Any experience with Russian Tilt and Shift adapters ?

Discussion in '35mm Cameras and Accessories' started by dougjgreen, Jun 12, 2009.

  1. dougjgreen

    dougjgreen Member

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    I'm considering buying reasonably inexpensive Russian-made tilt and shift adapters that allow for Kiev/Pentacon Medium Format lenses to be used on Nikon/Canon 35mm and digital bodies.

    The tilt and shift adapters each cost around $80-100, and Pentacon and Kiev lenses in the 45mm to 80mm range can all be gotten for prices under $100. So this seems like a pretty inexpensive means of getting tilt and shift capability for my Nikons. And the lenses can probably be sold for similar prices as they can be bought for, being older, mechanically simple medium format items.

    Has anyone used any of these Russian tilt/shift adapters? I've heard that the Kiev and Pentacon lenses are pretty decent for the price. Any feedback or experiences doing this would be appreciated.
     
  2. Rol_Lei Nut

    Rol_Lei Nut Member

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    No idea about the adapter, but the Zeiss Jena 50mm is a very good lens.

    The Kiev 45mm often fares poorly, probably because of frequent bad samples. Rebuilt/readjusted ones are supposed to be quite good.
     
  3. Blighty

    Blighty Subscriber

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    I don't know about the adapters, but I do own a Russian Arax 85mm T/S lens. Quality is surprisingly good from around f5.6 onwards (edge and centre). However, it does flare very easily and images are quite low in contrast - whether because of or as well as, I'm not sure. Whatever you get, make sure you use a good, deeeeep hood!
     
  4. Q.G.

    Q.G. Inactive

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    You do know that Kiev, Arsenal, and Arax too, are not Russian? :wink:
     
  5. dougjgreen

    dougjgreen Member

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    Pardon me, Ukranian. But actually, when most of this stuff was made, it was Soviet.
     
  6. Q.G.

    Q.G. Inactive

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    Indeed.
    But the Soviet Union was not just Russia. :wink:

    Anyway, it's rather off-topic.
    Sorry!
     
  7. Sirius Glass

    Sirius Glass Subscriber

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    Q.G.,

    Keep them honest! :tongue:

    Steve
     
  8. Jim_in_Kyiv

    Jim_in_Kyiv Member

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    Greatly appreciated. I'm concerned that if I start pointing it out, it'll look like a rant.

    On a related note, here in Kyiv, Ukraine, the Arsenal factory store isn't working on Saturdays over the summer. Arrg - I found out the hard way this morning.
     
  9. dougjgreen

    dougjgreen Member

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    No problem, I knew where the stuff was from, but I used a sloppy and incorrect shorthand, since most of us western folks tend to think of all of this Soviet-bloc stuff as "Russian". If I were from there, I'd probably have taken umbrage as well.

    I still would love to hear from anyone who's used either the tilt or shift adapters, or any of the particular Kiev or Pentacon lenses.
     
  10. Q.G.

    Q.G. Inactive

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    I'm sorry, but i never tried the adapters, so i will not grill you over "most of us western folks". :wink:

    There are (were?) also shorter focal lengths tilt and tilt/shift lenses available from "behind the former iron curtain", that came with a fixed mount (no adapter) for several brands, among which Nikon. I believe they were 35 mm.
    Perhaps a better choice for use on a 35 mm camera than the longer MF lenses?
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 13, 2009
  11. dougjgreen

    dougjgreen Member

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    Well, on a related note, anyone have any experience with the Kiev/Arsat 30mm f3.5 MF fisheye lens? I just picked one up for an utterly ridiculous price (the result of the foolish tactic of an auction starting at $1 and closing on a Saturday evening).

    Now I need to decide what to use/adapt it onto.

    I paid so little for this lens that it's even worth what I spent on it if all it is is a paperweight and conversation starter (would you believe $59 plus $15 shipping, for a supposedly brand new medium format fisheye lens).

    http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dl...&item=190313392925&viewitem=&salenotsupported
     
  12. Mark Layne

    Mark Layne Member

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    Hartblei takes Russian or Ukranian lenses and rebuilds them to their specs.
    I have a 65mm with Hasselblad 2000 mount which is excellent. Costs less than $300
    Mark
     
  13. Philippe Grunchec

    Philippe Grunchec Member

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    I have the 35 and 85 TS Arsat, and am very happy with them. I also have the adapter for my P6 lenses to my Nikons: works great, especially with the 2,8/180 Sonnar CZJ.
    The 30mm is fun to use!
     
