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Tokina RMC / SMZ105 35-105mm F3.5-4.3

Reviews Views Date of last review
10 50,168 Fri March 17, 2017
Recommended By Average Price Average User Rating
70% of reviewers $47.63 7.60
Tokina RMC / SMZ105 35-105mm F3.5-4.3

Tokina RMC / SMZ105 35-105mm F3.5-4.3
Tokina RMC / SMZ105 35-105mm F3.5-4.3

A nice, compact zoom with a close focus mode (lens extension ie like using an extension tube) operated by a small button that goes to max 1:4 at max extension, 35mm. The "RMC" 's are typically PKM mount, PKA appeared only shortly before the Tokina lens line-up was updated and remodelled.

Push-pull (one touch) zoom.
55mm filter thread.
16 elements/13 groups.
6 blade iris.
CFD 1.6m normal mode; 1:4 reproduction (13.5cm) macro mode.
Weight ~ 450g /16oz

Scan of original user manual here

Relabelled SMZ105 when the lens line up was remodelled, then succeeded by the similar, but optically updated, SMZ305 35-105mm f3.5-4.5. This lens doesn't have the separate macro mode ring. pezmaker's review below is of this lens.
There is also a 2-ring, 72mm filter thread, constant f3.5 version see this thread.
Mount Type: Pentax K
Price History:

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Sort Reviews by: Date | Author | Rating | Recommendation | Likes (Descending) Showing Reviews 1-10 of 10

Registered: September, 2013
Location: Arequipa
Posts: 506
Lens Review Date: March 17, 2017 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $30.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: sharp!, good contrast and color, light-weight, no CAs
Cons: none
Sharpness: 10    Aberrations: 9    Bokeh: 9    Handling: 9    Value: 10    Camera Used: Sony Alpha a850   

I've only had this lens for a couple of weeks, but I'm amazed at its quality. In my opinion, this would be a superb walk-around lens.
The second image is a crop of the first, the top of the left pylon, with no additional PP. The photo was taken handheld at 105mm or close to it, 1/100 second, f8.
My copy is a nearly mint m42 mount model without an auto/manual switch. I had to superglue the aperture pin in, and I cannot use an adapter with focus assist because of the variable maximum aperture I'm guessing (If I do the camera makes focus-hunting noises.). Minor issues, easily remedied.
I added a photo made using the macro function to show its capabilities there. The photo was slightly cropped, but no PP was applied.

Registered: April, 2009
Location: Madrid, Spain
Posts: 5,491
Lens Review Date: March 5, 2017 I can recommend this lens: No | Price: $40.00 | Rating: 6 

Pros: Solid build, reasonably sharp, useful focal lengths
Cons: Heavy, low contrast dull-looking images, not sharp until f/5.6
Sharpness: 8    Aberrations: 8    Bokeh: 8    Handling: 8    Value: 6    Camera Used: K200D, K3   

I bought this lens in order to have a walk-around zoom for use on old manual film cameras, but I don't think I ever used it like that, I'm too much of a fan of primes. I used it a few times on my DSLRs but the problem was that photos always looked very flat and dull, so I sold it.

It's a very solidly built lens - heavy with smooth focusing and aperture ring, which make it pleasant to use. Common to all the old Tokina lenses I've tried the aperture ring is in full stops only, which is irritating. Close focus is not very close at all and the lens has to be put into close focus mode to use that feature, otherwise the minimum focus distance is quite long (1.3m if memory serves).

Wide open the lens isn't very sharp but I've seen a lot worse. Stopped down it's pretty sharp but then you're at f/5.6 already and that's very limiting. The biggest problem is that contrast and saturation are very poor on this lens so any photos taken with it will look dull. It may be possible to massage some life into them in PP but when there are so many lenses out there where that isn't necessary, why bother?

There are plenty of old lenses that are a lot worse than this one, but there are lenses which are a lot better too. I'd add some sample photos but this lens didn't produce any worth keeping before I sold it.
New Member

Registered: July, 2015
Posts: 1
Lens Review Date: June 26, 2016 I can recommend this lens: No | Price: None indicated | Rating: 4 

Pros: close focus, sharp towards the long end
Cons: not sharp on the short end
Sharpness: 5    Aberrations: 6    Bokeh: 6    Handling: 4    Value: 4    Camera Used: Sony NEX-5t   

I found this lens just lying around where I live. It's not a bad lens by any means, and it's built like a tank. The close focus abilities are good as well. At 35-50mm it doesn't really sharpen up until f8 even in the middle of the frame. At 75-105, it actually is sharp even wide open. But, especially on an NEX, I'm not willing to cart around a heavy zoom lens like this if it's sharpness is wanting, even if slightly, even at slow apertures like 3.5 - 5.6. I'd just simply rather shoot fast primes, and I find I never take this lens out for a spin.

IMHO, it's primary attraction is the decent 1:4 close focus performance if you can get it for cheap.
New Member

Registered: November, 2013
Posts: 6
Lens Review Date: December 9, 2014 I can recommend this lens: No | Price: $80.00 | Rating: 5 

Pros: sharp lens with good handling performence
Cons: CA's visible
Sharpness: 6    Aberrations: 4    Bokeh: 7    Value: 6    Camera Used: me super   

I'm convinced of Tokina lenses, generally.And there are a lot of fine exemplaries with high quality standard,
but this lens was a disappointing one for me.

my lens showed visible CA's. I don't know, if this were a production default. that's why I sold it.

for macro shootings not so good.ok it's not a macro lens, but competitors from Tamron in this zoom range a class better.
Senior Member

Registered: May, 2012
Posts: 153
Lens Review Date: June 6, 2013 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $35.00 | Rating: 8 

Pros: Sharp Photos, Fine Tuning & Smooth Focusing, Decent Color
Sharpness: 8    Aberrations: 9    Bokeh: 7    Handling: 9    Value: 9   

One of the reasons I was drawn to Pentax was the ease of use with all the old lenses. If you are confused about how your manual settings work, pick up some cheap old lenses, you will learn real quick and have fun doing it. This was one of the first lenses I bought to play around with, and I didn't like it at first, but now that I'm more experienced with my camera, I took it back out and played around with it again, and I have to say it's a pretty sharp lens in the right situation! Wouldn't recommend it for indoors or low light, but fun to play around with outside. The close focus ring helps maximize sharpness by fine tuning the focus, so I would rate this lens higher than a lot of other old lenses because of that. Pretty good color, not quite as washed out as my 50mm.

