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  1. #1
    ruilourosa's Avatar
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    Best of Russian Lenses??????????????????????

    Hello i recently bought three russian rangefinders one kiev, one zorki and one fed, they have a industar 61m 2.8 and the other two have jupiters 8m f/2.

    There are off course some quality issues envolving russian lenses but is there any that is consistently better, i´ve read that the helios 103 for the kiev could be a bit better than the jupiter 8...

    jupiter 12 is worth a try?

    anything else?

    thanks
    vive la resistance!

  2. #2
    tomalophicon's Avatar
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    Jupiter 9 - I haven't used one but I've heard good things about it. I would like to try one when I get some money together.
    Industar 28. I use this lens often on a FED 2 and I think it's great. It's nothing fancy but works as a lens should.

  3. #3
    erikg's Avatar
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    J-3: beautiful look, J-9 is great too. J-8 are usually very sharp. These 3 are my favorites.
    Last edited by erikg; 05-24-2011 at 09:00 PM. Click to view previous post history.

  4. #4
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    Jupiter-3 is a Zeiss Sonnar copy from the -40's. Very nice lens when clean and in good condition. You can expect a typical Sonnar glow. Its sharp when stopped down and very usable opened up. The older version you can find the better it is optically (2 first digits of serial gives the year of manufacturing). Jupiter-8 is another Zeiss copy and a very good lens if you can find a chrome version from the -50's. Later black J-8 version is not considered as good but it's no slough either. J-9 is yet another Zeiss copy. It's a marvelous short tele for portraits with nice OOF rendition. J-12 is not considered as a top contender among 35mm M39 lenses but it's a good everyday lens.

    Industar lenses are optically more or less Tessars. Nicely sharp when stopped down. My personal favorite is the early Industar-26. Industar-61 is much liked too. It has indexed aperture ring which makes it easier to use.

    Cannot comment on Helios lenses but I've heard they are very good. Kiev lenses are typically a bit less expensive than M39 lenses.

  5. #5

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    I own and have owned a lot of FSU lenses, the Jupiter-8 if you can find a good sample is just stunning. I have a 1955 chrome version with focus tab that yields awesome pictures. I have also owned a 1970 black version, rotating front is the big difference but it was also a good performer. No click-stops on the aperture is the only drawback but that is as have already been said, common to most russian lenses.

    Jupiter-3 can also be very good but in general they are more affected by quality control (or lack off) issues. Focus is usually off. But if you either find one that has been serviced or get your copy serviced you have a great fast lens.

    Same thing goes for the Jupiter-9. It is a wonderful lens if you get decent copy.

    Just as a side note, it's quite cheap to get these lenses fixed so if you do intend to keep it it's a small investment to send it for a CLA. Or you could just buy a bunch of them and try one until you find a good copy

  6. #6

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    Oh, and the Jupiter-12 is also good, Zeiss copy as it is. With the one I owned I thought it was very flare prone, more so than any other of the russians.

    Hard to change aperture though, small ring that lies recessed in the lens. Even harder to see the aperture scale. And the most important, the rear element is extremely easy to scratch. Hard to find one that hasn't already been damaged to some degree and scratches on the back element is always worse than the front, even more so when it is a wide angle lens.

  7. #7

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    After using a Jupiter-3, Industar-61N, Jupiter-8, and Industar-22, I finally settled on an Industar-50 for my Canon. So far, so good. Finding the 50 in excellent condition was most challenging.

    Russian Lens Data . . .
    http://www.baierfoto.de/russobj/objektive.html

  8. #8

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    The best one is the one properly shimmed/adjusted for your body.

    I've had two J12s which were way off when used on a Leica body. I have a Zorki with an Industar 22 that was aligned to the body (which was far away from standard and thus the body and lens are incompatible with any other body/lens I have). On the other hand, the lenses which have been properly aligned (and FSU bodies for that matter) have been very nice.

  9. #9

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    I imagine everyone's experience will be a little different, just as each camera and lens is a little different! I have a J-8 on my Kiev, very nice, a favorite. Industar 26 and 61 on the FEDs, also nice, but I prefer the I61. I have a late J-9 in LTM that is almost too sharp, especially for portraits. I'm going to try some diffusion schemes. My J-12 for the Kiev is excellent. They're so cheap I don't care if I get the occasional dog.

  10. #10

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    I have also owned a couple of Industar 61 L/D's but have in every case found that my Jupiter-8 was by far the sharpest even if the I61 had more contrast. I think many people are fooled by the I61's contrast and are led to believe that it is sharper lens than it actually is. Apart from it's click-stop aperture I really can't see what the fus is about.

    I'll second the opinion that the Industar-50 is a nice lens though. I've owned one and regret selling it.

    Although russian lenses are a bit of a lottery and your mileage may vary as they say....

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