Tokina 11-16mm - Is This The Best Wide Angle EF Lens?

     I've been an avid user of my Canon T2i for videography and personal use and I have collected a number of lenses over the years. But when searching for a good wide angle lens I've tried a number of solutions. I tried the Canon 10-22mm lens as a first solution and then bought the Tokina 11-16mm. Here's why.

     In March 2013, I was offered a gig to make online ads about six apartments in San Diego. At the time of receiving this ofter I didn't have any wide angle lenses which is a MUST for real estate videography. So here's what I did, I went to my local photography store after trying the Canon 8mm for a few minutes everything seemed very distorted obviously because it's a fish eye lens. Then I tried the Canon 10-22mm which is also considered a fish eye lens but with wide look instead of a fish eye look. I ended up renting the Canon 10-22mm for the first day of the gig. When I arrived to the property I was going to film it was a dream come true to use and while I was editing the first ad that night I wanted to own a lens that wide but I a little better. The Canon 10-22mm had decent build quality, it felt like your average kit lens. I did my research and I found the Tokina 11-16mm, for only a little over $500 on Amazon I could own my own ultra wide lens. After a couple weeks I had completed all six apartment ads and got fantastic feedback, I had then purchased my own Tokina 11-16mm simply because the price was a lot better than the Canon 10-22mm, $650 vs. $500.

     When I received my Tokina lens the first thing I noticed was the amazing build quality, this lens is solid! I took some video test shots and noticed the Tokina was very sharp. The Canon 10-22mm had a noticeable issue with color fringing around the edges while the Tokina hardly had any color fringing at all. The aperture was big improvement over the Canon lens. Canon has an aperture of f3.5 at 10mm and then f5.6 at 22mm, the Tokina has a constant aperture of f2.8 which means the aperture is always f2.8 on all the zoom lengths which makes it much better for low light shots especially using a T2i with noticeable ISO noise starting at ISO 800. Not long after purchasing this lens I got a gig to shoot a luxury home so I ended up using this lens.

Shot using the Canon 10-22mm lens and Canon 28mm f1.8.

Shot using the Tokina 11-16mm and Canon 28mm f1.8.