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Soligor-Miranda 25mm f/2.8 - Miranda REII
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 22, 2016 10:26 pm    Post subject: Soligor-Miranda 25mm f/2.8 - Miranda REII Reply with quote

I have a small collection of Miranda items, because its an interesting system and much of it is quite cheap. I've had this lens and camera for some time now, obtained in lots for low prices.



Soligor-Miranda Wide-Auto E 25/2.8 on Miranda REII, with magnifying vertical finder.



On REII with prism finder



REII with waist-level finder

This lens originally was issued as an Auto-Miranda, in the mount for the Miranda Sensorex. In that version it had the external meter-linkage "arm". This Soligor-branded "E" version has the internal open-aperture metering linkage for the later Miranda bodies, the Sensorex EE and the RE. This "E" lens was also sold as an Auto-Miranda I think. Why this one was branded "Soligor" I cant say. Allied Impex owned both Soligor and Miranda at that time.

I believe this is the same as the earlier version that came out in the late 1960's a bit after the original Sensorex. The "E" variants are from the early 1970's. The original and later spec are quoted as 8 elements in 7 groups, which is simpler than 24/2.8 lenses of the day which were usually 9 in 8. For a while it was the widest "native" Miranda lens (leaving out the T4 Soligor/Vivitar 21 and 24mm), until there was eventually a 21mm and 17mm - both I think versions of the Tokina.

The 25mm was very much a selling point for the type, and at the time seems to have been well regarded. I don't know who made it, as it was not supplied under any other brand by its actual maker or any third party other than Soligor, as far as I know.

Anyway, it is a very handy lens for casual shooting on the Miranda SLR's, and better I think than the more common 28mm. Its a substantially sized lens with the same solid construction as the usual Soligor lens of the time, very similar indeed to the contemporary T4 series. It focuses quite close for its type, well under 1 foot. The internal aperture linkage mechanism is a vast improvement from the Sensorex lenses. It has a unique dedicated hood with a rectangular frame cutout, but these are rather scarce and I haven't got one. I made do with an extra wide round metal hood.

I can't use this on my Pentax as the Miranda register is shallower than everything else and can only be adapted to mirrorless digital. So I shot film, expired Kodak TMax 400. I cant fault the lens for anything, it seems sufficiently rectilinear, high contrast, and sharp as anything I have used on film. Granted, I shot everything at f/5.6-8, being outdoors in sunlight. So barring any gross errors at large apertures it seems to be decent enough.

The camera is a Miranda REII, a late product (may have been the last proper Miranda) of the company from about 1975, which is a descendant of the lower-cost Sensomat line, but this last version of the original Mirandas has open-aperture metering as well as the interchangable finders common to all. This is a very nice sturdy body, perhaps the best "shooter" of the surviving Mirandas. Mine even had a working meter, for a while, until it suddenly failed. Oh well, sunny 16 rule is fine in sunlight. Its also a really fine body for Exakta lenses as the Exakta-Miranda adapter is quite easy to find and it permits mounting lenses with "arms".

Of course it takes all the original series of Miranda finders. I especially like the vertical magnifying finder that switches from 5x-15x. The 5x setting is really wonderful - you get a simply enormous, well-lit groundglass image, albeit reversed. Try find that on a DSLR!

Samples-















Wrong hood on this - Also, this is the sort of house $850,000 buys you in San Francisco.





PostPosted: Thu Jun 23, 2016 8:50 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Interesting system, and interesting post - thanks for sharing.

The Miranda 2.8/25mm has a nearly identical lens section as the Zeiss 2.8/25mm, which may explain your findings abouts its quality:
http://www.klassik-cameras.de/Miranda_lenses_auto-17-28.jpg

Stephan


PostPosted: Thu Jun 23, 2016 10:02 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Very nice work Luis.

I have had a few Mirandas, they are a mixed bag, some are superb, like the 1.4/50, some are just okay, like the 2.8/105, all are very well built, The 2.8/28 is a solid performer, I suspect it and the 2.8/35 are Tokinas.


PostPosted: Thu Jun 23, 2016 6:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks!

I did not pick up on the Zeiss similarity, I will check more carefully.

Ian, I do need to use these more. I have all the "native" Miranda lenses for the Sensorex as opposed to the types identifiable as Tokinas or other well known third party lenses supplied to Soligor. Interestingly this particular set doesn't seem to have been sold in other mounts or other brands. I am speaking of the 25, 28(long version), 35(long) , 50/1.4 8-element (which exists in Sensorex, Sensomat and "E" variants I think), 55 Macron, 105, 135 2.8 and 3.5 and the 180. The rest, and some of the standard series seem like they may be variants of well known types, mainly Tokinas. There are alternate, smaller 28 and 35 versions for instance.


PostPosted: Mon Apr 01, 2019 8:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I finally got a Miranda adapter for my Nex 7

So I can do some further digital tests on my collection of Mirandas

This 25mm was, as noted above, something of a selling point for the line.
On a digital adapter it works rather differently than on a film body.
These things don't have "M/F" switches for one thing. They have a DOF preview (stop-down) tab on the lens barrel.
I have to set it to the taking aperture, wherein the aperture remains wide open, and then press the tab on the lens to stop it down.

