Free Jupiter 9 85/2!!! Which RF?

Discussion in 'Rangefinder Forum' started by j-dogg, Jan 30, 2013.

  1. j-dogg

    j-dogg Subscriber

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    And it's m39 LTM, so other than the obvious choice which Soviet rangefinder should I get for it?

    Split-image is a plus
    Not doing zone focusing, F that.
     
  2. Terry Christian

    Terry Christian Subscriber

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    Almost everywhere I read, folks seem to agree, more or less, that the FED-2 is the best Soviet rangefinder. They're somewhat a copy of the Leica IIIf, except that they load from the back and not from the bottom like a Leica. I haven't tried any others, but I have two FED-2 bodies, and love them.
     
  3. EASmithV

    EASmithV Member

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    SLR conversion adapter?
     
  4. mgb74

    mgb74 Subscriber

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    I like the Fed-2 and the Zorki-4. But I think there is so much specimen-to-specimen variation in the soviet cameras that it's hard to make a definitive choice.
     
  5. polyglot

    polyglot Member

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    M39 to M42 adapter would give you lots more options, maybe including a camera you already own.
     
  6. j-dogg

    j-dogg Subscriber

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    The m39 I have is for rangefinders with a shorter distance to film plane

    m39 for Zenit SLR's would work on my 5D, and I have an EOS adapter but it's great for macro work as I only have 1' of usuable distance.
     
  7. sr44

    sr44 Member

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    How about a Voigtlander Bessa-R? A little bit more than the soviet options, but still pretty cheap. I bought mine for a little over $200.
     
  8. j-dogg

    j-dogg Subscriber

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    For the price I've seen of the glorious Soviet Leica clones, I could get the Voigtlander and the Soviet together
     
  9. Xmas

    Xmas Member

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    Well there is a big cost difference between a

    M2 + LTM adapter
    Canon 7xx
    Canon P
    Earlier Canon
    Bessa LTM or M + LTM adapter
    Zorki 6 to Zorki I
    Fed...

    The J9 may need recollimating or cleaning etc. the Bessas should be ok at f/2, but the rfdr is harder to use if effective baseline is small.

    It depends what sort of shooting you want to do and how much money you want to spend.

    Noel
     
  10. ntenny

    ntenny Member

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    It's a good camera, but there's some reason to believe that there may be a slight difference in focusing standard between the "commie cameras" and the other M39 cameras. (I think Dante Stella experimented and found there was, Karen Nakamura experimented and found there wasn't, or maybe the other way round.) It would be a shame to have a nice lens and a nice body that didn't meet in the middle, especially with a lens like the Sonnar style that does such good work wide open.

    Considering the prices, you might consider getting a Bessa-R *and* a CLA'd Fed-2 or Zorki-4. The fSU cameras have a certain charm all their own that's probably worth the price of admission by itself.

    -NT
     
  11. Mustafa Umut Sarac

    Mustafa Umut Sarac Member

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    I have FED 1g and very hard to focus at dim light. I used many Leicas and I was expecting the same easy focus wherever you are but wrong.
    May be someone could report Zorki and later FEDs.
     
  12. Xmas

    Xmas Member

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    Hi

    This can be true, but equally IIIc rangefinder splitters are frequently faint, the other Leicas models pretty good.

    Any of them Leica, Ja or FSU can be misted or fogged internally, and need a clean.

    It is best to inspect before you purchase, for contrast, clarity and signs of damage (i.e. degration of image), can be very expensive to fix.

    You may need also need calibration, of lens and body, the Leica and e.g. Canon clones have lots of adjustments for rangefinder calibration..., you can easily spend a weekend tinkering... but dont touch unless you are skilled.

    Noel
     
  13. vpwphoto

    vpwphoto Subscriber

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    Fedka.com will hook you up.
     
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  15. Spicy

    Spicy Member

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    Youxin can upgrade the barnack beamsplitters to a new japan-sourced beamsplitter. contrast is slight blue/yellow and probably better than my M body. the barnack's are quirky, but great users if you're willing to put a little more effort in.
     
  16. j-dogg

    j-dogg Subscriber

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    I got a FED-2 locally!!! Can't believe it, decided on the FED-2, searched eBay and by a stroke of luck remembered to check local listings, found this little gem 20 miles away. Messaged the seller, they agreed to cash payment and local pickup. It has some sort of Industar lens, a 50 2.8, Sekonic light meter and my 85 works flawlessly on it.

    It will need a CLA, which I will tend to this week. I CLA'd my Kodak 35RF and I specialize in laptop repair so this should be simple as there are no electronics.

    I will build a complete system around it, already got 2 of the trifecta to make a kit. Feels great to have an interchangeable RF system now.

    One thing I have been a little confused on is the m39 mount. I know that there are m39 for Zenit SLR and for rangefinder, but do all m39 rangefinder lenses work on the FED-2? Was looking at the Industar 28 2.8 pancake, the 35 2.8 jupiter 12 and maybe the 50 3.5 leica clone.
     

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  17. ntenny

    ntenny Member

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    Very nice catch! I like the blue bodies; they look black enough to be dignified, but on close inspection the blue gives them a little character.

    That's an Industar-26m, the standard lens on most FED-2 bodies; it's a Tessar type and can be pretty darn good.

