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Jupiter 21M 200mm F4.0

Reviews Views Date of last review
16 73,764 Tue March 19, 2019
Recommended By Average Price Average User Rating
88% of reviewers $59.92 8.67
Jupiter 21M 200mm F4.0

Russian made lens with M42 mount.

Maximum aperture: 1:4
Focal Length, mm: 200
Angle of View: 12
Lens Mount: M42x1
Mount thread for Attachments: M49x0.75
Dimensions, (Diameter x Length): 78x165
Weight, kg: 0.98

Review by (dutch - google translate)
Mount Type: M42 Screwmount
Price History:

Add Review of Jupiter 21M 200mm F4.0
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New Member

Registered: March, 2019
Location: Ontario
Posts: 11
Lens Review Date: March 19, 2019 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $58.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: very sharp, little to no lateral CA, good micro-contrast, natural colours, sturdy and durable, easy to repair, clicked aperture, good value
Cons: some axial CA, shoddy build quality, 8 aperture blades, heavy, short lens hood
Sharpness: 10    Aberrations: 9    Bokeh: 10    Handling: 8    Value: 10    Camera Used: Sony a6300   

My lens came in perfect optical condition and not-that-perfect mechanical condition. I rebuilt the lens, and it now works like a charm. Through my rebuilding of the lens, I can report that this lens is very shoddily built, even by Soviet standards, and the complex aperture mechanism is not helping.
Focus is hard to nail down, as this lens has quite a shallow DOF and this lens is heavy. It weighs a hefty 1kg, or 2.2 pounds. Personally, I'm not bothered by the weight and find this manual-lens a joy to use. It took me only two days to get used to this lens, but it is a case of your-milage-may-vary.
Optically speaking, this lens is quite good. My copy has quite the performance on APS-C, I can reach pixel-sharpness barely stopping down, which is impressive. Microcontrast is good, focus peaking struggles at 11.7X magnification, though that is quite a high bar, resolution in the actual photo is superb. I see no lateral CA or purple fringing from this lens, though axial CA is present, especially at wide open. Interestingly, I don't think sharpness improves much when stopping down, at least in the centre. Stopping down only reduces the CA and fringing. This is definitely a lens that you can shoot wide open most of the time. Contra-light performance is understandably poor, due to mediocre coatings and poor blackening of the internals. Gluing a light absorbing material to the metal plate which covers the aperture mechanism salvages some contra-light performance. The built-in lens hood is too short to be of much use, but I have yet to find a reason to buy one (the filter size is 58mm, in case you need a lens hood).
Personally, I find the lens to perform best in warm, contrasty scenes, where it delivers tack-sharp, punchy images that pop while still look natural. It does not seem to like bright, low contrast scenes, where softness creeps in (I think it's partly due to focusing becoming really difficult under those conditions). Also, for an f4 lens, bokeh is very nice and creamy. The 8 aperture blades are hardly an issue, as this lens is good enough wide open most of the time.
Enough text, photo time! (Sorry, flickr does not support AdobeRGB, the actual colours are slightly more vibrant)
(These photos are straight from camera, with some cropping applied to some photos. All shot with AdobeRGB, so please view with a colour-managed browser, Chrome isn't good with colours)

Shot of a squirrel

Shot of another squirrel at f5.6 (I think), cropped

Shot of birds (first three were shot at f5.6, the rest were shot wide open)

(note the extreme resolution)

(I lighting condition that will make any lens scream in terror. Note the lack of fringing and notable amounts of axial CA)

Note the colours on a good day

Shot of a plane tree nut wide open (or 5.6)

This shows the sharpness at wide open (or 5.6, I don't remember)

This lens loves warm, contrasty scenes. This one was shot wide open.

The moon is a bit too far, though...
Junior Member

Registered: June, 2018
Location: Lyon / Rennes
Posts: 39
Lens Review Date: December 7, 2018 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $50.00 | Rating: 9 

Pros: Sharp, easy to repair by yourself, hood integrated.
Cons: very prone to flare, heavy and big, sometimes not very reliable (blame mass production and poor quality control.)
Sharpness: 10    Aberrations: 8    Bokeh: 9    Handling: 8    Value: 10    Camera Used: K30   

I used this lens for almost a year now and I find it very good.
First, it is very sharp, with a resolution of 51/30 lpmm, which is very, very good.
Then, It has a nice character to it, since it has a quite nice color rendition, but you must be quite careful with the flares, hopefully you can do three things :
1 : nothing. Maybe you just like flares, like I do.
2 : deploy lens hood.
3 : glue some black velvet / cloth on the plate on the back of the lens, inside the barrel. It reflects quite a lot of light.

