Forgot Password
Pentax Camera Forums Home
 

Reply
Show Printable Version Search this Thread
01-20-2021, 11:36 AM   #1
Pentaxian
Driline's Avatar

Join Date: Dec 2012
Location: IOWA Where the Tall Corn Grows
Photos: Gallery
Posts: 3,070
400mm Legacy Primes (Tokina & Pentax)

I recently purchased a Tokina (Pentax mount) RMC / SL400 400mm F5.6 and while it's OK, I'm wondering if the Pentax M version SMC Pentax-M 400mm F5.6 might be a little better? Anyone have the Pentax M 400mm 5.6 who could tell me? Yes I've read the reviews here but they both seem to be very similar. I just don't want to waste a couple hundred bucks on the Pentax version if IQ is not much different.

01-20-2021, 11:53 AM   #2
Loyal Site Supporter
Loyal Site Supporter
WPRESTO's Avatar

Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: Massachusetts
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 47,360
QuoteOriginally posted by Driline Quote
I recently purchased a Tokina (Pentax mount) RMC / SL400 400mm F5.6 and while it's OK, I'm wondering if the Pentax M version SMC Pentax-M 400mm F5.6 might be a little better? Anyone have the Pentax M 400mm 5.6 who could tell me? Yes I've read the reviews here but they both seem to be very similar. I just don't want to waste a couple hundred bucks on the Pentax version if IQ is not much different.
I've owned both of the lenses in question (SMCA version of the Pentax). The Tokina is smaller/lighter, the Pentax feels very well made. I did not compare them side-by-side, and it is difficult to compare a picture of oranges with one of apples to evaluate IQ. That being said, I don't think there is much difference in performance, just as the posted reviews suggest. I had the Pentax some years after the Tokina was gone, and from the outset I was not impressed by the IQ so I sold it within 18 months. A major step up in IQ is available from the Tamron 400mm f4.0, but it is a MUCH bigger & heavier lens. Also, the Tamron works well with a Pentax 1.4XL converter and gives acceptable results with the 2XL. I would not consider for a moment using any converter with either the Tokina or Pentax 400mm f5.6. I have not had experience with it, but the Sigma 400mm f5.6 APO Macro may also offer a noticeable uptick in IQ compared to the Tokina or Pentax f5.6, and as the name implies you get very close focusing for such a long tele, as well as AF.
01-20-2021, 11:53 AM   #3
Pentaxian




Join Date: May 2014
Location: Linz
Photos: Albums
Posts: 1,548
While I only have the successor of your lens and no direct comparison, I don't expect the Pentax lens to be significantly better.
I think the next significant step in IQ would be the DA 300mm lens coupled with a 1.4 teleconverter.
01-20-2021, 12:43 PM   #4
Site Supporter
Site Supporter




Join Date: Jun 2013
Location: Utrecht
Photos: Gallery
Posts: 66
I doubt about the benefits...

I do not own the M400, but I do have and do use the RMC400 and A400. The A400 has two more lens elements so I suppose it performs better than the M400. My experiences are that the A400 has more contrast than the RMC400 does. The A400 is a bit sharper using the same aperture and frings a bit less.

Shots taken with both lenses need to be post processed. I The darks and highlights in the histogram often are flat bottom lines, I compress these with the curves and levels functions in photoshop so that the histogram stretches up. Giving it a bit more contrast does the final job. At all apertures these lenses show aberrations (though different colors), the wider you shoot, the more the fringing. This also mostly is correctable in post.

I reviewed both lenses, you can find more reviews here on this site. I scored them both a 9, taking in account the RMC400 is four times cheaper than the A400 is.

So I think performance wise the M400 and RMC400 are rather similar. Both are sturdy build, the RMC has internal focusing, focuses nearer by and is more compact.

The RMC is an underrated but decent lens, even better on FF than on APC-C because of a larger pixel distance. If I were you I should skip the M400 and save money for a real upgrade, something like a DA300 or so.

Cheers!

