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12-09-2018, 11:29 PM   #1
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400mm f5.6 RMC Tokina PK mounts on Pentax K-1 shots

Since I am not finding loads of great deals on PK mount, used, super telephoto primes ... I have been using an RMC Tokina 400mm f5.6 since about July and, even though it's not as nice as the Sigma f2.8 300mm APO I was using with my Nikon D3300 until about April, if treated with respect, the RMC Tokina is capable of some OK shots. I uploaded a couple to an album in case anyone faces the same problem I have ... no great options when it comes to used Pentax telephotos for sale nearby. HullPentaxian's Album: RMC Tokina 400mm f5.6 - PentaxForums.com

12-10-2018, 01:59 AM   #2
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I have the same lens. I haven't used it for a while but it always performed well for me. Thanks for showing how it performs on the K-1 (I have not progressed beyond K-3).
12-10-2018, 02:19 AM   #3
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Get a K-1 if or when you can IF you have a load of old Pentax primes

though, from what I heard, the K3s and K5s are fab cameras. If you sharpen the shots from the RMC Tokina 400mm in PP, does the human brain know it's been conned? I'm torn between thinking I'm taking perfectly OK shots with a $60 lense and wanting the security of knowing that if I'm using great gear and the pics are duff, the problem is me. Using nice gear is great but the sad fact is that there's not much about for Pentax
12-10-2018, 06:46 AM - 1 Like   #4
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I currently shoot the Tokina 400 AF and previously the 400 SD ( the 1 you're shooting). Both are Fair Lenses and Sharpen up during post.
I find their colors to be cooler than Pentax. Both would CA and PF quickly. Up to the K50 I have no gripe about image quality, The KS-2, the sensor maybe too strong for the glass, out resolve the lens. Haven't tried it on the KP yet.

Finding Long Glass for Pentax takes awhile. It took 4 or 5 years to find my AF Tokina , but it finally showed up. The question is Price

Good Luck.

12-10-2018, 11:53 AM   #5
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Had one for Nikon that I bought in the 1990s. Worked well enough for film, but I never got any great images out of the camera on my D610 - bought before I knew about the K1 coming out. Agree the colors are cool, but the main problem is low contrast. Suggest post with Haze reduction, sharpening, and warming, in the very least, with contrast boost also a good choice for raw and jpegs. Most pentax 400s would probably beat it, although I have only seen results of the Pentax 645 400mm adapted to the K1 so far (definitely a good lens!). Surprisingly, a Tamron 500mm mirror adaptall lens is quite a bit sharper and even somewhat better contrast, but the bokeh is often a drag...
12-10-2018, 02:12 PM   #6
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If you can find & afford one, the Tamron 400mm f4 is a very good MF long lens. I let mine go to another Pentaxian because I have more modern AF lenses that serve me better. Because it is an adaptall II, it might be listed as Nikon or Canon (or Minolta etc) mount but you can always purchase in hopes of locating a PK (not too difficult) or much better a PKA mount (significantly harder to find).

FYI: Just went on EBAY and found several on offer in really good condition, typical price about $619, one seller asking $1000.

Last edited by WPRESTO; 12-10-2018 at 02:18 PM.
12-10-2018, 02:39 PM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by HullPentaxian Quote
I have been using an RMC Tokina 400mm f5.6 since about July and, even though it's not as nice as the Sigma f2.8 300mm APO I was using with my Nikon D3300 until about April, if treated with respect, the RMC Tokina is capable of some OK shots.
I think the Sigma 300mm f2.8 on a crop sensor camera is going to yield a lot more keepers than the old Tokina 400mm f5.6 on FF. And the f2.8 allows for the use of a teleconverter for far more effective reach. To be honest, what I'm seeing with these and other samples from the Tokina is less resolution that you'd get with a very cheap zoom like the Pentax DA-L 55-300 on any of the AA-filterless APS-C bodies. You can work them hard in post-processing to squeeze out more contrast, reduce the aberrations, etc, but personally I don't think the game is worth the candle. I had one low-resolution, low-contrast long lens (Sigma 170-500) and that was enough for me.

