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01-14-2012, 06:56 PM   #31
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I love the lens and have an older M39 SLR version. This was taken tonight at f2 and 1.3 seconds. I was testing a Manfrotto Super Clamp and Articulating arm set at a longer exposure (which worked well for stability).




01-14-2012, 07:08 PM   #32
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QuoteOriginally posted by Ikarus Quote
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.
Much better...
I'd say that very close to what I'm seeing with mine.
I also noticed the OOF detail doubling is not apparent in these crops. Which is very interesting because it looks as though the LCD screen played a part in that too.
01-15-2012, 10:25 AM   #33
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The most common problem of Ju9 is oil on everything inside, it's main reason of glow
01-15-2012, 11:27 AM   #34
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QuoteOriginally posted by dave216 Quote
The most common problem of Ju9 is oil on everything inside, it's main reason of glow
A small amount of oil (slight smear) on the aperture blades is normal and necessary for proper operation. If more oil is present, it is likely due to an attempt to repair or service the lens. If oil has migrated onto the lens elements, it would definitely cause significant softness and glow



Steve

01-15-2012, 01:50 PM   #35
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QuoteOriginally posted by JohnBee Quote
Much better...
I'd say that very close to what I'm seeing with mine.
I also noticed the OOF detail doubling is not apparent in these crops. Which is very interesting because it looks as though the LCD screen played a part in that too.
That's not quite how I see it. I'm still seeing the line doubling. To my eyes, your copy is similar to Steve's and stover98074's at f/2, whereas mine shows a strongler glow more similar to Laurentiu's.

Actually, I found the root of the problem with my copy. When I hold the rear element close to my eye and look outside the window while opening the aperture, I see a bright and shiny ring magically appear at the edge of the FOV at around f/2.8 and getting larger towards f/2. Looking at it through the rear at an angle from a few inches away, I can see some bare metal that only gets exposed when the aperture blades open past f/2.8. It doesn't appear to be something that was done by design, because the paint is not uniformly missing everywhere. This definitely looks like very shoddy craftsmanship and explains the sample variations that people have been observing with this lens. According to this page, the problem is all too common:
QuoteQuote:
Having had a bunch of 1970s and 1980s black Soviet LTM lenses, I can tell you the rangefinder helicoids are often cut too short or too long, and the matte black paint in the barrel (to kill internal reflections) is often missing. The best Soviet products are 1958-1962, and all chrome (well, aluminum).

Last edited by Ikarus; 01-15-2012 at 06:07 PM.
01-15-2012, 07:39 PM   #36
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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)




These samples are really eye openers for me.
My copy is certainly not even like that at f2.8.
01-15-2012, 07:40 PM   #37
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QuoteOriginally posted by HoBykoYan Quote
@Ikarus
Thanks for your suggestion. Im considering this since its much cheaper than other 85's but am afraid the copy is crappy...
I do have a Super Tak 35 3.5 before but I like the CZ 35 better. I will only use the SMC Tak 28 for the sole purpose of landscapes...

@Pinhole
others are way too expensive. I might consider 100-105 focals
Yes, maybe you should consider the 100-105mm lenses.
What is the price range you are looking at anyway?
01-15-2012, 07:59 PM   #38
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After I discovered that bare metal surface causing strong reflections in my copy, I will give the search for a better hood a try. With a surface as large and reflective as this, only the tightest fit will be good enough.

If that doesn't work out, I'm wondering whether I should try to disassemble the lens for (re-)painting that surface, despite the warnings I've seen that it is very hard to put back together. So far, I found this page that covers the disassembly of an older version of this lens.

01-15-2012, 08:35 PM   #39
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QuoteOriginally posted by Ikarus Quote
...This definitely looks like very shoddy craftsmanship and explains the sample variations that people have been observing with this lens. According to this page, the problem is all too common:
There is a lot of unpainted metal inside a J-9 and most FSU lenses that undoubtedly contributes to flare and low contrast.

As for the dantestella.com quote...The author is quite knowledgeable and technically reliable. It would be good to note, however, that the comments are in regard to Leica thread mount (LTM) FSU lenses. The article linked is pretty well-known in LTM rangefinder circles and addresses the issue of why the Russian lenses often perform poorly when mounted to non-FSU rangefinder cameras (e.g. Leica, Canon, and such). Dante Stella believes that the helicoid pitch on the FSU lenses is based on a different focal length standard with the result that consistent calibration to a Leica standard rangefinder will always result in failure at either infinity or close focus. Put the same lens on a FED or Zorki and performance is much better.

The M39 (Zenit) and M42 versions of the J-9 have completely different mechanicals and construction. In addition, while they share optical formula with the LTM models, they have no glass in common. (The LTM J-9 looks downright petite when placed next to the SLR lens.) It might also be good to note that most of the LTM versions were made by different manufacturing entities to different standards than the SLR lenses. (FSU name designation does not indicate model in the same sense as, say, Pentax lens model. The various Jupiter-9 lenses were made by multiple manufacturing entities (LZOS, KMZ, and Kiev, I think...), for multiple platforms with no intent or effort to maintain equivalence. ) The only thing they have in common is optical formula, focal length, and maximum aperture.

Translation? The LTM versions are apples vs. oranges when considering build and potential issues with the SLR versions.


Steve

(...considering purchase of a J-9 in Kiev/Contax mount...would probably not touch one in LTM mount...)
01-15-2012, 08:43 PM   #40
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QuoteOriginally posted by Ikarus Quote
If that doesn't work out, I'm wondering whether I should try to disassemble the lens for (re-)painting that surface, despite the warnings I've seen that it is very hard to put back together. So far, I found this page that covers the disassembly of an older version of this lens.
These instructions will not help you. They are for the LTM version of the lens which features a fairly complex double helicoid that is problematic on reassembly.


