Soligor/Sigma/Kalimar lenses : LUSENET : Konica 35mm SLRs : One Thread

I too have noticed that the Hexanon lenses are getting rarer and more expensive. A local camera store has several Soligor, Sigma, and Kalimar lenses that fit Konicas.

Does anybody know about the quality of these kinds of lenses?

-- Anonymous, January 06, 2001



I have a 35-70 macro zoom Sigma, and it's the lens always mounted on my camera. I took some pictures of my diecast harley's, very sharp.

-- Anonymous, January 06, 2001

Soligor Lenses

I own a 17mm f3.5 Soligor lens that I use all the time and I am very happy with it. The construction and optics are outstanding.

Mike Photography Blue Book web site. Server #1 Photography Blue Book web site. Server #2

-- Anonymous, January 06, 2001

Soligor Lenses

Mike; Several years ago, I had the opportunity to visit some of our more popular lens makers in Japan as a engineer looking to build a camera set up for airiel survaillence for the State EPA. At that time we thought we needed a special camera to track polution in the waterways. (We eventually settled on a Konica built for air recon work) but what I found was that all manufacturers produce their lenses the same way. That is, they build a formula and mass produce lenses according to it. A certain percentage will be true to the formula >than 100%, these are usually marketed under their own label;ie Soligor,Tamaron , Tokina, etc. The 90-80% lenses are sold a a cheaper price and labled with a second label. The third rate lenses <70-80%are not thrown away but labled under yet a different label. So it's all in the manufacturing process, much like computer chips! Some will be a bit better than others. The only axium that is almost true is that, if it's new - you get what you pay for.

-- Anonymous, January 06, 2001


Adrian, I did a little research and came up with the following: Sigma has a good reputation and made lenses with the following designations,APO/XQ (top of the line),XQ,WQ,Z(consumer line?)Large variety of lenses readily available. Soligor has been around since the late 60's/early 70's and their top of the line is designated CD(computer designed). No info on quality,etc. and not as available as the Sigmas. Kalimar was a Korean manufacturer and couldn"t find any info on their line of lenses. I would check on any of these lenses on ebay on their search engine "completed items" for price,etc. Lots of luck.Dave

-- Anonymous, January 07, 2001


Hi Dave: I have two Sigma lenses A 70-150 Macro and a 80-200. I have looked both lenses over good and can't find any of these designations on eather one. Can you tell me where I can find them. Both these lenses have alwayes taken great pictuers, but I would like to know what line thay are from.


-- Anonymous, January 07, 2001

Hi Adrian,

I have two Sigma lenses that I think are quite good optically.

One is a 16mm f2.8 semi-fisheye (full frame). It's the older style which has 22.5mm filters behind the front lens elements, comes apart to change filters. I have used it lightly, but have been happy with the results so far. I eventually plan to buy a Sigma 18mm f2.8, too.

My other Sigma is a 200mm f3.5 macro lens. Excellent multi-coating on this lens, great color, very comparable to some of my favorite Hexanons. Very nice, sharp glass. Also it is an IF (internal focus) and quick focus lens. IF is nice, since the aperture remains constant throughout the focus range. Quick focus (1/4 turn infinity to within a couple feet) is nice in situations calling for speed. (Try to "grab" a shot of a flying bird with a Hexanon 300/4.5 sometime!)

I've had both these lenses for less than a year and my only negative comments (very subjective) would be that both don't feel as substantial as any of my Hexanons. The 200, particularly, is a bit light on the controls, focus ring takes a very careful touch. I've considered putting heavier grease into the helicoid to make it more to my personal preference (I've done this with other lenses succesfully).

Can't comment on Kalimar.

The only Soligor items I own are a telelconverter and set of auto extension tubes. I like the tubes better than their Vivitar equivalents, only because the release buttons are more like Hexanons, not the levers that stick out on the Vivitars (I've had those catch on things with near disastrous results). The tubes are pretty lightly made (comparable to Vivitar and other 3rd party tubes). The teleconverter is a 3X, which I don't really like, too much light loss (3 stops) and very marginal image quality. Not a fair comparison, I think Soligor made some pretty good lenses, ISTR some fast 200s and 135s, but no personal experience with them.

Sigma had a pretty bad reputation for a while, I think has worked hard to overcome it. Some of their early autofocus lenses had some serious problems, too.

I would suggest anyone considering purchasing any used lens look at

Happy new year!

Alan Myers San Jose, Calif.

-- Anonymous, January 08, 2001

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