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07-11-2016, 03:00 PM - 3 Likes   #1
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Volna 50mm f1.8 review is up

I hope somebody will find it useful:

Lomo Volna 50mm f1.8 Lens Reviews - Russian and Zenitar Lenses - Pentax Lens Review Database

I wrote it in a rush, which quick and dirty snapshots but I would like to see if any other Pentax user has it and reviews it.

07-11-2016, 07:38 PM   #2
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cool review and certainly doesn't read like you wrote it in a rush i've got a cupboard full of manual glass but never heard of that one. /me off to do some googling...
07-12-2016, 12:56 PM   #3
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Thanks for the review! The lens has positive reviews on some Russian-language sites as well, and was described as one of the best Soviet 50mm lenses. The only thing that would be worth adding to the review that I can think of, is why you recommend the lens. Given that there are so many options for legacy 50mm lenses, what does this one have to offer, compared to, say, M50 f1.7. I am just asking for purely selfish reasons - should I go looking for the lens?
07-12-2016, 02:34 PM - 1 Like   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by IgorZ Quote
Thanks for the review! The lens has positive reviews on some Russian-language sites as well, and was described as one of the best Soviet 50mm lenses. The only thing that would be worth adding to the review that I can think of, is why you recommend the lens. Given that there are so many options for legacy 50mm lenses, what does this one have to offer, compared to, say, M50 f1.7. I am just asking for purely selfish reasons - should I go looking for the lens?
I have several M50 mm f1.7 and A 50mm f1.7 that usually came with cameras I bought, and to be honest I always considered them not so great cheap lenses, in particular the building quality of the A lens is appalling, while for instance a SMC Takumar or a K 55mm f1.8 are much better lenses.

Having said that I find Soviet lenses ( Volna, Zenitar 50mm f1.7, Helios 44, 77, 81) excellent, with more personality in comparison to the standard offers of the west (for instance IMO the Helios 81N in Nikon mount is much better than the Nikkor 50mm f2), they have a an interesting OOF behaviour, usually they are quite good with colour, with sharpness at least comparable to Canon/Nikon/Pentax...they have a distinctive look to it.

I understand the Volna is very expensive for being a 50/1.8, probably because it was a MC lens designed for professional use, but if you can find at a reasonable price why don't try it?

Unfortunately Soviet lenses in K mount are somewhat rare as they transitioned to the K mount pretty late (in the 80s) , I've been asked $200 for an Helios 77K, for instance. IMO we should try to lobby KMZ to re-release the lagendary Volna 50mm f1.2

I post other two shots with the Volna people have appreciated, the first one is quite good, but the scanner was dirty.





I'll shoot more soon with it.

07-13-2016, 12:46 PM   #5
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Thank you! It is indeed pretty rare - I looked at the three places I usually check for old Soviet lenses, and couldn't find this lens. I think KMZ might agree to bring it back - they've brought back other lenses (Tair 11 and Helios 40 that I can think of). They are making a zenitar 50 f1.2 lens now, but they don't seem to mind making two 85mm lenses at the same time, so that should not be a problem. Plus, zenitar 1.2/50 is a crop lens... There was a forum member with ties to KMZ - I remember he was asking feedback on an idea of KMZ making a 50 f0.95 lens, if I remember correctly.

I have to say that M50 1.7 has a special place in my heart - it was the first prime lens that I got, and it opened the world of legacy primes while smashing the world of kit zooms in the process... Haven't touched those since..

You didn't mention Jupiter 3. That's a lens that is reported to have a lot of character. Have you compared it to the Volna? By the way, I always find it interesting that Soviet lenses seem to be more appreciated in the West, than in the former Soviet Union...
07-13-2016, 02:04 PM   #6
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I have a Jupiter 3 but it's a rangefinder lens, it can't be compared with the Volna 50mm f1.8...it's an improved copy of the classic Sonnar 1.5, but being a RF lens it's not directly comparable with the lenses we are discussing here...and they are still making it as jupiter 3+.

The current Zenitar lens is a sort of monster bokeh lens, while the Volna 50mm f1.2 was a standard sized 50mm calculated by GOI and that should have entered in production with Lomo, Arsenal and probably KMZ as well.

The MC Volna-8 50 mm f/ 1.2 Lens. Specs. MTF Charts. User Reviews.

that would be a much better choice than the current Zenitar with fixed diaphgram and weighting 1.2 kg.
07-20-2016, 06:46 PM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by Cuthbert Quote
I have a Jupiter 3 but it's a rangefinder lens, it can't be compared with the Volna 50mm f1.8...it's an improved copy of the classic Sonnar 1.5, but being a RF lens it's not directly comparable with the lenses we are discussing here...and they are still making it as jupiter 3+.

The current Zenitar lens is a sort of monster bokeh lens, while the Volna 50mm f1.2 was a standard sized 50mm calculated by GOI and that should have entered in production with Lomo, Arsenal and probably KMZ as well.

The MC Volna-8 50 mm f/ 1.2 Lens. Specs. MTF Charts. User Reviews.

that would be a much better choice than the current Zenitar with fixed diaphgram and weighting 1.2 kg.
I mentioned Jupiter 3 because Russians being into tinkering, they do all sorts of things to use it with an SLR, including putting the lens block into a modern AF lens body... We are also probably talking about different Zenitar lenses, because they one I have in mind came out recently. According to KMZ it is light weight (although no weight was listed) and it certainly has a variable diaphragm. Here is a video test
and here is an announcement of a test if you are into Russian
.

By the way, when I was looking for these, I came across a video of a 0.95/50 Zenitar in E mount...


07-21-2016, 06:27 PM   #8
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There is also Arsat 50 f1.4 on Ebay...

Extremly Rare Arsat F 1 4 50mm Helios 123H F 1 4 50 Limited Editions | eBay
07-22-2016, 12:06 AM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by IgorZ Quote
Yes that's the Helios 123 aka Zenitar 50mm 1.4 aka Volna 50mm f1.4.

That lens makes more sense that the monsters KMZ is making today without automatic diaphragm, a pity it costs more than a good f1.2 (I paid 200 for my Canon FD 50mm f1.2 and 220 for the K50mm f1.2).
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