RMC Tokina 17mm 1:3.5 Review

07/05/2017 - 11:18
RMC Tokina 17mm f/ 3.5. review




 RMC Tokina 17mm 1:3.5 — wide-angle manual prime lens for 35mm format. Produced by different systems: Nikon, Canon FD, Pentax P/K, Minolta.

Abbreviation 'RMC' means that lens has brand Tokina multicoating calls 'Rainbow Multi Coating', it was using in 80-th. Another same lens was produced under the name Vivitar 17mm F3.5 MC.

Optical design — 11 elements in 9 groups.

Generally, Tokina made four version of the 17mm f/ 3.5 lens, all from the film era.
First Tokina MF 17 mm f/ 3.5 SL, which has the single coating (1979-1984).
Second (1984-1993) — RMC Tokina 17mm 1:3.5, which presented in this review.
Third (1993-1999) — Tokina AF 17 mm f/ 3.5 AT-X Aspherical, which has autofocus and aspherical element.
Fourth (1999-2005) — Tokina AF 17 mm f/ 3.5 AT-X PRO, AT-X PRO series.

 

RMC Tokina 17mm 1:3.5 specs

Focal length: 17mm
Aperture: f/ 3.5—16
Weight (g): 305
Length (mm): 50
Filter Ø (mm.): 67
Aperture blades: 6
Min. Focus distance (m.): 0.25

 

RMC Tokina 17mm 1:3.5 handling and mechanics

A lens assembled in the metal barrel and pleasant for use.

RMC Tokina 17mm f/ 3.5 on Nikon

RMC Tokina 17mm 1:3.5 on Nikon D3100, well set on the camera.

RMC Tokina 17mm f/ 3.5

The front lens has a diameter of only 40 mm and is slightly planted in the barrel.

RMC Tokina 17mm f/ 3.5

Closer to the front lens there is a rubberized focusing ring 12 mm wide. The ring rotates 180 degrees, providing a smooth focus. In this case, the front part of the lens extends approximately 2 mm, it is almost imperceptible. The front lens does not rotate.

Closer to the bayonet is the metal diaphragm control ring. The diaphragm closes discretely in the steps: 3.5 - 5.6 - 8 - 11 - 16. There are no middle values, but it would be desirable. The number of petals of the diaphragm is 6.

RMC Tokina 17mm f/ 3.5

Initially, my copy was for Pentax with a P/K mount, but I adapt it for Nikon F.

 

RMC Tokina 17mm 1:3.5 Photo Examples

All photos are taken with Nikon D3100, export from RAW with slight correction of exposure.

RMC Tokina 17mm 1:3.5 Sharpness

The lens has a good sharpness from the wide-open, and when it closes to f / 5.6 it increases even more.

RMC Tokina 17mm f/ 3.5 photo examples children
f/ 3.5

RMC Tokina 17mm f/ 3.5 photo examples subway
f/ 3.5

When it closed to f/ 8, I did not notice a big increase in sharpness, but the DOF grows and vignetting disappears.

RMC Tokina 17mm f/ 3.5 photo examples lake
f/ 5.6

RMC Tokina 17mm f/ 3.5 photo examples Lviv
f/ 5.6

RMC Tokina 17mm f/ 3.5 photo examples perspective
f/ 8

It seemed to me that at infinity the sharpness is better than at short distances.

RMC Tokina 17mm f/ 3.5 photo examples panorama
f/ 8

RMC Tokina 17mm f/ 3.5 photo examples
f/ 8

RMC Tokina 17mm 1:3.5 character

The lens has good plasticity. Images are nice. Thanks to an ultra-wide angle on a full frame, you can get unusual perspectives.

RMC Tokina 17mm f/ 3.5 photo examples pigeons
f/ 8

RMC Tokina 17mm f/ 3.5 photo examples flowers
f/ 5.6

RMC Tokina 17mm f/ 3.5 photo examples car
f/ 3.5

On the APS/C sensor camera, the angle will be equal to 25.5 mm, which is also quite well.

RMC Tokina 17mm f/ 3.5 photo examples building
f/ 8

The lens is good for shooting landscapes and panoramas. In landscapes thanks to a wide angle, you can focus on the front subjects.

