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Archive 2012 · Sigmatel 135mm f1.8, reviewed...
  
 
Alf Beharie
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p.1 #1 · Sigmatel 135mm f1.8, reviewed...


Many people seem to think that the Sigma-made, Sigmatel "Multi Scalematic" 135mm f1.8, is exactly the same lens as the Spiratone, Porst, Soligor and all the other versions out there.
This has probably come about because some have speculated that the Spiratone, in particular, may have been made by Sigma too.
However after conducting some research I have discovered that there are actually two different Spiratone versions, which have different optics from each other, neither of which is made by Sigma, and there is the Soligor version too, again with different optics. Note how the The Pentax-A version is almost the same as the Sigmatel (I wonder who copied who? ).
So there are at least 6 different optical designs used for 135mm f1.8 lenses and there are probably still more I dont know about yet. If you know any with different optics to the ones shown in the diagrams below please post them in this thread as I will try to incorporate them all into one image, for the benefit of everyone here.












Its not just optically where they differ...Both Spiratones, the Porst version and the Soligor versions all have an 82mm filter thread but the Sigmatel is a physically smaller lens and only has a 77mm filter thread.
Their MFD's are different too...The Spiratone, Porst and Soligor versions all have an MFD of about 6 foot (1.83m) but the Sigmatels MFD is only 4 foot 3 inches (1.33m).
Because of these findings, I decided to post a review for the Sigmatel on the Pentax Forums website:
http://www.pentaxforums.com/userreviews/showproduct.php?product=991


Edited on Feb 28, 2012 at 06:47 PM · View previous versions



Feb 27, 2012 at 03:56 PM
Kingfishphoto
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p.1 #2 · Sigmatel 135mm f1.8, reviewed...


I once had a Spritone proxetel 200 f4.0 dual focus lens- that indeed had the Sigma Greek letter on the front lens ring. So i quess that sigma indeed made one or more of the early Spritone lenses.
Harry Palmer



Feb 28, 2012 at 01:13 AM
Alf Beharie
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p.1 #3 · Sigmatel 135mm f1.8, reviewed...


Is Harry Palmer your real name? If so its a a pretty cool name! I love those old Michael Caine films.
I am 100% sure who made the Sigmatel, the Plura-Coat, the Pentax and the Zeiss but I still cant be sure who made the other Spiratone or the Soligor.



Feb 28, 2012 at 06:53 PM
Kingfishphoto
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p.1 #4 · Sigmatel 135mm f1.8, reviewed...


Hi Alf.
Yes really Harry Palmer.
Cheers
Harry



Feb 28, 2012 at 10:20 PM
mawz
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p.1 #5 · Sigmatel 135mm f1.8, reviewed...


Out of curiosity what's your source on the Zeiss one you have listed? Cosina's never done a Zeiss 135/1.8 and the ZA's unique in its design (ie not a direct derivative of the older Contax/Yashica 135/2 made by Kyocera) No ZA lens is directly related to the Cosina-built Zeiss's (the only two which are closely related to anything are the ZA 85, which appears to be a simplified version of the N 85, and the 16-35 which appears to be an update of the N 17-35).


Mar 01, 2012 at 12:44 AM
nixland
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p.1 #6 · Sigmatel 135mm f1.8, reviewed...


Curious to know about rendering differences between the first four 135/1.8. Looks almost completely different.
Hope our lens expert members could give their prediction or guesses




Mar 01, 2012 at 04:46 AM
Alf Beharie
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p.1 #7 · Sigmatel 135mm f1.8, reviewed...


mawz wrote:
Out of curiosity what's your source on the Zeiss one you have listed? Cosina's never done a Zeiss 135/1.8 and the ZA's unique in its design (ie not a direct derivative of the older Contax/Yashica 135/2 made by Kyocera) No ZA lens is directly related to the Cosina-built Zeiss's (the only two which are closely related to anything are the ZA 85, which appears to be a simplified version of the N 85, and the 16-35 which appears to be an update of the N 17-35).


Source for the Zeiss 135mm f1.8 optical diagram is here:

http://www.dyxum.com/lenses/detail.asp?idlens=300



Mar 01, 2012 at 08:18 AM
mawz
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p.1 #8 · Sigmatel 135mm f1.8, reviewed...


Alf Beharie wrote:
Source for the Zeiss 135mm f1.8 optical diagram is here:

http://www.dyxum.com/lenses/detail.asp?idlens=300


Yes, that's for the Sony-built ZA135, not a Cosina-built Zeiss which you have it listed as (and which doesn't exist as far as I'm aware).



Mar 01, 2012 at 01:19 PM
Alf Beharie
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p.1 #9 · Sigmatel 135mm f1.8, reviewed...


