Russian lenses?

Discussion in '35mm Cameras and Accessories' started by spiralcity, Sep 28, 2007.

  1. spiralcity

    spiralcity Member

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    How many people own a Russian made 35mm lens?
    Comments abouit the quality would be appreciated.

    I've been looking at a MIR M-42 on ebay. Im just not sure I want to experiment with old Russian technology.

    The lens was priced to sell, it just may be worth the buy. Im at a cross -roads.
     
  2. Lee Shively

    Lee Shively Member

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    I recently was bitten by the Russian/Ukranian camera bug. Thus far, I've felt free to experiment freely since the cost is low and the results, thus far, have been very pleasing.

    I have no experience with the MIR. I have a couple of Kiev's that I enjoy using even though "state-of-the-art" they are not. They are very 1930's technology but they're fun. I have several normal lenses for the Kiev's--Jupiter-8 and Helios-103--some are poor at wide apertures but get better stopped down and some are very good across the board. I especially like the Jupiter-8. I also have two 39mm Leica thread mount lenses--Industar-22 and Industar-61LD. I use these on Leica M bodies with adapters and, I must admit, both are excellent lenses. The Industar-22 is over 50 years old and flares wildly under backlit conditions but it makes some nice images under normal conditions.

    I believe all the Russian/Ukranian lenses made after WWII were based on Zeiss designs although they made lots of cameras that were Leica copies. The Industar-22 I have looks like a collapsible Elmar but, inside, it is reportedly a Tessar design. Those more experienced than myself agree there is a lot of variation in the quality of the lenses from sample to sample but good ones are really good.
     
  3. Xmas

    Xmas Member

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    The Ru lenses are ok they are real cheap. They may have been loved or mistreated...

    Noel
     
  4. Ole

    Ole Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    Jupiter-9, Industar 61 L/D, Industar-22, -50 and FED 50mm f:3.5's.

    all usable.
     
  5. Jersey Vic

    Jersey Vic Member

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    Agreed-All optically excellent but they can be mechanically challenged. Usually nothing some lighter fluid, an eyeglass repair kit and a suitable grease can't fix.
     
  6. Ole

    Ole Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    Fed 50/3.5 example HERE. I rather like the look of it wide open!

    The Jupiter-9 85mm f:2 is the most "risky" one: The optics are good, but once the mechanics start going bad they're basically trash. I've got one goot one, and one trash. I may decide to take a hacksaw to the bad one and use it on 6x9 sheet film! :smile:
     
  7. Jersey Vic

    Jersey Vic Member

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  8. mark

    mark Member

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    Just remember that the Vodka flowed freely in the QC department.
     
  9. trip_wt

    trip_wt Member

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    Are you talking about the rangefinder version? I've heard that one can give trouble due to the complex rangefinder coupling.
    I've got the M42 mount version of the Jupiter-9 and it works very smoothly, I haven't heard of there being many problems with the M42 mount version.
     
  10. Ole

    Ole Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    Yes, it's the Leica-thread rangefinder version which is infamous for mechanical breakdown.
     
  11. Sportera

    Sportera Member

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    jupiter 8 and a I-22. They are both great lenses, the jupiter is great wide open, soft a dreamy
     
  12. spiralcity

    spiralcity Member

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    Thanks for all the info.
    I missed the bid on the MIR. the auction ended while I was working. I waffled a bit with my decision. No body bid on the lens and it was priced at 12.00 but the shipping was 26.00.
    38.00 is still a nice price. I may write the seller and see if he plans on relisting.
     
  13. mabman

    mabman Member

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    In Russian/Soviet lenses in M42 I have 2 Jupiter-9's (an older and a newer one), a Volna-9, and a Helios 44-2.

    Both the J-9's are great optically and mechanically - although the older one has the aperture markings on the front of the lens where you can't see them unless you're looking at it dead-on - not sure the rationale there (it doesn't matter much once you get used to *where* the apertures are, though). The Volna-9 is a 50mm macro, which is fun to use really close up (obviously), but is no slouch as a normal lens either. The Helios, on the other hand, was dirt cheap (US$20, I believe), advertised as "working", which is technically correct, but has seen much better days. If there was a coating of any sort it's gone now, and there are quite aggressive cleaning marks on it. This means it flares in interesting and somewhat unpredictable ways :smile: But, I actually like the way pics taken with it look, so despite appearances (and the aperture ring is very loose), it was a worthwhile purchase.

    I also have a few Leica Thread Mount lenses from the former Soviet Union - the Industar 61 L/D (incredibly sharp and contrasty), the Jupiter-9 again (I haven't used it much, though - the J-9 is mostly a portrait lens, and I can't get the parallax correction quite right on a rangefinder to do the close-up portraits I like properly as yet), a Jupiter-8 I haven't used yet (currently attached to a camera in for repair/calibration), and a FED-50 attached to a FED-2 (nothing wrong with the lens, but I think the camera needs some TLC).

    Overall, I've been quite happy with FSU lenses, in particular the J-9 for portraits.

    I don't think Roger Hicks has chimed in yet, but in a previous thread his considered opinion was that with FSU lenses "the wider, the worse" was the trend based on his own experience. I've never used anything from the FSU wider than 50mm, and I've been happy with that, so your mileage may vary.
     
  14. David H. Bebbington

    David H. Bebbington Inactive

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    I have owned (Leica thread) 28, 35, 50 and 135 lenses. The 135 was good, others unimpressive. I owned one 135 years ago. bought another example recently, both good. I also had a 500 mm f5.6 mirror lens, bought new and used for sports - focusing was quite an art, but I got some good results. As with any mirror lens, second-hand examples are hard to judge, since this type of lens is very easy to knock out of alignment.