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  1. #1

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    Bessa R/Mir 37mm lens

    Hello to one and all! I've never posted, but have lurked for a few months and now I have a dilema to present to the forum. I bought my second Mir 37mm lens on Ebay. I can't get the the lens to focus. I know it's not rangefinder coupled, but when I set the lens on infinity, nothing at all is in focus on the prints/negs. The same thing happened with the first one I bought and now the second. I'm sure there's a simple thing I'm overlooking. I'm using a Bessa R. My thanks in advance for all your help!

  2. #2

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    Quote Originally Posted by Elmer Fishpaw
    Hello to one and all! I've never posted, but have lurked for a few months and now I have a dilema to present to the forum. I bought my second Mir 37mm lens on Ebay. I can't get the the lens to focus. I know it's not rangefinder coupled, but when I set the lens on infinity, nothing at all is in focus on the prints/negs. The same thing happened with the first one I bought and now the second. I'm sure there's a simple thing I'm overlooking. I'm using a Bessa R. My thanks in advance for all your help!
    I'll check my books, but I think the problem is likely that you have the wrong lens. The 37 mm Mir with 39mm lens mount was intended for use on the early SLR Zenit cameras so the back focus is probably wrong for your R2.

    It may be possible to adjust the 37mm MIR to focus on your R2 - it's worth asking a camera repair person. I would just buy a 2.8/35mm Jupiter 12, which is a Zeiss Biogon design and an excellent performer. It was an RF lens from the start (FED/Zorki/Leica 39mm screw thread and Kiev/Contax bayonet versions are available).

    I use 2 Russian WA lenses on my Minolta CLE and my Leica M3s. They are the 4.5/20mm Russar and the 2.8/35mm Jupiter both are 39mm thread RF lenses that were built for Russian/Ukrainian RF cameras.
    Tom Hoskinson
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  3. #3

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    Quote Originally Posted by Tom Hoskinson
    I'll check my books, but I think the problem is likely that you have the wrong lens. The 37 mm Mir with 39mm lens mount was intended for use on the early SLR Zenit cameras so the back focus is probably wrong for your R2.

    Aren't there converters for that?
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  4. #4

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    Quote Originally Posted by Robert Kennedy
    Aren't there converters for that?
    There are 39mm to Leica M mount converters, and they are what I use to adapt the Russian/Ukrainian Rangefinder lenses to my Leicas. These adapters leave the lens distance from the film plane (back focus) unchanged.

    Adapting a SLR lens to a rangefinder camera - and enable infinity focus at the same time, is a different problem. I'm not aware of an off-the-shelf adapter that solves this problem.

    In this particular case, the 2.8/35mm Jupiter 12 rangefinder lens is an easy and inexpensive solution.
    Tom Hoskinson
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    I may be thinking of something else. But I swear that I saw somewhere on R. Monaghan's site mention of using R mounts on M cameras or vice versa.

    Then again, I have been taking pain killers....
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  6. #6

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    Quote Originally Posted by Robert Kennedy
    I may be thinking of something else. But I swear that I saw somewhere on R. Monaghan's site mention of using R mounts on M cameras or vice versa.

    Then again, I have been taking pain killers....
    Robert, the Bessa "R" cameras are rangefinder cameras. The Bessa "R" lenses are designed specifically for use with rangefinder cameras. In general, you can use Bessa "R" lenses on the M (Leica rangefinder bayonet mount) cameras (exceptions are "R" lenses with Nikon or Contax rangefinder camera mounts).

    The problem occurs when you try to use a single lens reflex (SLR) camera lens on one of these rangefinder cameras. The mirror chamber on a SLR (which is not present on a rangefinder camera) necessitates moving the SLR lens far enough away from the film plane so that there is room enough to accommodate the moving mirror and mirror mechanisms without mechanical interference from the lens.

    Therefore, you have difficulty moving a SLR lens close enough to the range finder camera's film plane to focus it at infinity - without modifying the lens and/or the lens mount. The shorter the focal length of the lens, the bigger the problem.
    Tom Hoskinson
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  7. #7
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    The soviets copied the 39mm screw mount, but at the beginning it had adifferent thread number than the german mount. If your NIR lens is old enough you may have a tough problem there.
    O can't remember the source of this info but I read it not so long ago

    PS The information was found here:
    http://www.commiecameras.com/sov/35m.../fed/index.htm

    And here it says the MIR/1 requires 45.2mm distance to film plane to work
    http://www.commiecameras.com/sov/35m...nses/index.htm
    Last edited by titrisol; 08-15-2004 at 07:29 AM. Click to view previous post history. Reason: Founf the source!!!
    Mama took my APX away.....

  8. #8

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    Quote Originally Posted by titrisol
    And here it says the MIR/1 requires 45.2mm distance to film plane to work
    http://www.commiecameras.com/sov/35m...nses/index.htm
    Yep! That is because the MIR/1 was designed for the Zenit SLR camera (early 1950's) - not a rangefinder! BTW, I own one.

    OTOH, the 2.8/35mm Jupiter 12 was designed for rangefinder use and thus has the proper distance to film plane to work properly on Leica rangefinders and Leica clones (like the Bessa R series, Ukrainian FEDs and Russian Zorkis.
    Tom Hoskinson
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  9. #9

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    O.k. Using the Ms on an R was what I was thinking about.
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  10. #10

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    Thanks very very much to everyone for your replies!! Internet is a very good tool here! I'm going to investigate the links posted, and I did think of the Jupiter 12, but thought I'd read about how the rears of the lens strikes the shutter curtain. Now, on to the links......

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