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Jupiter 11A 4/135 135mm F4 Review RSS Feed

Jupiter 11A 4/135 135mm F4

Reviews Views Date of last review
13 89,760 Wed January 4, 2023
Recommended By Average Price Average User Rating
100% of reviewers $45.75 9.75
Jupiter 11A 4/135 135mm F4

Jupiter 11A 4/135 135mm F4
Jupiter 11A 4/135 135mm F4
Jupiter 11A 4/135 135mm F4
Jupiter 11A 4/135 135mm F4

135mm f4 based on Carl Zeiss "sonnar" prewar design. Made by KOMZ Kazan Optical Mechanical Factory see here. Similar sonnar derived lenses eg the Tair 11/11-A were made in a variety of places.
The model year of a Soviet lens can sometimes (not so in the case of many early helios 44's for example) be determined by the first two figures of its serial number (source: Sergei Borodin) .

Typically available with M42 screw mount. In practice, the -A in the lens name means that the lens has the interchangeable KP-A/N mount. The design of this mount is like that of a T-mount see pics. It is straightforward to unscrew the grub screws, prise off the mount (don't try to unscrew there is no M42x.75 thread) and replace an M42 with the exterior/bayonet part of a PK T-mount (although I should caution there may be a bit of trial and error/mix and match in getting a good fit). For practical purposes this and other -A lenses can be regarded as a swappable like- T-mount, and this is the case with some other Russian lenses as well eg the
Tair 300 listed by DME.

Optics: 4 elements/3 groups.
Aperture range: f4-22, no clicks; to operate like a preset press the aperture ring down and rotate to restrict the aperture range.
Iris: 12 blade iris.
Focus: just shy of a full 360 rotation.
CFD: ~ 1m or a little under.
Filter:52mm, normally supplied with screw in metal hood that inverts for storage.
Length: ~ 9.5cm, max ~ 12cm; with hood ~18cm.
Weight: ~ 390g lens only.
Mount Type: M42 Screwmount
Price History:

Add Review of Jupiter 11A 4/135 135mm F4
Sort Reviews by: Date | Author | Rating | Recommendation | Likes (Descending) Showing Reviews 1-13 of 13
New Member

Registered: September, 2017
Location: Vladimir
Posts: 4
Review Date: January 4, 2023 Recommended | Price: $30.00 | Rating: N/A 

Pros: cheap, truly Sonnar, bokeh
Cons: poor flare resistance, f4 wide open
Sharpness: 8    Aberrations: 8    Bokeh: 10    Handling: 9    Value: 10    Camera Used: Nikon Z6   

Great portrait lens. Impressive gentle bokeh, truly Sonnar. But poor flare resistance, good to use without any sun. F4 wide open - is not attractive today.
Overall, highly recommended retro lens.
New Member

Registered: July, 2018
Posts: 1

1 user found this helpful
Review Date: March 17, 2020 Recommended | Price: $35.00 | Rating: 9 

Pros: sharp, nice bokeh,
Sharpness: 9    Aberrations: 9    Bokeh: 9    Handling: 9    Value: 9    Camera Used: Pentax K5   

Cheap very good lens.

Sample Jupiter 11A 4/135 135mm F4 :
New Member

Registered: February, 2019
Posts: 13
Review Date: August 30, 2019 Recommended | Price: $30.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: Best image quality I have ever seen
Cons: Difficult to service, keep clean and clean out. Weird pre-set aperture ring
Sharpness: 10    Aberrations: 9    Bokeh: 9    Handling: 10    Value: 10    Camera Used: K2 ME Super   

I've had two Carl Zeiss Jena 135mm lenses and a Takumar f3.5 135mm and this near-featureless "metal tube" Jupiter beats them all by a long chalk. I also have a Meyer Optik 135mm Zebra that is poor at infinity, but is as good as this Jupiter on every other count. Mine only cost $30 so I'm happy. Maybe this lens is worth more than $50 used and secondhand, but many rip-off "trendy" hipster merchants will push you for a fortune for what are often badly abused and worn-out lenses. Look for guarantees if you buy one.

Just dazzling from f5.6 to F11. F4 is a muddle as it has three different aperture affects as the pre-set aperture ring (very strange how so many people who have one don't mention this) and images do suffer tat that end, as they do at the higher numbers of f16 and f22. Colours are beautiful. Multicoating works well, but use a lens hood. The original one also acts as a reversible protection case.

Great closer-focus ability and this is one of the few 135mm lenses with a M42 mount that is great at infinity.

Dreadful getting the front element off and a lot of dirt and grit accumulates as the rear-end is open, exposing the focus mechanism and grease to dust and dirt. Lots of other dust and dirt traps, too. Certainly not "weatherproof" so often found with years of muck and fungus affecting everything. Again, seek guarantees.

