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03-20-2009, 08:09 AM   #1
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CZJ Sonnar 135/3.5 or Jupiter-9 85/2?

Help me to choose.

For me sharpness and colors are important. For portraits purposes.

Thank you.

03-20-2009, 08:53 AM   #2
Igilligan
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For me, on the digital bodies the 135 is just a bit too long for most of my snap portraits. The Jupiter 9 is even a little long but I use it a lot for head and shoulder shots. At F2 it is a little soft but it works for portrait shots. Gets sharper by F3.5 / 4. The CZ Sonnar is a nice lens to have in the bag too.

Since you are looking at those two lenses, also consider a Helios 44M, the version with the A/M switch on it. It is a 58MM f2, so the length is good for portraits and it is sharper at F2 than the Jupiter 9 is.
But Honestly get all three in your bag. The each have their own "looks" to them and are very nice lenses in my opinion.
03-20-2009, 12:49 PM   #3
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All of them should be under $100 each...with the Helios and the Sonnar (in user condition) well under that
03-20-2009, 04:48 PM   #4
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The three are very good lenses (the CZJ is excelent for me), but the good idea of the helios 44 make a little usuable the 85 mm. Perhaps the combo 58 and 135 mm are economical and good to your portrait job. Over all, the head portrait at 85 cm. with 85 mm (close focus in the jupiter-9) is equal to a head portrait at @ 1,35 m with 135 mm (only little change in the perspective, a bit flat in the last lens).

03-20-2009, 05:35 PM   #5
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If I needed a 135mm lens I would buy a 135mm lens. If I needed a 85m lens I would buy that. I guess I would get both, but if you have a zoom lens that covers both focal lengths try to constrain yourself to first one then the other and see which you like the best!
03-20-2009, 10:27 PM   #6
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The Sonnar and Jupiter are quite distinct lenses:
The Sonnar being very sharp, the Jupiter is quite soft, very soft wide open.

For portraits I'd also recommend a 50 or 55 mm lens as they make roughly 75-80mm lenses on a Pentax dSLR.
03-21-2009, 05:09 AM   #7
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I have both, J-9 and CZJ 135.

I use FF.

The 85 mm is a focal lengh better to me than the 135mm, although the CZJ is the premium among both.

But the 85 has a special IQ, don't so sharp (at F/2 not sharp at all), not high contrast, but the pics taken at F/ 4 to 11 have very attractive of sharpness not so sharp that I like very much. Not easy to explain to me, only. . . .Beautifull images.
03-21-2009, 05:41 AM   #8
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Thank you all of you for the kind answers!
Last evening I saw an offer for the Jupiter for selling, and I have been taken already the same day the Sonnar for trials for the weekend.

I meant to have the one of them, but I think I will have the both.
I already bought the Jupiter, and today and tommorow I'll test the Sonnar. For now the Sonnar looks pretty sharp.

The several shots I made to take with the Jupiter - before the battery dropped dead - seemed very soft even at f4, but the bokeh was beautiful...

So, I suppose I'll keep them both. Their value summed is 137 $ (102 EUR). It worths, right?
Today's Sonnar tests outside showed me what you said - it is a bit too long, but I really don't own anything above 70 mm (a Sigma 28-70, which I'm planning to sell soon).

For now for shorter distances I have a Takumar 55/1.8, I am satisfied of it. If I keep the Sonnar and Jupiter, I'll have: 55; 85; 135 - and a future plan to have a wide-angle zoom - 16-45/4 or Tamron 17-50.

So - Jupiter for softness and beautiful bokeh, and Sonnar for long distances and sharpness?

Thank you once again, you made my choise easier!

03-21-2009, 09:40 AM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by Free Soul Quote
Thank you all of you for the kind answers!
Last evening I saw an offer for the Jupiter for selling, and I have been taken already the same day the Sonnar for trials for the weekend.

I meant to have the one of them, but I think I will have the both.
I already bought the Jupiter, and today and tommorow I'll test the Sonnar. For now the Sonnar looks pretty sharp.

The several shots I made to take with the Jupiter - before the battery dropped dead - seemed very soft even at f4, but the bokeh was beautiful...

So, I suppose I'll keep them both. Their value summed is 137 $ (102 EUR). It worths, right?
Today's Sonnar tests outside showed me what you said - it is a bit too long, but I really don't own anything above 70 mm (a Sigma 28-70, which I'm planning to sell soon).

For now for shorter distances I have a Takumar 55/1.8, I am satisfied of it. If I keep the Sonnar and Jupiter, I'll have: 55; 85; 135 - and a future plan to have a wide-angle zoom - 16-45/4 or Tamron 17-50.

So - Jupiter for softness and beautiful bokeh, and Sonnar for long distances and sharpness?

Thank you once again, you made my choise easier!
Both lenses? Excellent choice!

I few things regarding the J-9 and and sharpness:
  • Yes, it is soft at f/2, though not in a sloppy way.
  • There is adequate resolution at f/4 and narrower, though diffraction dulls things down again at f/11 and f/16
  • The lens has somewhat lower contrast on my K10D than on film. Bumping the contrast a little in PP helps. If you have Lightroom for PP, application of a little of the "Clarity" setting does wonders.
  • Some of the contrast issue may be due to flair. My Jupiter-9, despite being the MC version, benefits greatly from a hood.
As noted above, despite the reputation for softness, the Jupiter-9 has a special quality that makes for great pictures. It is always in my bag.

Steve
03-21-2009, 10:07 AM   #10
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Yours words, mine too.

Only that at F/11 i found that it's very sharp yet.
03-21-2009, 11:17 AM   #11
Igilligan
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Love my Jup-9 for snap portraits

I am sure you are all tired of my little Jupiter 9 shots of my daughter, but... they are the reason I got this lens...

These four shots I took the first week I had the lens, are worth what I paid for the lens in my mind...
but I am easy to please when it comes to the schnaportraits of the kids.









Throw in a flower with some swirly oof colors and a nice cat shot.... and I am makin' money... haha


03-21-2009, 01:38 PM   #12
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Igilligan: Wow, I don't know yet how good id Jupiter, but your kid is adorable! Brilliant colors and lovely soft light too.

Thank you for posting these shots, I was just thinking to ask if someone wants to show some of his Jupiter's pics.


stevebrot, estudleon, thank you a lot for your opinion too! I am unpatient to test my Jupiter tomorrow!
03-21-2009, 01:54 PM   #13
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100EUR for both? GREAT deal!

I've wanted to try a Jupiter-9 for a while now...one of these days...
03-21-2009, 08:43 PM   #14
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I too have both and the J9 frequently finds its way into my bag before the CZJ. The J9 is a bit of a novelty at f2 and being long enough to grab good candids. The CZJ, while tack sharp wide open, is slower and limits the potential for low light work and in that respect, is overshadowed by my Ricoh 138/2.8.

Both really good lenses, but in terms of flexibility, the J9 should come first.
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