Difference between revisions of "Allied Impex"

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'''Allied Impex Corporation'''<REF> "Impex" is probably the contraction of "<U>Imp</U>ort <U>Exp</U>ort". </REF> was an American distributor. From 1956, it used the brand name '''Soligor''' for cameras, lenses and accessories imported from Japan.<REF> Date: filing dated 1998 at Edgar Online. </REF> It imported the [[Miranda]] cameras and took control of the Miranda company at some time in the 1960s.<REF> The [http://www.mirandacamera.com/_faq/faq1.htm FAQ of the Miranda Camera site] says 1963, but the [http://miranda-camera.xrea.jp/miranda/main.html main page of the Miranda Society Japan] says that it bought the shares in 1968 and took complete control in 1969. </REF>
+
Allied Impex Corporation, also known as AIC Photo, Inc and later Soligor, was an importer, distributor, and manufacturer of photographic equipment.
 
 
The company founded a German sub-company called '''A.I.C. Phototechnik GmbH''' in 1968, that became '''Soligor GmbH''' in 1993.<REF> See [http://www.soligor.de/src/index.php?hp=3 this page of the Soligor GmbH official website]. </REF> This German company is the only one still active today (2009).<REF> It seems that in 1997, the company Allied Impex Corporation was an empty structure based in the USA, owning the German company '''Soligor GmbH''' and itself owned by '''AIC International, Inc.''', another empty structure. Source: filing dated 1998 at Edgar Online. </REF> It is known for its rich product range of camera accessories.
 
 
 
 
{| class="plainlinks floatright" style="text-align: center;"
 
{| class="plainlinks floatright" style="text-align: center;"
|| [http://www.flickr.com/photos/rebollo_fr/3659067991/in/pool-camerawiki http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2457/3659067991_250ddcc613_m_d.jpg]
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|| [http://www.flickr.com/photos/camerawiki/47786397641/in/pool-camerawiki/ https://live.staticflickr.com/65535/47786397641_e41e6f65ec_m_d.jpg]
 
|-
 
|-
 
|| ''1956 advertisement in ''US Camera''.<br>Scan by Jeffrey Felton. {{public domain US no copyright}}''
 
|| ''1956 advertisement in ''US Camera''.<br>Scan by Jeffrey Felton. {{public domain US no copyright}}''
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|image_text= Soligor Auto light meter
 
|image_text= Soligor Auto light meter
 
|image_by= Anssi Puisto
 
|image_by= Anssi Puisto
|image_rights= with permission
+
|image_rights= non-commercial
 
}}
 
}}
 +
==History==
 +
'''Allied Impex Corporation''' was founded by Four German Jews who fled to America after the rise of Hitler and the Nazi Party. Victor and Ben Silverman were the owners. Bruno Multer handled Finances. The final original founder was Ralph Lowenstein, who was much younger than the other three men. Once the company began making money, a second entity, known as '''AIC Photo, Inc.''', was founded to act as the parent corporation with Allied Impex becoming the import/export company.<ref name="leehistory">* [http://web.archive.org/web/20091021103012/http://geocities.com/bill14210/demise/demise.html The Demise of AIC and Miranda Camera Company by Lee Mannheimer] GeoCity page archived 21 Oct 2009 via the Internet Archive</ref>
 +
 +
The word "Impex" is believed to be a contraction of "<U>Imp</U>ort <U>Exp</U>ort". From 1956, AIC Photo, Inc. began using the brand name '''Soligor''' for cameras, lenses and accessories imported from Japan.<REF> Date: filing dated 1998 at Edgar Online.</REF> It imported the [[Miranda]] cameras and later, using money acquired from taking AIC Photo public, took control of the Miranda company at some time in the 1960s.<REF> The [http://www.mirandacamera.com/_faq/faq1.htm FAQ of the Miranda Camera site] says 1963, but the [http://miranda-camera.xrea.jp/miranda/main.html main page of the Miranda Society Japan] says that it bought the shares in 1968 and took complete control in 1969. </REF>
 +
 +
The company founded a German sub-company called '''A.I.C. Phototechnik GmbH''' in 1968, that became '''Soligor GmbH''' in 1993.<REF> See [https://web.archive.org/web/20100415233809/http://www.soligor.de/src/index.php?hp=3 this page of the Soligor GmbH official website] (archived). </REF> This German company is the only one still active today (2009).<REF> It seems that in 1997, the company Allied Impex Corporation was an empty structure based in the USA, owning the German company '''Soligor GmbH''' and itself owned by '''AIC International, Inc.''', another empty structure. Source: filing dated 1998 at Edgar Online. </REF> It is known for its rich product range of camera accessories.
 +
 
