• Ultraviolet Photography
  •  

Has anyone tested Soligor 400 mm f/6.3 and 21 mm f/3.5?

UV Lens
15 replies to this topic

#1 enricosavazzi

    Member

  • Members
  • 507 posts
  • Location: Stockholm, Sweden

Posted 03 October 2014 - 10:26

Has anyone tested these two lenses in UV photography?

The Soligor 400 mm f/6.3 is a preset lens. The Soligor 21 mm f/3.5 is a more modern model. Both might be available in multiple models/issues, and most likely with different branding too.

I don't have either lens. Just asking to know whether I should delete them from the list of lenses to buy for testing if/when I happen to find some loose cash forgotten at the bottom of a drawer.
-- Enrico Savazzi

#2 nfoto

    Former Fierce Bear of the North

  • Owner-Administrator
  • 2,322 posts
  • Location: Sørumsand, Norway

Posted 03 October 2014 - 11:53

I reckon the Soligor 400 is more or less the same as the Petri 400 mm f/6.3 I own. It came with a Petri mount, but underneath a T-mount was hidden so changing the mount to 'F' (in my case) was pretty forward. I wanted this mount so I could use cameras with rear filtration (GH-2) or internal Baader U2" (D3200).

The 400 is not a top notch UV performer and the residual aberrations make you wish to stop quite a bit say f/11 or more. Probably would be required anyway in the visible range too. There is significant focus shift so Liveview is almost mandatory.

No idea about the wide Soligor - sorry. I vaguely recall someone using a Tamron Adapt-All 21 mm a long time ago, but believe it was not very good for UV (as indeed would be expected a priori). None of my numerous 20/21 mm Nikkors serve much of a useful purpose in UV either. The 18/4 has simpler optics and the front elements are perilously thin, so thin that assembling this lens must be a lens maker's nightmare. UV response is adequate but not stunning. However for more artistic UV work the 18/4 is just fine.

#3 enricosavazzi

    Member

  • Members
  • 507 posts
  • Location: Stockholm, Sweden

Posted 03 October 2014 - 14:03

Thanks Bjørn,

do you happen to have a suggestion for a 200 to 400 mm legacy lens for UV photography that is not too expensive and not too difficult to find on the second-hand market? I am thinking about bird photography with a Micro 4/3 camera, so always with Live View and the lens should use (or be modified to use) an internal/rear filter. Since birds don't see much farther into the UV than transmitted by a Baader U, and therefore are not likely to have UV markings at shorter wavelengths, UV transmission of this lens only needs to reach about 360-370 nm (or 380 nm if nothing better is available).
-- Enrico Savazzi

#4 nfoto

    Former Fierce Bear of the North

  • Owner-Administrator
  • 2,322 posts
  • Location: Sørumsand, Norway

Posted 03 October 2014 - 14:12

May I suggest a Petri 200 mm f/4 for that purpose. They are still pretty cheap and you can get a Petri-m43 adapter to mount the lens directly to your camera.

#5 nfoto

    Former Fierce Bear of the North

  • Owner-Administrator
  • 2,322 posts
  • Location: Sørumsand, Norway

Posted 03 October 2014 - 14:17

There are also a host of 300 mm f/5.5 designs out there. Probably scaled versions of the 400/6.3 basic layout. I know there is one of these lurking around somewhere in the lens house.

The Russian B.I.G. 500/5.6 (mirror) is adequate for your described task as well, but not a lens one can focus very quickly I'm afraid.

#6 Alex H

    Oleksandr Holovachov

  • Members
  • 682 posts
  • Location: Sweden

Posted 03 October 2014 - 15:05

I have used Auto-Tamron 21mm F/4.5 adapt-a-matic lens for UV some time ago. It requires Baader to be mounted between the lens and the camera, susceptible to flare, furthest corners are not very good even on APS-C, and does not transmit very deep. I do not know of any other flaws of this lens. What did I miss, Bjørn? Here are few examples:

Posted Image

Posted Image

Posted Image

Sony E-mount 16mm F/2.8 is much worse:

Posted Image

I sold my Tamron 21mm when I "discovered" Zuiko 20mm for PenF/FT cameras. This one is very sharp and transmits no less UV than the tamron.

