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08-26-2010, 09:32 AM   #1
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tokina rmc 500mm f/8 with slight fungus: worth $125?

I walked into a local camera store, and the salesman - who knows that I am one of the very few pentax users - showed me a K mount tokina rmc (multi coating, but what does R stand for?) 500 f/8 mirror lens. It looked great except for a patch of fungus in the inside of the front element. The price is $125 + tax. Is this lens worth it? It comes with a set of filters (rear, or course) and a nice case. Here is a test shot:
Hand held at 1/60 The yellow haze is from the reflection of the store light on the window thru which I shot this picture
IMGP8996 | Flickr - Photo Sharing!]


Last edited by mccarvindh; 08-26-2010 at 09:36 AM. Reason: messed up attachment
08-26-2010, 09:37 AM   #2
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For a 500 mirror, that shot looks damn nice to me!!!
08-26-2010, 09:51 AM   #3
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Agreed. I have this lens and don't use it often enough. You have a steady hand to get that shot that sharp. The R stand for Rainbow I believe.

Looks like the fungus isn't impacting the image much. Take poke around the mirror lens club thread. Few folks are shooting with this Tokina. A bit of PP helps, but bumping up the contrast, but it's a pretty decent lens for the reach, in such a small package.
08-26-2010, 10:01 AM   #4
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IMO, "fungus" and "buy" don't belong in the same sentence. Fungus can spread to other lenses and ruin your entire collection if you're not careful.


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08-26-2010, 10:08 AM   #5
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My Sakar MC 500/8 mirror cost me US$13 shipped, without fungus, and that's just about right. Well, I might go up to US$35 now, but no more. And as Adam said, you DON'T want a fungal lens.
08-26-2010, 11:23 AM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by Adam Quote
IMO, "fungus" and "buy" don't belong in the same sentence. Fungus can spread to other lenses and ruin your entire collection if you're not careful.
Actually Adam, fungus spores are everywhere, especially in warm moist climates, even in temperate zones this time of the year, and there are probably plenty of them already in your lenses in a dormant state. In dry conditions they can survive a very long time. They are only waiting for the right conditions to grow. Lenses that have been originally built outside clean room conditions (old lenses), been serviced in dito conditions or are built in such a way that plenty of air pump in and out of them as you focus or zoom with them are in greater risk. Fungi have no legs, it wont crawl from one lense unless carried by air or contact.

That said I would not pay that sort of money for a mirror Tokina.
08-26-2010, 11:50 AM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by Adam Quote
IMO, "fungus" and "buy" don't belong in the same sentence. Fungus can spread to other lenses and ruin your entire collection if you're not careful.
I can't disagree more. I'd buy a fungus ridden lens if it fulfills the following criteria:

1) I feel confident that it can be cleaned off.

2) It shows no decline in image quality or if the lens was never meant to be that sharp anyway. So, even if it can't be completely cleaned off, I'd know that I can live with the current image quality.

3) It's at a great price.

I don't think a fungus ridden mirror lens is worth $100+. However, I also don't know much about mirror lenses, this might be one of the best ones.

Also, having a fungus infected lens with your other lenses will not increase the risk of infection. It's more of an environmental thing.
08-26-2010, 05:41 PM   #8
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That's not a bad lens in the context of mirror lenses. However, that is the price is higher than I would expect to see a lens rated at ex+ from keh or 9/10. In fact, you are in the territory of one of the 2 Tamron adaptall-2 lenses.

08-26-2010, 11:54 PM   #9
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I got mine for $60, at a thrift store that often has cheap stuff. I go no filters and no case, never mind a hood. Thats about as much as I would pay for your lens, given the fungus.
08-27-2010, 01:09 AM   #10
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The Tokina is a very good lens but you should be able to find a clean sample for that money. Just keep an eye for it and it shows up once in a while. Make sure you get it with a skylight filter mounted on the rear - it needs such a filter for optimal performance.

The Tokina is mentioned on the adaptall site in the article for the Tamron 500 mirror lens model 55B.

Here's a shot I got with it:



This lens is easy to disassemble, so it might be possible to clean the fungus, but even so, I wouldn't pay more than $30-40 - and that only if I'd feel confident in my ability to clean it up. YMMV.
08-27-2010, 01:28 PM   #11
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Too expensive

I've owned both a copy of this lens and the Tamron Adaptall equivalent, which I still use. I compared them side-by-side and found the Adaptall just a tad sharper and with a little better contrast, but really not a lot in it. I paid around $100 for the Tokina and it was in like new condition. $125 for a fungus-infected one is too much, in my opinion.

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08-27-2010, 08:33 PM   #12
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Laurentiu - do you know what size that filter should be? Mine is missing.
08-27-2010, 08:49 PM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by Nick Siebers Quote
Laurentiu - do you know what size that filter should be? Mine is missing.
If you are asking about the Tamron 55B or 55BB, it is 30.5mm. It is important for it to have the UV filter in there or it hurts the IQ.
08-27-2010, 10:10 PM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by Nick Siebers Quote
Laurentiu - do you know what size that filter should be? Mine is missing.
The Tokina rear filter size is 35.5. Other than the skylight, it came with ND2x and ND4x filters. I think their thickness might matter, so it's best to try and find original filters, but if you can't find one, a generic one might work too.

I have a scan of my copy of the Tokina manual here. You'll find in it the recommendation to use the lens with a filter.
08-27-2010, 10:20 PM   #15
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I just recently picked this lens up upon the recommendation of Laurentiu Cristofor. I found an outstanding copy that included, case, all three filters, hood and caps for $80.00 at a local camera store. The only thing missing was the manual and Laurentiu scanned and emailed me a copy. Personally I think $125.00 is high!
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