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02-28-2008, 02:59 AM   #1
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"Lens wars" - Pentax FA 77 Limited vs. Jupiter-9

Hi all,

This is a quick and dirty comparison between my newly acquired Jupiter-9 85mm f/2 and my precious Pentax FA 77mm Limited.
I've just got the russian lens this morning and decided to do a non-scientific test between the two.

Jupiter-9 @ f/4


77mm Limited @ f/4


Bokeh comparision.

Jupiter-9 @ f/4


77mm Limited @ f/4


If you want to see the originals for Jupiter-9 go to:
Flickr Photo Download: IMGP6041
Flickr Photo Download: IMGP6035

If you want to see the originals for the 77mm Limited go to:
Flickr Photo Download: IMGP6040
Flickr Photo Download: IMGP6038

What I noticed is that the bokeh is very similar on both lenses. It looks kind of dreamy and buttery.

I really like the J-9 especially when it comes so cheap.


Last edited by Voe; 02-28-2008 at 03:01 AM. Reason: updated links
02-28-2008, 03:38 AM   #2
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My FA 77mm has not arrived yet. However, I also love my Jupiter 9 (MC variety). It was on my Praktica BC3 film camera. Below is a sample (using K10D):
The Father: Photo by Photographer Bulent Celasun - photo.net

I suggest you grab one (as they are so cheap) and give it a try. Beware, however, its usage (setting the limits of the diaphragm first) does not resemble any other lens one comes across easily.
02-28-2008, 09:41 AM   #3
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WOW! I love the colour and the bokeh of your Jupiter shots.

A new lens to covet... any recommendation on where to find one (i.e. other than ebay?)

Dave
02-28-2008, 10:52 AM   #4
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For these old manual lenses, you can go to mflenses forum to ask for help. Attila (the site owner) is very helpful at tracking down these for you, or at least he can point you into the right direction (ebay most likely).

Now to the comparison, I think you do have an exposure problem with the 77, since the chimney in the 77 shot is clearly darker. However, the 77 has better overall res., though shadow detail the Jupiter beats it (probably due to exposure differences).

02-28-2008, 12:08 PM   #5
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that's strange.. how come the sky is lighter and the chimney darker at the same time? it's like a huge increase in contrast. did the lighting change between the shots?

I see no difference in the toothbrush shots, guess that makes the Jupiter a very good buy.
02-28-2008, 12:59 PM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by aegisphan Quote
For these old manual lenses, you can go to mflenses forum to ask for help. Attila (the site owner) is very helpful at tracking down these for you, or at least he can point you into the right direction (ebay most likely).

Now to the comparison, I think you do have an exposure problem with the 77, since the chimney in the 77 shot is clearly darker. However, the 77 has better overall res., though shadow detail the Jupiter beats it (probably due to exposure differences).

There is no exposure problem with the 77. There was around 5-8 minutes time difference between the shot with Jupiter-9 and the 77 Limited in which time the a cloud seems to has covered the dawing sun (between 7-8pm in Melbourne) thus the exposure difference. Today I have to go earlier to work but when I get back home I will do more comparable shots at various apertures using a tripod.
This is why I said this is a quick and dirty test
02-28-2008, 01:08 PM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by Voe Quote
There is no exposure problem with the 77. There was around 5-8 minutes time difference between the shot with Jupiter-9 and the 77 Limited in which time the a cloud seems to has covered the dawing sun (between 7-8pm in Melbourne) thus the exposure difference. Today I have to go earlier to work but when I get back home I will do more comparable shots at various apertures using a tripod.
This is why I said this is a quick and dirty test
Ya, now i look at the whole picture then i can see the cloud shift in the 77 shot. For these tests, I usually focus bracket 3 shots for each lens, then quickly change to another to minimize the influence of other factors. Tripod is a must also since the toothbrush shot, it's bit blurry in the 77 one.
02-29-2008, 05:06 AM   #8
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OK,
I have done some more tests between the two lenses.

Jupiter-9 @ f/2


77 Limited @ f/2


Jupiter-9 @ f/2.8


77 Limited @ f/2.8


Crops:

77 Limited @ f/1.8


77 Limited @ f/2


Jupiter-9 @ f/2


77 Limited @ f/2.8


Jupiter-9 @ f/2.8


Looks like the Pentax lens was not very well focussed but this was the best I could obtain from 3-4 tries to autofocus.

The Jupiter has some very soft halo effect at f/2 which I guess might be interesting for portrait when you want to cover a lot of wrinkles, but at f/2.8 the halo is almost gone or it is so small that increasing the shadows removes it without a trace.

Bokeh wise the lenses are quite a match. In my previous test bokeh was very similar but this time I moved the tripod to match the size of my cowboys setup. When taking into account that these are mainly portrait lenses the Jupiter looks very good.


