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Soligor 1:2.8 f=28mm -- 21+ Versions
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 20, 2018 6:24 pm    Post subject: KA code Reply with quote

Hi, first time poster, have been reading this and other threads with some interest, and may have something to add, and, to further muddy the waters, as it were. I recently bid on a Soligor 100-200mm F/5.6, pictured below, Serial # KA-101212



A further search showed a Kawanon lens, very similar, and even having a similar serial#:




Based on this, KA could also be Kawanon. Interestingly, I thought the lens was so distinctively styled it would not have been made by a different manufacturer, but on another post in'The Big Soligor Thread" this picture showing a '9' serial was posted (sorry, I don't know how to link directly to the post)


PostPosted: Mon Aug 20, 2018 6:26 pm    Post subject: Re: KA code Reply with quote

Alun Thomas wrote:
Hi, first time poster, have been reading this and other threads with some interest, and may have something to add, and, to further muddy the waters, as it were. I recently bid on a Soligor 100-200mm F/5.6, pictured below, Serial # KA-101212



A further search showed a Kawanon lens, very similar, and even having a similar serial#:




Based on this, KA could also be Kawanon. Interestingly, I thought the lens was so distinctively styled it would not have been made by a different manufacturer, but on another post in'The Big Soligor Thread" this picture showing a '9' serial was posted (sorry, I don't know how to link directly to the post)


Welcome Alun Thomas


PostPosted: Fri Oct 11, 2019 7:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

walter g wrote:
braz wrote:
walter g wrote:
Braz, to ID your U code Soligor Miranda lens I need to know how many aperture blades it has.
That might give the clue to the maker.


It's a preset lens with 12 blades.


Thanks. I was pretty sure it would have a high blade count.
The one maker I know that used 12 blade apertures is Kawanon.
I need to do more research, but that's my best guess so far.


This lens may agree with your statement, 12 blades, has a K on the id ring.


PostPosted: Mon Nov 25, 2019 10:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote



According to this Japanese website, Miranda Society of Japan ...

http://miranda.s32.xrea.com/miranda/MSJ_html/lens/index.html

... some of the early Miranda lenses were Kowa made Soligor marketed lenses. Some labeled Kowa Miranda and some labeled Soligor Miranda. These were distinguished by having a 'K' prefix before the serial number. However given the available backing information on the 'K' for Kowa Soligor lenses, why is 'K' for Kowa not added to the Soligor Manufacturer Code chart? I see lots of listings online for the Code chart and none of them have 'K' = Kowa listed.

This series of Kowa made lenses are perhaps some of the best and most unique lenses Soligor would have ever sold, IMO as they represent some of the earliest of the Kowa Prominar lenses. And Prominar lenses are not only revered in the cinematography world, but they have been used to film many highly acclaimed movies, such as Rocky and The Godfather II. So to my thinking, having a set of Prominar lenses in the 'made by Soligor' fold would be highly significant.

I think I remember seeing other lenses labeled just as Soligor and not Soligor Miranda with 'K' for Kowa prefixes. Which possibly means that Kowa made lenses for Soligor other than just for Miranda camera mounts.

If anyone can provide any clarification or further info on the 'K' prefix Soligor lenses I would love to see it. Piecing the Kowa / Soligor connection together has been a bit cryptic.


PostPosted: Tue Nov 26, 2019 7:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I suspect that Kowa was dropped as a supplier before any systematic serial number system was implemented.

Same with Vivitar.

Serial numbering is a current value to the manufacturer or vendor, but looking back (very much) would not be relevant. These companies were not in the business of nostalgia when they were operating.

I also suspect that Kowa got out of the generic third-party lens making business to concentrate on areas where it could obtain better margins by leveraging some aspects of superior technical capability. I don't think there are any identifiable Kowa third-party generic SLR lenses after the very early 1960's.

Kowa may have failed on things like its own-branded 35mm and medium format SLR's, each with their own lenses - and some of these were pretty wild for the time, like a 19mm medium format fisheye - but I assume they hoped for better success in this than competing in the generic market.