RMC Tokina 17mm f/ 3.5 photo examples forest
f/ 5.6

RMC Tokina 17mm f/ 3.5 photo examples rock
f/ 8

RMC Tokina 17mm f/ 3.5 photo examples trees
f/ 8

You can also shoot with such an angle of growth and belt portraits of people with an informative background when it is part of the scene.

RMC Tokina 17mm f/ 3.5 photo examples child portrait
f/ 5.6

RMC Tokina 17mm f/ 3.5 photo examples kid on lake
f/ 3.5

RMC Tokina 17mm f/ 3.5 photo examples kid
f/ 8

RMC Tokina 17mm f/ 3.5 photo examples child
f/ 3.5

RMC Tokina 17mm f/ 3.5 photo examples portrait
f/ 3.5

On wide-angle lenses, a good blur is not easy to achieve, almost impossible. But at MFD, you can still observe a pleasant blur.

RMC Tokina 17mm f/ 3.5 photo examples bokeh
f/ 3.5 MFD

RMC Tokina 17mm f/ 3.5 photo examples bokeh
f/ 3.5 MFD

The lens is also well suited for outdoor photography. The hyperfocal distance at the diaphragm f / 3.5 starts from about 9 meters, and at f/ 8 - 4 meters. So on a bright, sunny day, you can put f/ 8 focus on hyperfocal and catch interesting street stories without worrying about focusing.

Also, it is convenient to shoot night panoramas. Thanks to a short focus, I was able to shoot handheld at a shutter speed of 1/6 sec and get a clear unblurred photo.

RMC Tokina 17mm f/ 3.5 photo examples night
f/ 3.5 1/8 ISO 400 handheld

RMC Tokina 17mm f/ 3.5 photo examples night
f/ 3.5 1/6 ISO 400 handheld

 

RMC Tokina 17mm 1:3.5 contrast and color rendition

The lens performs a good contrast. Well copes with strong back and side light.

RMC Tokina 17mm f/ 3.5 photo examples sun
f/ 8

RMC Tokina 17mm f/ 3.5 photo examples ducks
f/ 8

At a certain angle, you can catch a flare, and they are very pronounced, especially on the wide-open.

RMC Tokina 17mm f/ 3.5 photo examples
f/ 3.5

You can use the flare as an artistic technique, but if you do not want to catch them, it is recommended to use a hood.

RMC Tokina 17mm f/ 3.5 photo examples road
f/ 8

RMC Tokina 17mm f/ 3.5 photo examples
f/ 5.6

 

RMC Tokina 17mm 1:3.5 distortion and vignetting

The lens has a well-adjusted distortion. On the APS/C sensor, it is almost invisible, I did not check it on the full frame camera. For such a wide angle, these are very good indicators.

Below is an example of distortion, and you can also see vignetting on the wide-open.

RMC Tokina 17mm f/ 3.5 distortion and vignetting
f/ 3.5 distance of 2 meters

Vignetting is well present and begins to disappear after f/ 8.

RMC Tokina 17mm f/ 3.5 distortion
f/ 3.5

Summary
RMC Tokina 17mm 1:3.5 is a nice wide-angle manual focus lens. Has good optical characteristics and build quality.





Jack Nordine's picture
One of my favorite inexpensive lenses from the old days. Very underrated. ...and nice review!
Jonathan Moerman's picture
Nice review! How did you adapt this lens to Nikon F? I too got my hands on an RMC Tokina 17mm 3.5 with Pentax mount and converted it using the mount of a faulty 50-250mm Tokina lens with Nikon mount. You seem to have been able to retain the aperture lever, something I haven't been able to do so far. Does the lever work?
Ivan K's picture
Here I described adaptation process (on russian language) https://periscope.com.ua/remont-i-peredelka-obektivov/peredelka-obektiva Hope you understanding via translator and pictures.
Jonathan Moerman's picture
Thanks for the link! I now understand the image of the lens with aperture lever is from before the modification. It would have been a nice to have working aperture control from the body, but it is far from essential.
Ivan K's picture
Yes. Working aperture control it will be amazing. But it's very difficult to make I think.
Add new comment