Tokina was founded by a group of ex-Nikon engineers in the 1950’s. Although not as well known as other Japanese lens manufacturers like Sigma, Tokina has been making good quality lenses first for the Vivitar T-System, then under its only name, and finally as a partner to Pentax, co-developed some of the high-end DA lenses like 12-24mm f4, 16-50mm f2.8, and 50-135mm f2.8. Each of these DA lenses has its own Tokina “equivalent” which differs in features like AF drive and/or weather-seals.
The RMC 135mm f2.8 in this post is one of the Tokina’s early manual focus series lenses. It comes with a built-in hood and is relatively compact (52mm filter thread). The built-quality is on-par with OEM lenses of the same era with no “handle with extreme care” feel. In fact, this is a lens that I would feel comfortable to put in an “non-camera” messenger bag without much additional protection.
Optically, this lens is quite soft wide-open at f/2.8 though some might be able to use this as an advantage in certain situations. However, closing down one-stop to f/4 makes a dramatic different and the image quality holds steadily without much change until about f/11. Only at f/22 diffraction kicks in to degrade the image. Figure below shows the difference at f/2.8 and f/4 using a 100% crop from a 2400dpi scan from a frame of 35mm Fomapan 100.
Since I am a person who values pictorial quality over pixel-level sharpness, let’s step back and enjoy the whole view. Photo was from the same roll of Fomapan 100 but it is a different frame.