It's true that there's a dearth of good quality second-hand long telephoto lenses in K-mount, compared to what is available for Nikon or Canon, and what is available in K-mount is priced at a premium (e.g. the Sigma 400mm f5.6 tele macro or the Bigma go for much higher prices in K-mount than in other current mounts). Even the previous-generation tele lenses like the Pentax F*/FA*300 f4.5 or FA 400mm f5.6, although very high quality, are priced quite high compared to current models. But the modern Pentax telephoto lenses (e.g. DA*300 f4 and DFA 150-450) are very high quality and are competitively priced against their Nikon/Canon counterparts.

It is possible to get really good telephoto images in the Pentax system. Have a look at this thread: The 300mm plus lens Club discuss your long lenses. - PentaxForums.com

QuoteOriginally posted by WPRESTO Quote
If you can find & afford one, the Tamron 400mm f4 is a very good MF long lens ... Just went on EBAY and found several on offer in really good condition, typical price about $619, one seller asking $1000.
My initial reaction was that even $600 is a lot for a vintage MF lens. But then there are very few 400mm f4 options available for K-mount, and after looking at the reviews and tests I can see a good case for the Tamron. In fact you might even say its a bargain, especially if it produces better results than the DA*300 f4 + 1.4x TC and works well with a range of TCs. Great tests you did here WPresto: https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/122-lens-clubs/55946-300mm-plus-lens-clu...ml#post3457919 (although unfortunately the test images have disappeared the conclusions remain). The only Pentax 400mm f4 was in the A series and it goes for more than $US3000.

But we are getting a long way from a $60 lens.

Last edited by Des; 12-13-2018 at 01:43 PM.
12-13-2018, 07:31 AM   #8
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Thanks for all these comments. I have the same thoughts about sharpening in post but I don't think that many people pixel peep over other peoples' shots as much as the photographers themselves might pixel peep over their own shots. When you have seen nice shots from a more expensive lense, you aspire to retaining that quality (as I said, I very happily used a Sigma 300mm f2.8 APO with an APC sensor Nikon D3300). I WILL get a better lense for my pentax. It will be a prime, probably manual focus ... I DO like sharpening RAW files since it DOES bring out detail (don't know how it does it).

Anyway, all I really wanted to say is that, in terms of bang for your buck, a clean one of these lenses or one that superceded this one is perfectly usable, in my humble opinion ... but I will probably get the 560mm Pentax next year ... and use it to death!

---------- Post added 12-13-18 at 08:35 AM ----------

I'm very impressed with a KA mount Tamron SP 90mm f2.8 Di AF I just bought in Gibraltar and know of a DA* 300mm for sale used BUT I want more than 300mm ... I want to be able to fill the frame with content ..... the 560mm is expensive but I will probably live long enough to get value out of it

12-13-2018, 02:00 PM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by HullPentaxian Quote
I want more than 300mm ... I want to be able to fill the frame with content ..... the 560mm is expensive but I will probably live long enough to get value out of it
Also consider the DFA 150-450. It's much lighter (2.1kg with hood v 3.3kg) and more compact than the 560, a lot cheaper, has a much shorter minimum focus distance (2m v 5.6m), with the versatility of the zoom. It's also designed for FF. It can also be used with the 1.4x TC (and there is at least one FF TC to be released next year). The image quality is very highly rated.

Frankly it's hard to make a case for the 560 at the asking price. A number of users have given up on it and switched to Canon or Nikon. Even buying a body as well you could come out ahead.
12-30-2018, 02:44 PM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by Des Quote
Also consider the DFA 150-450. It's much lighter (2.1kg with hood v 3.3kg) and more compact than the 560, a lot cheaper, has a much shorter minimum focus distance (2m v 5.6m), with the versatility of the zoom. It's also designed for FF. It can also be used with the 1.4x TC (and there is at least one FF TC to be released next year). The image quality is very highly rated.