Sony dont build it...Cosina, who build all Zeiss lenses these days, build it for Sony, which is why it is listed on Zeiss's website:

http://lenses.zeiss.com/photo/en_DE/products/alpha/sonnart18135za.usage.html

And just to prove Cosina build Zeiss lenses:

http://lenses.zeiss.com/photo/en_DE/other/products/what_makes_the_difference/carl_zeiss_quality_made_by_cosina.html



Mar 01, 2012 at 01:42 PM
 

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AhamB
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p.1 #10 · Sigmatel 135mm f1.8, reviewed...


That's not proof that it's built by Cosina. Cosina makes both Voigtländer and Zeiss lenses (and maybe others). Zeiss may have designed the ZA 135/1.8 but it could be that they are produced in the facilities that Sony has taken over from Minolta. Another possiblity is that the optical parts are produced by Cosina and assembled by Sony (into AF lenses). Perhaps this is the most likely scenario, because I've read that the optical assembly in ZA lenses have a separate serial number from the lens itself.


Mar 01, 2012 at 02:41 PM
mawz
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p.1 #11 · Sigmatel 135mm f1.8, reviewed...


Alf Beharie wrote:
Sony dont build it...Cosina, who build all Zeiss lenses these days, build it for Sony, which is why it is listed on Zeiss's website:

http://lenses.zeiss.com/photo/en_DE/products/alpha/sonnart18135za.usage.html

And just to prove Cosina build Zeiss lenses:

http://lenses.zeiss.com/photo/en_DE/other/products/what_makes_the_difference/carl_zeiss_quality_made_by_cosina.html


Umm, no.

Sony builds all ZA lenses to Zeiss designs in Japan. Sony has been building Zeiss-branded lenses longer than Cosina has, for their P&S line (including the highly-regarded DMC-R1) and then their Alpha mount line.

Cosina builds all of the ZF/ZE/ZS/ZK lenses and all but one of the ZM lenses (Zeiss builds the ZM 15 in Germany, the now-discontinued ZM85/2 was also German-built), also to Zeiss designs.

Both Cosina and Sony have Zeiss QC groups handling all QC for the Zeiss-branded lenses.

Zeiss still manufactures lenses in Germany for Hasselblad (and possibly still for Rollei? I'm not sure of the status of the Hy6 lenses). The CP line is also manufactured in Germany with ZF/ZE optical units from Cosina.

All lenses manufactured by other manufacturers with Zeiss branding have two serials, one is their production serial and the other is their Zeiss serial which they get when they pass Zeiss QC (which is a separate group at the factory working for Zeiss).



Mar 01, 2012 at 05:47 PM
Alf Beharie
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p.1 #12 · Sigmatel 135mm f1.8, reviewed...


mawz wrote:
Umm, no.

Sony builds all ZA lenses to Zeiss designs in Japan. Sony has been building Zeiss-branded lenses longer than Cosina has, for their P&S line (including the highly-regarded DMC-R1) and then their Alpha mount line.

Cosina builds all of the ZF/ZE/ZS/ZK lenses and all but one of the ZM lenses (Zeiss builds the ZM 15 in Germany, the now-discontinued ZM85/2 was also German-built), also to Zeiss designs.

Both Cosina and Sony have Zeiss QC groups handling all QC for the Zeiss-branded lenses.

Zeiss still manufactures lenses in Germany for Hasselblad (and possibly still for Rollei? I'm not sure of the status
...Show more

Not doughting what you say, but where is the source of your information?



Mar 01, 2012 at 06:41 PM
mawz
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p.1 #13 · Sigmatel 135mm f1.8, reviewed...


Alf Beharie wrote:
Not doughting what you say, but where is the source of your information?


Combination of sources including Wikipedia, Zeiss, Cosina and Sony websites, the manual and warranty card in the box for the one ZA lens I own, DPReview, Dyxum and other Sony/Minolta websites. For the Hasselblad lenses it's easy, they state 'Made in Germany' right on the lens (as does the ZM15 and ZM85/2)

While Sony does rebadge some lenses, they're all Tamrons (and Sony owns a piece of Tamron, around 11% IIRC). Sony has significantly more lens production capacity than Cosina does and a pre-existing business relationship with Zeiss including exactly the production relationship that I'm claiming for the ZA's. Given that Sony has been building Zeiss-branded/designed P&S and video lenses for a decade or more, longer than Cosina has, and has significant SLR lens production capacity of its own, inherited from Minolta, the idea that Cosina does the production of the ZA lenses makes little sense.

Remember, Cosina and Zeiss got together specifically for M lens production and at the time only two companies existed which had the tooling for M mount lenses, Cosina and Leica AG. The ZF line came later, around the same time as Sony took over the A mount line in fact (the first ZF lenses were announced in January 2006, the A100 in June 2006).



Mar 01, 2012 at 08:33 PM
Mescalamba
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p.1 #14 · Sigmatel 135mm f1.8, reviewed...


Same optics as Sony ZA version?

Wait, when did Zeiss (Cosina) announced 135mm f1.8 for other brands?

I strongly doubt it will be ever be.. Seeing how Sony managed to get new card into D800, I dont think there will ever be 135mm f1.8 from Zeiss for others..



