Is Soligor 28-80mm C/D FD mount a decent lens?

Discussion in 'Accessories' started by lesged, Nov 18, 2003.

  1. Has anyone owned or used a 28-80 mm C/D FD mount lens? Is it a decent
    lens? I've asked similar question in other forums and never got a
    reply. Maybe I'll do better with Camera Equipment Forum. It's the
    first time I looked at it.
  2. Soligor has made some respectable lenses, but the only way to determine if yours is satisfactory to YOUR standards is to run a test using various f/stops, zoom settings, and distances.
  3. Thanks Art, your advice is first rate. I had planned to check out all full f stops, but hadn't thought of doing different zoom settings or at various distances and in its macro range.

    I forgot to mention its speed; its f3.5-f4.5 --to distinquish this model from other Soligor 28-80s. External barrel looks to be in mint condition, glass is clear, no wiping marks or fungus. I got the lens in a big swap of photo equipment with a friend, who never used the lens.

    The only thing that seems odd is the zoom action seems not to smooth. Maybe it's been stored in a cold place and that effected the lubrication. It's reasonable that a new lens left in its original box for 20 years (I'm guessing its age)is apt not to work as it would as brand new. Or should it?
  4. Correction! I meant to say I *was planning* to test the macro range.
  5. I have but one Soligor I bought new at dealer's net in the '70's, and used it quite a bit on a K-1000 as a personal lens. It's surprisingly good, and has held up. It's built like a safe, and weighs a "ton." It's a 35-140 f/3.5 Macro Autozoom with a 72mm filter ring. The macro goes down to 1:3. As I recall, it wholesaled for around $300 then. You must test a lens thoroughly to really evaluate it, and don't forget to note if it's stopping down OK.
  6. Art, What does C/D mean? Mine is not as big a barrel as others I've seen. This one takes a 62mm filter. Macro range is 1:8 to 1:4. I bought a Tokina RMC f3.5-4.3 35-105mm FD new in the 80s and still use it. It takes a 55mm filter and is a fine lens, but not their top of the line.

    I "bought" the Soligor blind, thinking it would be lighter than my Tokina. Turns out it is 10gr heavier weighing in at @ 90gr. Height when collapsed is the same. My barter deal was to get credit for camera equipment and/or his repair services (he's very good!) for a load of things I dropped off at his place a few years ago. No money was to be exchanged. The lens was in his current inventory of used equipment and it closed out outstanding credit balance. I knew Soligor wasn't the top brand name, but I've had luck with others of a similar category.

    I'll let you know what my test results are. Thanks for info and advice.
  7. Lester: As you may know, Soligor was the official lens for the long defunct Miranda cameras and there's much about them on the net...good, bad, and indifferent. As for "C/D" I'm not sure, but I think it is a model designation. see:
  8. Thanks Art for Miranda URL I'll look at this evening. Another correction: total weight of Soligor lens is 490gr not 90gr as written. How nice it would be if the latter were true.

    BTW amongst the many, many cameras that I've owned and *used,* one was a Miranda and I have a close-up self portrait taken with it. I found negs taken with it looked quite good. I used to teach a photography course in a high school during the 70s. I'd pick up cameras in yard sales and have students use them instead of their fancy Nikons, Canons, etc. There were plenty of beauties bought for $10-15. Excellent, well built, rangefinder models with fast lenses.
    Nobody wanted them, SRLs were hot items of the day.
  9. With a big 72mm 1A filter and a lens shade, my Soligor has GOTTA weigh a kilo. I think it's 13 elements in 10 groups.
  10. C/D was Soligor's designation for their top of the line lenses, similar to Tamron's SP line and Vivitar's Series 1 line. It stood for "Computer Designed". My experience with the line is that they are VERY well constructed, but not as consistently good optically as those premium lenses from Vivitar and Tamron. I had one of those 28-80mm Soligor C/D lenses in Minolta MD mount, and I found it to be very solidly built, but somewhat low contrast (especially at or near wide open) when compared to the Vivitar Series 1 28-90mm and 35-85mm Varifocal lenses.
  11. Thanks Douglas for explanation of C/D and good news that it is Soligor's top of their line. The above average resistance when I zoom with the Soligor is an advantage when camera is on a copy stand or when shooting hand held from above in macro mode. My Tokina tends to have a gravitional slip when at or near vertical. The Soligor is very smooth in its rotational (focusing) axis.

    Time to give it to the best test of all: put it on a Canon FD body and shoot a few rolls of film under different light conditions with subjects that have a variety of textures and tonal range. And see if it's worth keeping, which I expect it will be.
  12. I picked up one of these for a Nikon mount from a great photographer out in Reno. I've found the lens to have some flaws to it, when abused and shot wide open with no filters. It has a lot of vignetting on the corners, an odd bokeh, and some strange chromatic abberation that I find pleasing to the eye, especially when shot in black and white. A 6 foot close focus is ridiculous, but you can focus much closer using the macro ring.
    All in all, when abused I found it's got some awesome qualities I've yet to find in any other lens. I don't have many examples up on my page yet, but here's one I took yesterday. I've enjoyed using this lens so much, I found a second on Ebay for $12.50 and bought it too.
    -Cameron Bowser
  13. I rather like it.

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