Wednesday, December 28, 2005

Jupiter-9 in action

Taken @ ISO 100, f4.0 Fujifilm Reala with Asahi Pentax Spotmatic F

This shot was taken with the Pentax Spotmatic F with Fujifilm Reala film (ASA 100). Lighting was not perfect for the day, but I manage to find the right angle of the sunlight illuminating the left face of my daugther, creating almost a 1:3 lighting ratio.

The background was messy, but at f4.0, this lens is still more than capable of producing excellent bokeh to blur out the background very well, giving this photo the 3D look.

Another comment is the choice of Fujifilm Reala, which produces very nice colours. The skintone is almost spot on, not overly warm, which is just nice to give it a very neutral feel. Rated at ASA 100, grains are hardly noticeable.

Focusing with the Jupiter-9 can be quite a hassle especially with moving subjects, as I need to stop down the aperture (by turning the aperture ring to the right) to get the correct exposure. The metering on the Pentax is accurate, and very reliable at most time, even tricky conditions. And mind you, it's a 30-year old technology! Nevertheless, Pentax is the inventor of TTL-metering.

More photos

Thursday, December 22, 2005

KMZ Jupiter-9 (85mm f2.0)

I acquired this lens after reading several reviews raving about its good optical characteristics. I chose the M42 screw mount version, with serial no. N8107061, indicating a 1981 make. This is a single-coated version. Later versions, beyond 1988 seems to come with multi-coating.

I used it extensively in one of the recent children church (Sunday school) event. View here. Taken with Kodak Gold 200 film on my Asahi Pentax Spotmatic F, scanned at the lab using Noritsu lab processor.

This is a great portrait lens, to single out interesting subjects and people. Bokeh is excellent, nothing short of Zeiss quality. I counted the number of aperture blades....15 in all!

Summary of lens performance:
  • f2.0 - soft focus, excellent bokeh
  • f2.8 - sharp, very good bokeh
  • f4.0 onwards - very sharp, very good bokeh

Wednesday, December 21, 2005


This blog is created specially to share my knowledge and experience using Russian made lenses, especially those of post-war designs. Russian lenses such as MIR, Jupiter, Helios, etc. are widely available from eBay today. And they are pretty affordable too.

Most of the lenses are made from a factory by the name of Krasnogorskij Mechanicheskij Zavod (Krasnogorsk's Mechanical Plant), often abbreviated to KMZ but currently rather spelled as Krasnogorsky Zavod, is, with LOMO in St. Petersburg, one of Russia's largest optical factories, and probably one of the world's largest too.

I have acquired a few of the famed Russian lenses over the past 3 months, namely the MIR-1B (37mm f2.8) and Jupiter-9 (85mm f2.0). These are M42 screw mount lenses, and I use them almost exclusively on my Asahi Pentax Spotmatic F. I also have a M42/Nikon adaptor to be used with my Nikon D70.

Most of the designs of these lenses are copied from the European counterparts, namely Zeiss (Germany). The Jupiter-9 is actually a modified Sonnar design, with a supposedly improved formulae.