In theory, when I let the tab go it should pop back to wide open, but the aperture is quite sluggish.
To get it back quickly I have to turn the aperture ring to 2.8 .
A bit unusual to say the least. I will find out if the rest of the line has this curiosity.
The aperture stops down and opens again quite readily on the film bodies, no problem there.

Samples below - The lens is quite sharp at f/2.8 in the center, among its contemporaries it certainly beats the Tamron Adaptamatic 24mm (a disappointing lens) and to some degree the Tokina 24mm T4. Its at least as good as the Pentax K 24/2.8, at least in the center. And I can't fault saturation, contrast, etc.

The corners however are problems. I was using this on a crop sensor and even on that, with this thing as a 38mm equivalent, the corners were quite sad down to f/8. All at f/2.8-4

DSC04242 by luisalegria, on Flickr

DSC04237 by luisalegria, on Flickr

DSC04192 by luisalegria, on Flickr

DSC04186 by luisalegria, on Flickr

DSC04172 by luisalegria, on Flickr

DSC04184 by luisalegria, on Flickr

Crop -

DSC04184crop by luisalegria, on Flickr

DSC04224 by luisalegria, on Flickr

Crop -

DSC04224crop by luisalegria, on Flickr

DSC04231 by luisalegria, on Flickr

Crop (corner) -

DSC04231crop by luisalegria, on Flickr


PostPosted: Mon Apr 01, 2019 8:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Is the Miranda G a good robust camera Luis? I've been perusing their old line of cameras recently and keep coming back to it. Unfortunately there is no way of trying before buying.


PostPosted: Mon Apr 01, 2019 8:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I would not be unhappy with that lens.
Beautiful results
Tom


PostPosted: Mon Apr 01, 2019 11:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have just the one Miranda G, and though in very nice cosmetic condition, it has a disconnected winder return spring and an erratic shutter - that is, the shutter fires about 2/3 of the time with expected results.

I believe this erratic shutter may be a common fault.

I have a newer REII (the one above) that is in good working order, and is the direct descendant of the G, and has about the same body, takes the same finders, etc. I suggest trying newer bodies than older.

So like most old cameras my G needs service. But unlike with, say, Pentax bodies, I do not know the quick&dirty solutions for Miranda. I'm sure there are some.


PostPosted: Mon Apr 01, 2019 11:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks luis Like 1 .


PostPosted: Fri Apr 05, 2019 5:40 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Luis, thanks. This is the main lens I'm missing in my collection. I was hoping you would retest it on your Nex 7, and you did.
I will be adding one to my collection.
Thanks again, Walter.


PostPosted: Thu Jul 11, 2019 2:17 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

1st test on Nex 6. We have had days of overcast weather and on and off rain
This was the only break. It rained 5 minutes later.
Forgot to reset aperture, i was racing the rain.
So this is at f16.
I do have the correct hood, which I will test when we see the sun again.
With APSC and M4/3 the Nikon HN-3 hood will work fine instead.



PostPosted: Thu Jul 11, 2019 5:58 am    Post subject: Re: Soligor-Miranda 25mm f/2.8 - Miranda REII Reply with quote



i went to a party on that boat once Laugh 1

lovely photos of it


PostPosted: Mon Jul 15, 2019 11:24 am    Post subject: Re: Soligor-Miranda 25mm f/2.8 - Miranda REII Reply with quote

luisalegria wrote:
I have a small collection of Miranda items, because its an interesting system and much of it is quite cheap. I've had this lens and camera for some time now, obtained in lots for low prices.

[
I believe this is the same as the earlier version that came out in the late 1960's a bit after the original Sensorex. The "E" variants are from the early 1970's. The original and later spec are quoted as 8 elements in 7 groups, which is simpler than 24/2.8 lenses of the day which were usually 9 in 8. For a while it was the widest "native" Miranda lens (leaving out the T4 Soligor/Vivitar 21 and 24mm), until there was eventually a 21mm and 17mm - both I think versions of the Tokina.

The Soligor 17mm was fujita's

luisalegria wrote:

The 25mm was very much a selling point for the type, and at the time seems to have been well regarded. I don't know who made it, as it was not supplied under any other brand by its actual maker or any third party other than Soligor, as far as I know.

Beware : 25mm can be the actual focal distance of a (sold as) 24mm lens.. so you can find it under other tm as 24mm
luisalegria wrote:

The camera is a Miranda REII, a late product (may have been the last proper Miranda) of the company from about 1975, which is a descendant of the lower-cost Sensomat line, but this last version of the original Mirandas has open-aperture metering as well as the interchangable finders common to all.


The final mirandas' were
RE2 a version of former sensomat line but with (internal) open aperture reading + full direction split image (which took place of the sensorex 2 with external arm)
EE2 a version of the 1970/1971 auto-sensorex EE (mechanical full auto + spot/average reading) with full direction split image and speed visible in the viewfinder
DX3 a compact electronic manual camera supposed to compete with olympus 0m1

all three were sold with ec compact lenses which for the re2/ee2 were not on par with the big bodies


PostPosted: Mon Jul 15, 2019 12:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The 17mm for the Miranda cameras was a 17mm f4 made by Norita. If I remember correctly it was t2 mount with included Miranda adapter.