I use mine on on two film cameras, so my review does not get confused with the influences of a digital processor, sensor and software; all of which are designed these days to improve picture quality and influence variables in lens designs and functions. And it is still a superb lens!
Review Date: April 1, 2019 Recommended | Price: $25.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: Amazing sharpness even at f4
Cons: Robust design not pretty but thats a good thing.
Sharpness: 9    Bokeh: 9    Handling: 9    Value: 10    Camera Used: Sony Nex-7   

Got this lens with a Zenith B camera poorly labels as Zenit B with 11a lens for 21 including postage on eBay.
From early on I have been impressed by the sharpness of the images from various situations.

It is a M42 thread but on a T2 mount so can be changed over to a K mount for my Pentax film cameras.
Good bokeh and proving to be very good for portraits. Only had it for a week so not fully tested yet.
New Member

Registered: March, 2019
Location: Ontario
Posts: 15
Review Date: March 19, 2019 Recommended | Price: $56.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: extremely sharp, excellent micro-contrast, natural colour rendition, easy to focus, little to no lateral CA, 12 aperture blades, sturdy and durable, easy to repair, good value, impeccable performance on APS-C, lightweight and compact, single-ring preset a
Cons: slight axial CA, flare-prone, coating problems
Sharpness: 10    Aberrations: 9    Bokeh: 10    Handling: 10    Value: 10    Camera Used: Sony a6300   

My copy of the lens is well-worn. I can see why though...
My copy of the lens is mind-bogglingly sharp in the centre. In fact, this lens is easily pixel-sharp on my Sony a6300 wide open. This is easily my sharpest 135mm lens. CA is well controlled, I cannot see any lateral CA, only slight axial CA. There is some purple fringing, but that is easily correctable, though JPEG shooters should still be happy with this lens. Focusing of this lens is easy, due to its ludicrous sharpness. Focus Peaking works very well even at 11.7X magnification, and that's with peaking set to low. Resolution-wise, this lens did not blow my mind, it sliced it, diced it, then vaporized it.
This lens is very well-made, focusing is buttery smooth. The lens hood is very deep, and very well blackened on the inside. The only problem with this lens is the coatings. Although this lens is the only single-coated Soviet lens with a coated front element, (all the other ones have uncoated front elements, which makes them a lot more resistant to scratches) the coatings on my lens are not perfectly smooth, and that causes some really colourful and plentiful flaring. The flaring is pretty artistic, though, and the deep lens hood should keep them at bay unless you let strong lights enter the frame.
When compared with the excellent Zeiss Sonnar 135mm and Jupiter-37a, this lens has better resolution all around: It is a smidge sharper but has much less axial CA and much better micro-contrast. Colours are punchy but not overly so, with good, but not excellent, contrast (as is with most Soviet lenses). Bokeh is nice and creamy, as expected from Sonnar-based optics. If ever you need to stop down this lens (maybe to clear up some flaring), the 12 aperture blades ensure a nice bokeh. Sweet.
Overall, if you avoid bright lights in the frame, this lens is very hard to beat.
P.S. This lens is a tad TOO sharp for normal portraiture, you'll traumatize the subject under certain lighting conditions (I did).
Sample shots (Shots done in AdobeRGB, please view in a colour-managed browser. Chrome isn't good with colours):
Wide open sharpness test (unsharpened). Awww, my eyes! This is the full image, so you could rick click and view image in a new tab for pixel peeping.

Flaring issues

Soo pretty!
New Member

Registered: January, 2017
Posts: 19
Review Date: January 19, 2018 Recommended | Price: None indicated | Rating: 10 


I've got a worn copy of this lens and it's clearly been in heavy use - well as it is such a nice performer it's easy to understand. Most of the black paint has peeled off making the lens look more vintage, or rustic. Just beautiful!
My warm recommendations

New Member

Registered: April, 2016
Posts: 1
Review Date: April 18, 2016 Recommended | Price: None indicated | Rating: 9 

Pros: large focus dial rotation, sharpness and contrast, solid construction.
Cons: flaring
Sharpness: 9    Aberrations: 9    Bokeh: 10    Handling: 10    Value: 10    Camera Used: nex5t, a3000, k30   

I like this lens for its contrasrty color rendering and sharpness.
However it flares and eats away cntradt even with slight sky light directly falling on lens thru hood, Difficult for backlit subjects.
Site Supporter

Registered: November, 2012
Location: North Wales
Posts: 2,688

1 user found this helpful
Review Date: December 25, 2013 Recommended | Price: $25.00 | Rating: 9 

