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Soligor 28-55mm F3.3-4.5 C/D Zoom+Macro

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2 12,273 Mon February 4, 2013
Recommended By Average Price Average User Rating
100% of reviewers $12.50 8.00
Soligor 28-55mm F3.3-4.5 C/D Zoom+Macro

Soligor "Computer Designed" (C/D) lenses are rather like Vivitar Series 1: relatively aggressive undertakings intended to compete directly with lenses from the major camera brands. This 28-55mm f/3.3-4.5 zoom is a very versatile lens -- especially given that it is not much larger than a typical 50mm normal lens. Close focus is not very close, but the macro setting past 55mm on the zoom goes to 1:3. It takes a 55mm filter, and one is mounted in the photo. The last two digits of the lens serial number have been removed from the image, but some say that the 38 first digits mean it was manufactured by Sun? There are very similar lenses under several brand names.
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New Member

Registered: January, 2013
Posts: 6

1 user found this helpful
Lens Review Date: February 4, 2013 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $20.00 | Rating: 8 

Pros: Sturdy, Compact, Sharp
Cons: limited focal length
Sharpness: 8    Aberrations: 8    Bokeh: 8    Handling: 8    Value: 8   

The soligor 28-55mm f3.3 lens is a cool little zoom. It looks almost as small as some of my primes and has a really useful macro feature. This lens was manufactured for Soligor by Sun optical. If you find one, I highly recommend you give it a try. The focal length is a little limited, but it is built with metal parts and seems very sturdy as many older lenses are.

Here is a shot around f4.5 of one of my favorite things with this lens.

Junior Member

Registered: August, 2009
Location: Lexington, KY
Posts: 29

1 user found this helpful
Lens Review Date: October 3, 2011 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $5.00 | Rating: 8 

Pros: Actually is as versatile as intended, good "old" IQ
Cons: Low contrast, gap between close focus and macro
Sharpness: 7    Aberrations: 9    Bokeh: 9    Handling: 8    Value: 10   

This was the obviously unhappy lens in the eBay photos of a visibly dirty-looking some-things-broken lot that sold for way less than it should have in part because this lens was there. It might be most accurate to say it cost about negative $300.

The dirt on the lot was mostly on, not in, things. However, the problem with this lens is clearly visible inside it in this self portrait (taken in a mirror):

I, and probably everybody else, thought this was fungus. Funny thing is that they are metalic dots, not spider webs, and they are on metal inside a lens that looks like it was wearing a protective filter all its life. I no longer think it is fungus. My best guess is that somebody cleaned the front element and the cleaner reacted with the aluminum to create these metalic corrosion spots. In any case, the glass looks surprisingly clean and clear, with only a hint of an internal cleaning mark.

Ok, since it appears safe to use, how does it do? Pretty well, actually:

That was shot wide open (and none of the photos here was edited in any way but scaling). The tree bark is quite sharp and the bokeh and colors are nice, although contrast is pretty low. In macro mode, it is more of the same:

Really darn good for a lens I normally would have run away from, especially given that it's a wide zoom (not a good thing for old lenses).

Mechanically, it's very smooth except for the aperture ring, which feels like it might have the same kind of corrosion problem inside it that we see in the front of the lens. Actually, it seems to be a well-made little lens.

Ok, it's not so bad. The real question is if it is better than a kit zoom on APS-C digital. The answer is... drum roll... no, not really.

In any case, if someone offers you $300 to accept the lens, you certainly should. Now that is serious value!

In fact, this lens has that nice old lens look to the images it makes, and the macro focus is quite reasonable, so I'd probably have been willing to pay at least $25 for it knowing what I know now. It's pretty good as old wide zooms go... and it is definitely way better than some non-C/D Soligors I've seen.
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