01-20-2021, 12:43 PM - 1 Like   #5
Pentaxian
Driline's Avatar

Join Date: Dec 2012
Location: IOWA Where the Tall Corn Grows
Photos: Gallery
Posts: 3,070
Original Poster
QuoteOriginally posted by WPRESTO Quote
I've owned both of the lenses in question (SMCA version of the Pentax). The Tokina is smaller/lighter, the Pentax feels very well made. I did not compare them side-by-side, and it is difficult to compare a picture of oranges with one of apples to evaluate IQ. That being said, I don't think there is much difference in performance, just as the posted reviews suggest. I had the Pentax some years after the Tokina was gone, and from the outset I was not impressed by the IQ so I sold it within 18 months. A major step up in IQ is available from the Tamron 400mm f4.0, but it is a MUCH bigger & heavier lens. Also, the Tamron works well with a Pentax 1.4XL converter and gives acceptable results with the 2XL. I would not consider for a moment using any converter with either the Tokina or Pentax 400mm f5.6. I have not had experience with it, but the Sigma 400mm f5.6 APO Macro may also offer a noticeable uptick in IQ compared to the Tokina or Pentax f5.6, and as the name implies you get very close focusing for such a long tele, as well as AF.
Thank you for your input. I’ve got the Tokina AT-X SD 100-300 F4 zoom which is much sharper than the Tokina 400 so I think I’ll just stay where I’m at. You saved me a few hundred dollars .

---------- Post added 01-20-21 at 01:48 PM ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by Henrico Quote
I do not own the M400, but I do have and do use the RMC400 and A400. The A400 has two more lens elements so I suppose it performs better than the M400. My experiences are that the A400 has more contrast than the RMC400 does. The A400 is a bit sharper using the same aperture and frings a bit less.

Shots taken with both lenses need to be post processed. I The darks and highlights in the histogram often are flat bottom lines, I compress these with the curves and levels functions in photoshop so that the histogram stretches up. Giving it a bit more contrast does the final job. At all apertures these lenses show aberrations (though different colors), the wider you shoot, the more the fringing. This also mostly is correctable in post.

I reviewed both lenses, you can find more reviews here on this site. I scored them both a 9, taking in account the RMC400 is four times cheaper than the A400 is.

So I think performance wise the M400 and RMC400 are rather similar. Both are sturdy build, the RMC has internal focusing, focuses nearer by and is more compact.

The RMC is an underrated but decent lens, even better on FF than on APC-C because of a larger pixel distance. If I were you I should skip the M400 and save money for a real upgrade, something like a DA300 or so.

Cheers!
Oh I had the best 300mm lens out there. It was the Pentax F*300 so I know what quality IQ is. Unfortunately I sold it several years ago to fund a Fuji mirrorless system. Iím just having fun testing out inexpensive legacy glass for now. The Tokina 400mm cost me $40 dollars while the Tokina zoom lens 100-300 F4.5 was $87 dollars.
01-20-2021, 03:45 PM - 1 Like   #6
Site Supporter
Site Supporter
luftfluss's Avatar

Join Date: Jun 2011
Location: NJ
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 8,228
A useful site to help evaluate older lenses is photodo.com
01-20-2021, 06:43 PM   #7
Forum Member




Join Date: Sep 2012
Location: Colorado Springs, Colorado
Posts: 79
How do these compare to the 400mm FA? It seems like an upgrade, experience anyone???
01-20-2021, 07:18 PM - 2 Likes   #8
Pentaxian
Driline's Avatar

Join Date: Dec 2012
Location: IOWA Where the Tall Corn Grows
Photos: Gallery
Posts: 3,070
Original Poster
QuoteOriginally posted by climbmountainway Quote
How do these compare to the 400mm FA? It seems like an upgrade, experience anyone???
The 400 FA is like a $1,600 dollar lens. It better be a heck of alot nicer than a $40 to $100 dollar Tokina lens.

---------- Post added 01-20-21 at 09:02 PM ----------

Here's a heavily processed photo from Capture 1 showcasing the Tokina AT-X SD 100-300 F4 lens.



And here's the Tokina 400mm Prime SL 400 5.6.



I think the Zoom has better color rendition and is a bit sharper overall.

---------- Post added 01-20-21 at 09:03 PM ----------

Both are fun to use though so there is that.....

01-20-2021, 11:05 PM   #9
Pentaxian




Join Date: Dec 2016
Location: Southeastern Michigan
Posts: 3,069
QuoteOriginally posted by Driline Quote
I think the Zoom has better color rendition and is a bit sharper overall
Yes, pretty impressive. And with an f/4 aperture, should be ok having a 1.4 X TC that will work well with it. Might still be better than that 400mm model.
01-21-2021, 03:18 AM   #10
Site Supporter
Site Supporter




Join Date: Jun 2013
Location: Utrecht
Photos: Gallery
Posts: 66
Beautiful pics Driline, color of the first picture is superb! Focus is spot on the nose of the dog. The second picture seems sharper on the tail of the dog. Focusing these lenses is tricky with so little DOF.
01-21-2021, 04:37 PM   #11
Pentaxian
Driline's Avatar

Join Date: Dec 2012
Location: IOWA Where the Tall Corn Grows
Photos: Gallery
Posts: 3,070
Original Poster
Another shot with the Tokina 400mm Prime.