Pros: IQ, long focus throw (accurate), bokeh, hood, preset aperture, better value than Tair 11A
Cons: long focus throw (tedious), find myself wishing for FF field of view...
Sharpness: 9    Aberrations: 9    Bokeh: 10    Handling: 8    Value: 10   

My Jupiter 11A was a fortuitous purchase, the item described as merely "camera lens". Recognising the lens for what it is, I put in a modest bid and won. Not so pleased on arrival, a mystery rainbow (visible in my pic above) under the objective proved to be possible incipient separation of the second/third elements, not something that could be cleaned off. However I cannot detect any effect on IQ, so .. Arrived with original caps and custom screw-on hood. I provided the updated description and pics above based on this example. I can mention that although I stated infinity focus was fine after swapping the M42 for PK, with more use I think am very slightly short of infinity focus - fixable in 20 mins in the garage but in practice it's not really a problem.

With some pics in hand I am obliged to join this little chorus of appreciation. The lens seems to have an affinity actually for the light during these dull winter days. Particularly impressed with this wide open - only marginally softer, lovely bokeh from the very round aperture produced by the 12 blade iris, very good contrast. You can compare the first pic with pics taken with Panagor and CZJ 135's on my review of the Panagor. In any case there are really detailed comparisons of sonnars and 135's elsewhere see for example:

135mm sonnar lenses tested (including 11A)
East bloc 135mm Sonnars comparison

The noticeable thing for me is the Jupiters' slightly warmer/greener tone, all else is pretty equal between the CZJ and the Jupiter.

Particularly recommended for Nikonistas who would otherwise be stuck either short of infinity focus or with an optical adapter with a fixed mount M42 like the CZJ. I was going to offer an 8 just to leaven the ten-parade with a bit more objectivity... but 9 will do.

f4, Pentax K-r, 100% crop.

Mostly f4, resized jpg's


New Member

Registered: October, 2013
Posts: 6
Review Date: December 7, 2013 Recommended | Price: None indicated | Rating: 10 

Sharpness: 10    Aberrations: 10    Bokeh: 10    Handling: 9    Value: 10   

unbelievable lens.

Registered: April, 2011
Location: Lost in translation ...
Posts: 18,052
Review Date: October 6, 2013 Recommended | Price: None indicated | Rating: 10 

Pros: Built like a tank ...
Cons: Ugly as a tank ...


Arrived yesterday ... a cheap French fleabay purchase ... roughly treated, but good glass ... probably the filthiest lens I have ever bought, but I will clean it up and will hopefully have some fun with its 12 blades ... images and further evaluations to come later.

Salut, J

New Member

Registered: September, 2012
Location: Leicester
Posts: 6
Review Date: January 3, 2013 Recommended | Price: $110.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: Colours; sharp;
Cons: none
Sharpness: 10    Aberrations: 10    Bokeh: 9    Handling: 9    Value: 10   

What a great lens, a hidden gem. I saw a positive review on another website and picked one up on ebay. For the price it is an excellent manual focus lens. It is so crisp and clean, no CA when wide open. I have not needed to use the lens hood (yet), so very little flare if any. The only downside is the weight, but then it's all metal and glass. No plastic apart from the lens cap. It just oozes quality.

If you see one, get it. You won't be disappointed, in fact you will be ecstatic.

New Member

Registered: September, 2012
Location: Belo Horizonte
Posts: 17
Review Date: November 14, 2012 Recommended | Price: $55.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: Very Sharp, Good contrast, Great colors,
Cons: Very Ugly
Sharpness: 10    Aberrations: 10    Bokeh: 10    Handling: 10    Value: 10   

A very good lens is very sharp and good colors, even though a lens aperture is f / 4 is not behind any 2.8.
the pictures below speaks for itself.
the last and penultimate photo this using a macro extender
New Member

Registered: June, 2011
Location: Brooklyn, NY
Posts: 24
Review Date: May 15, 2012 Recommended | Price: None indicated | Rating: 10 

Pros: sharp, good colors, pre-set aperture, all-metal and lightweight
Sharpness: 10    Handling: 10    Value: 10   

I used this lens for many years with Zenit 3M (with DIY M39-mount) and was very happy with the IQ on B&W film.

Below are links to images taken with Pentax K7 and Jupiter 11a 135mm F4, and Takumar 200mm F4. The same pipe, the same lighting conditions and vantage point, Aperture on both lenses was 1/8, ISO 100:

Jupiter 11a 135mm F4

Takumar 200mm F4

...oh, yes, the black paint comes off (the exterior of) this lens in sticky flakes. Under the paint there is a shiny gun metal.
Add Review of Jupiter 11A 4/135 135mm F4

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