The industry never ceases to amaze us. Kenko Tokina Co. Ltd. decided to pick one of their most popular lenses, the Tokina AT-X 116 PRO DX-II 11-16mm f/2.8 lens available for Canon, Nikon and Sony, and build it with an interlocking follow focus gear, transforming it in a lens that may become the choice for those that use Tokina and do video on a regular basis. The AT-X 116 PRO DX V (V is for Video, I presume) may well become a trend, if this works.
This lens has a manual focusing ring with an interlocking follow focus gear to allow the lens to be used in with a cinema follow focus system. Although it was conceived with video in mind, it can be also used for photography, as the original lens. AF-MF switching is accomplished by simply sliding the focusing ring forward and back on the lens barrel.
Tokina’s information indicates that “razor sharp images are achieved through the inclusion of a new aspherical lens and super-low dispersion glass. A PM-O aspherical lens element is placed in the front group.This element working in combination with the glass-molded aspherical lens placed in the rear group corrects or various aberrations while ideally correcting distortions as well.”
The timing for the launch of this lens is curious, one could say. Tokina also announced a new AT-X 11-20 PRO DX, which, according to the information available, “builds on the award-winning design of the best-selling Tokina AT-X 11-16 PRO DX-II lens by expanding the telephoto side of the zoom range from 16mm to 20mm while refining the optical design. “ I would hardly call 20mm “telephoto side”, but these are Tokina’s words…
The new lens – Tokina AT-X 11-20 PRO DX – uses a new proprietary optical design with a total of three aspherical lens elements, two all glass molded and one P-MO hybrid, to achieve excellent contrast and sharpness as well as correct spherical aberrations. The AT-X 11-20 also uses three SD (super-low Dispersion, “FK01” and FK03”) glass elements to control chromatic aberrations.
This compact ultra wide-angle zoom lens has a bright constant F/2.8 aperture make viewing and auto focus possible in lower light situations but still maintaining a reasonable size and weight. This lens also uses common sized 82mm filters so use of a CR-PL filter is possible. The AT-X 11-16 PRO DX-II has a 77mm diameter.
Tokina’s exclusive One-touch Focus Clutch Mechanism allows the photographer to switch between AF and MF simply by snapping the focus ring forward for AF and back toward the lens mount for manual focusing. The lens is also designed to stand up to the rigors of daily use by photographers in a wide variety of shooting conditions and environments.
The cherry on top of the cake is that, as Tokina states, this lens demonstrates its preeminent power in Cine/Video. Now, users have to choose between the “old” 11-16mm with Interlocking Follow Focus gear, or the modern AT-X 11-20 PRO DX without. Couldn’t Tokina just have made two versions of the new lens, one with the other without the interlocking follow focus gear?