    There are a lot of fiddly little bits to make up for the absence of electronics, but it's a fairly simple camera on the whole. No slow-speed escapement system, which helps. That said, the one time I went into mine to try to fix the shutter tension, I made things worse rather than better...

    Yes, except for the concern about alignment differences between Soviet and "real" M39 focus threads. It shouldn't be a problem with wide-angle lenses, which means that you might think about something like the Voigtlaender wides as well as the fSU originals.

    I'm not sure what the Industar 28 is, but the Jupiter-12 is a seriously nice lens, or at least my sample is. You might want to play with that Industar-26m for a while before deciding if you need the 50/3.5 as well; I decided I really like one of my "stock" lenses and didn't need another normal.

    -NT
     
  18. j-dogg

    j-dogg Subscriber

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    I thought about the leica clone but in all actuality I'll probably CLA the Tessar as I have almost all the tools save the lens spanner and that is on order.

    Plus from what I've seen on the Tessar clone it's absolutely fantastic. There's a whole slew of 50mm lenses for the FED-2 I might just keep this one.
     
  19. Gerald C Koch

    Gerald C Koch Member

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    I have 6 FED's acquired in a fruitless attempt to find one that is reliable. If you are serious about photography get a Bessa R body. I once saw an ad for an Industar lens "with a heavy, bulky lens cap" (in other words a FED body). This pretty much sums up my opinion of soviet camera bodies. Now the lenses can be quite good optically but quality standards for the barrels is fair. The 55mm f2.8 Industar 61-L/D is probably the best of the soviet litter and gets good reviews. The L indicates that it has a lanthanum glass element.
     
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  20. ntenny

    ntenny Member

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    I have to admit that my Bessa-R pretty much put my Soviet bodies out of a job. I occasionally pull out the Mir simply because it's fun to shoot, but in practical terms it can't compete with its modern peer.

    That said, people *did* routinely make these things work for them, enough that they were a standard household camera for millions of Soviets. Just about anyone who grew up in the Soviet Union, I find, will be sent on a big-time nostalgia trip by the smell of a FED or Zorki never-ready case. That doesn't really speak to their photographic quality, but it does suggest that they were good enough to be cameras rather than trash or doorstops. (They do make good doorstops, though.)

    -NT
     
  21. j-dogg

    j-dogg Subscriber

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    Did the CLA on the FED-2b, it's ready for battle!!! Shutter speeds check out fine, no pinhole leaks, everything is good to go on the body. The vertical parallax adjustment is a wee bit off, I can see it if I look hard enough, but the test roll will go in tomorrow. :smile:

    The 85 is fine already. The Industar will need a minor CLA.

    I did the entire CLA while listening to Soviet communist march songs and anthems. :laugh:

    It isn't my bud's Leica but dammit you can't get too much closer without actually getting one. Maybe I got a good copy.
     
  22. goamules

    goamules Member

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    I bet your Fed-2B will work fine and be fun to use the J-9 on. I've recently discovered J-9s, and they're as good as the 50mm J-3, very nice rendering. What I find interesting is the rising prices of Soviet Barnack style cameras, and falling for Leicas. The other day I searched for early Fed 1s and came up with several that had sold for over $150. Some over $200. The average was about $100. Then I searched for completed Leica IIIcs from the post-war period. Their average price (bodies only) was about $200.

    The same is happening with the Jupiter lenses, which now go for about 75% of what a Canon, Zeiss, or Nikon Sonnar type go for.

    Ten years ago when Leicas were $400 and up for a Barnack body, the $29 Feds and Zorki's were a good buy and substitute. Now that they are within $50-100 dollars of each other, I'd say go for a Leica or Canon at some point. Actually, the Canon IVSBs and Niccas and other Japanese clones go for MORE than the average IIIc now...
     
  23. pekelnik

    pekelnik Member

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    So /p/ really is good for something... :tongue:
     
  24. paradoxbox

    paradoxbox Member

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    make sure you actually check the focus before you take serious shots with it

    a jupiter 9 that's been calibrated for non russian rangefinder cameras will focus improperly on a fed. at 85mm and f2 that could become a huge problem.

    shimming it to match your fed is pretty simple work though.

    the prices of old leica screwmounts seems to fluctuate every few years, but recently i think that the appearance of all the new digital m's like the m9, m, m monochrome, etc.. have been pushing down barnack prices and pushing up leica lens prices
     
  25. Terry Christian

    Terry Christian Subscriber

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    Great to hear you got a FED-2!
    Zenit SLR lenses will mount but won't focus correctly at all. All Leica thread mount (LTM) lenses will work, except for pre-war FEDs.
    I've had no major trouble with mine, knock on wood. My first one had a bad light leak around the film gates, which I was able to fix easily by bending the metal back into shape, and on both of mine I've used thin strips of electrical tape to keep the diopter controls from wandering.
     
  26. keyofnight

    keyofnight Member

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    It's funny you mention that. I was just shopping around for a Fed or Zorki, and I was amazed at how high the prices get. I started looking for a Zorki because I read they were cheap and relatively plentiful; and while they're still in my price range more than a Leica III or a Canon, it's just amazing how the market fluctuates.

    The question is: why? Is it because of some resurgence of film photography, interest in Soviet history, or just some quirk of the global economic condition?