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01-13-2012, 05:44 PM   #16
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QuoteOriginally posted by Pentaxor Quote
I disagree with the notion that the J-9 is unusable at wide open.
Almost unusable for me, perhaps not for others. At f/2 it's already not that fast to begin with compared to other 85s, but it's really only f/2.8 for me, because if I want a glow effect (unlikely as it is), I can add it in post-processing. Applied by the lens though, it cannot be undone.

QuoteOriginally posted by JohnBee Quote
Here's an example of how the black MC Jupiter-9 softness can be beneficial wide open:
That is a very nice shot indeed! I got lucky once (see below), but most of the time, my attempts at f/2 went straight into the recycle bin.





Last edited by Ikarus; 01-13-2012 at 07:24 PM.
01-13-2012, 07:43 PM   #17
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QuoteOriginally posted by JohnBee Quote
The Jupiter-9 is one of the most underrated MF lenses available imo. And one of the reasons I think it doesn't get the respect it deserves is mainly due to it's price. Having said that, I think alot of people misinterpret the lenses purpose by categorizing it as an all around lens which end-up giving it a bad wrap.

From my own experiences(having owned three copies), I'd say there are no such things as a bad Jupiter-9(unless its damaged). Though I'd differentiate between the optical characteristics of the black and silver editions. And that's where the MC coated versions produce a sort of soft glowing effect wide open whereas the silver(usually older) do not do this. Which really comes down to ones shooting preferences.

Whatever the case, sharp or soft, if you're serious about portrait shooting, then you'll want to give this lens a look.

Black Jupiter-9, 85mm, most all taken wide open(f/2)

Hope this helps.
Just awesome pictures. I like all of them but the last one is especially sweet.

Cheers,
Hin
01-13-2012, 07:49 PM   #18
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It's a special lens, which gives mixed impressions. For more mainstream choices, there is the Mitakon 85/2 and the Samyang 85/1.4. The Mitakon used to be available at the same price that the Jupiter usually goes for.

My reviews with sample images:

Jupiter 9 85/2
Mitakon 85/2

I think that 85/2 lenses are a great compromise - for one less stop you get a much smaller and lighter lens. And like it's been observed before, f/2 on an 85mm will give you pretty thin and challenging DOF anyway.
01-13-2012, 11:38 PM   #19
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QuoteOriginally posted by Ikarus Quote
Almost unusable for me, perhaps not for others. At f/2 it's already not that fast to begin with compared to other 85s, but it's really only f/2.8 for me, because if I want a glow effect (unlikely as it is), I can add it in post-processing. Applied by the lens though, it cannot be undone.
did you use a good hood for it?

01-14-2012, 12:52 AM   #20
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One like this. It's definitely not ideal, because it already does not vignette with a 50mm on APS-C. I'm going to look for a deeper hood to see if this helps. By the way, my J-9 looks like the black MC version, but doesn't have 'MC' written on the barrel. It doesn't look multicoated to me. Telling from the serial number, it was made in 1988.

Last edited by Ikarus; 01-14-2012 at 01:07 AM.
01-14-2012, 02:21 AM   #21
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I took some shots of my computer screen that illustrate the typical behavior of my copy. The top crop is f/4, the second f/2, the third the same with contrast enhancement. F/4 is crips and sharp, but note the line doubling at f/2 - the letters have a shadow with a shift of 45 degrees by about 1 pixel. The focusing was done in live view.
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Last edited by Ikarus; 01-14-2012 at 09:56 AM.
01-14-2012, 08:24 AM   #22
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QuoteOriginally posted by Ikarus Quote
One like this. It's definitely not ideal, because it already does not vignette with a 50mm on APS-C. I'm going to look for a deeper hood to see if this helps. By the way, my J-9 looks like the black MC version, but doesn't have 'MC' written on the barrel. It doesn't look multicoated to me. Telling from the serial number, it was made in 1988.
hmmm... there were reported a lot of duds during those later production years, especially with the MC's. although the more recent MC ones we have now are said to be better. I guess people should avoid getting copies made from the late 80's to mid 90's.

my copy was an older version single coat, 15-bladed copy. it didn't smell pleasant at all but atleast the images were. also it need some nice hood as well, which I got for it.
01-14-2012, 11:57 AM   #23
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QuoteOriginally posted by Ikarus Quote
I took some shots of my computer screen that illustrate the typical behavior of my copy. The top crop is f/4, the second f/2, the third the same with contrast enhancement. F/4 is crips and sharp, but note the line doubling at f/2 - the letters have a shadow with a shift of 45 degrees by about 1 pixel. The focusing was done in live view.
I thought this looked very interesting and so I decided to perform the same test with my own copies. However, I discovered that my LCD screen was creating a sort of color registration offset effect(somewhat similar to your own examples) which didn't seem to exist with a reflective surface. And so I moved the test to a paper target instead.

