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Leica Screw Mount Copies Classic Leica Copy forum as listed in the book 300 Leica Copies, including but not limited to Nicca, Leotax, Honor, Canon etc. At one time there was a major part of the camera industry just trying to make a lower cost copy/dirivitive of the original Leica.

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Soligor 35mm F3. 5
Old 01-23-2012   #1
David Murphy
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Soligor 35mm F3. 5

I thought some of the fans here of offbeat Leica screw mount lenses might enjoy this. I just acquired a Soligor 35mm F3.5 in Leica thread mount from a camera dealer at a pretty good price. The lens needed a minor repair to the rangefinder cam, which was made, and now it is in decent shape. The focus and iris action are a little tight (fully usable), but the glass condition is excellent.

I would regard this lens as very uncommon if not rare - probably a very early catalog item from Soligor. I've seen one other example in Nikon rangefinder mount, a very different lens though. I once owned the Soligor 105mm F4 in LTM, a bit more common, and it had excellent optics.

Soligor of course was regarded as a kind of a low priced aftermarket lens maker during the 35mm SLR era for the most part, although like a lot of aftermarket lens companies, they also had some better than average items at times. For instance Soilgor owned the Miranda line, which are pretty decent cameras and these days attract collectors. Even though uncommon or rare the Soligor name probably prevents this lens from being particularly valuable, but these days with everything Leica related getting expensive it will probably increase in value over the years.

The lens is compact as one can see from the photos I hope, and it weighs only six ounces. The metal work is very good. The lens focuses from just below 3.5 feet, and the focus scale is engraved in feet only. The iris settings are to f16 and there are click stops. The lens elements are deeply recessed in a baffle on the front of the lens mitigating the need for a dedicated hood. The lens uses commonly available 37mm filters.

The camera modeling the lens is my Leotax S which I just had recovered with Black Beauty leather from the most excellent seller of this: Cameraleather.com (recommended). At the end of the set are two photos of the same camera just before the leather replacement - new leather does wonders!

Has anyone owned or used this lens? Any ideas on which Japanese company made it? I'll shoot a roll of film with the Soligor to see how it does and post the results here!



[IMG]http://i577.photobucket.com/albums/ss218/wanchaiboy2/rff7777/leo_s_so
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Old 01-23-2012   #2
Steve M.
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Great looking lens David. Please do post the shots from it. I've never seen one of these. Like all Soligor lenses, it may have been made by any of several manufacturers. I'll bet it's a keeper.

I know they didn't make it, but it has a Nikkor look to it. Maybe an Acall or Komuru?
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Old 01-24-2012   #3
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Congrats David! So it does exist, I've only read about this lens at the back of the HPR book on Leica copies...
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Old 01-28-2012   #4
David Murphy
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Here are a couple of shots taken with my Leotax F and ISO 200 generic color print film (processed with a CD from Target). The lens is sharp at around F16 and shows some edge softness at the mid stops. This is typical of some of the simpler Japanese aftermarket rangefinder wide angle lenses I've tested. They do the job, are quite pretty in many respects, but are not optically in the class of say a Leica lens (of course they were much cheaper at the time and made photography possible for many!).


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Contax IIIa, Canon L1, Leotax S, Bessa R2C, Konica Autoreflex T, Canon Ftb QL, Pentax Spotmatic, Minolta SRT-101, Nikon F, Exakta VX, Miranda Automex II, Leotax K, Yashica Mat LM

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