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03-15-2009, 07:10 AM   #1
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Jupiter-9 superfluous?

If I buy the Jupiter-9 85mm f/2 (single-coated version) at a reasonable price (plus the price of an M42 adapter), where will it help me in portraiture or in any other application? Is the additional stop enough to justify the Jupiter-9 or are there other virtues such as sharpness (though not at f2!)?
I am already using an SMCP-M 100mm f/2.8 as a longish portrait lens on a K200D. It always did a very good job on the MX, where I used it frequently as a standard lens. In addition I have the SMCP-M 50mm f1.4 and 80-200mm f/4.5.

03-15-2009, 07:23 AM   #2
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You have kinda answered your own question really. I bought one and sold it soon after. Using stop-down metering at large apertures is quite tiresome. The slightest move between focussing and then stopping down and pressing the shutter leads to frustrating focus errors, making portraiture very difficult hand-held, unless you are going to shoot wide-open all the time. Thats very limiting, but having said that, the bokeh was very smooth, owing to the almost perfectly circular aperture and a little spherical distortion. I am back to using the 100mm SMCA 2.8 for head-shots and the 50mm SMCA 1.4 for wider shots. You will certainly get a range of responses to this question, that was my 0.02p worth. Hope this helps. KeeF
03-15-2009, 07:51 AM   #3
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Jupitrer 9? Splendid lens. Cream bokeh, enough soft ar F/2 to disimulate any imperfection in the model or if you look for an effect determinate. At F/ 2,8 so-so sharp; At F/4, 5,6, 8 and 11 is a sharp lens. At F/8 and 11 is tacksharp. You have almost all the possibilities in one lens, the portrait that you previsualize is the portrait that you will obtain.

Now, If you knowing the character of the lens, pretend to obtain tack sharp pics at F/2 from borders to center, the J-9 not the indicated, and no lens can do it.

Perhaps some lens can be more sharp than J-9 at F/2 and 2,8, yes, take any LEICA (M if it's possible for you), Pentax, Nikon, Canon, and you will not in problems.

But if you look for portraits with minimal DOF, for which you have to use F/4, 5,6 (dof minimal yet), in these apertures the J-9 pics are as goods as the pics taken with the Sharpest lenses of the market.

The J-9 is a cheap and russian lens, and many people don't like the cheaper things nor the russian ones. A lot don't like the J-9 because they have other taste.
03-15-2009, 08:09 AM   #4
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I don't do Portraits...

More like snapshots of my kids and I think it is a pretty nice lens. I would not say that the extra stop is the reason to get it... More that you have seen shots from it and like the 'look' of them.












03-15-2009, 08:20 AM   #5
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HI IGILLIGAN

Let me say that you pics are very good ones.

Although I like the J-9, it seems to me that more than the lens, here are the "eyes" of who taken them.

Thanks for sharing
03-15-2009, 11:42 AM   #6
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I'd say if you have a 50 & 100 you like, the main advantage of the 85 would be if you often wish for a focal length between those two. I do just often enough - more for concert photography than portraits - to decide I wanted something in between too although I went for the DA70. If I were to get an 85, I'd be more likely to go for the Pentax M85/2, because I don't like the idea of messing with the screw-mount adapter or the different metering technique compared to my "M" lenses, plus th Pentax is considerably lighter. But IQ-wise, the Jupiter seems about as good, and it is of course quite a bit cheaper.
03-15-2009, 04:00 PM   #7
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There are several reviews in the 3rd Party Lens Review database that pretty handily summarize the characteristics of the Jupiter-9.
PentaxForums.com Third-Party Pentax Lens Review Database - MC Jupiter-9 85mm f/2 M-42
I have found that it can be pretty ponderous to use, but as Gus' pictures above demonstrate, even active subjects can be managed. For portraiture, I generally use the J-9 at its wider apertures and forgo fiddling with the preset ring in between shots. For other type of work, I have found that the pre-set aperture works pretty well with the metering system on my K10D. Focus wide-open and stop down until you get the visual affect and/or shutter speed you desire. As with most manual focus lenses, I have also found that a split-image screen helps quite a bit in attaining accurate focus.

In my kit, the Jupiter-9 might be considered superfluous. It duplicates the focal length of my 70-150 zoom and any of my fast 50s might be considered better for portraits with the reduced size APS-C format. I might also add that it is prone to flare and, even at best, it is not the sharpest lens in my bag.