Frankly it's hard to make a case for the 560 at the asking price. A number of users have given up on it and switched to Canon or Nikon. Even buying a body as well you could come out ahead.
I have seen 560mm used for sale at about 2,300 quid... since optically they're excellent and bearing in mind with a FF sensor if you want to fill the sensor with a nice crisp image you have to pretty much have that kind of focal length, I still think I am aiming for that but I am often working on ships and trying to get rare shots of birds that spend most of their lives at sea and it remains to be seen if a 560mm is just too unwieldy to use on a moving object from a moving platform. Quite a few "birds in flight| photographers are sticking with APC-S senspor bodies shooting with 300mm f2.8 lenses that give the 35mm equivalent of 480mm. I had a similar set up and found I still failed to get enough of most birds on shots. 560mm might just make that difference. Now and then, a Masked Booby, Gannet or Petrel would obligingly come near enough to the boat but Leech's Petrels etc were like bats between the waves ... big birds, faily close to a ship, with a 300mm and an APS-C sensor body, you can get some fab shots filling the frame

---------- Post added 12-30-18 at 03:46 PM ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by Des Quote
Also consider the DFA 150-450. It's much lighter (2.1kg with hood v 3.3kg) and more compact than the 560, a lot cheaper, has a much shorter minimum focus distance (2m v 5.6m), with the versatility of the zoom. It's also designed for FF. It can also be used with the 1.4x TC (and there is at least one FF TC to be released next year). The image quality is very highly rated.

Frankly it's hard to make a case for the 560 at the asking price. A number of users have given up on it and switched to Canon or Nikon. Even buying a body as well you could come out ahead.
Good points Des ... I can also see the 560mm being useful in stable conditions like bird hides ... but I'll look at your suggestion ... it could be a better option especially since there are issues with taking the 560mm as carry on luggage because it's just too big!!
12-31-2018, 03:46 PM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by HullPentaxian Quote
I have seen 560mm used for sale at about 2,300 quid... since optically they're excellent and bearing in mind with a FF sensor if you want to fill the sensor with a nice crisp image you have to pretty much have that kind of focal length, I still think I am aiming for that but I am often working on ships and trying to get rare shots of birds that spend most of their lives at sea and it remains to be seen if a 560mm is just too unwieldy to use on a moving object from a moving platform. Quite a few "birds in flight| photographers are sticking with APC-S senspor bodies shooting with 300mm f2.8 lenses that give the 35mm equivalent of 480mm. I had a similar set up and found I still failed to get enough of most birds on shots. 560mm might just make that difference. Now and then, a Masked Booby, Gannet or Petrel would obligingly come near enough to the boat but Leech's Petrels etc were like bats between the waves ... big birds, faily close to a ship, with a 300mm and an APS-C sensor body, you can get some fab shots filling the frame
I think using a telephoto lens on a moving vessel to capture a moving subject is one of the hardest things in photography. I once went on a pelagic birding trip beyond the continental shelf. It was an amazing experience, but I didn't get a single usable photo. If you can get good shots in those conditions, you're a better man than I am Gunga Din.

I've been on a number of other wildlife watching cruises. Even when the sea is calm it's not easy with a long lens. I tried my FA*300 f4.5 with and without a teleconverter, handheld and with a monopod, when the sea wasn't too bad, but still didn't get really good results. I definitely found the prime more limiting. Just as you describe, sometimes the birds came close or even flew over the boat and even the 300mm prime was too long. A 560mm? You'd miss shots for sure.

The last couple of times I used the DA 55-300 PLM and got some good shots. The light weight and very fast AF generally made up for the lack of reach.

There were others on those cruises using Bigmas or 150-600 lenses - maybe they were a lot better photographers than me, but I doubt I could have got anything much with that combination, at the long end anyway.
QuoteOriginally posted by HullPentaxian Quote
I can also see the 560mm being useful in stable conditions like bird hides
That's surely its strength. For the use you are describing, a DFA 150-450 would seem much more suitable to me. And carry a 55-300 PLM as well.
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