it is convenient for me, if the sun is too hot, then I can shoot "from the hip" without sighting.

      • Violetta

        Hello, can you shoot video on d80? Did you make the firmware yourself?

  • Gene jb

    I don't understand the phrase “Yes, and the distortion bends straight lines across the entire focal length range, which is surprising for Tokina, which produces excellent wide-angle lenses!” has someone learned to make lenses without distortion? This is physics - anything less than the eye-equivalent focal point will have a barrel, more - a pillow. Perhaps on fixes you can fix this, but on zooms it is very difficult. And IMHO it should be done by the camera, it will be easier.

    • Arkady Shapoval


    • Yarkiya

      But optics is also a branch of physics, for this there are all sorts of combinations of lenses to eliminate various optical distortions. For example, a microscope lens, there are simple glasses with a full set of distortions, and there are achromats with partially corrected chromatic aberrations, and also apochromats with completely corrected ones. And there is also a PLANAPOCHROMAT with corrected distortion.
      It’s just that some firms sometimes get very well-corrected and calculated widths, so people are surprised at some successful glasses, while others do not have the same company. What is incomprehensible here.

      • Gene jb

        fix - yes, but at zooms the barrel on the short one goes to the pillow on the long one. will you change lenses on the fly when changing focal length? that's why I write - that it is theoretically possible, but the design of the lens will be so complicated and expensive. apochromats correct glass imperfections, that is, material imperfections. for this, slightly more complex materials are used than simple glass.

  • Gene jb

    I was also surprised by the FF lens (one of the recent ones) which gives a vignette on crop. what then will be on ff?

    • Arkady Shapoval

      what kind of lens?

      • Gene jb

        find - write

  • anonym

    for that kind of money you can buy glass much better !!!

  • Eugene

    And for me, it's quite a standard (for such focal) drawing. Even "Tokin's" software is present :-)

  • anonym

    And I liked the lens very much, I would have bought it with a stub.

  • Exhausted

    An interesting sensation is caused by a picture of a sign. You look at it and do not think about the sharpness, color rendition, drawing. There is only one question in my head - why are we like this? This picture is a rare luck, without exaggeration, not in quality, but in the effect on the minds. Look for the moment of truth! This is the moment …….

    • Jackie

      For such shots, one could go to Pripyat, draw up the plot “life after people” :)

  • Roman

    Hares are just super) If I loved this genre, I would definitely look for a similar glass for Kenon.

    • Yarkiya

      To all lovers of hares, to watch the film "Star Trek" is truly a film about hares.

      • Arkady Shapoval

        And all bokeh buffs watch Till Schweiger movies

      • Lynx

        All lovers of hares should watch Bo's shop. There is even a salad of hares.

        • Yarkiya

          No, I’m serious :) in the films of 2009 and 2013, the cameraman is so distraught that almost all the scenes are full of flashes, hares and highlights of the same colors as the photos from this review. If you just look and do not bathe, you may not notice it, but if you specifically look for it and wait for it to appear, then the operator can be safely called a glare-hare maniac. :))

  • Vladimir

    I have been looking closely at this glass for a long time, but nowhere are there any specific reviews, criticism, or praise, and here it is (this review) ... Thank you. Although I liked the photos, the drawing is soft, nice bokeh. It's a pity that there is no stabilizer, just right for travel.

  • Igorek

    The picture seemed quite decent to me, if there is a normal picture on relatively new matrices, you can also pull it up, so the lack of a stub is not scary. And the contrast, sharpness, volume are quite decent for dark zoom.

  • sashok

    I have been using tamron af5-24 for 135 years now, I wanted this token, but I could not find examples of photos anywhere. and voila, here they are, looking at them, I decided that I would continue to use a good tamron ... the drawing of this tokina, to put it mildly, is like that of nikkor 18-105 ....

  • Sanya

    it is better to take tamron 18-200 ...

    • Andrey Vyunenko

      I have 18-200mm from Tamron. The impressions are twofold: on the one hand, such a heavy one, tightly assembled, metal mount. On the other, autofocus is often strange, and without VR it is extremely inconvenient for large focal lengths.
      Another thing is that he got me new for just three thousand, so it's a sin to blame (-:

  • Andrey Vyunenko - read here, too, the author is not happy ... on Avito now so new for 7500 rubles. sell.

  • Alexander

    Good afternoon, how will this glass work with a pro heel?

    • Arkady Shapoval

      Yes, it will work.

  • Anton diaz

    A good monocle came from Tokina.

  • Andrei

    I didn’t understand: "The autofocus speed, when used on the Nikon D80, is average. Internal focusing - nothing rotates and does not move forward."
    And further: "Attention 3: during autofocus, the focusing ring rotates and cannot be touched."
    What to believe? Or does the first relate to manual focus?

    • anonym

      The first is about the front lens and the helicoid, the second is about the focus ring

    • Arkady Shapoval

      The first is the front lens.
      The second is the focus rings.