So why do I keep it and and why is it so often on my camera?
Simple...The pictures I take with the Jupiter-9 are consistently better than the ones I take with my other lenses. It has a special quality that works well with my style of shooting. I keep and use the tools that work. (I might add too that it looks really cool mounted on the camera...very purposeful and professional looking.)
Steve

(Bought mine about a year ago and have not regretted the purchase for a moment since...)

Last edited by stevebrot; 03-15-2009 at 04:06 PM.
03-16-2009, 12:06 AM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by chhayanat Quote
If I buy the Jupiter-9 85mm f/2 (single-coated version) at a reasonable price (plus the price of an M42 adapter), where will it help me in portraiture or in any other application? Is the additional stop enough to justify the Jupiter-9 or are there other virtues such as sharpness (though not at f2!)?
I am already using an SMCP-M 100mm f/2.8 as a longish portrait lens on a K200D. It always did a very good job on the MX, where I used it frequently as a standard lens. In addition I have the SMCP-M 50mm f1.4 and 80-200mm f/4.5.
I bought one because I sold my zoom which covered that range, the gap between 50 & 135 prime needed an 85 or so. All the other options in that range are not in my price range.

I will not be selling mine if I can help it.

If you have a good zoom that covers the range - not sure Zoom F4.5 is equal to a Prime F2 however - then you don't need it.

Some people will not like the preset, but it works fine for me.

03-16-2009, 11:13 AM   #9
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Many thanks estudleon,keithlester,Igilligan,marc sabatella,kev.pride for the pro/con arguments. Igilligan's fine pictures are an argument in themselves. Looking around in Eastern Europe for an inexpensive sample but getting harder to find in their homeland.
03-16-2009, 11:31 AM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by chhayanat Quote
Many thanks estudleon,keithlester,Igilligan,marc sabatella,kev.pride for the pro/con arguments. Igilligan's fine pictures are an argument in themselves. Looking around in Eastern Europe for an inexpensive sample but getting harder to find in their homeland.
Gus's copy of Jupiter9 85mm f/2.0 come from me. He should be banned from buying any of my lens in the future. I have seller remorse in seeing his pictures. The portraits with his daughter's eyes are killing me.

It is the LBA thingy and that I planned to buy the FA 77 f/1.8 limited at the time that I became vulnerable in selling the jupiter. Gus contemplated with Nikon D90 and I sold my Jupiter to cut my LBA collection as well as keeping good friend not to venture to the dark side.

The Jupiter9 is highly recommended by me especially if you find a good copy with the right price closer to $100 range. The lens does require some time to get used to, few pointers that I would add
  • preset ring takes some time to get used to
  • oil on blades are common
  • 85mm may be a bit long with the crop factor, but in my use, I still find it good
  • bokeh is quite outstanding with this lens
  • in m42 mount, you can meter in Av mode

Last edited by hinman; 03-16-2009 at 01:16 PM.
03-16-2009, 12:34 PM   #11
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Hinman: "oil on blades are common".

On the Jupiter-9 85/2 I have found different interpretations of oil on the blades: some say that it is a design issue and no bad thing; others say that the days of the lens are numbered till the oil gets on to a lens element. I lean towards the latter view. Could Hinman give his opinion, please?
03-16-2009, 01:01 PM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by Igilligan Quote


That's a great shot!!! Talking about catching the right moment! She is flying, but not in the air, she is flying in bokeh!
03-16-2009, 01:03 PM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by chhayanat Quote
Hinman: "oil on blades are common".

On the Jupiter-9 85/2 I have found different interpretations of oil on the blades: some say that it is a design issue and no bad thing; others say that the days of the lens are numbered till the oil gets on to a lens element. I lean towards the latter view. Could Hinman give his opinion, please?
It is a valid concern. I am not expert on lens with oily blades but I do make an exception case for the Jupiter9 as many have told me about similar findings on the lens' blades and not having any problems on their copy of Jupiter. I wish I have a more definitive answer for you.

You have to rely on your own judgment, I am afraid. Other may chimp in to for their assessments.