== Distributed cameras ==
 
== Distributed cameras ==
 
=== 35mm film ===
 
=== 35mm film ===
* Soligor 35 (SLR)
+
* [[Soligor AF-28 Mini]]
 +
* [[Soligor 35]] (SLR)
 +
* Soligor SC-1 (rebadge of 1982 [[Cosina CT-1A]] SLR)
 
* [[Soligor 45]] (viewfinder)
 
* [[Soligor 45]] (viewfinder)
* Soligor TM (SLR)
+
* [[Seagull DF-300|Soligor SR-300 MD]] ([[Minolta X-300]])
 +
* [[Soligor TM]] (SLR)
  
 
=== 120 film ===
 
=== 120 film ===
Line 27: Line 34:
 
* Soligor Semi-Auto (TLR)
 
* Soligor Semi-Auto (TLR)
 
* [[Soligor 66|Soligor 66 (SLR)]]
 
* [[Soligor 66|Soligor 66 (SLR)]]
{{Flickr image
+
 
 +
== Distributed lenses ==
 +
 
 +
{|class=floatright
 +
|{{Flickr image
 
| image_source= http://www.flickr.com/photos/heritagefutures/2981553818/in/pool-camerawiki
 
| image_source= http://www.flickr.com/photos/heritagefutures/2981553818/in/pool-camerawiki
 
| image= http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3041/2981553818_aab5329c0a_m.jpg
 
| image= http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3041/2981553818_aab5329c0a_m.jpg
 
| image_align=right
 
| image_align=right
| image_text= 28mm f/2.8 with 42mm screw mount
+
| image_text= 28mm f/2.8 in [[42mm screw lenses|42mm screw mount]]
 
| image_by=Dirk HR Spennemann
 
| image_by=Dirk HR Spennemann
 
| image_rights=with permission
 
| image_rights=with permission
 
}}
 
}}
 +
|-
 +
|
 +
{{Flickr_image
 +
|image_source= http://www.flickr.com/photos/alf_sigaro/3454438883/in/pool-camerawiki
 +
|image= http://farm4.staticflickr.com/3347/3454438883_9b478b51fe_m.jpg
 +
|image_align= right
 +
|image_text= [[K mount lenses|K-mount]] MC Soligor 75-205mm 1:3,8-4,8
 +
|image_by= Alf Sigaro
 +
|image_rights= nc
 +
}}
 +
|}
 +
Soligor distributed lenses in many different camera mounts, including nearly every 35mm SLR mount. It competed with [[Vivitar]], and both sold the T and T4 mount lenses with interchangeable mounts. Vivitar also sold TX mount lenses, but Soligor did not. Soligor '''C/D''' lenses were intended to be higher-quality, much like Canon L lenses or Vivitar's Series 1 lenses. The C/D moniker is said to stand for either "Computer Designed" or "Compact Design" by collectors. Both designations are claimed to have been used in Soligor brochures but neither claim has been substantiated with a scan or photo showing the usage in print.<ref>[http://forum.mflenses.com/soligor-200mm-cd-2-8-p-first-test-shots-t28057,highlight,%2Bsoligor+%2B200mm.html Debate over meaning of C/D on Soligor lenses]</ref>
 +
 +
The same rebadged lenses sold under the Soligor name by Allied Impex were often being sold at the same time through other distributors under badges such as Derek, Elicar, Gardenar, Flexar, [[Hanimex]], Infotar, J.C. Penny, Mirage, [[Prinzflex]], [[Porst]], [[Super Carenar]], [[Vivitar]], and [[Weltblick]]
  
== Distributed lenses ==
 
Soligor distributed lenses in many different camera mounts, including nearly every 35mm SLR mount. It competed with [[Vivitar]], and both sold the T and T4 mount lenses with interchangeable mounts. Vivitar also sold TX mount lenses, but Soligor did not. Soligor '''C/D''' lenses were intended to be higher-quality, much like Canon L lenses or Vivitar's Series 1 lenses. The C/D moniker is said to stand for either "Computer Designed" or "Compact Design" by collectors. Both designations are claimed to have been used in Soligor brochures but neither claim has been substantiated with a scan or photo showing the usage in print.<ref>[http://forum.mflenses.com/soligor-200mm-cd-2-8-p-first-test-shots-t28057,highlight,%2Bsoligor+%2B200mm.html Debate over meaning of C/D on Soligor lenses]</ref>
 
