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Tokina ( Hoya ) RMC / SL400 400mm F5.6

Reviews Views Date of last review
5 46,285 Sun December 22, 2019
Recommended By Average Price Average User Rating
100% of reviewers $89.80 8.20
Tokina ( Hoya ) RMC / SL400 400mm F5.6

Tokina ( Hoya ) RMC / SL400 400mm F5.6
Tokina ( Hoya ) RMC / SL400 400mm F5.6

Predecessor to the SD version and the later AF versions.
The Tokina 400mm f5.6 was sold as an RMC, and then superceded by the SL400 (in practice they look the same) when the line-up was revamped.
Scan of original Tokina brochure on the Tokina SL28 28mm page.
Can be found in all mounts of the era.
Also marketed by Hoya - pic 2, Mitsuki, and the later Tokina made (37xxxxx) Vivitar TX mount 400mm f5.6 is basically this lens with a swappable TX mount.

Focal length: 400mm
Max aperture: f5.6
Min aperture f22
Aperture ring moves in whole stops only
Focus: 90deg, anti-pentax.
Filter size: 72mm
Length 240mm with hood retracted, 290mm with hood extended.
Weight: ~ 0.9kg
Full Manual (no 'A' setting)

U-tube video review by Finn Moore.
Mount Type: Pentax K
Price History:

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Registered: June, 2013
Location: Utrecht
Posts: 46
Lens Review Date: December 22, 2019 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $100.00 | Rating: 9 

Pros: Cheap, solid, sharp stopped down, minimum focus distance, full frame coverage
Cons: Soft wide open, abberations, low contrast
Sharpness: 8    Aberrations: 8    Bokeh: 10    Handling: 9    Value: 10    Camera Used: K2 up to K1ii   

This was my longest lens for a long time, I think I bought it 20 years ago or so for 90. This is old school Tokina build quality with internally & close focussing. My copy still is in prestine condition. I often take it with me out with fishing for long distance shots. It is more compact than the A400 I also own and it is less pricy. Wide open the Tokina is rather soft and shows green / magenta fringing. Stopped down it really has decent IQ, best at F11 or so. As with most old era long tele's the out of camera pictures can be very dull, you must correct levels & contrast in post, than you can see the real quality of this lens. Shooting RAW gives you lot of dynamic space to pump up the contrast. This lens also shows decent corner performance on full frame too.

I think this is a bit an underrated lens so for the money I score this a true 9.

All shots taken hand held from my boat on K-01 at a sunny day. Aperture will have been F8 - F11. Focussing is done with my Hoodman at 6x expansion, that combo really works flawless for me in all circumstances. For that see also

New Member

Registered: February, 2012
Posts: 15
Lens Review Date: July 10, 2013 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $25.00 | Rating: 8 

Pros: Lightweight, sharp
Cons: Colours dull and unsaturated, contrast low
Sharpness: 8    Aberrations: 8    Bokeh: 8    Handling: 8    Value: 10   

Mine is branded as a Mitsuki, but it is obviously this lens.

My copy has an M42 rather than a K mount and a Manual/Auto slide. I keep a no-name infinity focus M42 adapter permanently attached. The $3 M42 adapter had to be filed down to mount on my camera bodies, but the lens and the adapter mount securely, and with the adapter's spring latch removed the lens/adapter combo demounts easily as well.

Using the lens's Manual/Auto slide, it is possible to manually use the camera in aperture priority at any aperture.

Metering on my Samsung GX20 is accurate.

Metering on my Pentax K-X is hopeless. It under exposes by more than 3 stops, more than I can dial in with exposure compensation. I have to set shutter speed and aperture manually.

My copy has some fungus on the internal focus elements. It isn't that easy to spot the fungus, but it cannot be cleaned off without taking the whole lens to pieces, so it is going to stay. Bear this in mind; the fungus may be affecting the quality of the images that I obtain.

My images from this lens are sharp. It's not a scientific assessment, but if the focus is right the images from this lens wide open are sharper than anything I can manage with wider lenses plus teleconverters, or my other Tokina-made f5.6 400mm lens (a Vivitar TX). However, the contrast and colour from this lens are weak. I invariably have to increase both contrast and saturation in PP to produce a pleasing result.