Posted Image

Posted Image

#7 enricosavazzi

    Member

  • Members
  • 507 posts
  • Location: Stockholm, Sweden

Posted 03 October 2014 - 16:22

Thanks Olexandr,

I am now sold on the Zuiko F FT 20 mm for the wideangle end in UV photography. I got curious about the Soligor 21 mm while looking at Soligor telephoto lenses, but I prefer to buy something tried and tested. Other alternatives like the Nikkor 18 mm might be better (and wider) but would also be larger and heavier, and I am trying to keep my UV kit easily transportable (together with a larger VIS photography Micro 4/3 kit) on international flights.
-- Enrico Savazzi

#8 Alex H

    Oleksandr Holovachov

  • Members
  • 682 posts
  • Location: Sweden

Posted 03 October 2014 - 17:37

One warning - before buying the lens, be sure you can inspect it in person. I have two of these lenses and one is perfect while the other has issues - the black paint started to come off from the side surfaces of one of the elements. Naturally, the paint can get on the surfaces that matter for optical performance of the lens, and the chances for internal reflections increase. This problem is not uncommon with this particular lens. It is almost like "schneideritis" but the difference is that this particular surface that loses the paint is not in contact with any other parts of the lens barrel. It is the surface on the inner conical part of the second element (from the front)- see this diagram: http://www.taunusrei...uiko-Auto-W.jpg

It can be repaired though.

#9 enricosavazzi

    Member

  • Members
  • 507 posts
  • Location: Stockholm, Sweden

Posted 03 October 2014 - 19:00

Thanks for the heads up - yes, it sounds repairable without too much work. I found the disassembly instructions at http://www.instructa...-Lens/?ALLSTEPS , if they should be necessary.
-- Enrico Savazzi

#10 Alex H

    Oleksandr Holovachov

  • Members
  • 682 posts
  • Location: Sweden

Posted 03 October 2014 - 19:51

So the guy in the link is one more who had similar issue. But just to repair that one surface, one does not need to do all the dis-assembly, just start from the step 5. Also, one does not need to remove lens mount and focusing helicoid to get access to all optical parts of the lens. But I would not use sharpie to blacken lens elements - it is too shiny.

#11 Reed F. Curry

    Member

  • Members
  • 333 posts
  • Location: New Hampshire, USA

Posted 07 October 2014 - 00:24

For a 400mm I use the Piesker Tele-Picon 400/4.5 in M42 mount. If you put your filter in the M42 to M4/3 adapter, it is quite workable. This Piesker, like most, is a triplet. (The Piesker 250/4.5 is a doublet) It is a very solid, and heavy, bit of German engineering, necessitating the tripod mount. To get the f4.5, the objective lens is, IIRC, 96mm in diameter.
Best regards,
Reed
http://www.uvroptics.com

#12 enricosavazzi

    Member

  • Members
  • 507 posts
  • Location: Stockholm, Sweden

Posted 08 October 2014 - 07:14

Thanks Reed,

I found a Tele-Picon 400 mm on eBay on this side of the world, but the price is more than I was willing to pay. Instead, I pulled the trigger on a Piesker Tele-Votar 400mm f/4.5 which was more affordable. I don't know what is the difference (other than the Tele-Votar shows more chrome than the Tele-Picon) and whether it will matter in UV photography. In the worst case, this Tele-Votar should make for an impressive decoration on the mantelpiece.

I guess the first step will be testing this lens in UV photography, and then, depending on the result, starting to plan how to build a mantelpiece. :)
-- Enrico Savazzi

#13 Reed F. Curry

    Member

  • Members
  • 333 posts
  • Location: New Hampshire, USA

Posted 09 October 2014 - 17:00

I think you will like the Piesker. However, if not, here is a link -- http://www.houzz.com...stone-fireplace
Best regards,
Reed
http://www.uvroptics.com

#14 Andrea B.

    Desert Dancer

  • Owner-Administrator
  • 7,351 posts
  • Location: USA

Posted 09 October 2014 - 22:55

Nice fireplaces, Reed !! :)

However, I'm not sure that I quite get the purpose of an outdoor fireplace with an outdoor sofa.
Andrea G. Blum
Often found hanging out with flowers & bees.

#15 Reed F. Curry

    Member

  • Members
  • 333 posts
  • Location: New Hampshire, USA

Posted 10 October 2014 - 21:47

Good point, Andrea!
Look at our poor outdoor fireplace :)
Posted Image

You need to bring your own machete.
Best regards,
Reed
http://www.uvroptics.com

#16 Andrea B.

    Desert Dancer

  • Owner-Administrator
  • 7,351 posts
  • Location: USA

Posted 10 October 2014 - 22:16

:) :( :lol:
Andrea G. Blum
Often found hanging out with flowers & bees.