  14. Tony Egan

    Tony Egan Subscriber

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    I have the 35mm f2.8 Arsat shift lens for Nikon. Paint, finish and quality control is not up to par with other German and Japanese name brands but it is wonderfully sharp and the shift function is smooth and effective. I haven't used it for a while as there is a big fleck of what I suspect is loose black paint smack in the middle of the lens. It probably would not affect the image quality but is annoying to look at through the finder. Like most things you get what you pay for!
    I just checked and I bought mine on EBay in 2001 (my first purchase believe it or not) from a seller called ustas (Pavel Gubanov) who is no longer registered (since 2006). It was a simple hassle-free transaction at the time despite my trepidation about my first buy. Pavel was good to deal with and communicated well so I would not hesitate to use a similar well-rated seller again.
    For a while after I got the lens I went around pointing it up at tall things and experimenting with the degrees of correction possible. One example attached.
     

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  15. Q.G.

    Q.G. Inactive

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    I do have one of those, yes (had put a Hasselblad mount on it).

    It is a fun lens.
    But not good, lacking in contrast, and very susceptible to flare. (And i do have the multicoated version).
    Not very sharp either.

    Yet fun.

    The mechanics of it are rather iffy too.

    The pin operating the 'automatic' diaphragm had to come out in the conversion, turning the diaphragm into a full manual one. Not a problem.

    The diaphragm steering curve (a small bit of metal a guiding pin slides along) is bad. Too short, so the pin tends to slip off at either end (which end depends on how i set this bit of metal). The accuracy of this setting mechanism will be not very high too.
    But it can be solved: i just need to make a new, better steering curve and replace the one the factory put in.
    The click stop of the aperture ring is rather 'undecided' too, and the ring has quite a bit of play.

    The focussing mechanism however is firm and precise. No problem there.


    It is said that there is a large sample spread, and the problems my lens has may be absent from yours. But for that, you may find a bunch of other issues.


    The auto-diaphragm pin was not the only thing that had to come off in the conversion to Hasselblad mount. The rear mounted filters would be dangerously close to the swinging mirror, so they had to come off too.
    The thickness of the glass of these filters however is part of the optical design of the lens, so removing them may produce a slight reduction in image quality. Theoretically, that is. But all they do in reality (besides filtering) is move the image back slightly, and as long as the infinity focus is set properly in the conversion, not a problem.


    You could get a Kiev camera to use it on. :wink:
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 14, 2009
  16. Vanishing Point Ent.

    Vanishing Point Ent. Member

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    On page 1 center page it says;
    Photography without film is like Macroeconomics without reading goat entrails, and look at the mess that got us into.

    What it should have said was;
    " Photography without film is like digital, without thousands & thousands of dollars wasted on obsolete
    cameras, computers & software..." Yup, that's how we fix the economy, useless consumerist spending.
     
  17. Q.G.

    Q.G. Inactive

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    And yet another film vs digital thing appears out of nowhere.
     
  18. Kino

    Kino Member

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    ARRGGG! If you get tired of it, I'd be happy to reimburse you for that lens! I have been trying to catch one inexpensively for a while for my Kiev 88 kit.

    Astounding.
     
  19. Mike Michaelski

    Mike Michaelski Member

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    I have some pictures that I did with three T/S lenses on flickr at > http://www.flickr.com/photos/65693717@N00 -
    Loreo PCS lens (less than $25 from Hong Kong), then the 45mm MIR 26B and Arsat shift adapter, and finally the Hartblei Super Rotator. I've also used the 30mm Arsat fish eye on my K88CM, but do not have anything scanned to post. My back was to the sun, so I did not see any flare.
     
  20. ricksplace

    ricksplace Member

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    My brother just bought a shift adapter for his D2X. The adapter rotates and shifts and fits all of my Pentacon Six lenses. He's trying it out this weekend. I'll post his results later. I don't know if this is indicative of all the Ukr shift adapters. but there is a lot of slack in the shjift dovetails. and the lens is wobbly in the mount. It doesn't seem to matter regarding light leaks, but it feels a little disconcerting. Cool gizmo though.

    ps. the mount is plastic. I dont think it would hold the weight of my jupiter 250/3.5
     
  21. Ralph Javins

    Ralph Javins Member

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    Good morning, Q.G.

    I think the main reason for the use of the Medium Format lenses on the tilt-shift adapters for 35mm cameras, such as the Nikon F, is the wider image circle of the MF lens when you tilt it or shift it over.

    At this time, I am just trying to get a shift lens to work with the Medium Format camera body.