It may be true that for the Jupiter9 case, some lubricant is used in the old days right on the blades. My copy has a slight amount of oil around the blades edges that can be seen in stop down. I will suggest that when you examine the lens carefully, make sure there is no oil deposit on the front element. As far as I can tell from my copy of Jupiter that I sold gus, the oil on blades are small and I don't think it will ever get to the front element. Otherwise, I can refund Gus for my old copy back

But I do share your concern, I previously got a copy of Kiron 28mm f/2.0, while the blades are clean, oil gets to the front element and it totally destroys the lens for sharpness and NOT a single decent picture can be had from the lens.

Last edited by hinman; 03-16-2009 at 01:18 PM.
03-16-2009, 01:40 PM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by hinman Quote
It is a valid concern. I am not expert on lens with oily blades but I do make an exception case for the Jupiter9 as many have told me about similar findings on the lens' blades and not having any problems on their copy of Jupiter. I wish I have a more definitive answer for you.

You have to rely on your own judgment, I am afraid. Other may chimp in to for their assessments.

It may be true that for the Jupiter9 case, some lubricant is used in the old days right on the blades. My copy has a slight amount of oil around the blades edges that can be seen in stop down. I will suggest that when you examine the lens carefully, make sure there is no oil deposit on the front element. As far as I can tell from my copy of Jupiter that I sold gus, the oil on blades are small and I don't think it will ever get to the front element. Otherwise, I can refund Gus for my old copy back

But I do share your concern, I previously got a copy of Kiron 28mm f/2.0, while the blades are clean, oil gets to the front element and it totally destroys the lens for sharpness and NOT a single decent picture can be had from the lens.
I will butt in here in regards to the oily blades. Mine came new from the factory with a small amount of oil visible on the blades. At the time I did some research on the Web and found a few references that indicated the oil is there for a purpose, is not an issue, and is common for pre-set lenses with multiple aperture blades (the J-9 has 16 blades). Usually oil on the aperture blades is a concern for auto-aperture lenses where it tends to slow the aperture mechanism...not good at 1/4000 second. On pre-set lenses, it is not a big issue because the aperture does not need to close/open quickly. The main concern would be if the blades were very oily from a bad repair job. In that case there would be a risk of some dripping onto the inner elements.

Steve
03-16-2009, 02:32 PM   #15
Igilligan
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Hin you are much too kind...

Thank you for the kind words my friend, and from banning me from any future Hinman lens purchases... I am sure my bank account will be better off

I read in one of the posts about the J-9 being subject to flare... The copy that Hin sold me had a really nice hood that I believe really helps with flare that
might come from side light. Obviously if you are shooting straight into the direction of your light you may still get some flare but
a good hood is a great idea for this lens.

Also my thoughts on the oily blade question. A few of my Russian/German lenses have a tiny bit of oil on the ap blades. Especially the ones with 10 or
more blades. I am very careful about not leaving these oil/bladed lenses in any condition that might have extreme heat though, as I am concerned that
the only thing that might cause this tiny amount of oil to begin to move around in the lens is extreme heat, could be a camera bag sitting in a 150 degree trunk
or a lens accidently left sitting in direct sunlight. I do not know for sure that would be a problem but I don't want to find out the hard way.

Thanks to Douglas of Sweden, estudleon and Steve for the nice words too.

I like the pre-set style aperture control. I know some dont care for it, but when you get used to it, you kind of hate to go back to a M style lens again.

This lens and the Helios 44M that I got from Jay gave me a new love for shooting again. (and sadly for buying lenses again) We all need a push every once
in a while and these are fun.


QuoteOriginally posted by hinman Quote
Gus's copy of Jupiter9 85mm f/2.0 come from me. He should be banned from buying any of my lens in the future. I have seller remorse in seeing his pictures. The portraits with his daughter's eyes are killing me.

It is the LBA thingy and that I planned to buy the FA 77 f/1.8 limited at the time that I became vulnerable in selling the jupiter. Gus contemplated with Nikon D90 and I sold my Jupiter to cut my LBA collection as well as keeping good friend not to venture to the dark side.

The Jupiter9 is highly recommended by me especially if you find a good copy with the right price closer to $100 range. The lens does require some time to get used to, few pointers that I would add
  • preset ring takes some time to get used to
  • oil on blades are common
  • 85mm may be a bit long with the crop factor, but in my use, I still find it good
  • bokeh is quite outstanding with this lens
  • in m42 mount, you can meter in Av mode
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