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10-28-2017, 11:19 PM   #1
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Soligor Bokina?

I've read a lot on various forums about the 90mm macro available as Tokina and Vivitar, and known as "Bokina".
I confess i have been a little skeptical about its supposed quality of "bokeh king", i guess other lenses would be the best choice if you want to shoot for bokeh, but at the same time i've always been curious to try such a celebrated lens.
Unfortunately both the Vivitar and Tokina versions are quite expensive, and i already have a few macros in that focal range.
A couple years ago i noticed that a Soligor 2.8/90mm macro lens had a similar appearance, and that the serial number indicated a Tokina provenience.
After i saw that the 1:1 accessory converter also looked very similar to the Tokina/Vivitar one, i cme to the conclusion that it was the same lens, sold with three different brands and three different barrel styles.
For almost three years i monitored Ebay (saved search with email updates), and finally i found a NOS example, complete (with 1:1 converter) and still with the original box and paperwork!
Unfortunately it's in M42 mount, but the price was definitely good, so i couldn't resist. I've bought it.
Here is the beast.
What do you think? Is it the third incarnation of the Bokina?







I think i will fit it with an M42_to_PK adapter ring (without screw and spring), held in place with a micro drop of Loctite.
I will also have a retaining slot milled into the flat surface at the back, so that the lens would lock in place with any PK camera.

cheers

Paolo

10-29-2017, 04:19 AM - 1 Like   #2
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kinda hard to call it a "Bokina" without seeing images taken with it, no?
10-29-2017, 06:56 AM   #3
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Ummm. That's a 100mm lens not 90, which could just be labeling I guess, or may indicate a different optical formula. Do you have any details on the optical arrangement?
10-29-2017, 07:16 AM   #4
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Optical formulas of the C/D series by Soligor are hard to come by.
The maker (Tokina for sure), the vintage (production period roughly overlapping), the presence of the peculiar 1:1 converter, and a certain resemblance in the size/shape of the barrel made me think it should be substantially the same lens.
Even the Tokina and Vivitar examples have certain differences, which IMHO were just due to commercial purposes, to differentiate the two products, which by the way share the same optical design.
Reporting a slightly different focal or speed between the OEM version and the rebranded one was quite common. Macros made by Komine or Kiron had similar commercially motivated differentiations. IIRC the two Vivitars were formally different from their Kiron or Panagor counterparts, but the lenses were optically the same.
I wouln't be surprised if the Soligor C/D followed the same pattern.

Regarding pictures. Some patience, please
I will post a couple of examples, but it will take almost 4 months to actually have the lenses in my possession.

EDIT:
This image of the Vivitar, referenced in an old thread on this forum, reveals a few similarities. Especially the 1:1 adapter.

I have some more doubts now, the filter diameter is 62mm, and not 58mm as the Tokina and Vivitar.
If somebody has a copy of an old magazine test that shows the optical layout of the Soligor C/D Macro 2.8/100mm, please chime in.
I'd love to know the truth

cheers

Paolo


Last edited by cyberjunkie; 10-29-2017 at 08:15 AM.
10-29-2017, 08:39 AM   #5
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I've owned and used assorted Soligor Lens over time. The C/D series was to compete with the Vivitar Series 1, didn't quite make it. Found this link SOLIGOR Lens Compendium might be informative. My experience showed a 50/2.8 was OK, the 28/2.8 gave a whole new meaning to CA and PF. Good Luck with it.
10-29-2017, 10:02 AM - 1 Like   #6
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I have the above mentioned 3 lenses----Viv S1 M90, Tokina M90 and this Sologor 100mm macro, so I know a little bit about them.

I was in the same circumstances as of OP years ago, so I bought this Soligor and tried to find something out............

The Soligor 100mm macro is a good lens and it is way cheaper, but.........it is NOT a variant of Bokina. I was a little bit disappointed when a got this conclusion, and now I feel sorry to let you know this.

You may get good pictures with this Soligor lens, but if you have the chance to compare the pictures taken with Soligor and Bokina then you will know the differences.

My suggestion: Treat it as if it is a Bokina, and enjoy the pictures you get with it. Happy photographing!

Example taken with K200D+Soligor C/D 100mm macro:
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PENTAX K200D  Photo 
10-29-2017, 10:27 AM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by jcdog2006 Quote
The Soligor 100mm macro is a good lens and it is way cheaper, but.........it is NOT a variant of Bokina. I was a little bit disappointed when a got this conclusion, and now I feel sorry to let you know this.

