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

General information

This is a zoom lens manufactured by Tokina and the lens was released 2009.
The lens belongs to the category superzoom lenses. A superzoom lens gives you a wide zoom range, from a wider field of view (wide angle) to a more narrow field of view (telephoto) and is usually appreciated as an all-in-one travel lens.

Product description from Tokina

At launch 2009 Tokina wrote this regarding Tokina AT-X 16.5-135mm F3.5-5.6 DX:

"This Tokina compact super wide zoom range begins at 16.5mm and offers the photographer a wider angle of view than most lenses in its class that start at 18mm. This makes the lens better suited for scenic and travel photography in addition to being a great standard lens for most general photography situations.

The AT-X 16.5-135 DXs optical design benefits from the latest advances in the industry. Three aspherical elements, one all glass precision-molded element and 2 compound elements yield high contrast. Additionally two Super-low Dispersion (SD) glass elements correct chromatic aberration.

The AT-X 16.5-135 DX has a newly designed high-precision mechanical zoom cam system minimizes play and eliminates zoom creep "


Compatibility, autofocus and focal length

The lens is available for both Canon and Nikon cameras, but there are two different versions of this lens (one for each brand and mount) so it is important that you ask for and choose the right version when bying the lens.

This lens is designed and meant for Canon and Nikon cameras with a smaller sensor (often referred to as 'APS-C') which means that the lens does not fit all camera models. By clicking on the link below you can make sure that the lens works with your camera model and you should do an additional check with your local dealer as well, before you buy the lens just to be sure.

Here it is the only Canon version of the lens that has a built-in autofocus (AF) motor. The possibility to use autofocus (AF) is available for Nikon cameras but only if the camera itself has a built-in autofocus (AF) motor. Some cheaper and budget camera models from Nikon lacks a built-in autofocus motor, and we at Lensora appreciate autofocus, so in the list of compatible cameras we have chosen to display only the cameras that you can get autofocus with.

The lens has a focal length of 16-135 mm. Since the lens is designed to be used on a camera with smaller sensor ('APS-C') the focal length will be equivalent to 26-216 mm if you have a Canon camera or 24-202 mm if you have a Niko camera.

Lens brightness and image stabilizer

The lens brightness and aperture value is f/3,5-5,6.

This lens is not considered to have a good aperture value and brightness. It is something to consider before you purchase the lens. To compensate for this you might, while photographing in less favorable light conditions, be forced to either use higher ISO settings (which generates more noise in the image), slower shutter speeds (which may give some motion blur) or flash lightning. Read more at the link below what lens brightness means to you as a photographer.

One thing to consider is that the lens has a variable brightness, which means that depending on how much you are zooming the lens will have a different maximum aperture value. At 16 mm the lens brightness is f/3,5 and at 135 mm the brightness is f/5,6. Through the link below you can read more about what this could mean for you as a photographer.

The lens lacks image stabilization, which otherwise os good for avoiding the blur that can occur when using slow shutter speeds. 

Filter and Lens Hood

The lens has a traditional filter thread on the front and its measuring 77 mm which also the filter you will use must have. If you use for example an UV filter can be a cheap insurance against scratches and dust.

If you buy this lens it will come with a lens hood, whose model name is "BH-777".

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

In order to see larger product images of the lens, click the link below.

Things to consider before buying

Below you will find some summarized points and facts that can be considered as the 'pros and cons' of this lens. These are based entirely on the facts and values that are accessible through the lens specification, so we highly recommend that you also read the reported reviews available (see tab 'Reviews'); this in order to get a more complete view of the lens and its capabilities. Reviewer opinions reflect the lens, its use and its optical performance in a more accurate way, but any way - here a few different points to consider before buying this lens.

  • A versatile lens for those who own their first DSLR camera
  • A lens hood is included
  • No built-in autofocus motor (the Nikon version)
  • Works only on cameras with APS-C sensor
  • No built-in image stabilizer
  • Poor aperture value with its f/5,6
  • A variable lens brightness at different focal lengths
  • The lens is not sealed against moisture and dust

Our Review Ratings

Time to grade Tokina AT-X 16.5-135mm F3.5-5.6 DX.

Build Quality     
Image Quality     
Autofocus     
Sharpness     
Versatility     
Value     
Overall rating 3 of 5

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