Review: Nikon FX wide-angle lenses

Tokina 17mm f/3.5 AT-X

Not to be confused with the popular Tokina 10-17mm fisheye lens, the legacy 17mm f3.5 AT-X is a rectilinear wide-angle lens. I came across this lens when photographing the whale Shark aggregation at Isla Mujeres with Wetpixel publisher Eric Cheng in 2013. In my opinion, it is probably the only rectilinear wide-angle lens that gives acceptable corner performance with smaller domes.

Its optical construction is made of 11 elements in 9 groups with one molded aspherical and one HLD (High refraction Low Dispersion) element. It also features a floating system for improved close-focus performance. The lens has a stated minimum focus distance of 0.25m.

The (incomplete) tests were carried out with a 20mm extension and a Zen 170mm (7”) dome port. This port is constructed from a section of a large dome, theoretically giving a “flatter” virtual image.






Full high resolution downloads of the test files are available. Please use the password “wide-angle15”.


Given that this lens was tested behind a significantly smaller dome than the other lenses, it presents some great potential particularly for large animals.

Subjectively, I think to get acceptable corners with this dome combination, the aperture needs to be f8 or higher

Tokina no longer make this lens, but they do come available for sale on eBay and other second hand sales sites.

The lens used for the review is the reviewer’s own.

  1. Introduction.
  2. Nikon AF-S NIKKOR 14-24mm f/2.8G ED.
  3. Nikon AF-S NIKKOR 16-35mm f/4G ED VR.
  4. Sigma 20mm f/1.8 EX DG.
  5. Nikon AF-S NIKKOR 20mm f/1.8G ED.
  6. Tokina 17mm f/3.5 AT-X.
  7. Nikon AF-S NIKKOR 17-35mm f/2.8 AF-S Zoom.