02-02-2021, 08:17 AM   #12
Pentaxian
Driline's Avatar

Join Date: Dec 2012
Location: IOWA Where the Tall Corn Grows
Photos: Gallery
Posts: 3,070
Original Poster
QuoteOriginally posted by Henrico Quote
I do not own the M400, but I do have and do use the RMC400 and A400. The A400 has two more lens elements so I suppose it performs better than the M400. My experiences are that the A400 has more contrast than the RMC400 does. The A400 is a bit sharper using the same aperture and frings a bit less.

Shots taken with both lenses need to be post processed. I The darks and highlights in the histogram often are flat bottom lines, I compress these with the curves and levels functions in photoshop so that the histogram stretches up. Giving it a bit more contrast does the final job. At all apertures these lenses show aberrations (though different colors), the wider you shoot, the more the fringing. This also mostly is correctable in post.

I reviewed both lenses, you can find more reviews here on this site. I scored them both a 9, taking in account the RMC400 is four times cheaper than the A400 is.

So I think performance wise the M400 and RMC400 are rather similar. Both are sturdy build, the RMC has internal focusing, focuses nearer by and is more compact.

The RMC is an underrated but decent lens, even better on FF than on APC-C because of a larger pixel distance. If I were you I should skip the M400 and save money for a real upgrade, something like a DA300 or so.

Cheers!
I have the opportunity to purchase the Pentax A -400 5.6 for $275. Do you think it’s a worthy replacement for my Tokina RMC 400mm lens? I paid $40 for the Tokina which is in excellent condition.
02-02-2021, 08:41 AM   #13
Pentaxian




Join Date: May 2014
Location: Linz
Photos: Albums
Posts: 1,548
QuoteOriginally posted by Driline Quote
I have the opportunity to purchase the Pentax A -400 5.6 for $275. Do you think itís a worthy replacement for my Tokina RMC 400mm lens? I paid $40 for the Tokina which is in excellent condition.
I think image quality will not be tremendously better, but if your Tokina lens has no A setting the Pentax lens will be more convenient to use on DSLRs
02-02-2021, 09:26 AM - 3 Likes   #14
Site Supporter
Site Supporter
luftfluss's Avatar

Join Date: Jun 2011
Location: NJ
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 8,228
QuoteOriginally posted by Driline Quote
I have the opportunity to purchase the Pentax A -400 5.6 for $275. Do you think it’s a worthy replacement for my Tokina RMC 400mm lens? I paid $40 for the Tokina which is in excellent condition.
The A400 might not be as good of a value as your Tokina, but should you decide to sell the A400 you would be able to recoup your money, or make a bit of a profit.

I find the A400 to be a wonderful, versatile lens. My favorite long tele, even though I have longer/faster/sharper.

FWIW, Photodo rates the A400 as being sharper than the Tokina 100-300/4.










Last edited by luftfluss; 02-02-2021 at 09:33 AM.
02-02-2021, 10:22 AM - 2 Likes   #15
Pentaxian
bertwert's Avatar

Join Date: Jun 2015
Location: Golden, BC
Posts: 13,787
My shots don't compare to @luftluss but here's some more examples from the A 400 if you find that helpful:









(Had to copy the bear, bird, insect, rodent format )
Reply

Bookmarks
  • Submit Thread to Facebook Facebook
  • Submit Thread to Twitter Twitter
  • Submit Thread to Digg Digg
Tags - Make this thread easier to find by adding keywords to it!
400mm, 400mm legacy primes, a400, dollar, f5.6, fa, flickr, focus, iq, k-mount, legacy primes tokina, lens, lenses, m400, pentax, pentax lens, pm, post, shots, slr lens, tokina, travel, tripod, version, wildlife
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Tokina 80-400mm vs. Sigma 135-400mm Buddha Jones Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 13 02-02-2008 04:53 PM



All times are GMT -7. The time now is 03:49 AM. | See also: NikonForums.com, CanonForums.com part of our network of photo forums!
  • Red (Default)
  • Green
  • Gray
  • Dark
  • Dark Yellow
  • Dark Blue
  • Old Red
  • Old Green
  • Old Gray
  • Dial-Up Style
Hello! It's great to see you back on the forum! Have you considered joining the community?
register
Creating a FREE ACCOUNT takes under a minute, removes ads, and lets you post! [Dismiss]
Top