Soligor 135mm f2.8 lens
I have one of these lenses for use on FL and FD Canon cameras. I bought it quite cheap of Ebay a couple years ago, but haven't really used it yet since I have EOS as my main system. I now have a FD-EOS adapter which I removed the lens. I tried the Soligor with adapter on my EOS 1N camera and it will focus for something a meter or two away, which means I could use it for closeup portrait shots. This lens looks like it has 10 aperture blades and produces a nice round aperture when stopped down. What Im wondering is how this lens compares with todays 135mm lenses from Canon? I have read the Soligor is a sharp lens, but dont have a point of reference to know how it compares. Canon's 135mm L lens is quite good I hear, but can't say how the Soligor would compare to it. Anyone have one of these old lenses?
If I need to use this focal length of lens farther away, I could still bring out my FD cameras. But my intention is to also use it with EOS bodies, mainly the 1N I have with its manual focus screen.
Here is a shot with this lens. The main thing I notice is the contrast may not be as good as newer lenses. But its hard to tell with the indoor lighting that was used.
Last edited by braxus; 01-14-2007 at 02:37 AM. Click to view previous post history.
Back in the early 70's Soligor was a major producer of independent lenses and had a good reputation, I bought a 135mm Soligor for my Zenit E, it was still in use 2 years ago by a relative.
Telephoto lenses are quite easy to design and build, and most have good optical quality, independant wide angles were rarely more than adequate usually suffering from distortion and/or flare, it was companies like Vivitar with their S1 lenses who began to compete optically with the camera manufacturers prime lenses.
[QUOTE=Ian Grant;418476]Back in the early 70's Soligor was a major producer of independent lenses and had a good reputation, I bought a 135mm Soligor for my Zenit E, it was still in use 2 years ago by a relative.
I have the 135 2.8 EE for my Mirandas, not as good as my Pentex M42 wide open, but stopped down not bad. Mine has a build in lens shade. At some point Soligor bought out Miranda and made all of the lens were were very good.
Not that good. I've never owned a really great Soligor lens, and I've owned or tried some real dogs. I don't think (though I could be wrong) that Soligor ever made lenses: all were bought in.
Originally Posted by Ian Grant
But even the dogs can be fun, cf. my Soligor/Porst 135/1.8.
I dunno. I may have gotten lucky with a 250mm MD mount I got from eBay last March. It has taken some nice images.
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I have very fond memories of the first Soligor I ever used. It was back
in 1962 while I was a student at Ohio State. I had saved my pennies and
bought a new Pentax H3v with clip-on meter and 50mm 1.8 Super Takumar. I
became chief photographer of the Daily Lantern, the student paper, and it
was my job to shoot the Ohio State football games for the paper.
Well, let me tell you, a 50mm lens doesn't cut it on the sidelines at
Ohio Stadium. I got some great stuff standing on the end line when the
Buckeyes punched over a run from the 2-yard line, but that was incredibly
limiting. For me, not the team.
But I digress. I had very little money left for anything, let alone a
decent telephoto for the sport I was shooting. The photo equipment cabinet
in the school paper's office had a nice collection of Rollei 2 1/4 gear, but
nothing I could really use. A pal let me use his Leica rangefinder and 135
lens once, and while I was thrilled with that, it still wasn't enough.
Soligor to the rescue. I laugh when I think about it now, but I came up
with $34.50 for a 180mm Soligor f3.5 pre-set lens, plus a few dollars more
for a 2x converter that fit between the lens and the M42 adapter for my
This was for a mail-order deal from some N.Y. outfit whose name escapes
me now, but 47th Street Photo rings a familiar bell.
Back to the Soligor. I laughed, I cried, I screwed on the lens, then
screwed on the converter, then back again, all the while running up and down the sidelines with this cumbersome rig on either side of Woody Hayes.
It was indeed a fun time. I was using the speedy 160 Tri-X of the day,
pushing it to unrememorable ASA numbers so I could use at least 1/250 or
1/500 of a second speeds, then developing some of the film in Rodinal
injected with a syringe. Brings back some memories for me. Anyone else?
To continue, the most amazing thing of all was that the photos turned
out incredibly sharp. Contrast wasn't great on less-than-sunny days, but the
negs (that I still have) were remarkable. Even with the converter, believe
it or not, giving me an even slower, pre-set contraption, I got great
results that looked perfect when published. The Associated Press bought a
couple of them, and I assure you that was a big thrill for a hungry student.
In the 1990s, I acquired another Soligor. This one was for a daughter's
first decent camera, a Pentax K1000 with normal lens. This Soligor was a
cheapie, although I can't rember the price. However little I spent for it, I
probably overpaid. It was a dual-focal length, as I recall, with 85mm and
135mm settings. It was uniformly soft with little contrast. When it was
stolen, the only tears shed were most likely by the sap who took it when he realized what crap he had picked up.
My original Pentax and Soligor pre-set outfit from my college days were
lost in a fire years ago. I do not now shoot with Soligors simply because I
can afford better equipment. If the lens I bought in the 1990s is indicative
of Soligor quality today, save your money.
Sorry I rambled a bit with my post. I hope you enjoyed reading my
Sure. Wouldn't argue for a minute. But there are several factors at work here. First, even lousy lenses can take nice pictures cf my 135/1.8. Second, some Soligors were a lot better than others. The worst I ever tried was a 28mm with barrel distortion so bad that the first time I looked through the viewfinder I automatically took a step back because I thought the building was collapsing on me. Third, there was a lot of variation in quality control. Fourth, build quality was such that a knock that might be shrugged off by (say) a Nikkor would misalign a Soligor.
Originally Posted by flash19901
All I meant was -- and I see I was unclear -- that the reputation Soligors enjoyed was never as high as another poster suggested. Some of the lenses may have been better than that reputation -- and indeed some presumably are, like your 250mm.
What little information I found on Soligor lenses comes from the Miranda Camera site mirandacamera.com. AIE owned both Miranda and Soligor from 1963 to 1978, Soligor and Miranda as rebranded lens are still on the market, but not in the US, I dont know who owns the brand names or makes the lenses. Soligor made lenses for Miranda, I guess based on Miranda design but also offered lenses which were not in the Miranda lineup such as a 85.15. I have just started to collect Mirandas, the Miranda lenses seems to be very sharp with good contrast. I consider the The 50mm 1.4 to be as good as my Pentex M42 50 1.4. The Soligors 135 and 35 dont seem to be quite as good as the Mirandas. I guess that there are very good pre 1978 Soligor lenses as well as some very bad lenses, any lenses that come after 1978 I have no idea.
Your right there were good and bad lenses from most independant manufacturers/resellers in the 60's and 70's.
At the time the objectivity of many magazine reviews was extremely suspect and highly misleading. A lens brand which got amazing reviews "Hoya" was in fact so poor quality the company had to re-invent their brand under a different name.
The photo hacks of the time mislead the readers, and some of them are still around . . . . . .
Quite alright, Roger. To be honest, I had never even heard of Soligor before last year. And did Rosey ever meet Woody? I'm dyin'. Go BUCKEYES. At least we beat Michigan. That's all that REALLY counts.