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11-09-2020, 08:35 AM   #1
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experiences with Soligor 400 mm f/6.3?

I see a couple of opportunities popping up on the internet to buy a Soligor 400 mm telephoto f6.3 so I was wondering if there's anyone having experience with this lens on Pentax?
Apparently there are a differences in mount?
Any info is welcome...

11-09-2020, 09:22 AM - 1 Like   #2
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QuoteOriginally posted by Reciprocity Quote
I see a couple of opportunities popping up on the internet to buy a Soligor 400 mm telephoto f6.3 so I was wondering if there's anyone having experience with this lens on Pentax?
Apparently there are a differences in mount?
Any info is welcome...
Check out these reviews from the lens review section:
Soligor 400mm F6.3 Lens Reviews - Miscellaneous Lenses - Pentax Lens Review Database
11-09-2020, 09:27 AM - 1 Like   #3
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Soligor 400mm F6.3 Lens Reviews - Miscellaneous Lenses - Pentax Lens Review Database

I never owned one of these but it seems similar to a number of manual long lenses in that it was made with a "T mount" that accepts adapters to the various camera mounts. They might also be made in a fixed mount that doesn't allow for adapters. There also seems to be a lot of variability in who actually made these. The link above states there are at least 7 versions. Based on that I would suggest lots of research and care before buying one. It is unlikely the seller will actually know much about what they are selling so buyer beware.
11-09-2020, 09:46 AM - 1 Like   #4
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There are several different ones, but two are the common ones. I rate the 17xxxx serial no's ones made by tokina above the 9xxxx serials "chrome-eared" ones (link above), both being on average better than the typical generic 400mm f6.3. I actually don't recommend the latter, due to prevalence of hazed rear elements, and variable quality.
Are they any good? Depends on your measuring stick. Pentax lenses like the "M" 400mm f5.6 are better: closer focusing, bit sharper and a bit faster, but probably not enough to justify the typical 4x the price. I can suggest, given they can be acquired very cheaply, that they are pretty worthwhile for say €50, nice solid metal 'n glass lenses, easily cleaned/TLC'd. The tokina made ones may be fixed mount - M42 is the only choice then - pre PK introduction - or swappable T4/TX mount. Note it can take some diligent hunting to find PK mounts for TX, also that a bit of diy is required to get a TX PK mount to work on the earlier T4 mount, M42 T4/TX is thus easier but irritating to stop down - have to hold the stop down button unless modded. The chrome eared ones are t-mount so no adapting issues with that one, just screw on a PK or M42 t-ring. As you can see from the reviews (and also trawl through the 300mm lens club for my posts and others) with diligent technique (recommended accessory: bean bag), careful focusing (magnified live view is your friend) and some post processing they can deliver some results.


Last edited by marcusBMG; 11-09-2020 at 11:14 AM.
11-09-2020, 09:46 AM - 1 Like   #5
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Yeah, there are a ton of versions (branded names) of that lens, and a ton more that are very similar (different construction, but nearly the same). Simple construction. It obviously isn't going to compare to any high-end telephoto (even a vintage one), but it isn't abjectly terrible either. I wouldn't pay much for it at all -- there are a gazillion of them out there. The interesting thing about it (and other cheap old lenses) is that it is actually sharper using it on modern digital (sort of) than it was originally because with a click of a button in lightroom much of its noticeable spherical aberration can be instantly corrected and so the sweet spot is somewhat enlarged (will still look best in the center though). It is something to play with -- not for serious work though.
11-09-2020, 11:01 AM - 1 Like   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by Reciprocity Quote
I see a couple of opportunities popping up on the internet to buy a Soligor 400 mm telephoto f6.3 so I was wondering if there's anyone having experience with this lens on Pentax?
Apparently there are a differences in mount?
Any info is welcome...
I have one, but it is years since I used it. It is the preset type. At the time I used it, I hardly got one sharp image with it, compared to today's standards.
So my advice is no, it's not worth it, regardless of price.