Jupiter-9 @ f/5.6


77 Limited @ f/5.6



From the bookshelf test it seems that the 77 Limited has sharpness and contrast at a much higher level that the Jupiter.

It seems that both lenses have pros and cons but at a very big price difference.

If you want to see full size version of these images at various apertures go to:
Flickr: Photos from VoeBoe

Cheers.

02-29-2008, 05:18 AM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by filmamigo Quote
WOW! I love the colour and the bokeh of your Jupiter shots.

A new lens to covet... any recommendation on where to find one (i.e. other than ebay?)

Dave
I purchased mine from Rugift.com. At a such a cheap price I decided to go for a new one instead of a second hand at least I know what I am getting. Also a good thing is that the lens is multicoated which help a little bit I guess.
I noticed that it has a lot of aperture blades, seems like between 15 to 20 blades. One drawback is that they are not black but rather bare metalic silver color. I guess this will add a little bit of ghosting. But it is easy to fix with increasing the shadows/contrast just a little bit.

Cheers,

Voe
02-29-2008, 06:07 AM   #10
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I've been jonesing for a Jupiter as a cheaper alternative to a Takumar 85 (which I can't afford) and I knew I shouldn't have opened this thread.....
02-29-2008, 10:06 AM   #11
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This is the next manual lens on my list

The Zenit lenses are all really soft wide open, and the Helios is well known for this also. By f/2.8 it sharpens up, just as you've shown.

To my eyes, on the bookcase shots...I can tell a little sharpness difference, but I don't see much more contrast for the Limited.

Great taste in books...Tom Clancy can't be beat. I have almost every book of his, including the mini-series. Next up is to secure hard cover editions for fun
03-02-2008, 11:18 PM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by ryan s Quote

To my eyes, on the bookcase shots...I can tell a little sharpness difference, but I don't see much more contrast for the Limited.
The difference in sharpness/contrast is much more evident on the full-size versions on the Flickr sets and applies to the chimney shot (though not so pronounced) as well as to the bookcase. Strangely enough, the toothbrush picture is MUCH sharper for the J-9. Go figure...

I would be curious to see a test using newsprint at 10x the focal length for both lenses using a more consistent light source and identical aperture and shutter speeds and manual focus for both.
03-03-2008, 06:24 AM   #13
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And perhaps the use of a tripod.
03-03-2008, 07:57 PM   #14
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I'm sold...

Well, I took the bait. Mine should be here from rugift.com in about a month! (Probably dropped shipped from the factory SE of Moscow...) With any luck, I will get a good copy

I will post some images when it gets here.

Steve
03-03-2008, 08:23 PM   #15
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Thanks for the post, I also purchased a copy of Jupiter9 from marketplace a couple of months ago. I have not had a chance to play with the lens. Mine is a M42 lens and I am thinking of converting it to a K mount lens by adding a 3rd party M42 to K mount adapter + a drilled hole to receive the locking pin from K body with procedures that I did before on a similar M42->K conversion

How to convert Pentax M42 to K mount lens - Hin's Tech Corner

My Jupiter 9 can be seen in this Marketplace link and I wonder if it looks like the lens you guys show on this thread

https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/sold-items/18331-sold-fs-jupiter-9-85mm-f-2-0-a.html

Mine is a in great cosmetics and it comes with a matching metal lens hood, unfortunately it has a bit of traces of oil on the blades under close examination and hence my procrastination in testing the lens.

Everything that I research on this lens seems to give very much positive feedbacks about this old favorite lens especially for portraits. Thanks for invigorating my interest back to this lens.

I am on a low budget for primes, my LBA thoughts always think of the ideal 3 prime trio with limited lens in 21mm/43mm/70mm (or 77mm) . As of now, I don't get any of the limited lens, instead I have these three primes instead

20/50/85 vs 21/43/70 limited

20mm: Spiratone 20mm f/2.8 K mount manual lens, very cheap compared to 21mm limited
50mm: Pentax SMC FA 50 f/1.4, I use that instead of 43mm limited for now, my favorite cheapest prime lens
85mm: Jupiter9 85mm f/2.0 in M42 mount

And of course, my trio is nowhere near the limited trio with 21/43/70 but it puts my LBA thoughts temporary on hold. Comments and thoughts are welcome to resist the Pentax limited temptations. I find it both a blessing and curse in going the cheaper route as the LBA thoughts always pop up to see the better lens, but I have to give credits back to the cheaper route as all manual old lens are good for digital as well as the digital and my trio are quite fast though the manual focus in two. Price wise, my trio is less than 1/3 of the limited.

Thanks,
Hin

Last edited by hinman; 03-03-2008 at 08:39 PM.
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