I can't really judge of the chromatical abberation since there's not much on crop sensors, but this lens is designed for 35mm...

I need to mention that this lens is very easy to disassemble. A little more difficult to put pieces back together though, but if you are patient and pay attention in which order you dismantle the lens everything should go smooth)

Note : My lens was technically almost perfect, but it is very usual to fall on copies with slow diaphragm (you'll need to dismantle the lens and clean everything, maybe adjust diaphragm spring), play in pieces (just a little screw-srewing should solve the problem) or de-cementation between the first doublet of lenses.
If the focus ring is too tough, it will be a real pain in the ass to focus, so if it is, make sure to dismantle and grease the helicoid.

I apologize for my poor English as it is not my native language too

Hope this'll help !
New Member

Registered: April, 2017
Location: France
Posts: 9
Lens Review Date: August 25, 2018 I can recommend this lens: No | Price: $30.00 | Rating: 9 

Pros: sharp, excellent construction, obtic quality
Cons: heavy
Sharpness: 9    Aberrations: 8    Bokeh: 9    Handling: 9    Value: 10    Camera Used: Pentax K5   

New Member

Registered: December, 2012
Location: Kedah
Posts: 10

1 user found this helpful
Lens Review Date: September 12, 2017 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $120.00 | Rating: 9 

Pros: Sharp, beautiful colour, decent bokeh
Cons: Weight, Price (I paid too much, still love it)
Sharpness: 10    Aberrations: 10    Bokeh: 8    Handling: 9    Value: 9    Camera Used: K-5   

Got this lens almost 4 years ago.
Use it for stage performance, sport, bird, portrait (occasionally), anything further than the FA77 can handles.

It is heavy but Pentax K-5 and battery grip handles it well.
Junior Member

Registered: February, 2016
Location: Ludhiana (India)
Posts: 32

1 user found this helpful
Lens Review Date: May 10, 2017 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: None indicated | Rating: 9 

Pros: Easy on Pocket
Cons: Heavy

It's really sharp lens and easy on pocket also, the only drawback I feel is its weight.

Need suggestion regarding the Tripod collar mount for this lens, What size Collar should I buy for it?
New Member

Registered: September, 2009
Location: london
Posts: 20

1 user found this helpful
Lens Review Date: April 24, 2017 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: None indicated | Rating: 9 

Pros: sharp, good colour
Cons: reflective plate at mount end needs to be modified
Sharpness: 9    Aberrations: 9    Bokeh: 9    Handling: 8    Value: 10    Camera Used: pentax kx   

First of all, I want to thank Biulazz (review below this one), who provided the solution for low contrast, haze and flare that I encountered when I first tried to use this lens (Jupiter 21M) with my Pentax kx dslr.

The attached photos were taken through my window and show results before I did Biulazz's modification and after I did so.

They were shot raw, and changed to jpegs, with no other modifications. The improvement is clearly dramatic.

I also show the modification to my lens as so beautifully described and illustrated by Biulazz. Many thanks again.

I haven't used this lens extensively in different situations so far, but from the images I've been getting of mundane things around the house, I expect great results.

The lens is, indeed, heavy but I find it helps my hand steadiness when using the Pentax kx!!!

Before modification

After modification

Modification la Biulazz

New Member

Registered: September, 2015
Posts: 2

3 users found this helpful
Lens Review Date: September 21, 2015 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $50.00 | Rating: 9 

Pros: sharp also at full aperture, colour, bokeh
Cons: bulky (but solid...)
Sharpness: 10    Aberrations: 9    Bokeh: 9    Handling: 7    Value: 10    Camera Used: Pentax istDS, modified Canon AstroDSLR   

Used full aperture in my Astrophoto setup, it delivers astonishing pinpoint star images, vivid colours (maybe on the cool side); contrast is not the best, but if you cover with anti-reflecting black velvet a flat metallic plate inside the flange ring of the lens, contrast improves radically (see the photo of this mod, sorry for the poor quality...).
Apart dimensions and weight, performances are similar to the stunning Jupiter 37A (a lens that I consider one of the best Russian optical products ever), superior to many german Sonnars from which the optical scheme is derivated.
Bokeh is good (8 blades iris).
Weight, dimensions and M42 flange can be a minus if handheld, but not in my astrophoto piggybacked use, so I can only recommend it!