Last edited by Bosse; 11-09-2020 at 11:03 AM. Reason: The quote was wrong.
11-09-2020, 11:26 AM - 1 Like   #7
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Just found this good review of a chrome eared one:

Soligor 400mm f/6.3 T2 Classic Lens Review | ePHOTOzine

with test pics on a K1 that you can view full sized. Note that the pics are all at f6.3, this is unfortunate as these lenses benefit from stopping down to f8, and f11, he would have got sharper results. Also that 36MPx is really going to highlight the modest resolution. My best results with lenses like this are always by resizing and judicious sharpening.
11-09-2020, 01:29 PM - 1 Like   #8
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Can have interesting results, the attached using a Samsung GX10 and 2x tele converter.

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11-09-2020, 08:44 PM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by WhatsMyNameAD67 Quote
thanks.

---------- Post added 11-09-20 at 08:48 PM ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by marcusBMG Quote
There are several different ones, but two are the common ones. I rate the 17xxxx serial no's ones made by tokina above the 9xxxx serials "chrome-eared" ones (link above), both being on average better than the typical generic 400mm f6.3. I actually don't recommend the latter, due to prevalence of hazed rear elements, and variable quality.
Are they any good? Depends on your measuring stick. Pentax lenses like the "M" 400mm f5.6 are better: closer focusing, bit sharper and a bit faster, but probably not enough to justify the typical 4x the price. I can suggest, given they can be acquired very cheaply, that they are pretty worthwhile for say €50, nice solid metal 'n glass lenses, easily cleaned/TLC'd. The tokina made ones may be fixed mount - M42 is the only choice then - pre PK introduction - or swappable T4/TX mount. Note it can take some diligent hunting to find PK mounts for TX, also that a bit of diy is required to get a TX PK mount to work on the earlier T4 mount, M42 T4/TX is thus easier but irritating to stop down - have to hold the stop down button unless modded. The chrome eared ones are t-mount so no adapting issues with that one, just screw on a PK or M42 t-ring. As you can see from the reviews (and also trawl through the 300mm lens club for my posts and others) with diligent technique (recommended accessory: bean bag), careful focusing (magnified live view is your friend) and some post processing they can deliver some results.
I read in some reviews that there is a problem with focusing to infinity when using an adapter, is this true? Because I don't see the point of buying a telelens when you can't have infinity.

---------- Post added 11-09-20 at 08:49 PM ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by marcusBMG Quote
Just found this good review of a chrome eared one:

Soligor 400mm f/6.3 T2 Classic Lens Review | ePHOTOzine

with test pics on a K1 that you can view full sized. Note that the pics are all at f6.3, this is unfortunate as these lenses benefit from stopping down to f8, and f11, he would have got sharper results. Also that 36MPx is really going to highlight the modest resolution. My best results with lenses like this are always by resizing and judicious sharpening.
thank you for the link.

---------- Post added 11-09-20 at 08:50 PM ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by Bosse Quote
I have one, but it is years since I used it. It is the preset type. At the time I used it, I hardly got one sharp image with it, compared to today's standards.
So my advice is no, it's not worth it, regardless of price.
I see, thanks.

---------- Post added 11-09-20 at 08:51 PM ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by vonBaloney Quote
Yeah, there are a ton of versions (branded names) of that lens, and a ton more that are very similar (different construction, but nearly the same). Simple construction. It obviously isn't going to compare to any high-end telephoto (even a vintage one), but it isn't abjectly terrible either. I wouldn't pay much for it at all -- there are a gazillion of them out there. The interesting thing about it (and other cheap old lenses) is that it is actually sharper using it on modern digital (sort of) than it was originally because with a click of a button in lightroom much of its noticeable spherical aberration can be instantly corrected and so the sweet spot is somewhat enlarged (will still look best in the center though). It is something to play with -- not for serious work though.
Ok, thanks.