  
In addition to selling Soligor badged lenses, Allied Impex also sold rebadged lenses through other distributors including Derek, Elicar, Gardenar, Flexar, [[Hanimex]], Infotar, J.C. Penny, Mirage, [[Prinzflex]], [[Porst]], Super Carenar, and [[Weltblick]]
 
  
 
* [[39mm screw lenses#Soligor|Soligor lenses for 39mm screw mount]]
 
* [[39mm screw lenses#Soligor|Soligor lenses for 39mm screw mount]]
 
* [[42mm screw lenses#Soligor|Soligor lenses for 42mm screw mount]]
 
* [[42mm screw lenses#Soligor|Soligor lenses for 42mm screw mount]]
 
* Elitar Soligor cine lenses
 
* Elitar Soligor cine lenses
 +
* [[Nikon_rangefinder_lenses#Soligor|Soligor lenses for Nikon rangefinder]]
  
{{Flickr_image
+
===Soligor Argus Mount Lenses===
|image_source= http://www.flickr.com/photos/alf_sigaro/3454438883/in/pool-camerawiki
+
* Soligor 35mm f/3.5 for [[Argus C3]]
|image= http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3347/3454438883_6c81b86cb6_m.jpg
+
* Soligor 135mm f/4.5 (black) for [[Argus C3]]
|image_align= right
+
* Soligor Elephoto 135mm f/4.5 (silver) for [[Argus C3]]
|image_text= [[K mount lenses|K-mount]] MC Soligor 75-205mm 1:3,8-4,8
+
 
|image_by= Alf Sigaro
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===Soligor 35mm SLR T-4 Lenses===
|image_rights= creative commons
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Soligor distributed a family of interchangeable-mount lenses based on the T-4 system developed by [[Tokina]] in cooperation with Soligor and Vivitar. All the lenses in this line were manufactured by Tokina and have specs matching the [[Vivitar#Tokina_T-4_Interchangeable_Mount_Family | Vivitar T-4 family]]. Cosmetically the Soligor versions look a bit more traditional, with fluted metal focus grips and bright silver aperture rings. These lenses are easily spotted by the blocky plastic mount-fastening catch and mirror-doubled f/stop numbers on the aperture ring (only the left or right half is used with any particular camera mount). T4 serial-number ranges may be discontinuous, and the #171… wide-angles typically have nearer close-focus limits. (Their Vivitar cousins likewise exist in different variants.)
}}
+
 
 +
T4 adapters for different camera mounts have stickers branding them as Soligor or Vivitar but are interchangeable. (Vivitar adapters engraved '''TX''' generally ''will not'' work correctly on T4 lenses, despite the fastening rings looking identical.) Over time Soligor dropped T-4's hyphen in its printed materials and today "T4" (like "TX") is the common usage. Soligor did not continue its Tokina partnership into the [[Vivitar#Tokina_TX_Interchangeable_Mount_1st_Generation_Family |TX lens]] era.
 +
* Soligor T-4 21mm f/3.8
 +
* Soligor T-4 24mm f/2.8, 67ø
 +
* Soligor T-4 28mm f/2.8
 +
* Soligor T-4 35mm f/2.8
 +
* [[Soligor T-4 105mm f/2.8]]
 +
* Soligor T-4 135mm f/2.8
 +
* Soligor T-4 135mm f/3.5
 +
* Soligor T-4 200mm f/3.5
 +
* Soligor T-4 250mm f/4.5
 +
* Soligor T-4 300mm f/5.5
 +
* Soligor T-4 55-135mm f/3.5 Zoom
 +
* Soligor T-4 75-260mm f/4.5 Zoom
 +
* Soligor T-4 90-230mm f/4.5 Zoom
  