You may get good pictures with this Soligor lens, but if you have the chance to compare the pictures taken with Soligor and Bokina then you will know the differences.

I found a thread on mflenses.com about this very same lens. My two takeaways from the thread are:

1. It is not a Bokina relative. "The 1:1 tube is simply an extension tube designed to match the lens (unlike, say, the 1:1 attachment for the Vivitar Series 1 90/2.5 Macro)."

2. However, it can indeed take good macro pics, judging from some samples posted.

Soligor 100/f2.8 Macro 1:2 or 1:1 with adapter M42 mount
10-29-2017, 11:11 PM - 2 Likes   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by cyberjunkie Quote
. . .
For almost three years i monitored Ebay (saved search with email updates), and finally i found a NOS example, complete (with 1:1 converter) and still with the original box and paperwork!
. . .

Paolo
Well done, Paolo! It's a thrill to find a long sought after lens. Especially when it has its box and literature!


QuoteOriginally posted by cyberjunkie Quote
Optical formulas of the C/D series by Soligor are hard to come by. . .
I have two yellow Soligor C/D boxes and they each have their lenses' specs and optical diagrams printed on them. I would hope your box does, too.


QuoteOriginally posted by jcdog2006 Quote
. . .
The Soligor 100mm macro is a good lens and it is way cheaper, but.........it is NOT a variant of Bokina...

My suggestion: Treat it as if it is a Bokina, and enjoy the pictures you get with it. Happy photographing!
That's good advice. I think you'll really enjoy your Soligor, Paolo. No matter its layout or heritage.

I have both the Soligor C/D 100 f/2.8 (but no box) and the Vivitar Series 1 90 f/2.5. They each give very nice results and I haven't noticed much difference between them.
Here's a comparison I did today (shot from the same position, gray sky):


Vivitar S1 90 @ f/2.5



Soligor C/D 100 @ f/2.8



Vivitar S1 90 @ f/8



Soligor C/D 100 @ f/8



Tim

10-30-2017, 02:19 AM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by .a.t. Quote
Well done, Paolo! It's a thrill to find a long sought after lens. Especially when it has its box and literature!




I have two yellow Soligor C/D boxes and they each have their lenses' specs and optical diagrams printed on them. I would hope your box does, too.




That's good advice. I think you'll really enjoy your Soligor, Paolo. No matter its layout or heritage.

I have both the Soligor C/D 100 f/2.8 (but no box) and the Vivitar Series 1 90 f/2.5. They each give very nice results and I haven't noticed much difference between them.
Thanks a lot for the precious comparison pictures.
It's very evident that the focal length is different, from the way it looks could be even more than 1/10 difference.
I already found that the 1:1 accessory is just a hollow extension tube. Completely different from the Bokina's 3E/3G converter.
Though the rendition is not as different as other posts seem to suggest.
Contrary to many macro objectives, the OOF areas of the image are nicely rendered.
Of the many macros I own, only one has an outstanding bokeh (Sigma Apo Macro UC 5.6/180mm). Another lens of the same brand (Sigma Macro EX DG 2.8/50mm), albeit hyper sharp, has one of the worst bokeh I've ever seen.

Still sounds strange that Tokina had two different macro designs, more or less of the same focal and speed, in the same years.
I'm impatient to see if the two optical layouts are related...

Cheers

Paolo

10-30-2017, 06:57 AM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by .a.t. Quote
Well done, Paolo! It's a thrill to find a long sought after lens. Especially when it has its box and literature!
Indeed (on both counts) !!!

QuoteOriginally posted by .a.t. Quote
I have two yellow Soligor C/D boxes and they each have their lenses' specs and optical diagrams printed on them. I would hope your box does, too.
Yes -- it would be nice to know more details about this interesting lens.

QuoteOriginally posted by .a.t. Quote
I have both the Soligor C/D 100 f/2.8 (but no box) and the Vivitar Series 1 90 f/2.5. They each give very nice results and I haven't noticed much difference between them. Here's a comparison I did today (shot from the same position, gray sky):
Thanks for taking the time to obtain and to post those comparisons - interesting (and the Soligor is no slouch).