Inactive Account

Registered: February, 2013
Posts: 1
Lens Review Date: February 8, 2013 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $35.00 | Rating: 7 

Sharpness: 7    Aberrations: 8    Bokeh: 6    Handling: 8    Value: 7   

It's an average performer.
The lens has a good zoom range, it's not too slow, and not too heavy, in that respect it's almost perfect walkaround lens.
The resolution is slightly better than average, on the level of 35-70/3.5. The contrast is average. CA is average. Bokeh is below average with some harshness, which may stand out in some situations. Lens is prone to glowing fully open. It really needs to be closed down by 1-2 stops to achieve best optical performance.
Zoom feels tight on my mint sample, it might get looser with use. The close focusing is achieved by an additional macro ring, which unlike focusing ring shifts internal elements and probably affects image quality, otherwise this macro mode is convenient as it doesn't extend the lens and works well overall. There are used and new (old stock) lenses available on ebay and they cost very little, so you may get one just for fun.
Senior Member

Registered: July, 2011
Location: Madison, WI
Posts: 276
Lens Review Date: October 30, 2012 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: None indicated | Rating: 8 

Pros: Sharp, quality build, auto aperture, easily produced 3D effect, smooth bokeh, soft and dreamy 1:4 "macro zone"
Cons: wide end doesn't pop like I'd like, wide end isn't wide enough, things don't snap into focus, soft and dreamy 1:4 "macro zone"
Sharpness: 8    Bokeh: 9    Handling: 8    Value: 10   

For clarification, I have an auto aperture version of this lens. I did not see a separate listing, so I'm posting here.

I don't think this lens is quite at the same level as the "box of primes" that the pentax 35-105mm is known as, but it's no slouch either. Quite sharp across the board. It has a 1:4 "macro" mode at 105mm that I found excessively soft and "dreamy" wide open (I think this lens is 3.5 until the macro, and 4.5 at that point...), but stopped down even to 5.6 in the macro zone it was pretty sharp. F8 was tack sharp everywhere. Much like other people have said before, 35 on the "wide" end of a zoom is just not enough, I kept wanting more. That said, the wide end isn't this lens's forte... it really likes the 70-105 range, and I was fairly easily able to get a 3D type shot, even if I wasn't necessarily going for that effect. One other thing I would say is while I really like the damping on the zoom and focus ring, it was occasionally difficult to find focus. There's plenty of throw, but focus doesn't snap like some lenses - there's a lot of trial and error as I go through and back to the focal plane. That's not to say you can't get focus - always you can; it just doesn't snap into place like some other lenses.

So, to conclude, I like this lens, a lot. For the price I paid of (I don't recall, but it didn't break the bank...), I don't feel that I could have gone wrong getting this lens, and think it could go a lot higher than you can usually find it for.

my (unfortunately incomplete) set from Single in October 2012 where I used this lens

---- NOTE ----

My review is for visual exact copy of this lens, yet with aperture of F:3.5-4.5, not 3.5-4.3. The lens looks identical, beyond the markings on the front of my lens being 4.5. I'm working on figuring out what the differences are. It's possible this review may get moved.
New Member

Registered: May, 2012
Location: Brasov, Romania
Posts: 5
Lens Review Date: May 11, 2012 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $58.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: Very sharp, good range, cheap, manual focus
Cons: nothing
Sharpness: 10    Aberrations: 9    Bokeh: 9    Handling: 9    Value: 10   

Used lens, very sharp, good close up, nice bokeh.
Forum Member

Registered: January, 2011
Location: Czech Republic
Posts: 80

1 user found this helpful
Lens Review Date: July 15, 2011 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $28.00 | Rating: 9 

Pros: Very sharp, lovely bookeh, good macro
Cons: Some CA

I have to say wow! I just got this lens, went out, did a lot of test shots and I was astonished by the quality of the pictures. The lens sharpness is almost comparable with my Pentax-M 50mm f/1.7, it's sharp at f/3,5-4,3 and very very sharp at f/5,6 and above. This lens has also close focusing, that means macro with a magnification ratio of up to 1:4 and it's very usable. I also love the bookeh of this lens, it's very beautiful. I also think this lens is quite light, but I didn't have a pro telephoto lens in my hand, so I can't really compare. The only thing why I'm not giving this lens a 10 is because I'm a perfectionist and there is a bit, just a bit of chromatic aberration. If you're not a perfectionist look at it as a 10.

More photos of this lens:
Site Supporter

Registered: November, 2007
Location: Saskatoon, Canada
Posts: 299
Lens Review Date: June 22, 2011 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $75.00 | Rating: 9 

Pros: Great clear shots, excellent macro, light weightnone
Cons: none

Great lens. Used it extensively on my Program Plus. Very sharp with a great range. Macro is crisp and clear. Smooth barrel. Very light and durable.
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