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10-23-2009, 03:17 PM   #1
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Jupiter-9 vs. Samyang/Vivitar/Rokinon/etc 85mm

Anyone tried both of these lenses? How do they stack up, in your opinion?

(I know the Samyang doesn't have the J-9's ridiculous bokeh--more smooth, as I've seen from examples)

10-23-2009, 03:54 PM   #2
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You mean the helios 40? I think it's called both. The 85/1.5 m39/m42 lens. I have indoodily tried both. Key points:

-Samyang is small and fairly lightweight, while the 40 is an absolute terror of a beast to hold and use.

-Samyang never gets "tack sharp" but is thoroughly sharp enough at *all* apertures -- a trade off, I suppose. The 40 is soft wide open and gets blisteringly sharp past f/2.8, easily outresolving any APS-C sensor made today.

-Samyang is available as an A-mount for automatic (including flash) aperture adjustment lens with smooth focus, the helios is sometimes hard to focus and a manual preset diaphragm.

-Samyang is ~$275, Helios is anywhere between $300 and $800 (lolol), depending on what version you want. M39s cannot focus to infinity on most DSLRs.

-Samyang is available brand new with a warranty, Helios is almost 50 years old and prone to mechanical failure.

-Helios has AMAZING bokeh, some of the best of *any* lens I've ever seen. The Samyang has very average and boring bokeh, though it is still very pleasing at wide apertures.

-Samyang has low contrast due to the relatively inexpensive materials used, Helios has excellent contrast right out of the lens.


That's the meat of it. I personally am using the Samyang now, because of three main reasons: 1) It didn't set my wallet on fire, 2) It has excellent resolution (even if so-so other image quality factors, all of which can be adjusted to a degree in editing), and 3) It is auto-aperture meaning more ease of shooting.

It depends on what you want. The main selling point of the Helios is that the bokeh really is astronomically good. That means a lot to some people.
10-23-2009, 05:36 PM   #3
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The Jupiter-9 is an 85/2 and is a different design than the Helios-40 (also about $400 cheaper). But thanks for the comparison, it was informative anyway.
10-23-2009, 05:47 PM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by deadwolfbones Quote
The Jupiter-9 is an 85/2 and is a different design than the Helios-40 (also about $400 cheaper). But thanks for the comparison, it was informative anyway.
Ah of course. I thought you'd be comparing the more similar apertures. My mistake. Well it turns out I've also used the Jupiter-9 85/2. Here you go:

-Jupiter is cheaper
-Jup has only slightly better contrast than the Samyang
-Jup has about the same sharpness wide-open, but gets sharper stopped down unlike the Samyang
-Jup is smaller and lighter than the Samyang
-Jup is fully manual unlike the Samyang
-Jup has just average bokeh, a little better than the Samyang, but nothing like the Helios -- of course, this is subjective

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