Thursday, May 16, 2013

Soligor C/D 80-200mm f/4.5

I got this lens together with a film camera I wanted. I knew little about this lens, but research showed it is based on a pretty decent design. There are plenty 80-200mm manual focus lenses out there. How does this compare?

+ cheap
+ considering the price, superb image quality
+ mechanically sturdy

- manual focus
- although f/4.5 is faster than f/5.6, there are some other lenses out there that go up to f/3.8
- infinity focus has some issues

Even with small detail, it can cope pretty well.
100% crop from infinity focus in the corner.

Intended Users
Great for:
  • bundling it together with a film camera to increase the selling value.
  • a pretty decent tele-zoom solution for the budget-minded
  • faster than the usual f/5.6 tele zooms

Not for:
  • anything moving. It's manual focus
  • distances greater than 40-50m. I noticed some slight weaknesses in infinity focus
  • long-term solution

Final Verdict
It's cheap, and it's pretty good! Not pro-caliber good of course, but definitely comparable to modern consumer zooms (and perhaps better than some of them). Manual focus is of course an issue you always need to keep in mind. Clearly, this is not a lens for action. But if you have no other tele and you're looking for a cheap but decent solution, this one is pretty good value.

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