I wouldn't worry too much about variations in different lens models. As with all things Russian, your luck in getting a good sample is what it's all about. Having owned the earlier Zebra style lenses, and the later black lenses w/ the deep purple coatings, I'd say the key is condition. These are very good lenses if all is right w/ them. For what it's worth, I have never run into any lens registration problems when using Russian glass on Leica, Canon or Bessa RF's, even w/ the J-8's wide open at close distances. In my experience, people sometimes end up w/ lenses that have been inexpertly cleaned and reassembled. I've had a few of those, including lenses that would not focus correctly at any distances w/o a disassembly and correct reassembly. People like to start helical threads in the wrong place. You can usually spot this when the distance markings are in odd places. I once owned a J-9 that had the markings on the bottom!
You would be well advised to try and find a lens in the US. If there's a problem w/ one from overseas, the return shipping will surely be more than the cost of the lens.
Last edited by momus; 10-12-2013 at 10:04 PM. Click to view previous post history.