And so to help with consistency, would it be possible for you to use a paper target with text or similar to conduct your test shots on as well? That way we could compare notes. Because I'd be very interested in seeing how the results compare between them(different models).

Also in testing, I discovered that the best way to nail focus was to fine tune the lens at f/5.6 and then drop to f/2 and take the shot afterward without touching anything. Since the J-9 can be very tricky to nail focus with wide open(and by tricky, I mean veeeeery tricky ).

And to help illustrate, here's an example of what I found on paper using a 1987 MC black version:

fr. RAW 100% (untouched):


fr. RAW 200% (untouched):


fr. RAW 200% w/RawTherapee:



Last edited by JohnBee; 01-14-2012 at 12:08 PM.
01-14-2012, 01:45 PM   #24
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QuoteOriginally posted by yusuf Quote
Pre-1990 black copy are known to be better than post 1990 and silver copies.
Huh? That is news to me and I at one point thought that I had done my research on the J9s.


Steve


(Mine was made in 2007)

Last edited by stevebrot; 01-14-2012 at 01:51 PM.
01-14-2012, 01:49 PM   #25
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QuoteOriginally posted by Rense Quote
I only have one copy of the J-9, and I think it is a brilliant lens. I think that in most cases where people complain about it, they focus not precise enough. 85mm @f/2 gives a very shallow DoF, and with the not so bright viewfinders in our dSLRs.... Look at the 'bad' photos made with this lens, and you will see focus is off in most cases....

So, I'm with RioRico and JohnBee in this one: get one, get accustomed to it, and you will love it....
What he said...


Steve

P.S. My review is one of several HERE. In fact, the lens photos are my copy.
01-14-2012, 02:01 PM   #26
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QuoteOriginally posted by JohnBee Quote
Since the J-9 can be very tricky to nail focus with wide open(and by tricky, I mean veeeeery tricky ).
This is so true. It was my purchase of the J-9 that pushed me to buying my Katz Eye focus screen. With accurate focus things were so much better! The other consideration is to always use a hood. I use the metal screw-on hood from heavystar on eBay (tele size) with good success with this lens.

Here is a selection of shots (both film and digital) with my J-9 from my Flickr account:

Fotostevia on Flickr: Jupiter-9
Some are more soft than others, but the group should give some indication of the type of rendering to expect from this lens. (Yes, I really did shoot wakeboarding from the boat with a J-9!)

Steve
01-14-2012, 02:24 PM   #27
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Beautiful shots there, Steve! Was any of them wide open? I opened a few and didn't find one that looked like it.

The only problem I have with this lens is its f/2 performance. I like it a lot at other apertures. This one was at f/4, if I remember correctly:



Last edited by Ikarus; 01-14-2012 at 03:33 PM.
01-14-2012, 03:56 PM   #28
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QuoteOriginally posted by JohnBee Quote
And so to help with consistency, would it be possible for you to use a paper target with text or similar to conduct your test shots on as well? That way we could compare notes.
The test I cooked up in a rush was a little different. I angled the shot in order to make sure there is one part that is in focus. The first crop is f/4, the second f/2. It seems to me that your copy has a lot less glow at f/2 than mine.
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01-14-2012, 05:11 PM   #29
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QuoteOriginally posted by Ikarus Quote
Beautiful shots there, Steve! Was any of them wide open? I opened a few and didn't find one that looked like it.
Thanks for the strokes. A few of the images were wide open. I believe that the following are good examples:







Focus on the first shot was on the glint in the cat's eye. DOF is very narrow. There is also some degradation due to camera motion (1/8s with SR on). As you can see, the second shot has more of the glow, though a bit of pixel peeping would show that the image is sharp in the in-focus elements, but just low on contrast due, I think, to internal reflections and maybe even bounce back reflection from the sensor itself. There is also the matter that the K10D sensor tends to render yellow subjects with a little of a bloom. Like you, I tend to shoot the J-9 at between f/4 and f/8. Based on the samples you have posted, I am prone to wonder whether your lens has internal haze or fungus.

Edit:

Full resolution crop of second image...




Steve

Last edited by stevebrot; 01-14-2012 at 06:54 PM.
01-14-2012, 06:55 PM   #30
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Those are awesome! Even if I were as good a photographer, there is no way I would get this kind of output from my copy.

The glass is very clear, almost suspiciously so. I suspect it has been taken apart and cleaned at some point, which makes me wonder whether perhaps it wasn't re-assembled properly. I find it hard to imagine though that it would still tighten up so nicely at smaller apertures, if that were the case. Also, I've seen too many J-9 shots with a glow more similar to mine than to yours (the flower picture in Laurentiu's review above, for example), which makes me think that this was a characteristic problem with certain production lines of this lens.

Last edited by Ikarus; 01-14-2012 at 07:00 PM.
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