===Argus Mount Lenses===
+
===Soligor 35mm SLR Fixed-Mount Lenses===
* Soligor 35mm f3.5 for [[Argus C3]]
+
* MC Soligor AF Zoom 19-35mm f/3.5-4.5
* Soligor 135mm f4.5 (black) for [[Argus C3]]
+
* Soligor 24mm f/2.8
* Soligor Elephoto 135mm f4.5 (silver) for [[Argus C3]]
+
* Soligor 28mm f/2
===Canon FD Mount Lenses===
+
* Soligor 28mm f/2.8 Wide-Auto
* Soligor 21mm f3.8 Wide Auto
+
* [[MC Soligor S/M 28-70mm f/3.9-4.8 Zoom Macro]]
* MC Soligor S/M 28-70mm f3.9-4.8 Zoom Macro
+
* Soligor 28-80mm f/3.5-4.5 Zoom Macro
* Soligor 28-80mm f3.5-4.5 Zoom Macro
+
* Soligor 35mm f/2.8 Wide Auto
* Soligor 35mm f2.8 Wide Auto
+
* Soligor 35mm f/3.5
* Soligor MC 35-70mm f3.5 Zoom Auto
+
* MC Soligor 35-70mm f/2.5-3.5 Zoom-Auto
* MC Soligor C/D 35-200mm f3.5-4.8 Zoom Macro
+
* Soligor MC 35-70mm f/3.5 Zoom Auto
* MC Soligor 70-160mm f3.5 Zoom Macro
+
* MC Soligor 70-150mm f/3.5 Auto-Zoom (AI)
* Soligor 75-205mm f3.8 Zoom
+
* MC Soligor 70-160mm f/3.5 Zoom Macro
* MC Soligor C/D 75-250mm f4.5 Zoom Macro
+
* MC Soligor 70-220mm f/3.5 Zoom (AI)
* Soligor C/D 80-200 f4.5 Zoom
+
* Soligor 70-235mm f/4.5 Zoom (AI)
* Soligor 80-210mm f3.8 Auto Zoom
+
* Soligor 75-205mm f/3.8 Zoom
* MC Soligor C/D 85-300mm f5 Zoom Macro
+
* MC Soligor 75-205mm f/3.8-4.5
* Soligor C/D 90mm f2.5 Macro MC
+
* Soligor 80-200mm f/4.5 Zoom
* Soligor 90-230mm f4.5 Auto Zoom
+
* Soligor 80-210mm f/3.8 Auto Zoom
* MC Soligor C/D 100-300mm f5 Zoom Macro
+
* Soligor 85-205mm f/3.8 Macro+Zoom<ref>[http://forum.mflenses.com/viewtopic.php?t=43593 MFlenses forum: Soligor 85-205]</ref>
* Soligor 130-500mm f5.6-7.5 Zoom Auto
+
* Soligor 90-230mm f/4.5 Auto Zoom, 58mm filter size
* Soligor C/D 135mm f2
+
* Soligor 100mm f/2.0, 58mm filter size (introduced c. 1978)
* Soligor 135mm f2.8 Tele-Auto
+
* Soligor 105mm f/2.8 Tele-Auto
* Soligor 200mm f2.8
+
* Soligor 130-500mm f/5.6-7.5 Zoom Auto
* Soligor 200mm f3.5
+
* Soligor 135mm f/1.5
* Soligor C/D 500mm f8 Mirror
+
* Soligor 135mm f/1.8
 +
* MC Soligor 135mm f/2.8 Auto
 +
* Soligor 200mm f/2.8
 +
* Soligor 200mm f/3.5 Tele-Auto
 +
* [[Soligor 300mm f/4.5 Tele-Auto]]
 +
* Soligor 400mm f/6.3
 +
* Soligor 400mm f/6.3 Auto
 +
* Soligor 450mm f/8
 +
* Soligor 500mm f/8 mirror
 
* Soligor MC Auto Tele Converter 2x
 
* Soligor MC Auto Tele Converter 2x
 
* Soligor MC Auto Tele Converter 3x
 
* Soligor MC Auto Tele Converter 3x
 
* Soligor MP Auto Tele Converter 2x
 
* Soligor MP Auto Tele Converter 2x
* Soligor C/D 7 Auto Tele Converter 2x
+
* Soligor 2x teleconverter
  
