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07-04-2008, 08:17 PM - 2 Likes   #1
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Soviet lenses club

We have threads/clubs for lenses like M, K, Zeiss so I was thinking why not have a special thread for old Soviet and new Russian lenses?

In this posting I would like to start with a close to 50 years old lens based on Carl Zeiss Flektogon optical diagram. Mir-1 is a 37mm f/2.8 lens and was designed to better the Zeiss Flektogon which according Wikipedia the first element in this lens was a disperser meniscus to reduce vignette effects when photographing with an open diaphragm. Obviously the lens was a big success as it won the Grand Prix award at the 1958 Expo in Brussels, which should have been very odd for a communist country to receive considering the Cold War.

I acquired this lens from eBay for $20USD which is about 10 times cheaper than what you would pay for a second hand Zeiss Flektogon 35mm f/2.8.
As you can see the lens has seen a lot of use, but the glass is in mint condition.






So here are some of the photos taken with Mir-1 which shows the character of this lens.
Most of these photos are taken handheld. For some of them I used whatever I can find to stabilize the camera.

Mir-1 goes to Sydney:

Landing was rough.



Sydney Centre Point Tower



Monorail at Darling Harbor. Mir-1 is so prone to flare that it causes headache to some people.







Maritime Museum







And the cherry of the cake the stitched pano. I used one of the poles (like the white poles on the right) to stabilize the camera



My observations are:
1. It is a lens with a very interesting character.
2. It has problems with flare, which a small hood would easily fix.
3. The lens is sharp enough even wide open and much better than a modern Mir-1B.

My conclusion is that it is definitely a keeper.

Thanks.


Last edited by Adam; 02-20-2014 at 06:10 PM. Reason: broken images, fixing thumbnails
07-04-2008, 09:15 PM   #2
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QuoteOriginally posted by Voe Quote
We have threads/clubs for lenses like M, K, Zeiss so I was thinking why not have a special thread for old Soviet and new Russian lenses?

In this posting I would like to start with a close to 50 years old lens based on Carl Zeiss Flektogon optical diagram. Mir-1 is a 37mm f/2.8 lens and was designed to better the Zeiss Flektogon which according Wikipedia the first element in this lens was a disperser meniscus to reduce vignette effects when photographing with an open diaphragm. Obviously the lens was a big success as it won the Grand Prix award at the 1958 Expo in Brussels, which should have been very odd for a communist country to receive considering the Cold War.

I acquired this lens from eBay for $20USD which is about 10 times cheaper than what you would pay for a second hand Zeiss Flektogon 35mm f/2.8.
As you can see the lens has seen a lot of use, but the glass is in mint condition.





Out of curiosity, what is the mount. It doesn't quite look like M-42.

Steve
07-04-2008, 09:22 PM   #3
Voe
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Yes it is m39 mount designed for Zenit 3M SLR but the lens has the same register as m42 lens, so I use this one with a M39 to M42 adapter ring, which costs 5 bucks. The lens focuses to infinity without any issues.
I also have the M42 mount version of this lens called Mir-1V which is a modern variant of Mir-1 but I found the newer one lacking in IQ. You can also find Mir-1 in M42 mount which are available in black or silver.
07-05-2008, 04:45 AM   #4
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Voe, did you go to Sydney second time in 2 weeks? Hard working!

This is funny that I was surfing on the ebay seeing quite a few Zeiss 35mm on sale. This is tempting to see your collection beating the quality of legendary lenses.

07-05-2008, 05:18 AM   #5
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That is the only Soviet made K mount lens that I have.





I hate filters. Those filters are just rims without glass


Daniel
07-05-2008, 05:32 AM   #6
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I have a bit of Soviet glass in my Arsenal (pun intended.)

Much of it is L39 mount as I also use a couple of FSU rangefinders. Namely the FED-3a and the Zorki-4K.


L39 Glass
(1976) LSOZ Jupiter 8 50/2.0
(1973) LSOZ Jupiter 11 135/4.0
(1959) KMZ Jupiter 12 35/2.8
(1963) FED Industar 26 50/2.8
(19??) FED Industar 61L/Z


M42 Glass
(1978) Helios 44-2 50/2.0


K-mount
(2006) LSOZ Zenitar MC 16/2.8



Most of my soviet glass is second hand excepting the Zenitar. One thing I can say is that all of these lenses provide me with superb images. The Jupiter-8 50mm is amazing as is the the Jupiter-12 35mm. This is hardly surprising though as they are almost identical copies of 1930s Zeiss designs.

