I have noted that the Tokina 12-24 seems to be rather a brick, weighing much more than my dinky little 17-55 it replaced. It seems that this impression also extends to its construction strength.
I was out taking photographs in Kotka the other day, and while walking around a (I didn't think it was slippery rock slope I slipped and fell flat on the ground.
Since my camera was over my shoulder (with the lens pointing down of course) the camera basically free fell at least a meter from where my shoulder was to the uphill side of me. Naturally the front of the Tokina was the landing zone (ouch). After I found nothing was broken (and I wasn't sliding further down the rock face, I turned to sit on my arse and I looked at the camera expecting to see some damage.
The lens cap now has a nasty mark on it, but the lens seems to be otherwise undamaged. The plastic filter mount seemed to have deformed a little, but I can still thread on a filter. I've tested the lens operations fully and nothing seems amiss. I was still able to take pictures like these:
I'm sure that with a front focusing lens like on the cheaper Canon's it would have been minced.
I really like this lens on my APS digital camera as it allows me to get the sort of widths I have come to know and love on full frame using 24 and 21mm lenses. I had been lamenting this with my 10D and 20D cameras. It has sort of kept me using 35mm film cameras (as I can't afford full frame digital right now).
On 35mm I never got used to 28 being wide, and preferred the looks of 24mm, so the 12mm end is welcome. The common 17mm - 55 isn't wide enough for stuff like this (taken on a trip to India)
Its good to have the quick drop into MF for those times when AF goes spakko and you know what to do too.
So there you go ... one more thing to add to the user testing of this lens.