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Tokina SD 70-210mm F4.0-5.6

Reviews Views Date of last review
11 76,403 Fri May 18, 2018
Recommended By Average Price Average User Rating
100% of reviewers $47.57 7.36
Tokina SD 70-210mm F4.0-5.6

Compact manual focus TP zoom that is common on the s/h market. PKA mount.

Aperture: f/4.0-5.6 to f32
Min Focus: 1.3M
Filter size: 52mm
Iris: 6 blades
Length: 87mm
Barrel width: 66mm
Weight: 405g
Macro Ratio: 1:5.1
Coating: Multicoated.
Mount Type: Pentax KA
Price History:

Add Review of Tokina SD 70-210mm F4.0-5.6
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New Member

Registered: May, 2018
Posts: 4
Lens Review Date: May 18, 2018 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $8.00 | Rating: 8 

Pros: Build Quality
Cons: Weight, rotating front element
Sharpness: 8    Aberrations: 8    Bokeh: 6    Handling: 8    Value: 9    Camera Used: K-30   

Picked up the SD II version of this lens at a Goodwill for $8.00. I'm really surprised at what a great find this was. I haven't been totally happy with all of the shots I've taken but after reading some of the other reviewers here, I'll stop down to f/8 and see what I get.

Agree with other posters about color and contrast. This lens doesn't disappoint. Great lens to have if you can find it cheap.

Photos straight from the camera, no post.

New Member

Registered: November, 2013
Posts: 5

1 user found this helpful
Lens Review Date: December 9, 2014 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $18.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: very sharp, best 70mm photos
Cons: none
Sharpness: 10    Aberrations: 10    Bokeh: 10    Handling: 9    Value: 10    Camera Used: k200 k-x k-s1   

I use this lens especially for 70mm shootings with f 8-11, for tele shootings I use 4/100-300

If I compare these pictures with other ones, nothing is better.

very big posters available. try this and the opinion about it of my precedors will change perhaps a few.

ED element is very precious in this lens like the ED performance of 3.5-4.5/28-70

NB.the short end gives phantastic sharpness to my pictures
New Member

Registered: December, 2013
Posts: 1

2 users found this helpful
Lens Review Date: December 31, 2013 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $95.00 | Rating: 6 

Pros: cheap, good size, quality
Cons: soft wide open, f 5.6
Sharpness: 6    Aberrations: 7    Bokeh: 8    Handling: 6    Value: 7   

Flare is a problem but because it's small and light can be easily shaded with the hand; my copy came without a lens hood, with a hood it's much better and flare isn't a big problem.

A reasonably compact medium-zoom that would be sharper. Best at 70mm, still good at 135mm and only falling off a little at the edges at 210mm. Keeps f4.0 up to 99mm, f4.5 up to 149mm, f5.0 up to 179mm and f5.6 above that. Claims to be macro, but closest focusing is about 1.5m (not very 'macro').

For the 210mm you pull the ring to the camera, for 70mm you push it away and every of these Tokinas I handled had a very stiffy zooming mechanism.
New Member

Registered: December, 2013
Posts: 2

3 users found this helpful
Lens Review Date: December 22, 2013 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: None indicated | Rating: 5 

Pros: sharpness at F8 and smaller 70-150mm
Cons: lack of sharpness at other settings
Sharpness: 9    Aberrations: 5    Bokeh: 5    Handling: 7    Value: 6   

As Joe8 pointed out below, this lens is unbelievably, professionally crisp at F8-F16, 70mm. Am talking by 2013 standards, on APS-C (small sensor), assuming you take raw images and know how to remove lateral chromatic aberrations (trivially easy single button push in Lightroom etc). Also fine at F11 at 150mm.

It's just kind of odd because you figure an inexpensive primitive zoom just has to be total nothingness. This lens was given to me by a friend, don't know what value to ascribe to it.

Did a bit of reading today, Wikipedia describes this lens as the world's first ultra-compact 70-210 zoom. So an interesting optic for collectors, and/or people that are happy taking photos at F8. Have not done enough work studying this lens at F/5.6 to offer an opinion on wider apertures.