---------- Post added 11-09-20 at 08:58 PM ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by marcusBMG Quote
There are several different ones, but two are the common ones. I rate the 17xxxx serial no's ones made by tokina above the 9xxxx serials "chrome-eared" ones (link above), both being on average better than the typical generic 400mm f6.3. I actually don't recommend the latter, due to prevalence of hazed rear elements, and variable quality.
Are they any good? Depends on your measuring stick. Pentax lenses like the "M" 400mm f5.6 are better: closer focusing, bit sharper and a bit faster, but probably not enough to justify the typical 4x the price. I can suggest, given they can be acquired very cheaply, that they are pretty worthwhile for say €50, nice solid metal 'n glass lenses, easily cleaned/TLC'd. The tokina made ones may be fixed mount - M42 is the only choice then - pre PK introduction - or swappable T4/TX mount. Note it can take some diligent hunting to find PK mounts for TX, also that a bit of diy is required to get a TX PK mount to work on the earlier T4 mount, M42 T4/TX is thus easier but irritating to stop down - have to hold the stop down button unless modded. The chrome eared ones are t-mount so no adapting issues with that one, just screw on a PK or M42 t-ring. As you can see from the reviews (and also trawl through the 300mm lens club for my posts and others) with diligent technique (recommended accessory: bean bag), careful focusing (magnified live view is your friend) and some post processing they can deliver some results.
Well ,the adapter issue with T4 seems a bit too complex for me, especially if it will involve DIY. So maybe I'll go for the T2-mount.

---------- Post added 11-09-20 at 09:05 PM ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by marcusBMG Quote
There are several different ones, but two are the common ones. I rate the 17xxxx serial no's ones made by tokina above the 9xxxx serials "chrome-eared" ones (link above), both being on average better than the typical generic 400mm f6.3. I actually don't recommend the latter, due to prevalence of hazed rear elements, and variable quality.
Are they any good? Depends on your measuring stick. Pentax lenses like the "M" 400mm f5.6 are better: closer focusing, bit sharper and a bit faster, but probably not enough to justify the typical 4x the price. I can suggest, given they can be acquired very cheaply, that they are pretty worthwhile for say €50, nice solid metal 'n glass lenses, easily cleaned/TLC'd. The tokina made ones may be fixed mount - M42 is the only choice then - pre PK introduction - or swappable T4/TX mount. Note it can take some diligent hunting to find PK mounts for TX, also that a bit of diy is required to get a TX PK mount to work on the earlier T4 mount, M42 T4/TX is thus easier but irritating to stop down - have to hold the stop down button unless modded. The chrome eared ones are t-mount so no adapting issues with that one, just screw on a PK or M42 t-ring. As you can see from the reviews (and also trawl through the 300mm lens club for my posts and others) with diligent technique (recommended accessory: bean bag), careful focusing (magnified live view is your friend) and some post processing they can deliver some results.
I notice a couple of them by the brand Sun, and I was also wondering if this is T2 or M42, can't make it out on the pictures.

---------- Post added 11-09-20 at 09:08 PM ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by mikeprotts Quote
Can have interesting results, the attached using a Samsung GX10 and 2x tele converter.
Ok, not bad.

---------- Post added 11-09-20 at 09:14 PM ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by marcusBMG Quote
There are several different ones, but two are the common ones. I rate the 17xxxx serial no's ones made by tokina above the 9xxxx serials "chrome-eared" ones (link above), both being on average better than the typical generic 400mm f6.3. I actually don't recommend the latter, due to prevalence of hazed rear elements, and variable quality.
Are they any good? Depends on your measuring stick. Pentax lenses like the "M" 400mm f5.6 are better: closer focusing, bit sharper and a bit faster, but probably not enough to justify the typical 4x the price. I can suggest, given they can be acquired very cheaply, that they are pretty worthwhile for say €50, nice solid metal 'n glass lenses, easily cleaned/TLC'd. The tokina made ones may be fixed mount - M42 is the only choice then - pre PK introduction - or swappable T4/TX mount. Note it can take some diligent hunting to find PK mounts for TX, also that a bit of diy is required to get a TX PK mount to work on the earlier T4 mount, M42 T4/TX is thus easier but irritating to stop down - have to hold the stop down button unless modded. The chrome eared ones are t-mount so no adapting issues with that one, just screw on a PK or M42 t-ring. As you can see from the reviews (and also trawl through the 300mm lens club for my posts and others) with diligent technique (recommended accessory: bean bag), careful focusing (magnified live view is your friend) and some post processing they can deliver some results.
Ok, I'm getting a little bit confused here: a Tokina-version has also a M42-mount ?