===Nikon Mount Lenses===
+
===Soligor C/D 35mm SLR Mount Lenses===
* MC Soligor AF Zoom 19-35mm f3.5-4.5
+
{{Flickr_image
* Soligor 28mm f2
+
|image_source= http://www.flickr.com/photos/29504544@N08/39939543052/in/pool-camerawiki/
* Soligor 28mm f2.8 Wide-Auto
+
|image= http://farm5.staticflickr.com/4651/39939543052_7cb3db9c44_n.jpg
* MC Soligor 28-55mm f3.3-4.5 C/D Zoom Macro (F/AI)
+
|image_align= right
* MC Soligor C/D 28-80mm f3.5-4.5 Zoom Macro
+
|image_text= Soligor C/D Wide-Auto 2.8/28mm
* Soligor C/D 35-200mm f3.8-5.3 Zoom (AIS)
+
|image_by= Hans Kerensky
* Soligor C/D 55mm f2.8 Macro
+
|image_rights=  with permission
 +
}}
 +
* MC Soligor C/D 20mm f/2.8 Wide-Auto
 +
* MC Soligor C/D 28mm f/2.8 Wide-Auto
 +
* MC Soligor 28-55mm f/3.3-4.5 C/D Zoom Macro
 +
* MC Soligor C/D 28-80mm f/3.5-4.5 Zoom Macro
 +
* MC Soligor C/D 35-70mm f/2.5-3.5 Zoom+Macro
 +
* MC Soligor C/D 35-70mm f/3.5-4.5 Zoom+Macro
 +
* MC Soligor C/D 35-200mm f/3.5-4.8 Zoom Macro
 +
* MC Soligor C/D 35-200mm f/3.8-5.3 Zoom
 +
* MC Soligor C/D 45-150mm f/3.5 Zoom Macro
 +
* Soligor C/D 55mm f/2.8 Macro
 
* MC Soligor C/D 55-210mm Zoom+Macro
 
* MC Soligor C/D 55-210mm Zoom+Macro
* MC Soligor 70-150mm f3.5 Auto-Zoom (AI)
+
* Soligor C/D Zoom/Macro 70-160mm f/3.5
* MC Soligor 70-220mm f3.5 Zoom (AI)
+
* MC Soligor C/D 75-250mm f/4.5 Zoom Macro
* Soligor 70-235mm f4.5 Zoom (AI)
+
* MC Soligor C/D 80-200 f/4.5 Zoom+Macro
* Soligor 75-260mm f4.5 Auto-Zoom
+
* MC Soligor C/D Dual-focal 85mm f/4 / 135mm f/4
* Soligor 80-200mm f4.5 Zoom (F/AI)
+
* MC Soligor C/D 85-300mm f/5 Zoom Macro
* Soligor 90-230mm f4.5 Zoom (AI)
+
* MC Soligor C/D 90mm f/2.5 Macro MC
* Soligor 95-310mm f5.6 C/D Zoom Macro
+
* MC Soligor 95-310mm f/5.6 C/D Zoom Macro
* Soligor C/D 135mm f2
+
* MC Soligor C/D 100-300mm f/5 Zoom Macro
* Soligor 135mm f2.8 Tele-Auto
+
* Soligor C/D 135mm f/2
* Soligor 135mm f3.5 Tele-Auto
+
* Soligor C/D 135mm f/2.8
* Soligor 200mm f2.8 (AI)
+
* Soligor C/D 500mm f/8 Mirror
* Soligor 200mm f2.8 (AIS)
+
* Soligor C/D 650mm f/8.5 Mirror (T-mount)
* Soligor 200mm f3.5 Tele-Auto (AI)
+
* Soligor C/D 7 Auto Tele Converter 2x
* Soligor 300mm f4.5 Tele-Auto (AI)
+
{{br}}
* Soligor 300mm f5.5 Auto
 
* Soligor 400mm f6.3 Auto
 
* Soligor 500mm f8 mirror
 
* Soligor 2x teleconverter
 
See also [[Nikon_rangefinder_lenses#Soligor|Soligor lenses for Nikon rangefinder]]
 
  
===K Mount Lenses===
+
==Soligor Lens Codes==
* MC Soligor 75-205mm f3.8-4.5
+
Soligor sometimes changed manufacturers for the same make and model lens multiple times and did not always indicate the manufacturer through any easily discernible means such as the serial number. It's often difficult to know what company manufactured a given lens. However, lens enthusiasts at the MFlenses forum are working to reverse engineer any information available through the lens coding system used by Soligor. You can help by contributing your lens make, model, and serial number.<ref>[http://forum.mflenses.com/soligor-12-8-f28mm-21and-versions-t30866,highlight,soligor++28mm.html MFlenses forum: Soligor lens manufacturer codes]</ref>
* Soligor C/D Zoom/Macro 70-160mm f3.5
 
* Soligor Tele-Auto 250mm f4.5
 
===T/T2 Mount Lenses===
 
* Soligor 28mm f2.8
 
* Soligor 35mm f3.5
 
* Soligor 135mm f1.5
 
* Soligor 135mm f1.8
 
* Soligor 400mm f6.3
 
* Soligor 450mm f8
 
* Soligor C/D 500mm mirror
 
  
===T4 Mount Lenses===
+
==Light meters==
* Soligor Wide-Auto 21mm f3.8
+
* Soligor Auto
* Soligor 24mm f2.8
+
* Soligor Digital Spot
* Soligor 35mm f2.8
+
* Soligor Flash Meter
 +
* Soligor Selector Cds
 +
* Soligor Spot Sensor
 +
* Soligor Spot Sensor II
 +
* Soligor UF
 +
* Soligor UF-II
  
