Tokina Lens Abbreviations & Acronyms (A Simple Guide)

Welcome to a guide and list of Tokina Lens Abbreviations and Acronyms. Established in the 1950s, Tokina is an old name in the world of third-party lens manufacturers. But as some of you may have heard, Tokina lenses are actually made by a company called Kenko.

Yep. Not to be confused, Tokina is something like a “brand name of lenses”. Kenko or Tokina, they are literally the same company. Either way, let us walk through their technical lingo in this guide – Read on!




  • AT-X: Advanced Technology Extra, the general consumer line of lenses. The AT-X line further expanded over the years.
    • ATXPro: The professional series.
    • ATX-AF: Range of high-performance lenses.
    • ATX-I: ATX Interactive. Tokina rambled something about “interaction between photographer and lens”. No idea what that means either.
    • ATX-M: Range of lenses for mirrorless cameras.
    • ATX-V: Range of lenses that are specialized for videography.
  • FiRIN: Lenses that are made for mirrorless cameras, Sony in particular.
  • Opera: Premium full-frame lenses.
  • Reflex: Catadioptric lenses. Something like a telescope.
  • SZ & SZX: “S – Satisfaction, Z – Zest, X – Something unknown”. Whatever that means again…



Tokina’s lens format is rather confusing. It first began with using the following for the AT-X line of lenses:

  • FX: This lens is built for full-frame cameras.
  • DX: This lens is built for crop sensor cameras.

The above is still in use, but the later series (Opera, Firin, Reflex, ATX-M, ATX-I) uses a set of different codes:

  • FF: This lens is built for full-frame Canon EF and Nikon F cameras.
  • FE: This lens is built for full-frame Sony E cameras (Note – This clashes with free-floating elements below).
  • CF: Built for crop-sensor cameras.
  • MF: Built for micro 4/3 cameras.
  • X: Built for Fujifilm X series.




Some of the lenses will carry a Roman numeric – I, II, III, etc… That is the revision of the lens. That is something version 2, version 3, and so on.



  • AS: Aspherical optics, the elements are shaped somewhat like a human eye. Read more on Wikipedia if you are interested.
  • F&R: Both front and rear elements of the lens are aspherical.
  • SD: Super Low Dispersion. Supposedly better prevents chromatic aberration.
  • MC: Lens with multiple layers of coating. Reduces ghosting, flaring, and produces better images.
  • HLD: High-Refraction and Low Dispersion. Simply, even better chromatic aberration control plus image quality.
  • D: Digital optimized. The lens has optics that are optimized for digital cameras. This is no longer being used, as all the modern lenses are digital “by default”.




  • IF: Internal Focus, the manual focus ring does not turn while auto-focus does its yoga.
  • IRF: Internal Rear Focus. Same as above, with the exception that only the rear element(s) move during focusing. Supposedly faster and quieter.
  • FC: Focus Clutch. Something very simple. The focus ring can be snapped back and forth, switching between auto and manual focus.
  • One-Touch FC: One-touch focus clutch, is supposed to be the improved focus clutch mechanism.
  • FE: Floating Element System. In layman’s terms, this is a design of the elements to prevent distortion. Take note – FE is no longer being used in modern lenses to demark the “floating element system”.



  • Macro: This is a macro lens that can shoot up close.
  • Fisheye: This is an ultra-wide lens.



Of all the lens manufacturers, Tokina has the most long-winded stabilization mechanism called Vibration Correction Module (VCM).




Thank you for reading and we have come to the end of this guide. I hope that it has helped you and here are a few more links that may be useful. Good luck and happy shooting!

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