  • 300s

    I shoot with Nikon D300s. In defense of this Tokina: at different times I had 4 such lenses (2 new store and 2 from a flea market). And I went over 4 because I like its focal points, the picture (its contrast and its colors), well, the constructive for standard zooms of this class. BUT of these 4x, I left myself only one, which is from a flea market and which is really sharp without any complaints. The scatter in quality is sad. Now this is my regular travel lens with an excellent vivid picture and optimal weight and dimensions.
    In my opinion, it is according to Tokin's picture that 16,5-135 is more interesting than many tried-and-true standard zooms, therefore, having found a sharp copy, I left it. In general, the following lenses, personal impressions, were used from relatively modern ones for the needs of travel (daytime, mostly or with a flash indoors on trips):
    Nikon 24-120 3,5 / 5,6 VR - although normal copies of this lens still exist, the story with a scatter of quality is worse than with this Tokina (a sharp center, for example, but the left corner is always soapy, or there is clearly not enough sharpness, visited hands of about 6 pieces with variations of problems in the image), the construct is flimsy and the weight / size did not suit me, the picture is without zest, the stub is not important to me.
    Nikon 18-140 3,5 / 5,6 VR - correct but “not live” picture ((.
    Nikon 24-85mm 3.5 / 4.5G VR - sold almost immediately, the picture and the lens did not impress at all, only 3,5x zoom.
    Nikon DX AF-S NIKKOR 55-300mm 4.5 / 5.6G ED VR SWM - applicable only on a bright sunny day + very slow focus.
    Tamron 18-200mm F / 3.5-6.3 Di II VC Model B018 is better than all of the above, excellent modern light and compact travel zoom with acceptable picture BUT cheap construction and has a very dark 150-200mm tip. If I have another excellent Tamron AF 70-200mm f / 2.8 SP Di LD (IF) macro, I prefer them and shoot these 150-200mm corresponding scenes if necessary.

    I made a conclusion for myself that today, given the possibility of selection and comparison, not everything is good that Nikon, past which I did not look anywhere 5 years ago).

  • 300s

    I will add - I shoot almost always with all lenses open.

  • Alexander

    By fider (Amateur photographer with 25+ years of experience)
    Date: 10.09.2012 08: 05: 42
    Time of purchase: 2012
    Strengths: does not lather on all bands, not heavy, moderately compact and worth your money you can shoot everywhere, but as a travel in general, a fairy tale!
    Weaknesses: all lenses of tokina are good, they honestly write the characteristics, this is the former division of nikon
    Used analogues: tokina 70-200 / 2,8 nikon 35 / 1,8
    tokina75-300/4,5-5,6 nikon 55-300/4,5-5,6 vr
    tamron 28-300 / 3,5
    Commentary: the lens is strong as metal, does not suck dust, it is much cheaper than nikona, and it is difficult to distinguish in quality, rammers were not nearby, if the opportunity arises, you will not regret buying! I bought in England through an online store. ARKADY ??? and WHO IS THERE TO BELIEVE ???

  • Alexander


    • Nicholas

      It gives such an impression! I have a Sigma 18-50, which is dark, bought in the USA, for pennies, but it is just a little inferior to the Nikon 35...

  • Alexander

    andrey ponomarev
    Experience of use: less than a month
    Advantages: Price / quality, focal range, constructive (all-metal), screwdriver
    Disadvantages: at a wide angle, slight vignetting is possible, personally, in my opinion, it is not critical .. It also happens with more expensive models ..
    Commentary: I bought it on my Nikon D7100 as a kit .. A wonderful lens made in Japan, the picture quality is very good, color, sharpness ... plus a convenient focal range, Autofocus works quickly for this class of lenses, however, it may be different on other models .. The absence of a stabilizer (again, for me personally) is not critical whether it is there or not in this case, I don't care. The analogue is probably the only one here, Nikon 16-85 - for a completely different price (stabilizer, ultrasonic motor because))) I bought Tokin ,NEW !! - for 7000 rubles. I'm happy with the result! I advise!

    • Arkady Shapoval

      And believe whoever you want. For a person who chose and bought something, then it takes a very long time and it is difficult to admit the mistake of his choice or purchase. Tokina 16-135 is weak.

      By the way, Tokina under the crop has released only 2 standard (universal) zooms for the entire time. This is not her specificity. She has only shiriks and good fixes under the crop.

      The second zoom for the crop was Tokina AT-X PRO SD 16-50 F2.8 DX Internal Focus, AT-X 165 PRO DX model, in versions for Canon (C / EF version) and Nikon (N / AIS version), has been produced since July 2006. Not bad in itself, but most likely due to the fact that the optical design is similar to the Pentax SMC DA * 16-50mm f / 2.8 ED AL (IF) SDM lens and most likely this is a joint development, or generally purely a Pentax development.

      • Vladislav

        >> Not bad in itself, but most likely due to the fact that the optical design is similar to the Pentax SMC DA* 16-50mm f/2.8 ED AL (IF) SDM lens

        A funny statement, considering that Tokina produces this lens for Pentax under an OEM agreement and is essentially the same lens.

        • Arkady Shapoval

          Pentax wouldn't take anything bad for a star lens

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