Tokyo Koki Tele-Tokina 135mm f/2.8 preset lens: the old world of creamy blurred backgrounds
A couple days ago a preset lens fell on my lap. It came as one of three lenses included in a package with a Minolta X-700 camera. When that happened I didn't know that this was a preset lens, or even what a preset lens was. So I was surprised to find what I thought were two aperture rings instead of one – see the second photo. (Read more about preset lenses here.)
A perk of preset lenses is that you don't need to limit yourself to the apertures marked on the barrel (f/2.8, f/4, et cetera). The lens can be stopped down in increments as small as one wants, to achieve with surgical accuracy the depth of field one needs. For example, if f/5.6 gives you too much depth of field but f/4 doesn't give you enough, you just set the aperture somewhere (anywhere!) in between. This is an advantage over traditional lenses (albeit a minor one).
June 13 update: I finally had a chance to play with this lens out in the field. All I can say is that it was a blast. The bokeh is nothing short of spectacular, particularly wide open. The sharpness suffers a bit at f/2.8, but gets much better as you stop down. The following images were taken at maximum aperture – honestly, with a stellar out-of-focus performance like that, you really don't want to go with a smaller f-number.
This one was taken slightly farther from the subject, and the bokeh shows a tiny bit of nervousness compared to the image above.
The lens was mounted on a Nikon D700 camera, which was on a tripod and activated with a remote release. ISO was 200 in both cases and the shutter speed 1/40 and 1/30 respectively. While these images were post-processed, they were already bright, colourful and pretty contrasty in camera.
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Just received this model lens in the mail this morning. An eBay AUD30 find! I mounted it to an Eos adapter and put it on my 400D. Wow! So sharp at F2.8 and contrast is outstanding! You are so right: out of focus areas are magnificent.The front element seems single coated, but it appears that the rear element is multicoated, so reflections from the digital sensor are minimised. Maybe that explains the good contrast. A real keeper!
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