QuoteOriginally posted by .a.t. Quote
I think you'll really enjoy your Soligor, Paolo. No matter its layout or heritage.
Yes (but it will be still even nicer with optical configuration info, especially with an optical diagram - LOL).
10-30-2017, 07:07 AM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by cyberjunkie Quote
I already found that the 1:1 accessory is just a hollow extension tube. Completely different from the Bokina's 3E/3G converter.
Though the rendition is not as different as other posts seem to suggest.
That is not to say that the master lenses might not be similar. (After all, the use of the lenses is pretty much the same until one gets really close to the subject and has to attach the additional tube or the adapter/extender.

QuoteOriginally posted by cyberjunkie Quote
Contrary to many macro objectives, the OOF areas of the image are nicely rendered.
Yes -- there's not a huge difference between them in the above comparison shots.

QuoteOriginally posted by cyberjunkie Quote
Still sounds strange that Tokina had two different macro designs, more or less of the same focal and speed, in the same years.
Agreed (?) -- and maybe when the package arrives, you can confirm (or deny) that hunch.

QuoteOriginally posted by cyberjunkie Quote
I'm impatient to see if the two optical layouts are related...
10-30-2017, 07:16 AM - 1 Like   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by cyberjunkie Quote
EDIT: This image of the Vivitar, referenced in an old thread on this forum, reveals a few similarities. Especially the 1:1 adapter.

And it would be ~really~ interesting ~IF~ that NOS Soligor also came with a dedicated double-ended case (for the lens and for the extender), similar to the two known Bokina twins --








Last edited by fwcetus; 10-30-2017 at 07:23 AM.
10-30-2017, 02:42 PM - 1 Like   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by cyberjunkie Quote
Thanks a lot for the precious comparison pictures. . .
QuoteOriginally posted by fwcetus Quote
. . .
Thanks for taking the time to obtain and to post those comparisons - interesting (and the Soligor is no slouch).
. . .
Yes (but it will be still even nicer with optical configuration info, especially with an optical diagram - LOL).

You're welcome, guys. The sun is out today so I'll try to get more comparison shots if I have a chance.

Alas, I fear I may have misled you about lens data being included on the Soligor 100's box.
I double checked my Soligor C/D boxes and I do in fact have two yellow boxes with lens specs and diagrams included. But those lenses have serial numbers 377... (from 1977) & 279... (from 1979). I have two other yellow Soligor C/D lens boxes with serial numbers from 1974 and those boxes don't include lens data.
So perhaps Paolo's (1975) 100 macro box may not have lens info after all... I'm sorry if I raised false hopes.

However, I do have a Soligor C/D instruction manual which lists lens specs but doesn't include optical diagrams. I scanned the relevant page and have attached it below. And @cyberjunkie, I guess you'll be getting a copy of that manual when you get your lens. But in the meantime, I'd be happy to scan the whole manual for you if you're interested.
And I also have the Vivitar 90 f/2.5's owner's manual so I've included a scan of its specs page, too.








I think old magazine ads might be a source for the 100's optical layout. I have a 1974 Soligor C/D ad which includes the optical diagram for the Soligor 135 f/2. I'll scan it and post it later today.


Tim
10-31-2017, 01:01 AM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by .a.t. Quote
. . . I have a 1974 Soligor C/D ad which includes the optical diagram for the Soligor 135 f/2. I'll scan it and post it . . .
If anyone is interested, that is.


Earlier I said I haven't seen much difference in output from my Soligor C/D 100 and my Vivitar Series 1 90. I should've also said I'm not a serious macro shooter. I rarely use these lenses with their 1:1 adapters attached, so I haven't compared sharpness or bokeh at macro magnification. I've owned the Vivitar for several years and the Soligor for a few months, but hadn't directly compared them until I saw this thread.

I took my lenses out again today. Here's some autumn bokeh (resized JPEGs from my K-7):


Soligor C/D 100 @ f/2.8 & 1/500 sec



Vivitar Series 1 90 @ f/2.5 & 1/640 sec



Tim
10-31-2017, 07:24 AM   #15
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I appreciate the new pictures.
After I've checked the Flickr originals i can say that i'm happy i've pulled the trigger for the Soligor Macro.
The bokeh is on par with the Vivitar, it is sharp, an i see no lateral CA.
Though the two optical layouts seem to be different. 6E/4G the Soligor C/D 2.8/100mm and 8E/7G the Vivitar S1 2.5/90mm.
Thanks again for the infos!

I'd happy to see the scan of the optical diagram of the 2/135mm C/D.
It's the same lens i have on my K-1 right now!

ciao

Paolo
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