==Soligor Lens Codes==
+
==Other Accesories==
Soligor sometimes changed manufacturers for the same make and model lens multiple times and did not always indicate the manufacturer through any easily discernible means such as the serial number. It's often difficult to know what company manufactured a given lens. However, lens enthusiasts at the MFlenses forum are working to reverse engineer any information available through the lens coding system used by Soligor. You can help by contributing your lens make, model, and serial number.<ref>[http://forum.mflenses.com/soligor-12-8-f28mm-21and-versions-t30866,highlight,soligor++28mm.html MFlenses forum: Soligor lens manufacturer codes]</ref>
+
* Soligor Multi-Bel adjustable bellows
 +
* Soligor Multiflex focusing track rail
 +
* Soligor extension tubes
 +
* Soligor AR-20 Auto Ring Flash
 +
{{br}}
  
 
== Notes ==
 
== Notes ==
Line 140: Line 190:
 
== Links ==
 
== Links ==
 
In English:
 
In English:
* [http://www.geocities.com/bill14210/demise/demise.html Story of AIC] by Lee Mannheimer in [http://www.geocities.com/bill14210/ Bill's Miranda Camera Page]
+
* [http://web.archive.org/web/20091021103012/http://geocities.com/bill14210/demise/demise.html The Demise of AIC and Miranda Camera Company by Lee Mannheimer] GeoCity page archived 21 Oct 2009 via the Internet Archive
 
* [http://www.mirandacamera.com/_faq/faq1.htm FAQ] of the [http://www.mirandacamera.com/ Miranda Camera site]
 
* [http://www.mirandacamera.com/_faq/faq1.htm FAQ] of the [http://www.mirandacamera.com/ Miranda Camera site]
* [http://www.soligor.de/src/index.php?hp=3 Presentation] at the [http://www.soligor.de/ Soligor GmbH official website]
 
* [http://www.vermontel.net/~wsalati/CasualCollector/t4_for_two.htm Soligor and Vivitar T4 lenses] at [http://www.vermontel.net/~wsalati/CasualCollector/index.htm The Casual Collector]
 
 
* [http://whitemetal.com/argus/c3_soligor_135_45/index.htm Soligor 135mm f/4.5 for Argus C3] at [http://whitemetal.com/ whitemetal.com]
 
* [http://whitemetal.com/argus/c3_soligor_135_45/index.htm Soligor 135mm f/4.5 for Argus C3] at [http://whitemetal.com/ whitemetal.com]
 +
* [http://butkus.us/lenses.htm SOLIGOR lens booklets in PDF format] at [http://butkus.org/chinon OrphanCameras.com]
 
In Japanese:
 
In Japanese:
* [http://miranda-camera.xrea.jp/miranda/main.html Main page] of the [http://miranda-camera.xrea.jp/ Miranda Society Japan]
+
* [http://miranda.s32.xrea.com/miranda/index.html Main page] of the [http://miranda.s32.xrea.com/ Miranda Society Japan]
  
 
[[Category: USA]]
 
[[Category: USA]]
 +
[[Category: Soligor|*]]
 
[[Category: Distributors]]
 
[[Category: Distributors]]

Latest revision as of 14:15, 25 February 2022

Allied Impex Corporation, also known as AIC Photo, Inc and later Soligor, was an importer, distributor, and manufacturer of photographic equipment.

History

Allied Impex Corporation was founded by Four German Jews who fled to America after the rise of Hitler and the Nazi Party. Victor and Ben Silverman were the owners. Bruno Multer handled Finances. The final original founder was Ralph Lowenstein, who was much younger than the other three men. Once the company began making money, a second entity, known as AIC Photo, Inc., was founded to act as the parent corporation with Allied Impex becoming the import/export company.[1]

The word "Impex" is believed to be a contraction of "Import Export". From 1956, AIC Photo, Inc. began using the brand name Soligor for cameras, lenses and accessories imported from Japan.[2] It imported the Miranda cameras and later, using money acquired from taking AIC Photo public, took control of the Miranda company at some time in the 1960s.[3]

The company founded a German sub-company called A.I.C. Phototechnik GmbH in 1968, that became Soligor GmbH in 1993.[4] This German company is the only one still active today (2009).[5] It is known for its rich product range of camera accessories.

