Tokina 17 / 3.5 RMC (II). Review from the reader Radozhiva

Review of the wide-angle lens Tokina 17 / 3.5 RMC (II) for the Contax / Yashica system specially for Radozhiva, prepared Rodion Eshmakov.

RMC TOKINA 17mm 1: 3.5 Y / C

RMC TOKINA 17mm 1: 3.5 Y / C

Tokina 17 / 3.5 is a relatively inexpensive Japanese ultra-wide angle lens. There were several modifications - manual and autofocus, which differed in optical design: autofocus variants had an aspherical element in the design and were marked “Aspherical”. The lenses were produced for common systems: Nikon, M42, Canon (FD, for AF - EF), Minolta MD, Contax / Yashica, etc. The review presents the second version of the lens with enlightenment “RMC” for the C / Y system.

Features RMC Tokina 17 / 3.5:
Angle of field of view: 104 (diagonally), 93.3 (horizontally) - in full frame, 76.2 and 66.3 respectively. - on the Canon APS-C frame (crop factor 1.6)
Optical design: 11 elements in 9 groups (scheme)
Coating: multi-layer, "RMC" - "Rainbow Multi Coating" (brand name)
Filter thread: 67 mm
Focus: Manual
Minimum focusing distance: 0,25 m
Aperture: automatic, 6 blades
Aperture Limits: F / 3.5-F / 16

RMC Tokina 17 / 3.5 Design Features

The lens belongs to the Tokina RMC line and is therefore very recognizable: you just need to take a look at the design of the distance scale. This line is famous for its price / quality balanced lenses: popular are, for example, 80-200 / 4, 400 / 5.6.

RMC TOKINA 17mm 1: 3.5 Y / C

RMC TOKINA 17mm 1: 3.5 Y / C

The Japanese made this wide-angle pretty compact and lightweight - the dimensions of the Tokin 17 / 3.5 are even smaller than the Soviet Mir-20. All thanks to the original optical design, created without looking at lenses like Flektogon: after Mir-20, it is unusual to see such a small front lens with such a “wide” lens.

Being quite old - ~ 80's - the lens is fully manual. The present automatic aperture only works on the system for which the lens was intended. There is a typical set of scales - a distance scale (in feet and meters) and depth of field, a marker for shooting in the infrared range.

Everything except the grooved insert on the focus ring is made of metal. Build quality is good, although it feels like the focus ring screws are a little loose - this is normal.

Focusing is due to the extension of the entire lens block. Its progress is small, MDF is achieved only 25 cm - this will not allow you to shoot a semblance of “macro”, but, however, the lens was not created for this. The focus ring travels as much as 180. The focusing process is very convenient. Like any old manual lens, Tokina 17 / 3.5 has a stopper for focusing on infinity (hard-stop), but (depending on the degree of lousiness of the adapter) the infinity mark may or may not correspond to reality. With my Chinese C / Y-EOS adapter, there was a slight overrun for infinity, eliminated by the alignment pads between the lens and the adapter.

There was also a problem related to the impaired alignment of my particular instance, which manifested itself in uneven field sharpness. For the old Japanese lens, this is generally normal, but unpleasant. The disadvantage is eliminated to disgrace simply: the frame of the rear lenticular block is a little eccentric and seated on the thread with a very fine pitch, which allows rotating the lens block 30-40 degrees to completely correct the deficiency. Judging by the absence of changes in the picture of the pre- and sofocus, such an adjustment does not have a significant effect on the sharpness in the center.

RMC TOKINA 17mm 1: 3.5 Y / C

RMC TOKINA 17mm 1: 3.5 Y / C

The aperture of Tokina 17 / 3.5 is six-petal - a large number of blades is not required for an ultra-wide-angle lens. Petals matte, blackened. On the C / Y version, the diaphragm is able to work in manual mode without additional tricks.

The lens left a pleasant impression on the assembly and layout, although it was not without problems, as always. However, I will not consider as a minus the inherent flaw in my specimen, moreover, completely eliminated in a minute.

Optical properties

Unfortunately, I have no opportunity to shoot with a full-frame camera. Canon 600D - all that is in the arsenal. Even on the Praktica KW, the lens does not stand up - the C / Y and M42 have equal working lengths.

Tokina 17 / 3.5 is a cut above the MC Mir-20 in terms of its optical quality. On an open aperture, a small soft appears, transverse chromatism (purplish green), vignetting and coma around the edge of the frame. If Mir-20 does not provide absolutely any sharpness at the edge of the frame on the open (and on the closed ones too), then Tokina creates a more than intelligible picture already at F / 3.5. The purple-green color of the secondary spectrum indicates a more successful correction of chromatism than that of Mir-20 (blue-orange). Starting at F / 8, the lens aligns the resolution and illumination across the APS-C frame at least. At F / 11, the picture quality is very high - there are only very small residues of chromaticism, which disappear without a trace in one click when processed in the editor. Thus, the lens can be called working at all apertures with the best result at F / 8-F / 11.