---------- Post added 11-09-20 at 09:17 PM ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by marcusBMG Quote
There are several different ones, but two are the common ones. I rate the 17xxxx serial no's ones made by tokina above the 9xxxx serials "chrome-eared" ones (link above), both being on average better than the typical generic 400mm f6.3. I actually don't recommend the latter, due to prevalence of hazed rear elements, and variable quality.
Are they any good? Depends on your measuring stick. Pentax lenses like the "M" 400mm f5.6 are better: closer focusing, bit sharper and a bit faster, but probably not enough to justify the typical 4x the price. I can suggest, given they can be acquired very cheaply, that they are pretty worthwhile for say €50, nice solid metal 'n glass lenses, easily cleaned/TLC'd. The tokina made ones may be fixed mount - M42 is the only choice then - pre PK introduction - or swappable T4/TX mount. Note it can take some diligent hunting to find PK mounts for TX, also that a bit of diy is required to get a TX PK mount to work on the earlier T4 mount, M42 T4/TX is thus easier but irritating to stop down - have to hold the stop down button unless modded. The chrome eared ones are t-mount so no adapting issues with that one, just screw on a PK or M42 t-ring. As you can see from the reviews (and also trawl through the 300mm lens club for my posts and others) with diligent technique (recommended accessory: bean bag), careful focusing (magnified live view is your friend) and some post processing they can deliver some results.
And the Hanimex is out of the question.
11-10-2020, 06:50 AM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by Reciprocity Quote
read in some reviews that there is a problem with focusing to infinity when using an adapter, is this true? Because I don't see the point of buying a telelens when you can't have infinity.
IME no. These issues occur trying eg to adapt M42 on to a nikon dslr. Nikon registration distance (lens end to film/sensor) 46.5mm, m42 45.46mm. So you end up ~1mm plus the thickness of the adapter away from getting infinity focus (however the soligors are as it happens easily adjusted to compensate for this, so in practice there would be little difficulty adapting an M42 tokina made soligor 400mm f6.3 to a nikon)

QuoteOriginally posted by Reciprocity Quote
Well ,the adapter issue with T4 seems a bit too complex for me, especially if it will involve DIY. So maybe I'll go for the T2-mount.
Well also bear in mind that if you do get a TX mount one with a PK mount, then you have automatic aperture (manually set) - you set the f-stop and the camera stops the lens down when you press the shutter. With the t-mount (no difference between t and t2, T4 and TX are very similar but completely different to t-mount) lenses there are no aperture connections, stopping down is done by you at the moment of taking the pic. The 2 ring "preset" makes this easier - you set the click ring to the f number, then flck the other ring round just before pressing the shutter. Howeever au contraire the t-mount lenses work with "A" aperture priority mode because of this (with some dslr bodies you need to take off the black anodising so that electrical contact #7 on the camera [at half past position] connects - yep more diy but that's the way it is - pentax is the camera with best legacy connectibility but there are still all these little ins and outs..).

If you go to the review pages linked to there are further links that go through the mods/diy's so you can decide for yourself.

QuoteOriginally posted by Reciprocity Quote
I notice a couple of them by the brand Sun, and I was also wondering if this is T2 or M42, can't make it out on the pictures.
Fixed mount I think. I rarely see sun made ones. And I don't think they are as good.