I'm not troubled by Chromatic Aberrations or Fringing at any aperture, though I mostly use this lens at maximum aperture to maximise the shutter speed, and because my Minetar 400mm f6.3 gives me more pleasing results when this lens and the Minetar are shot at the same aperture setting.

This lens has no integral tripod mount, but the lens is light enough (950 gm) for it to be possible for the cameras to be mounted to the tripod rather than the lens being mounted to the tripod, with satisfactory results. On a sunny day, you don't need a tripod with this lens outdoors; it is likely to prove fast enough.

I've never noticed the bokeh at all; it is entirely unexceptional.

The focus throw is only 90 degrees. In spite of the relatively bright aperture, accurate manual focusing is easier with the slower Minetar, and with another Tokina-made 400mm f5.6 lens I own (a Vivitar 400 f5.6 TX) whose focus throw is 120 degrees.


Registered: March, 2007
Location: chicago burbs
Posts: 3,381
Lens Review Date: January 22, 2013 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $24.00 | Rating: 8 

Pros: Build quality and price
Cons: Color fringeing
Sharpness: 8    Aberrations: 8    Bokeh: 8    Handling: 9    Value: 10   

I bought the tokina about 3 years ago from ebay for $15 plus $9 shipping. It was listed as K-mount and when it arrived I knew it was canon fd mount. To send it back for a $15 recovery would have been ridiculous. So, I took it apart, permanently taped the aperture lever in place at around f5.6-7, guessed the registry distance and screwed on a pentax K lens mount from an old pentax lens. Fortunately it worked! Based on using it in this manner it rates about 8.5 in sharpness, has CA in some instances, has a smooth and very short focus throw and build quality is very good. At the price I paid it's an excellent value. I would only recommend it if you can find one for no more than $150, have the ability to correct CA and shoot routinely around f8. It does work well with the Q.
New Member

Registered: August, 2012
Posts: 12

1 user found this helpful
Lens Review Date: August 8, 2012 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $150.00 | Rating: 8 

Pros: Price, Construction
Cons: Colour Fringing, Soft Wide open
Sharpness: 9    Aberrations: 8    Bokeh: 8    Handling: 9    Value: 10   

I purchased this lens to try out some birding photography. I have the K-Mount version and have used it on both my Pentax K5 and Canon 550d with surprisingly decent results. This was the most affordable lens I could find in this focal rage.

Based on my usage so far I have found:
The lens to be soft wide open at f/5.6 (I guess it could work if you are looking for that effect).
At f/8 and f/11 for me produces very acceptable images.
It does sometimes show Colour fringing at the high contrast areas but I have always been able to fix in Lightroom.
On my copy the sliding lens hood is a bit too loose and slides back when I have the lens pointed up. This is very minor issue - I use a rubber band on the barrel to hold in place when shooting.

This is a great telephoto prime for someone on a tight budget.

some of my samples below (most have been cropped & tweaked in Lightroom)

New Member

Registered: December, 2009
Location: Devon, England
Posts: 9
Lens Review Date: December 1, 2011 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $150.00 | Rating: 8 

Pros: Price, build quality
Cons: A bit soft, no 'A'setting
Sharpness: 7    Aberrations: 7    Bokeh: 8    Handling: 9    Value: 10   

This is the non-SD version of the lens. I was looking for an inexpensive long lens to use with my K-7 when out kayaking, for bird shots. It does not have an 'A' setting but it does have camera-controlled aperture. Can be used wide open (f5.6) in Av mode where the camera will set the shutter speed. In M mode the camera will set the aperture selected on the lens but you have to choose a shutter speed. One way is to meter the shot in Av mode, switch to M, stop down and then halve the speed for f8 etc.

Update: I have just discovered the "green button" method - set mode to "M", set desired aperture on the lens, set up the shot, focus, press green button to meter it, and shoot. The quality at f8 looks like a marked improvement over f5.6 - sharper, less CA.

The lens is very well made. Focus ring is smooth and well-damped. Results so far show it's a little soft and has purple fringing. I also have a Canon 400 f5.6L which is much better - but they cost over 1K new, so it should be! I paid under 100 for this one, so I'd say it was good value for money.
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