If I have to take a photo at F/8-F/11 in the 70-150 range, and I absolutely know there's no reason to work at a wider aperture (admittedly a bit of a rare outing) this lens is my first choice. You should have a decent tripod and head for tripod work if you have a tiny camera, because this lens is not light and it does stick out some distance. My preferred use of the lens is F/8 at 70mm.
Site Supporter

Registered: March, 2013
Posts: 176

4 users found this helpful
Lens Review Date: May 3, 2013 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $62.00 | Rating: 9 

Pros: Size, build, image quality, cheap secondhand
Cons: None
Sharpness: 8    Aberrations: 9    Bokeh: 8    Handling: 8    Value: 10   

This is manual focus with a PKA mount. I purchased the lens on Ebay for £40 plus delivery. Itís in mint condition, the caps and lens still have that new equipment sheen. I guess itís mostly been in storage for the last twenty plus years. Mine is the SD ĎIIí version with multicoating and better contrast etc. ĎIIís can be identified by the red stylised Roman number II before the word ĎTokinaí on lens front. Build quality is solid and handling is good, reminiscent of A and M series lens. Itís also very compact, when on the camera and not extended itís the same length as my 18-55 DA zoom and only a bit heavier.

Picture quality is very, very good at the short end. The long end is probably a little weaker but thereís not much in it. Colours are saturated and simlar to Pentax. I donít shoot film anymore and Iím using it on a K100D Super. If it has soft edges I canít see them because of the sensor size. On a digital SLR it becomes a 105-315mm zoom (in film SLR equivalence). It has the dreaded extra Ricoh pin but thatís short and rounded and the lens mounts\dismounts the camera with ease.

Iíve been taking test shots and some are included. The ĎSDí glass really works as Iíve yet to find any purple fringing. The lens is small, very sharp and well built. Search around and really good clean examples can be found for relatively modest prices. Definitely recommended.

There's no post processing on these pictures, except I increased the brightness on the Blossoms slightly. All at ISO200

Tulips - short end of zoom - F6.7 - 1/350 sec

100% Crop - Tulips

Blossoms - long end of zoom - F8 - 1/350
Junior Member

Registered: April, 2011
Posts: 42
Lens Review Date: May 15, 2011 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: None indicated | Rating: 8 

Pros: Compact, easy to use, cheap
Cons: Heavy, soft focus at infinity

Got this len real cheap from ebay. IQ is quite good for the price. Some of my pictures are soft at infinity, may be I should stop down a bit. I agree that this lens is underrated. I'm sure keeping this lens.
New Member

Registered: January, 2010
Posts: 23

3 users found this helpful
Lens Review Date: December 13, 2010 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: None indicated | Rating: 8 

Pros: Sharpness; Economical
Cons: SD I has a bit washed out color in bright sunlight; not so "macro"

The SD stands for Super low Dispersion. This is a compact, one-touch, and manual-focus telescope lens. The one-touch design allows one to zoom/focus simultaneously and is therefore very convenient in manipulating the shooting, especially with a compact lens like this. One could grip the lens barrel and focus by fingers only. The lens is made in Japan with 6-blades diaphragm and 52mm filter rim. There are two SD versions, including the original and the SD II. The SD II seems to have multi-coating and renders better colors and contrast. The original SD version tends to give a bit washed out color under bright sunlight. However, both version are very capable of delivering sharp images when stopping down to f/5.6 or more. The lens is made of all metal and well built. The glass is pure and the image quality is clear and quite pleasant. CA is well controlled as well.

Among so many selections of 70-210mm lenses, this is not a fast lens and maybe that is why it becomes underrated because people usually hunt for faster lenses. I incidentally browsed a guy's postings using the AF version and, just like he has assessed, the lens delivers pictures of wonderful details and color. I started wondering that maybe the manual version has the same magic. So I went to ebay and bought an original SD version for cheap. Since then, this sleeper becomes my keeper. More importantly, it fuels my curiosity for other old lenses. This is really an overlooked gem that is capable of delivering nice results. Of course, other good performer such as Vivitar Series 1 70-210mm f3.5 could do the similar but is much heavier. People knows about Vivitar but overlooks Tokina. Compared to Vivitar, however, the minimum focus distance is much farer (about 4-5 ft) and the ďmacroĒ capability is much limited.

