Short Report: Tokina AT-X 124 AF Pro DX
A wide-angle zoom with a fixed aperture delivers quality
Tokina's first lens produced exclusively for digital SLRs, the AT-X 124 AF Pro DX is a 12-24mm lens that combines rugged construction, internal focusing and a constant fixed aperture for terrific performance. Designed for Nikon and Canon digital SLRs that are built around an APS-sized sensor, the lens features a focal length equivalent of 18-36mm (1.6x lens magnification). In addition to wide-angle coverage, the AT-X 124 AF Pro DX also features a constant ƒ/4 aperture throughout the zoom range.
The lens weighs just 20.1 ounces and boasts a chrome-plated lens mount and an all-metal zoom mechanism. Its sturdy heft is supplemented with a solid, textured feel to its zoom and focusing ring, the latter of which allows you to quickly switch back and forth between autofocus and manual focus by slightly pushing or pulling the focusing ring.
The image quality of this lens more than matches the construction and finish of its exterior. It includes two aspherical lens elements, special low-dispersion (SD) glass and multicoated optics to deliver not only sharp images, but also photographs with great color accuracy, even near the edges of the frame where chromatic aberration is typically most evident.
I used the lens while photographing a quinceañera, a coming-of-age ceremony for 15-year-old girls. The lighting in the church and the reception hall was less than ideal, but the lens' constant ƒ/4 aperture allowed the camera to focus easily. I also appreciated the bright image in my viewfinder, which made it easier to compose images in areas of low light.