The contrast of the formed image is good - multilayer enlightenment is responsible for it. In the backlight a few falls. Glare (a whole chain of bright little colored hares) can be caught only in the bright light of the sun with its direct presence in the frame. Color rendering without distortion.

The lens has a simple unobtrusive barrel distortion.

Interestingly, due to residual aberrations, Tokina 17 / 3.5 has a good bokeh for an ultra-wide angle lens.

From the optical point of view, Tokina 17 / 3.5 is a very high-quality lens. With it, you can achieve very good image quality with a large angle of field of view. Given the cost in the secondary market, only Samyang 14 / 2.8 can compete with this lens.


Due to the ability to achieve uniform field sharpness and simple distortion, it is convenient to shoot panoramas with the lens.



Tokina 17 / 3.5 is a convenient and very high-quality full-frame ultra-wide-angle lens - probably the best from its price range. A competitor may be a more modern, light and "wide" Samyang 14 / 2.8.

You will find more reviews from readers of Radozhiva here.

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Comments: 17, on the topic: Tokina 17 / 3.5 RMC (II). Review from the reader Radozhiva

  • AlexanderO

    Thanks for the review. I have this lens that I bought and used with a Canon FD film camera. I completely agree with your review.

    • Ivan

      Sasha's advice is urgently needed. What do you know about fd shny poltosa 1.8 and 1.4 ???

      • KalekseyG
        And go right there

      • R'RёS,R ° F "RёR№

        An acquaintance of mine (an engineer otik) repaired equipment and, at the same time, being a scientist, tested many lenses. So about fifty FD lenses: out of three 50mm / 1.4 lenses, the oldest, bulky iron, with weak enlightenment turned out to be the sharpest on the open, it was slightly inferior only to Olympus 50 / 1.4 and Pentax, in second place was SSC and the freshest fifty-kopeck piece was the worst in sharpness , but it was also the brightest in color. His picture in terms of juiciness (color) did not differ much from Zess 50 / 1,4.
        Somehow Ivan.

  • Koba

    sometimes market prices are an indicator of quality, sometimes. As I found out, there is also an AT-X Pro version of this lens with a distance scale window and the average cent in excellent condition in China is about $ 350. RMC seemed to be the first and second versions, the second version costs about $ 200.

  • Alexey

    Thank you for the review. For me, extremely unpleasant bokeh, on the closed normal.

  • Alexey Shch

    How relevant is this glass for crop cameras? How is it compared to the modern whale 18-55 f / 3.5-5.6 STM (if you can compare)?

    • Rodion

      As noted, glass is of little relevance for crop. This is an ironclad fact. My odd choice is based solely on predictability (not extremely wide, fewer geometry problems), durability, ease of maintenance and use of this lens (availability of hard stop, scales) - if we talk about something other than optical qualities and the potential to grow out.
      Objectively STM 18-55 is much more productive glass for crop.

  • Peter Sh.

    For crop, this lens is meaningless.

    I have the same one. As the first over-wide on the FF, it is even suitable. If you find it at a reasonable price, there are very few of them left.
    New Samyang is incomparably better, of course.

  • anonym

    And what's the point of taking it if it has the same aperture ratio as standard zooms? If it were f2.8 at 17mm or 12-16mm at the same f3.5, then one could still think, but neither one thing nor another ...

    • R'RёS,R ° F "RёR№

      A standard zoom from the crop will be able to FF?

  • NE

    Thanks! I always read your articles with great pleasure.

  • Dim

    Only if for ff, but examples from crop that at it on the edges it is not known. For crop, something like sigma 10-20 or from similar Tamrons or Tokin is much more interesting.

    • Ivan

      Naturally, the same 10-20 sigma makes almost all the junk on the crown. With a price of 150 Baku it is unconditional. On ff and only ff such optics are revealed with all their jambs and flaws. The info is interesting but not informative - without a review on a full-matrix box, the lens is never opened. Something like this.

  • Pavel Gorbunov

    Mine Tokina (MD bayonet mount), bundle with Canon EOS M6.

  • R'RёS,R ° F "RёR№

    Nice review, thank you.
    The lens is of interest primarily to those who are fond of film, slides, who go on hikes and the “ironness” and strength of the structure are important. But the competitor to this lens closest is not the Samyang 14 / 2.8, but the Tamron 17mm. Someone said they are roughly similar, but I have not heard such a qualified comparison. Samyang is another song, both in terms of price and resolution, dimensions and other parameters.
    In general, it is pretty well known that Tokina's autofocus will be better, enlightenment or glass - I don't know, but they say the picture is a little higher. Although I see this lens boldly.

  • Human

    Similar autofocus tokin (AT-X)

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