New Member

Registered: August, 2015
Posts: 13
Lens Review Date: August 28, 2015 I can recommend this lens: No | Price: $70.00 | Rating: 4 

Pros: Don't know
Cons: Weak sharpness, heavy, no AF etc..
Sharpness: 3    Aberrations: 4    Bokeh: 9    Handling: 4    Value: 10    Camera Used: K-5   

I do not understand how you can assess the sharpness of this lens is 10 points. You guys blind? This lens is not suitable for what it was designed. It is not possible to get a clear image in any circumstances. Stoping down does not resolve its shortcomings.
New Member

Registered: August, 2015
Location: Brasilia, Brazil
Posts: 3
Lens Review Date: August 5, 2015 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $81.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: Great image quality. Very sharp. Great bokeh. Feel of an old school lens, not too much contrast.
Cons: It's heavy and bulky so you won't want to be carrying it all the time.
Sharpness: 10    Aberrations: 10    Bokeh: 10    Handling: 7    Value: 10    Camera Used: Canon 70D   

This lens is great. Image quality is awesome, very sharp and with great bokeh and colors. The mechanic focus is very precise, with a long turn. The images are very different from nowadays lenses, which tend to be too "punchy" with lots of contrast. With the Jupiter 21M you get the feeling of an old school lens, which doesn't deliver much contrast and yet you love the image results.
Ok, I used my Canon 70D with an M42 mount adapter, and this is a Pentax forum, but I couldn't resist revewing this lens.
It is very fun!
New Member

Registered: May, 2013
Location: Jakarta
Posts: 2

1 user found this helpful
Lens Review Date: December 4, 2014 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $50.00 | Rating: 8 

Pros: sharpness, bokeh,
Cons: huge n heavy
Sharpness: 10    Aberrations: 9    Bokeh: 9    Handling: 7    Value: 8    Camera Used: K5   

for me this lens has big size, and really heavy...moreover it can produces excellent sharp image, good bokeh

here the samples images:
Site Supporter

Registered: January, 2014
Location: Melbourne
Posts: 89
Lens Review Date: August 24, 2014 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $50.00 | Rating: 8 

Pros: Sharp, easy to focus, bokeh, built like a tank
Cons: heavy, low contrast, bluish colours
Sharpness: 10    Aberrations: 8    Bokeh: 9    Handling: 8    Value: 10   

Sharp from wide open, I'm impressed by the image quality from this lens. Some purple fringing when shooting against really bright light, but not a problem in most cases. The low contrast is easily fixed in post processing. I've noticed that colours tend to be on the cool side - again something that can be easily fixed. All in all, an incredible bargain at $50 including postage.

New Member

Registered: June, 2011
Location: Kaliningrad region
Posts: 7
Lens Review Date: May 29, 2013 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $50.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: Sharpness
Sharpness: 10    Aberrations: 8    Bokeh: 8    Handling: 8    Value: 9   

New Member

Registered: January, 2013
Posts: 3

1 user found this helpful
Lens Review Date: January 7, 2013 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $90.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: Sharpness is good, cool looking
Cons: heavy and manual focus is difficult
Sharpness: 10    Aberrations: 9    Bokeh: 9    Handling: 9    Value: 9   

my design i hope you will like it

this is my sharpness test look pls battery.

Registered: May, 2012
Location: ---
Posts: 5,637
Lens Review Date: July 19, 2012 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $50.00 | Rating: 9 

Pros: very sharp good colour rendering and contrast
Cons: heavy, flare
Sharpness: 10    Aberrations: 9    Bokeh: 8    Handling: 8    Value: 10   

Just got this lens yesterday and tested it. It's very sharp from wide open en renders very well contrasty and it weighs a ton and hates back-light. It's probably as sharp as a modern 200mm prime or expensive 70-200mm zoom. Very slight purple fringe, hardly noticeable and easy to solve. Close focussing to 1.8 meters (a little less than six feet so great for close ups). I Like the handling, very long throw allows for precise focus. (my eyes and pentax af confirmation are the problem not the lens).

examples: (hand held)
1. ugly moped across the street

2. 100% crop mark the bicycle tire and the number on the left lower side of the number plate

3. example of the lens rendering (no edits)

4. 100% crop of previous photo.

5. Infinite F4 F5.6 en F8 + original

6. chopper flew by (crop)

7.Back-light is not the friend of this lens , but there is someting else going on. The second picture was taken under the exact same circumstances and with the same setting as the first one except for my hand on the point where mount meets body. There is light leakage into the body at that point which you will need to solve when you get this lens (put a sock on it or something like that).
8. last a 100% crop of a piece of the picture that was in focus (I need to get a Katzeye).

Jupiter 21m 200mm F4 by random dump, on Flickr
Forum Member

Registered: October, 2010
Location: Klaipeda
Posts: 77
Lens Review Date: February 22, 2011 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: None indicated | Rating: N/A 

Pros: good
Cons: bad

This is Russian Zenitar group lens.

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