Interested viewer could go to the following website to view some test shots:

Site Supporter

Registered: March, 2010
Location: Frankfurt am Main
Posts: 1,206

3 users found this helpful
Lens Review Date: October 30, 2010 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: None indicated | Rating: 7 

Pros: built quality, size, FF capability
Cons: soft wide open, at all apertures not as sharp as the predecessor 3.8/75-150

I bought this lens as new end of in 1985 to replace my Tokina 3.8/75-150. The reason was that it was one of the first 3rd party lenses with a PK-A Bajonet after the introduction of the Pentax Super A, and the 75-150 had the PK bajonet only.
This lens is not bad, but in respect to visual sharpness my 75-150 had been one of the best lenses I ever owned - including the SMC-A 1.4/50. As I sold the 75-150 at the same time as I bought the 70-210, I could never make a direct comparison, but I felt that the new one was not as good as the old one (it is also bigger).

1) You can guess how old your lens is, as it was introduced in 1984 and I bought it about a year later. The serial number may help, mine is #8568954.

2) I own the multi language instruction manual; it is just a very small booklet and holds only general information which everyone but a complete newbee will know by heart.

There are just a couple of things which should be mentioned:

a) Setting the aperture ring to a position other than "A", the white marking for aperture setting may be wrong. It is only true for the focal length of 70mm. The orange marking is correct for 210mm, everything in between you may guess and interpolate. I think this is only important if you use an automatic flash (old style) which tells you which aperture to set at the camera.

b) The red line on the barrel indicates the needed correction in distance setting if used for infrared film - infrared with digital is quite another animal. At a given focal length the distance between the red line and the straight white line shows the amount of the needed correction. You must memorize the distance and apply it to the object distance at which you are shooting.

c) It is absolutly recommended to use a lens hood as near as possibel in design to the one delivered with the lens. I saw that most of the sales on eBay do NOT include the original lens hood. This is not much wider, but nearly as long as the lens itself, has a clip-on mounting and can be attached reverse if not in use.

Using the macro-capabilities:
a) The blue lines on the barrel (magnification factor down to 1:4 for FF) are only valid if the distance is set to the blue "Macro" marking.

b) Probably valid for the full range of distance, but important for macro only: all scales related to distance are measured from film plane (or chip with digital) - not from lens front - to the object.

c) The lens has (limited) macro capabilities, but Tokina states it is NOT a flat field lens, meaning 2-dimensional objects (document duplication) may not be reproduced as with a specialized macro lens.
Junior Member

Registered: August, 2009
Location: Plainfield Indiana
Posts: 45
Lens Review Date: April 23, 2010 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $15.00 | Rating: 5 

Pros: Construction, build quality
Cons: none yet

Just received it from Ebay today, brand new. I will try it out tommorrow and post some shots if I have the energy. For 15.00 & 5.52 sh, why could I complain. I wish I had the manual. I wonder what year is was made?

Registered: May, 2007
Location: Oklahoma City
Posts: 3,267
Lens Review Date: January 31, 2010 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $35.00 | Rating: 8 

Pros: very compact size, useable zoom range, solid construction
Cons: none

I had always been intrigued by this lens because of it's compact size and it's use of low-dispersion glass elements. When I was able to pick one up for a bargain price, I jumped on the opportunity. It has been one of my most-used lenses with my K10 because it makes an excellent "bare bones" walking around kit when paired with my 18-55 kit lens.
New Member

Registered: March, 2008
Location: Christchurch NZ
Posts: 12
Lens Review Date: April 19, 2008 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $100.00 | Rating: 7 

Pros: Good corner to corner sharpness Light and compact
Cons: A little flare. A little purple fringing

My copy was originally purchased in 1992 for slide work with a P30N
Has a new lease of life on a K100D - works well with it.
Very good build quality, very solid. Has survived the central Sahara twice
A little soft wide open but below F6 becomes very sharp.
Colours a little muted compared to Pentax 24-90 but quite acceptable.
Some purple fringing on high contrasr edges when wide open - not noticeable in a 5x7 print. Gone when stopped down 2 stops.
Flare is well controlled with a good lens hood.
Distortion is almost non existent on the K100 being a full frame lens.
Difficult to use a polarising filter as the objective rotates on focus.
A very good daylight lens.
Add Review of Tokina SD 70-210mm F4.0-5.6

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