Mar 01, 2012 at 10:27 PM
Alf Beharie
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p.1 #15 · Sigmatel 135mm f1.8, reviewed...


I updated my diagram and here is the latest version:







BTW, I recently discovered that Sun Optical was a tradename used by Goyo Optical.



Feb 23, 2013 at 09:24 AM
ulrikft2
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p.1 #16 · Sigmatel 135mm f1.8, reviewed...


A couple of shots from the sigmatel on a d700:












Feb 23, 2013 at 10:03 AM
jcolwell
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p.1 #17 · Sigmatel 135mm f1.8, reviewed...


Hi Alf,

A matched-pair of Sigmatel 135/1.8 lenses were used in the prototype instrument for the original All Sky Automated Survey,

http://www.astrouw.edu.pl/~gp/asas/asas_old.html

I owned one with a YS mount, many years ago.

Alex's BOA Gallery: Pentax Lens Reviews: contains the following notes on the Spiratone and Soligor brands. This resource used to be available online. AFAIK, it's now only available from my site, see "3rd-party-primes" link below.

\begin{Soligor-Spiratone}

Soligor
"In the US, "Soligor" was a lens trade name used by a photo products importer named Allied Impex Corp, a firm that also had a major investment in a Japanese SLR manufacturer-- the "Miranda" cameras. When Miranda failed in the late 1970's, Allied Impex also went into bankruptcy. Subsequently the Soligor name was sold to some European interests, and for a short while, the name appeared there on cameras and lenses. All the Soligor lenses were made by a variety of Japanese lens makers, just like the "Vivitar" and "Spiratone" lenses of that era. Most were pretty good. Sone were not [but none are considered excellent - AN]." George Stanley

Spirotone
"They were all made by Sun/Sigma who had other groups marketing them under other names (Polaris [my favorite], Lentar, Rokunar, Accura, Sun, Sigma, Upsilon [Sigma], and Mitake among others). I would say that they aren't as good as Pentax but some of the wide-angle and fisheye lenses have a good reputation. According to McBrooms the following lenses have good reputations for optics:
• 7.5mm f5.6 fisheye
• 12mm f8 fisheye
• 18mm f3.5
• 20mm f2.8
• 24-40mm f3.5. Kent Gittings

Like Soligor lenses, the quality of any of Spirotone gear has to be evaluated on a case-by-case basis.

\end{Soligor-Spiratone}

Monaghan's Megasite shows there were two Sigma versions of 135/1.8, one was XQ (predates EX lineup) and the other was probably the Sigmatel. Also, there were two Soligor versions and three Spiratone versions.

Here's what I managed to save from the Monaghan Megasite and BOA's Gallery. I posted these links on this forum once before, but it's been many years...

Monaghan's Megasite

http://www.jcolwell.ca/MM/ThirdPartyLenses.pdf
http://www.jcolwell.ca/MM/CultClassics.pdf
http://www.jcolwell.ca/MM/CuringLensEnvy.pdf
http://www.jcolwell.ca/MM/FisheyeLensAdapters.pdf
http://www.jcolwell.ca/MM/listBig4focal.pdf
http://www.jcolwell.ca/MM/listBrandName.pdf
http://www.jcolwell.ca/MM/listFocalLength.pdf
http://www.jcolwell.ca/MM/Manufacturers.pdf
http://www.jcolwell.ca/MM/PrimeVsZoom.pdf
http://www.jcolwell.ca/MM/Reviews.pdf
http://www.jcolwell.ca/MM/TestingTips.pdf
http://www.jcolwell.ca/MM/Ultrawide.pdf

BOA's Gallery: Pentax Lenses Review

http://www.jcolwell.ca/Pentax/ref-Alex-3rd-party-primes.pdf
http://www.jcolwell.ca/Pentax/ref-Alex-primes.pdf
http://www.jcolwell.ca/Pentax/ref-Alex-zooms.pdf



Feb 23, 2013 at 01:01 PM
Alf Beharie
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p.1 #18 · Sigmatel 135mm f1.8, reviewed...


jcolwell wrote:
Hi Alf,

A matched-pair of Sigmatel 135/1.8 lenses were used in the prototype instrument for the original All Sky Automated Survey,

http://www.astrouw.edu.pl/~gp/asas/asas_old.html

I owned one with a YS mount, many years ago.

Alex's BOA Gallery: Pentax Lens Reviews: contains the following notes on the Spiratone and Soligor brands. This resource used to be available online. AFAIK, it's now only available from my site, see "3rd-party-primes" link below.

\begin{Soligor-Spiratone}

Soligor
"In the US, "Soligor" was a lens trade name used by a photo products importer named Allied Impex Corp, a firm that also had a major investment in a Japanese SLR manufacturer-- the "Miranda" cameras. When
...Show more

Sun lenses were not made by Sigma, they were made by Goyo Optical in Japan, well at least the ones made from 1976 onwards.




Feb 23, 2013 at 05:19 PM





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