Soligor 135mm f2.8

Discussion in 'Adapted Lenses' started by manzoid, Feb 18, 2012.

  1. manzoid

    manzoid Mu-43 Regular

    Jun 9, 2011
    Hello fellow legacy lens enthusiasts!

    I am after a cheap (hopefully under $50 but $100 max incl. shipping to Canada) 135mm f2.8. From the research I have done, it seems like the Soligor or Vivitar offer some of the highest 'bang for your buck'... at least in this price range.

    However, I am aware that both of these seem to come in many varieties, so I before I jump in, I'm just after any helpful tips, or if anyone has a better suggestion that I may have overlooked.

    I currently have a c-mount, nikon g mount, and m39 mount adapters if that matters. Obviously, I am happy to buy another cheap adapter if it saves me at least its value on a lens.

    Thanks for any replies.
  2. Grinch

    Grinch Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Jan 9, 2011
    LVL8hacker has the Vivitar 135 2.8 FD mount up for grabs now. I just purchased a fifty from him, and I'm in Canada and shipping was reasonable, I believe.
  3. lenshoarder

    lenshoarder Mu-43 All-Pro

    Nov 7, 2010
    135mm F2.8 lenses are cheap. I just picked up another Vivitar yesterday for $10. Even on ebay, they only sell for about $20. If you are going to get seriously into MF, a M42 adapter would be a wise purchase. It's not called the universal mount for nothing. Both Vivitar and Soligor sold the 135mm in a variety of mounts including M42. With a M42 adapter and a Tamron adaptall to M42 adapter, you'll have access to a lot of cheap good glass.
  4. Ned

    Ned Mu-43 Legend

    Jul 18, 2010
    Alberta, Canada
    I don't know about the Vivitar, but the Soliger is a very soft lens...
  5. addieleman

    addieleman Mu-43 All-Pro

    Aug 5, 2010
    The Netherlands
    Real Name:
    Depends on what you're after. If you want the best image quality for $50 max, you'd be better off with a premium brand lens like those of Nikon, Minolta, Canon, Olympus, Konica, Pentax etc. These can be had for very little money, especially if you settle for an f/3.5 version. Just look around on eBay, ignoring silly Buy-It-Now offerings. An f/3.5 lens mostly needs stopping down to f/5.6 to get to its optimal IQ, an f/2.8 generally is perfect from f/4 onwards.
  6. dbuckle

    dbuckle Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    I have several 135mm lenses the Vivitar 138 2.8 is quite good for the price. Here is a quick shot i did sitting at my desk. It is right out of camera hand held. This is a Nikon non AI mount.


    But if you want something a little better get a Konica Hexanon 135mm 3.2 my favorite 135. They are still not too expensive.


    here is the Konica on my EPL1
  7. LVL8hacker

    LVL8hacker Mu-43 Veteran

    Jan 4, 2012
    Pinehurst, North Carolina
    Real Name:
    Larry Anderson
    I do have a wonderful copy Vivitar 135 2.8 FD mount for sale in the market place. More than happy to ship to Canada for a couple extra bucks :)

    Heres the link Vivitar 135 2.8 FD mount
  8. zacster

    zacster Mu-43 Regular

    Nov 4, 2011
    I just remember Soligor not being considered a top tier lens maker. Nor was Vivitar. That doesn't mean that all of them were less than stellar, but make sure you research the specific model you are buying. I myself would only look at the better names as already suggested as they are all so cheap anyway. 135 was probably the most common fixed focal length from the earlier SLR days, except for the 50mm normal lens of course.
  9. lenshoarder

    lenshoarder Mu-43 All-Pro

    Nov 7, 2010
    Soligor and Vivitar were basically rebranders. They didn't make the lenses, they just branded them and sold them. Soligor is hit and miss. Some are good, others not so much. Vivitar on the otherhand, during that era, was almost universally good. Very good. Whether the 135mm or the 28mm, they sold good sharp glass. There was a time that Vivitar did stand for quality.
  10. manzoid

    manzoid Mu-43 Regular

    Jun 9, 2011
    Thanks for all the helpful info.

    I don't often post on forums, but enjoy browsing this one and it's nice that most threads never turn into arguments.

    Anyway, in light of the comments, I think I may hold off on decisions until I do more research or find a great deal because it seems like maybe I will end up saving myself money (and unused lenses) if I look more towards the $100 dollar or so mark than the $50.

  11. harrysue

    harrysue Mu-43 Regular

    Mar 12, 2011
    I think of Soligor as generally a substandard 3rd party lens maker. Tamron would be a top tier 3rd party in my opinion. Unless it's a Series 1, Vivitar can be highly variable in quality.

    Why don't you look at There's a couple of decent Canon FD135's for sale there right now that are close to your $50 budget. Their BGN grade is like the lenses I've had knocking around for 40 years, workable and maybe a little scuffed.
  12. Ned

    Ned Mu-43 Legend

    Jul 18, 2010
    Alberta, Canada
    What I like about Vivitar is that you can tell who manufactured each lens by the first digit(s) of the serial number. So even if it's not a Series 1, you can tell a good make or not if you can investigate the lens that far. I like their Kiron and Komine lenses (serial numbers 22 and 28, respectively), myself. :) There are even Olympus made Vivitars (serial's starting in 6), but I've never experienced one. I'll stick with my Zuikos, which aren't terribly expensive to begin with.

    Also, new Vivitars under the Samyang/Rokinon brand are proving to be quite good.
  13. BigTam

    BigTam Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Mar 19, 2012
    Dortmund, Germany
    Real Name:
    I was picking up some prints at a local shop. They really only sell compacts, but have some used stuff on commision. On an impulse, I bought a Soligor 135mm f2.8 for FD mount. If it's no good, I can return it.

    The serial number starts with 2, meaning Sun Optical, according to Wikipedia.

    Now I just have to wait 2 days for my adapter.
  14. mr_botak

    mr_botak Mu-43 Veteran

    Dec 4, 2011
    Reading, UK
    Real Name:
    I'd stand by my previous reccomendations on here for the OM 3.5/135. It is cheap, available and delivers good results. Even works 'wide' open. It is however a very long lens on a 4/3 sensor.
  15. speedandstyle

    speedandstyle Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    I have a Vivitar 135mm f2.8 built by Komine in pre-AI Nikon F mount and it is a favorite of mine. It was one of the lenses I got with my Nikomat way back when and I loved it then and love it adapted on m4/3. It is fairly sharp even if wide open and has nice bokeh. It does suffer from chromatic aberration but all old lenses do. Here is a picture I shot with it on my E-PL2.