Steve
01-15-2012, 08:54 PM   #41
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QuoteOriginally posted by stevebrot Quote
There is a lot of unpainted metal inside a J-9 and most FSU lenses that undoubtedly contributes to flare and low contrast.
It would be different if these surfaces were there by design rather than by chance because of poor and variable manufacturing processes and lack of quality control. In this sense, I thought that the LTM-related quote added evidence to the notion that sloppy paint jobs on internal lens surfaces were not uncommon in FSU plants. Whether there is a common link with the black M42 J-9 from the late 70s to mid-90s I would not dare claiming, but from the sheer amount of people reporting poor performance wide open, it does seem to me that there is a similar pattern here.

Last edited by Ikarus; 01-15-2012 at 11:24 PM.
01-15-2012, 08:58 PM   #42
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QuoteOriginally posted by pinholecam Quote
These samples are really eye openers for me.
My copy is certainly not even like that at f2.8.
Well in all fairness, I went through a few tries to get a good one. But in the end, I'd say it was worth every penny I spent on them.

If it's any help, here are the guidelines I followed when I found my good copy(Silver ver). The first thing I did was look for an older copy. My best copy was made in the 60's. Then I looked for a well used lens instead of a copy that looked really nice. The word is, that if a lens looked like new, its likely because it wasn't worth using. And though I know many lenses get serviced, I figured it just wasn't worth the risks. Aside from this, I find the early lenses to be produce much nicer colors than the MC ones. Though if you don't shoot RAW, you might find the earlier glass to lack contrast. But that doesn't matter. Oh and prepare to have to do a little lubbing and light maintenance in order to get the lens working smoothly. All of my J-9's came with stiff focusing rings and oily blades(which fine with me). But the stiff focusing rings just had to go(I use focusing brackets). And so I did some light tear-down, cleaned and lubed the mechanisms. And now they are smooth as butter and a real delight to use.

Anyways, my very best Jupiter-9 is an old beat up looking M39 Silver edition. And the optics on it are as good(in the center) with some my most expensive 85's. Not so because it's razor sharp but because of it'color and bokeh qualities.

Having said that, here's a snapshot of a Mallard I grabbed earlier today. It was taken wide open at a distance of about 10 feet from the subject(slight crop). And as I think you'll agree, if and when you get a good copy, Jupiter-9 is one heck of a lens.

Jupiter-9, Silver, f/2


100%

rotated to fit frame

Last edited by JohnBee; 01-15-2012 at 11:00 PM.
01-16-2012, 12:04 AM   #43
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QuoteOriginally posted by JohnBee Quote
Well in all fairness, I went through a few tries to get a good one. But in the end, I'd say it was worth every penny I spent on them.

If it's any help, here are the guidelines I followed when I found my good copy(Silver ver). The first thing I did was look for an older copy. My best copy was made in the 60's. Then I looked for a well used lens instead of a copy that looked really nice. The word is, that if a lens looked like new, its likely because it wasn't worth using. And though I know many lenses get serviced, I figured it just wasn't worth the risks. Aside from this, I find the early lenses to be produce much nicer colors than the MC ones. Though if you don't shoot RAW, you might find the earlier glass to lack contrast. But that doesn't matter. Oh and prepare to have to do a little lubbing and light maintenance in order to get the lens working smoothly. All of my J-9's came with stiff focusing rings and oily blades(which fine with me). But the stiff focusing rings just had to go(I use focusing brackets). And so I did some light tear-down, cleaned and lubed the mechanisms. And now they are smooth as butter and a real delight to use.

Anyways, my very best Jupiter-9 is an old beat up looking M39 Silver edition. And the optics on it are as good(in the center) with some my most expensive 85's. Not so because it's razor sharp but because of it'color and bokeh qualities.

Having said that, here's a snapshot of a Mallard I grabbed earlier today. It was taken wide open at a distance of about 10 feet from the subject(slight crop). And as I think you'll agree, if and when you get a good copy, Jupiter-9 is one heck of a lens.

Jupiter-9, Silver, f/2


100%

rotated to fit frame
Nice tips! and Nice samples too.
I have enough 85mms for now, though I do wish I got J9 tips from you before I got one (a few years ago).
01-17-2012, 12:54 AM   #44
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I did a quick test to see whether a deeper hood might help. The lighting conditions were by no means difficult. There was just one halogen light source in the room up behind me. All shots were taken handheld with a K-x at f/2, 3200 ASA. I know, that's a bit noisy, but I didn't want to turn on more lights and wanted a fast enough shutter to control camera shake.

The first crop shows how badly my copy performs without a hood, even under these forgiving conditions. The second is with the suboptimal cylindrical 'tele' hood I had mentioned earlier (it measures 55mm wide and 35mm long). The third is with a paper rolled around the hood, thus extending its effective length to 140mm. There is still some residual glow, but it is quite reduced. For suppressing the halo from reflections at the bare metal surfaces inside the lens, this is about as good as it's going to get, because there was already some vignetting in the corners.
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Last edited by Ikarus; 01-17-2012 at 10:52 AM.
01-17-2012, 02:27 AM   #45
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I'm still considering an attempt at re-painting the bare metal surfaces inside, but at this point I'm not even sure they will be accessible. Here I found a guide for disassembling the older black M42 version.
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