Some people look down on soviet glass as being inferior and whilst I can see their point to a certain extent, all I can say is try it. You'll be surprised at how nice some of this stuff is.





Above image shot with a Pentax MZ-S and Zenitar MC 16/2.8 on Fuji Superia 400 Negative Film




Above image shot with a Samsung GX-1L and Zenitar MC 16/2.8. This image is at an equivalent focal length of around 24mm and does not show the fisheye distortion of the first image.





.... and here is the fabled Zenitar MC 16/2.8 itself. Be careful with this one as the front-element protrudes a little. Also be careful not to lose the front cap as it can't be replaced. My is floating somewhere in the North Sea at the moment

Last edited by Trawlerman; 07-05-2008 at 05:41 AM.
07-05-2008, 05:36 AM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by Trawlerman Quote
.... and here is the fabled Zenitar MC 16/2.8 itself. Be careful with this one as the front-element protrudes a little. Also be careful not to lose the front cap as it can't be replaced.
Not really. See the image above. I use a generic 67mm front cap. No huge deal at all. But I cannot use film on this lens

Daniel
07-05-2008, 05:38 AM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by roentarre Quote
Voe, did you go to Sydney second time in 2 weeks? Hard working!

This is funny that I was surfing on the ebay seeing quite a few Zeiss 35mm on sale. This is tempting to see your collection beating the quality of legendary lenses.
No James, I only went once. I just could not find time to post these photos earlier.

Regarding your consideration for Zeiss 35mm, I read that someone has compared Mir-1 (the Grand Prix version) against Fektogon 35/2,4 and Flektogon 35/2,8. The winer was the Flektogon 35/2.4, and the Mir-1 was second. Of course this is all subjective to so many other factors.

The next time we go out on a photo walk I will bring the Mir-1 for you.




QuoteOriginally posted by danielchtong Quote
That is the only Soviet made K mount lens that I have.

I hate filters. Those filters are just rims without glass


Daniel
The Zenirar 16mm is one very respected lens. May be you can post some of your favorite photos made with this lens.

Thanks.

07-05-2008, 05:48 AM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by Voe Quote
The Zenirar 16mm is one very respected lens. May be you can post some of your favorite photos made with this lens.

Thanks.
I did a lot. And this is one of many

repost: 16mm birdie shot in series - Pentax Lenses - Digital SLR Cameras - Steves-digicams.com Forums

Daniel
07-05-2008, 06:32 AM   #10
Voe
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QuoteOriginally posted by Trawlerman Quote

Some people look down on soviet glass as being inferior and whilst I can see their point to a certain extent, all I can say is try it. You'll be surprised at how nice some of this stuff is.
I really like the composition of the first image, also the sky looks amazing!


I agree with you completely, many people are missing a lot of good lenses just because they are made by a communist country. The most interesting part of using soviet lenses is that each brand and model has its distinctive look and character that cannot be found on most well known lenses made by Japanese or German makers.
I am far away from saying one is better than the other as this is subject to people's taste and perception, but what I'm trying to point is that you can have a different flavor in your "lens menu" for a very low price. I for example enjoy variety

I hope with this thread to popularize these fine lenses among the forum members here.

Last edited by Voe; 07-05-2008 at 06:37 AM.
07-05-2008, 07:19 AM - 1 Like   #11
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Jupiter-9

.


My current favorite Jupiter-9 shot:



Here's the e-bay shot of my lens itself (this is the actual lens they sent me)

07-05-2008, 08:40 AM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by Trawlerman Quote

m/2332/2494365849_bbdac48b33_b.jpg[/img]
That was a good one. Was it from film with full FE effect?

This one did not have the fantastic cloud you made that in your image. But I could not help that in an image of Temple Mount. Jerusalem





Daniel
07-05-2008, 02:32 PM   #13
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I only have a Jupiter-9. I wouldn't mind picking up a few more, especially a wide angle, like a 16mm, but the funds aren't there right now. Here are a few shots, click through for larger versions.





07-05-2008, 04:15 PM   #14
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I.. HAD a Helios-44M.

Sold it along with a body, unfortunately.

I still have a lens similar to Voe's. - The Mir-1B
Pictured on the far right, very out of focus. As mint as mint can get.




Sample photo (Praktica MTL5 + Mir-1B + Kodak Professional 100)

07-05-2008, 11:52 PM   #15
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Dan, how does your Mir-1B perform on a DSLR? I have the latest version of Mir-1B and it's no where near the old Mir-1 in sharpness. May be I have a bad sample.
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