There are Soligor-branded lenses for which I wish to identify the manufacturer. I have read that Soligor encoded the manufacturer in the serial number, so in principle, I just need to find a list of applicable manufacturer codes.

What are the manufacturer codes for lenses that have been rebranded Soligor?

  • Genuine question... Why would anyone care? It doesn't seem like a photographic problem that needs solving to me. – osullic Mar 20 '19 at 8:49
  • How does knowing which company made a Soligor lens affect, in any possible way, the way you use it photographically? – Michael C Mar 20 '19 at 23:35
  • I'm voting to close this question as off-topic because knowing what company made a Soligor lens has nothing to do with how said lens will be used photographically. – Michael C Mar 20 '19 at 23:36
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    This is actually really important when shopping for used lenses, since Soligor rebranded lenses of manufacturers with wildly differing quality levels. It can also be helpful in finding rebranded, cheaper copies of brand name lenses. – rackandboneman Nov 26 '19 at 12:05

Possible Soligor code system:

First number = Maker
Second number = Decade
Third number = Year

1 = Tokina
2 = Sun
3 = Sun
4 = Sun
5 = ??? (perhaps Samyang)
6 = Komine
7 = Sun
8 = Tokina
9 = Kobori
31 = ??? *
A = Komura #
H4 = Kawanon ? #
H5 = Komine #
H6 = Komine #
H7= Tokina #
H37 = Kawanon? #
M = ??? #
N = ??? #
R = ??? #
T = Tamron #

* Six digit lens date code unknown.
# Letter code lens date code unknown.

"H" prefix brands: Lentar / Focal / Soligor / Sun / Vemar

Soligor lenses were also branded and sold as: Reflex, Super Carenar, Prinzflex, Weltblick, Mirage, Infotar, Hanimar, Flexar, Elicar,Derek Gardenar, Porst and possibly Bushnell (Bausch & Lomb ), J.C. Penny, Pallas, Berroflex and Aetna.


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  • Tokina and Kino: You will want to buy the lens and do photography with it (unless you don't like old school Tokina colors). Sun: You don't want to buy the lens and you certainly do not want to photograph anything with it. Relevancy established. – rackandboneman Nov 26 '19 at 21:02
  • @rackandboneman Are Sun lenses really that bad? I find Komine lenses tend to be pretty good. – xiota Nov 27 '19 at 0:26

Well to answer you Michael C, in owning about 400 lenses, knowing what company made a particular lens should have 'everything' to do with how said lens will be used photographically. Your comments seem to indicate a belief that all lenses make images the look the same.

However, since every lens ever made has it's own unique look, I can't understand why a serious photographer would not want to pick what lens to use to fit the photographic situation. And the most basic way to understand each lens look is to understand lenses by each manufacturer/seller and then also sub understand each of the particular lenses they sold.

The only way to do that with lenses sold by Soligor is to know all these codes so you can gain an understanding of who actually manufactured each Soligor lens. You would want to know that about Soligor lenses because lenses manufactured by Sun, Tokina, Komine, Kino, Komura, Tamron, etc .. all produced different looking images from each other.

You wouldn't want to arbitrarily pick a lens that has high contrast if you need a lower contrast lens to help control a particularly high contrast scene. Nor would you want to choose a lens that had very cool tone coatings if you are looking for warm tones in your image.

Each lens manufactured is different from every other. However manufactures tend to have tendencies that they stick to, at least grouped by time periods. The only way you can really understand what your lens is prone to impart in your image is to understand the different nuances of lens manufacturers. Serial numbers and prefix codes such as this chart are crucial in that understanding. Respectfully yours ...

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    Hi Kevin, welcome to Photo-SE. This is a question-and-answer site, where the answers are intended to directly answer the question asked, not address commenters asking meta-questions about the topicality of the question (such as @MichaelC 's to the original question). While you make salient points, and I don't argue with them, your response doesn't answer the question asked by Xiota. Please see the brief Site Tour to get a better rundown of Stack Exchanges than I can give in a comment. Thanks! =) – scottbb Nov 25 '19 at 20:46
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    @KevinShorter - I agree with scottbb, this isn't an answer to the question. Feel free to edit this into the question, noting your user name. I will accept or revise the edit accordingly. If you have additional info about identifying soligor lenses, you may also edit my answer. – xiota Nov 25 '19 at 21:25
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    This does not provide an answer to the question. Once you have sufficient reputation you will be able to comment on any post; instead, provide answers that don't require clarification from the asker. - From Review – scottbb Nov 26 '19 at 14:40

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