Distributed cameras

35mm film

120 film

  • Soligor Reflex (TLR)
  • Soligor Reflex II (TLR)
  • Soligor Semi-Auto (TLR)
  • Soligor 66 (SLR)

Distributed lenses

Soligor distributed lenses in many different camera mounts, including nearly every 35mm SLR mount. It competed with Vivitar, and both sold the T and T4 mount lenses with interchangeable mounts. Vivitar also sold TX mount lenses, but Soligor did not. Soligor C/D lenses were intended to be higher-quality, much like Canon L lenses or Vivitar's Series 1 lenses. The C/D moniker is said to stand for either "Computer Designed" or "Compact Design" by collectors. Both designations are claimed to have been used in Soligor brochures but neither claim has been substantiated with a scan or photo showing the usage in print.[6]

The same rebadged lenses sold under the Soligor name by Allied Impex were often being sold at the same time through other distributors under badges such as Derek, Elicar, Gardenar, Flexar, Hanimex, Infotar, J.C. Penny, Mirage, Prinzflex, Porst, Super Carenar, Vivitar, and Weltblick


Soligor Argus Mount Lenses

  • Soligor 35mm f/3.5 for Argus C3
  • Soligor 135mm f/4.5 (black) for Argus C3
  • Soligor Elephoto 135mm f/4.5 (silver) for Argus C3

Soligor 35mm SLR T-4 Lenses

Soligor distributed a family of interchangeable-mount lenses based on the T-4 system developed by Tokina in cooperation with Soligor and Vivitar. All the lenses in this line were manufactured by Tokina and have specs matching the Vivitar T-4 family. Cosmetically the Soligor versions look a bit more traditional, with fluted metal focus grips and bright silver aperture rings. These lenses are easily spotted by the blocky plastic mount-fastening catch and mirror-doubled f/stop numbers on the aperture ring (only the left or right half is used with any particular camera mount). T4 serial-number ranges may be discontinuous, and the #171… wide-angles typically have nearer close-focus limits. (Their Vivitar cousins likewise exist in different variants.)

T4 adapters for different camera mounts have stickers branding them as Soligor or Vivitar but are interchangeable. (Vivitar adapters engraved TX generally will not work correctly on T4 lenses, despite the fastening rings looking identical.) Over time Soligor dropped T-4's hyphen in its printed materials and today "T4" (like "TX") is the common usage. Soligor did not continue its Tokina partnership into the TX lens era.

  • Soligor T-4 21mm f/3.8
  • Soligor T-4 24mm f/2.8, 67ø
  • Soligor T-4 28mm f/2.8
  • Soligor T-4 35mm f/2.8
  • Soligor T-4 105mm f/2.8
  • Soligor T-4 135mm f/2.8
  • Soligor T-4 135mm f/3.5
  • Soligor T-4 200mm f/3.5
  • Soligor T-4 250mm f/4.5
  • Soligor T-4 300mm f/5.5
  • Soligor T-4 55-135mm f/3.5 Zoom
  • Soligor T-4 75-260mm f/4.5 Zoom
  • Soligor T-4 90-230mm f/4.5 Zoom

Soligor 35mm SLR Fixed-Mount Lenses

  • MC Soligor AF Zoom 19-35mm f/3.5-4.5
  • Soligor 24mm f/2.8
  • Soligor 28mm f/2
  • Soligor 28mm f/2.8 Wide-Auto
  • MC Soligor S/M 28-70mm f/3.9-4.8 Zoom Macro
  • Soligor 28-80mm f/3.5-4.5 Zoom Macro
  • Soligor 35mm f/2.8 Wide Auto
  • Soligor 35mm f/3.5
  • MC Soligor 35-70mm f/2.5-3.5 Zoom-Auto
  • Soligor MC 35-70mm f/3.5 Zoom Auto
  • MC Soligor 70-150mm f/3.5 Auto-Zoom (AI)
  • MC Soligor 70-160mm f/3.5 Zoom Macro
  • MC Soligor 70-220mm f/3.5 Zoom (AI)
  • Soligor 70-235mm f/4.5 Zoom (AI)
  • Soligor 75-205mm f/3.8 Zoom
  • MC Soligor 75-205mm f/3.8-4.5
  • Soligor 80-200mm f/4.5 Zoom
  • Soligor 80-210mm f/3.8 Auto Zoom
  • Soligor 85-205mm f/3.8 Macro+Zoom[7]
  • Soligor 90-230mm f/4.5 Auto Zoom, 58mm filter size
  • Soligor 100mm f/2.0, 58mm filter size (introduced c. 1978)
  • Soligor 105mm f/2.8 Tele-Auto
  • Soligor 130-500mm f/5.6-7.5 Zoom Auto
  • Soligor 135mm f/1.5
  • Soligor 135mm f/1.8
  • MC Soligor 135mm f/2.8 Auto
  • Soligor 200mm f/2.8
  • Soligor 200mm f/3.5 Tele-Auto
  • Soligor 300mm f/4.5 Tele-Auto
  • Soligor 400mm f/6.3
  • Soligor 400mm f/6.3 Auto
  • Soligor 450mm f/8
  • Soligor 500mm f/8 mirror
  • Soligor MC Auto Tele Converter 2x
  • Soligor MC Auto Tele Converter 3x
  • Soligor MP Auto Tele Converter 2x
  • Soligor 2x teleconverter