QuoteOriginally posted by Reciprocity Quote
Ok, I'm getting a little bit confused here: a Tokina-version has also a M42-mount ?
QuoteOriginally posted by Reciprocity Quote
And the Hanimex is out of the question
See the review page linked to. The tokina nameplate ones are fixed mount. The vivitars and soligors can be either T4/TX or fixed mount.
The earlier tokina 400mm f6.3 that preceded these above is also of a similar standard photographically. That lens is almost always a standard t-mount*, and can be found as a hanimex and many other brands.

*but watch out for early ones with a silver mount - these can be the faux 47mm thread t-mount. No problem if it comes with the mount you want (M42), problem if it doesn't its virtually impossible to find mounts separately.

Last edited by marcusBMG; 11-10-2020 at 07:40 AM.
11-11-2020, 12:02 AM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by marcusBMG Quote
IME no. These issues occur trying eg to adapt M42 on to a nikon dslr. Nikon registration distance (lens end to film/sensor) 46.5mm, m42 45.46mm. So you end up ~1mm plus the thickness of the adapter away from getting infinity focus (however the soligors are as it happens easily adjusted to compensate for this, so in practice there would be little difficulty adapting an M42 tokina made soligor 400mm f6.3 to a nikon)



Well also bear in mind that if you do get a TX mount one with a PK mount, then you have automatic aperture (manually set) - you set the f-stop and the camera stops the lens down when you press the shutter. With the t-mount (no difference between t and t2, T4 and TX are very similar but completely different to t-mount) lenses there are no aperture connections, stopping down is done by you at the moment of taking the pic. The 2 ring "preset" makes this easier - you set the click ring to the f number, then flck the other ring round just before pressing the shutter. Howeever au contraire the t-mount lenses work with "A" aperture priority mode because of this (with some dslr bodies you need to take off the black anodising so that electrical contact #7 on the camera [at half past position] connects - yep more diy but that's the way it is - pentax is the camera with best legacy connectibility but there are still all these little ins and outs..).

If you go to the review pages linked to there are further links that go through the mods/diy's so you can decide for yourself.



Fixed mount I think. I rarely see sun made ones. And I don't think they are as good.






See the review page linked to. The tokina nameplate ones are fixed mount. The vivitars and soligors can be either T4/TX or fixed mount.
The earlier tokina 400mm f6.3 that preceded these above is also of a similar standard photographically. That lens is almost always a standard t-mount*, and can be found as a hanimex and many other brands.

*but watch out for early ones with a silver mount - these can be the faux 47mm thread t-mount. No problem if it comes with the mount you want (M42), problem if it doesn't its virtually impossible to find mounts separately.
Thank you Marcus for the in-depth-comment. I think that the Sun had a silver mount, the seller was speaking about an adapter, I don't get,after what I've read here. Anyway it doesn't matter because the lens is already sold apparently.
11-11-2020, 04:45 AM   #12
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I assume I had a similar clone with the Tamron Popular brand.
For a low price it is a fun lens to play with (light) but the IQ is nothing to brag about.
The DA55-300 with any 1.4x teleconverter surely gives better pics. Or cropping from any tele lens.
I did not regret buying mine, but I soon sold it. My Tokina 500mm mirror is better.

Seb
11-11-2020, 07:49 AM   #13
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I'm currently bidding on a Soligor 400 mm with a M42 mount. The question: I never had M42 lenses, so which adapter should I buy? The one by Pentax itself? Because I read horror stories about cheap adapters that get stuck?

---------- Post added 11-11-20 at 07:49 AM ----------

Thanks for the remark.

Last edited by Reciprocity; 11-11-2020 at 08:02 AM.
11-11-2020, 09:25 AM   #14
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Does the Pentax M42 to Pentax K-adapter give trouble with focusing to infinity?
11-11-2020, 10:37 AM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by Reciprocity Quote
Does the Pentax M42 to Pentax K-adapter give trouble with focusing to infinity?
Only the flanged adapters have that issue.

FYI:
M42-PK adapters - some personal experiences

M42 Lens Aperture Control on Modern DSLRs : 3 Steps - Instructables
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