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Is Soligor a sleeper?


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Jeff Polaski , Jul 26, 1999; 07:21 a.m.

Thanks, folks.

My 300m Soligor is indeed Japanese. I guess wishful thinking got the better of me when I found the German Soligor web site. I guess shopping with a global distributor won't get me those German optics I had use of back in my army days. The Soligor is my only non-Pentax lens; I'm currently mounting the other (fixed focal length) lenses on an ME Super.

Joseph Albert , Jul 29, 1999; 10:12 p.m.

Soligor was in the 70's just a marketing label for generic japanese optics that also were sold under the name Spiratone and several others. It really doesn't matter whether it is german or japanese as both superb and low-end optics can be (and are) manufactured in both countries.

William da Silva , Jul 30, 1999; 07:41 a.m.

Hi Jeff

Forget Soligor. There's one other brand of lenses that you can buy cheap and provides superb optics - Carl Zeiss Jena M42 screw lenses . You can fit these to your Pentax K mount using an M42 adaptor. These lenses were manufactured in the old East Germany ( GDR ) . All are prime lenses , multicoated and of excellent build quality. Particularly outstanding for their optics are the 20 , 35, 50 and 135 mm. Avoid any plasticky zooms with the CZ name - these are actually manufactured in Japan.

Have fun !


Dennis O'Regan , Sep 26, 2000; 09:49 p.m.

The old Soligor lenses were marketed by AIC Photo in cooperation with Miranda Cameras. AIC distributed (owned?) Miranda and used the Soligor name on some of the Miranda lenses. Like any line of lenses, some Soligors were good and some bad. To compete with the Vivitar Series 1 line of lenses, Soligor introduces their "C/D" line. I have a C/D 80-200mm f1:3.5 and it is very good and well made. It may have been made by Kiron inasmuch as it has that "Kiron quality look" to it. I don't doubt that Cosina made some of their lenses, basically the same lenses they made for Vivitar. You can go down a list of zoom lenses popular in the 1970's and find the same specs for Vivitar and Soligor lenses.

As one poster noted above, he liked his Soligor 300mm better than his Nikkor. Maybe he got a real good Soligor or a bad Nikkor.

The Soligor name seems to have resurfaced in Europe and if you do a search on "Soligor" many of the newsgroup messages have Germany or Poland as the source.


David Goldfarb , Sep 27, 2000; 10:03 a.m.

I have a Soligor 500/f:8 C/D mirror lens that is also surprisingly sharp as far as mirror lenses go. I picked it up cheaply and by accident on eBay as a result of a typo in the ad, but decided to keep it since it turned out not to be a bad lens at all and is quite compact, if I want a long tele in the bag "just in case."

Michael Lepard , Nov 23, 2000; 05:39 p.m.

I just bought a Soligor 17mm f3.5 lens for my Konica SLR. I shoot Nikon AF as well and have a couple of pro lenses for it (for reference). Getting back to the Soligor, I am truely AMAZED at the quality of both of construction and the optics of this lens. It focuses twice as close as my new Nikon AF 19-35mm f3.5 lens, and the construction is second to none. All metal construction with glass elements that are not hybrid glass/plastic like in my Nikkors.

In 1976, this lens cost over $400 usd. I can't see that being a cheap lens by any means.

I wrote Soligor about this lens, but unfortunately, they did not have any information left on it.

I have been told that this lens may indeed be a Soligor Sleeper lens.

Mike. <a href="http://frozenmoments.virtualave.net"> Photography Blue Book </a> <a href="http://photobluebook.virtualave.net"> Photography Blue Book </a>

Soligor 17mm f3.5 lens. Circa 1976

Michael Lepard , Apr 04, 2001; 08:06 p.m.

Update: Response to Is Soligor a sleeper?

Update: To date I am still using this lens. I have taken many rolls with it and have compaired its sharpness to the Konica Hexanon series of wide angle lenses (15mm f2.8 UC, 21mm f4, 24mm f2.8 and 28mm f1.8 UC) and it really stands up for itself very well.

Just wanted to update you all that there are indeed some really great quality Soligor lenses out there.


Kurt Olender , Apr 05, 2001; 01:47 p.m.

I also have a Soligor 500mm f/8 C/D mirror lens that I bought 20 years ago and have been using with a Pentax MX. The focusing is stiff, you need bright light to focus easily at f/8, and the doughnut bokeh can be annoying, but those are endemic to any mirror lens. The optics are pretty decent. I've gotten what I needed from it. So I agree that there are some good Soligor lenses out there.

Oman Mirzaie , Apr 24, 2001; 01:35 a.m.

Your all full of it? Unless you taking photos for French vogue or National Geographic it really shouldnt matter. Its the creator that produces a good sharp image not entirely the lens. Soligor lens are infact quite good and if used properly can produce excellent images quite sharp and contrasty. To many crap photographers out there with too many crap excuses. If you got a tripod a couple of lenses and the know how you can do just about anything.!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Anthony Oresteen , Aug 17, 2001; 09:31 a.m.

The Soligor C/D lenses are excelent to outstanding. I have the C/D 135mm f/2, the C/D 200mm f/2.8. I used to have the C/D 35mm f/2 and the C/5 500mm mirror (77mm filter version) but sold them years ago. I would never sell the 135 or 200 lenes which I use wide open. I am looking for the 500mm to purchase again. Since I bought a Pentax SMC 35mm f/2 I don't ned the Soligor version but wouldn't hesitate to buy one otherwise. The C/D series were "computer designed" and were on the market from about 1977 to the mid 80's.

I never used any of the C/D zooms so I can't say.

The prime lens C/D series are "sleepers" in every sense.

Tony Oresteen

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