Soligor C/D 35mm SLR Mount Lenses

  • MC Soligor C/D 20mm f/2.8 Wide-Auto
  • MC Soligor C/D 28mm f/2.8 Wide-Auto
  • MC Soligor 28-55mm f/3.3-4.5 C/D Zoom Macro
  • MC Soligor C/D 28-80mm f/3.5-4.5 Zoom Macro
  • MC Soligor C/D 35-70mm f/2.5-3.5 Zoom+Macro
  • MC Soligor C/D 35-70mm f/3.5-4.5 Zoom+Macro
  • MC Soligor C/D 35-200mm f/3.5-4.8 Zoom Macro
  • MC Soligor C/D 35-200mm f/3.8-5.3 Zoom
  • MC Soligor C/D 45-150mm f/3.5 Zoom Macro
  • Soligor C/D 55mm f/2.8 Macro
  • MC Soligor C/D 55-210mm Zoom+Macro
  • Soligor C/D Zoom/Macro 70-160mm f/3.5
  • MC Soligor C/D 75-250mm f/4.5 Zoom Macro
  • MC Soligor C/D 80-200 f/4.5 Zoom+Macro
  • MC Soligor C/D Dual-focal 85mm f/4 / 135mm f/4
  • MC Soligor C/D 85-300mm f/5 Zoom Macro
  • MC Soligor C/D 90mm f/2.5 Macro MC
  • MC Soligor 95-310mm f/5.6 C/D Zoom Macro
  • MC Soligor C/D 100-300mm f/5 Zoom Macro
  • Soligor C/D 135mm f/2
  • Soligor C/D 135mm f/2.8
  • Soligor C/D 500mm f/8 Mirror
  • Soligor C/D 650mm f/8.5 Mirror (T-mount)
  • Soligor C/D 7 Auto Tele Converter 2x


Soligor Lens Codes

Soligor sometimes changed manufacturers for the same make and model lens multiple times and did not always indicate the manufacturer through any easily discernible means such as the serial number. It's often difficult to know what company manufactured a given lens. However, lens enthusiasts at the MFlenses forum are working to reverse engineer any information available through the lens coding system used by Soligor. You can help by contributing your lens make, model, and serial number.[8]

Light meters

  • Soligor Auto
  • Soligor Digital Spot
  • Soligor Flash Meter
  • Soligor Selector Cds
  • Soligor Spot Sensor
  • Soligor Spot Sensor II
  • Soligor UF
  • Soligor UF-II

Other Accesories

  • Soligor Multi-Bel adjustable bellows
  • Soligor Multiflex focusing track rail
  • Soligor extension tubes
  • Soligor AR-20 Auto Ring Flash


Notes

  1. * The Demise of AIC and Miranda Camera Company by Lee Mannheimer GeoCity page archived 21 Oct 2009 via the Internet Archive
  2. Date: filing dated 1998 at Edgar Online.
  3. The FAQ of the Miranda Camera site says 1963, but the main page of the Miranda Society Japan says that it bought the shares in 1968 and took complete control in 1969.
  4. See this page of the Soligor GmbH official website (archived).
  5. It seems that in 1997, the company Allied Impex Corporation was an empty structure based in the USA, owning the German company Soligor GmbH and itself owned by AIC International, Inc., another empty structure. Source: filing dated 1998 at Edgar Online.
  6. Debate over meaning of C/D on Soligor lenses
  7. MFlenses forum: Soligor 85-205
  8. MFlenses forum: Soligor lens manufacturer codes

Links

In English:

In Japanese: