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Jupiter-37A 135mm F3.5 Review RSS Feed

Jupiter-37A 135mm F3.5

Reviews Views Date of last review
23 159,919 Sun February 27, 2022
Recommended By Average Price Average User Rating
100% of reviewers $54.47 8.87
Jupiter-37A 135mm F3.5

Jupiter-37A 135mm F3.5
Jupiter-37A 135mm F3.5
Jupiter-37A 135mm F3.5

Another of the "sonnar" like 135mm's from the former USSR. Made most commonly by KOMZ, also KMZ factories. Variants include a multi-coated "MC" version and a "K" version with PK mount. More info here (google translate from russian).

Mount: swappable Russian variant t-mount, typically comes with M42
Preset aperture: operation is a little finicky (reviewer Biulazz) "...turn ring at F22, pull the ring towards the body, turn to the desired preset aperture and release; use it as a normal Preset Aperture ring; then pull again and turn at F22 to cancel preset..."
Multi-coated and non-multi-coated versions
Min focus distance: 120mm
Max aperture: 3.5
Min aperture: 22
Metal construction
Weight (410g ~ 14.5 oz)
Filter size: 52mm
Lens construction: 4 elements in 3 groups
Manufacturer: Kazan Optical-Mechanical Factory (KOMZ)

There are some diligent comparisons of these east Bloc sonnars:
135mm sonnar lenses tested
East bloc 135mm Sonnars comparison
Mount Type: M42 Screwmount
Price History:

Add Review of Jupiter-37A 135mm F3.5
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New Member

Registered: February, 2022
Posts: 2

2 users found this helpful
Review Date: February 27, 2022 Recommended | Price: $25.00 | Rating: 9 

Pros: Sharp, comperatively light, nice bokeh, cheap
Cons: USSR QC(non), oil on diaphragm
Sharpness: 10    Aberrations: 10    Bokeh: 8    Handling: 8    Value: 10    Camera Used: Nikon D600, Fujifilm XT-30   

Own that lens for about 10 years, my father was filming on it with Zenit, and gave the lens to me when i entered photography.

Great value for money, you can by them for 20 to 40$ Inside Russia from slightly used to mint condition out of the shelf.

Really sharp wide open if you are lucky with the copy. Many friends of mine own that lens, some have lenses that are not razor-sharp at 3.5 as proper Jupiter 37a must be, so ask for test shots if you buy, or return possibility.

Other backside is oil on diaphragm that creates a circle of bloom if you stop down by reflecting light back and forth inside the lens.

It used to be my travel pack, D600, 50 1.8D and Ju37a, still use in on my XT-30 and it is still razor-sharp at 26mp crop sensor !!! (at least my copy). But it is a bit tooo much for the apc-c sensor for my taste.

Love that lens and not going to get rid of it in any case.

Here are couple of portraits i made by Ju37 + D600. Post-processed.

Here are the pictures on XT-30
New Member

Registered: June, 2020
Posts: 2

1 user found this helpful
Review Date: June 25, 2020 Recommended | Price: None indicated | Rating: 6 

Pros: Close up sharpness, robust, almost none CA
Cons: Stiff focus, prone to flare
Sharpness: 6    Aberrations: 8    Bokeh: 8    Handling: 6    Value: 7    Camera Used: EOS 60D   

Focus is stiff. Colors are sometimes strange and go towards red. Contrast depends on situation due to flare - lens hood is a must.

The sharpest Russian lens that I own. If you lucky to get get good copy, it is a bargain.

A few pictures using Jupiter 37A...

New Member

Registered: March, 2019
Location: Ontario
Posts: 15

1 user found this helpful
Review Date: March 28, 2019 Recommended | Price: $45.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: very sharp, good micro-contrast, natural colour rendition, smooth bokeh, 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 aperture
Cons: some purple fringing, axial CA, short plastic hood
Sharpness: 10    Aberrations: 8    Bokeh: 10    Handling: 10    Value: 10    Camera Used: Sony a6300   

Mine is the single-coated version, with a beautiful violet and amber tint.
Mine came in perfect optical and mechanical condition. Focusing is the smoothest I've ever seen. The lens is built like a tank, though the paint is not very durable. The front element is uncoated, making it much more resistant against scratches. The lens is lightweight and compact. Unfortunately, it only focuses down to under 1.2m, compared to the 1.0m of the Jupiter 11a. The lens hood is a disappointment, it's cheap and plasticky, and half the depth of the premium-feeling one on the Jupiter-11a. Interestingly, the hood is still quite sufficient for me.
Optically, this lens is impressive. It's sharp, with good micro-contrast. Colours are natural, warm, and comfortably rendered, as is with all Soviet single-coated optics. Lateral CA is nonexistent, though there is some purple fringing and noticeable axial CA. Compared with my Zeiss Jena 135mm f3.5, it is just as sharp, with similar CA and fringing. It is slightly less contrasty, though personally, I find myself liking the colours and mechanics of this lens a lot more. It is not as critically sharp as my Jupiter-11a mainly due to an increase in axial CA(it's still sharp enough to max out the resolution of my a6300), but flares less.
All in all, this lens performs very admirably and has a nice, rounded character to it. This is my favourite walk-around 135mm lens.
Now for sample photos!
Geese, all shot wide open. Sorry for the colours, I shoot in AdobeRGB, which Chrome seems to hate. Please view with a properly colour-managed browser.

American robins. Shot wide open on a dreary day

Junior Member

Registered: June, 2018
Location: Lyon / Rennes
Posts: 39
Review Date: December 7, 2018 Recommended | Price: $80.00 | Rating: 9 

Pros: Quite sharp, incredibly small, lightweight (for a full metal lens), solid, swappable mount.
Cons: stepless diaphragm ring (good for video, but for photography I prefer clicks), "only" f/3.5
Sharpness: 9    Aberrations: 10    Bokeh: 9    Handling: 9    Value: 9    Camera Used: K30   

A nice lens !

I had it for almost a year now and I'm very happy with it. (I have the MC version with cyrillic name, which make the lens rarer and more expensive)

I use it mainly for portraits. It's sharp, with a resolution of 44/30. The bokeh is nice, round and smooth. The lens itself is very small for a 135mm and quite lightweight, considering it's only metal. (more or less 380 grams). The mount shank can be changed, but the only adapters I found to be fitting is the ones from Kood. (images down below). There is multiple versions of this lens, there's the Jupiter 37A, MC Jupiter 37A, Jupiter 37AM, MC Jupiter 37AM, MC Jupiter 37-A-N (A-H in cyrillic) (I don't know if there is a non-multicoated of this rare lens). The only difference between them is coating (MC) and weight (37AM weighting ~350 grams). It has a stepless diaphragm ring, which I don't really like, since you're forced to look at what aperture you're stopping the lens but it won't bother many people.

Note : This lens can have dirty diaphragm blades, with oil for instance. Unfortunately you can't dismantle this lens as far as I know.
: The coating on some copies can have several little bubbles inside it. Don't worry, it does not affect image quality.

I hope this'll help, and sorry for my quite poor English, as it is not my native language.

New Member

Registered: July, 2018
Location: Belgrade, Serbia
Posts: 22

1 user found this helpful
Review Date: July 10, 2018 Recommended | Price: $40.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: Sharpness, bokeh
Cons: none
Sharpness: 10    Aberrations: 8    Bokeh: 9    Handling: 10    Value: 10    Camera Used: Canon 1100D   

I really like this lens, once you get used to it, it's quite simple to use. Sharpness is great, and it has lovely bokeh. I bought it for 40$ with M42-EOS EF adapter in January, and since then, I fell in love with this lens. Quite nice and fast, great sharpness and overall feeling is great.

New Member

Registered: June, 2017
Posts: 1
Review Date: June 1, 2017 Recommended | Price: $50.00 | Rating: 9 

Pros: Warm colors, many aperure blades, cheap
Cons: Not too sharp
Sharpness: 8    Aberrations: 8    Bokeh: 9    Handling: 7    Value: 10    Camera Used: Nikon D5300   

This lens is really good, especially you're looking for a portrait lens,the jupiter 37a is a great choice. It is a little bit soft, which can be either good or bad, that is up to you to decide. For portraits I don't find sharpness too important. Bokeh is actually not bad, I kinda like it. It gives nice warm colors. The aperture ring is stepless so you can go between stops if you want to. The maximum aperture can be set (I never used it). It's really easy to find this lens for cheap and in good condition. There's no reason to not buy it.
New Member

Registered: March, 2016
Posts: 11
Review Date: April 2, 2016 Recommended | Price: $50.00 | Rating: 8 

Pros: Sharp enough, usually cheap enough, simple
Cons: Loss of contrast when shooting into a backlight
Sharpness: 8    Aberrations: 8    Bokeh: 8    Handling: 9    Value: 9    Camera Used: Pentax K-x, Sony a5000   

I have a Jupiter 37A olympic edition lens which has been in the family since about '79 or so bought with a Zenit camera back when Estonia was still under Soviet occupation. There is a thin ring of fungus around the edge of the front lens but to my surprise it produces pretty decent images on APS-C sensor, provided that one can get the focus right.

My first try of this lens was on Pentax K-x some years ago and it was underwhelming. With the default focusing screen in K-X it is very hard to get the focus right even if using the little green hexagon focus indicator. So I would not really reccoment one to use this lens that way. With aftermarket focusing screen with split prism it might be much better experience. On sony a5000, however (a mirrorless with focus peaking function) this thing is an entirely different animal and a lot more user friendly. It just works - after about a day of walking around I can still see that I have missed some shots but success rate is much much higher for me than it was on K-x.

If one gets focus right then this lens is very sharp, however, keep in mind that if you focus relatively close (minimum focus a bit more than 1 meter) the depth of field gets pretty short with the lens at 3.5. Main disadvantage is loss of contrast and everything washed out if one is shooting against a light source so that light manages to hit front element at an angle (even with the lens hood) - that said most of it can be handled with little tweaking in post processing to be suppressed enough to get more or less usable images even under such conditions (and keep in mind my copy has light fungus as well which might affect my judgement in this regard).

I'll upload some images a bit later. I also have a focal reducer coming for Sony a5000 so I'll try to update my impressions in a little while once I get to play with this lens in a closer to "full frame" like FOV for a bit. In a nutshell I would reccoment this lens for a mirrorless user, for a pentax dslr it is probably also a good lens if one has aftermarket focusing screen which would allow one to get the focus right with a manual lens.

Edit: Adding the sample photos done with Sony a5000 full resolution. jpg's with LightRoom auto button press for exposure correction, DNG's (linked) unmodified other than auto conversion from the sony propriety ARW to DNG by LightRoom.
New Member

Registered: February, 2016
Posts: 3
Review Date: February 22, 2016 Recommended | Price: $60.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: Sharp, contrasty, nice colours
Cons: Mfd longer than original sonnar
Sharpness: 10    Aberrations: 9    Bokeh: 9    Handling: 9    Value: 9    Camera Used: Eos 450, k -5   

It's a fantastic lens, sturdy as a tank. Sharpness and contrast are excellent from wide open, and funnily enough, it does not improve much by stopping down.
Colors are on the warm side, May not be very realistic, but quite pleasant. A strange thing I have noticed is that some reds, like poppies, turn out kind of purple, it really struggles to get reds right under certain strong sunlit conditions. Weird.
Mfd is 1.2 metres, which is quite good, but I wish it was 1 m, like the zeiss sonnar equivalent.
One of the best overall 135 heritage lenses you can find, and they are still cheap.
I have 2 copies, and both perform equally.
New Member

Registered: September, 2015
Posts: 2
Review Date: September 19, 2015 Recommended | Price: $50.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: Sharp as a knife, vivid colours, small and rugged built. One of the best lens in this category, one of the best Russian lens overall.
Cons: None, just strange preset aperture lens mechanism (not easy to use).
Sharpness: 10    Aberrations: 10    Bokeh: 9    Handling: 8    Value: 10    Camera Used: Pentax ist DS   

Sharp as a knife, maybe at full aperture is a bit more "human" (and also more natural), vivid & saturated colours, small and rugged built. One of the best lens in its category (surclasses some of the original Sonnars from which is derivated), one of the best Russian lens overall.
Russian swappable T-mount make it easy to use with different camera brands (needs dedicated adapter).
Absolutely the best portrait lens I've encountered in many years, maybe some item is better (or worst) than average production due the lack of
a strict quality control selection in Russian factories: try to select the best lens beetwen 3-4 items (if you could...).

Absolutely recommended!

P.s: be aware this is a Preset Aperture lens, but its strange activation mechanism is not easy to handle when you are in hurry (turn ring at F22, pull the ring towards the body, turn to the desired preset aperture and release; use it as a normal Preset Aperture ring; then pull again and turn at F22 to cancel preset...)
New Member

Registered: August, 2015
Posts: 13
Review Date: August 30, 2015 Recommended | Price: $60.00 | Rating: 8 

Pros: Low price, nice "sonnar's" bokeh, sufficient sharpness
Cons: aperture f / 3.5, manual
Sharpness: 9    Aberrations: 8    Bokeh: 10    Handling: 7    Value: 10    Camera Used: K-5, K-3   

Nice lens for the novice photographer. Inexpensive. Pretty sharp at f / 5.6, slightly less sharp wide open. Beautiful bokeh, thanks to the circular aperture and sonnar's scheme. Good for portraits. A small aperture did not reveal the full potential of optics.
Need M42 to PK adapter
New Member

Registered: May, 2013
Location: Jakarta
Posts: 2
Review Date: June 1, 2015 Recommended | Price: $50.00 | Rating: 9 

Pros: value, very sharp, 12 blades
Cons: 'ugly' body paint, handling?
Sharpness: 10    Aberrations: 8    Bokeh: 8    Handling: 7    Value: 9    Camera Used: K5, A7   

this is Russian lens and it's very sharp! even in wide open, mine is non MC version, ergonomic handling feel a bit sturdy and stiff, but still ok

here are the samples shoots:
New Member

Registered: July, 2014
Posts: 2
Review Date: July 5, 2014 Recommended | Price: $35.00 | Rating: 9 

Pros: SHARPNESS, continuous aperture with a lot element, smooooth bokeh, quite enough f3.5, very cheap to its performance, surprisingly small and lightweight
Cons: a little rugged focus ring
Sharpness: 10    Aberrations: 9    Bokeh: 10    Handling: 7    Value: 10    Camera Used: D50   

My favourite lens all time, awesome sharpness, lovely bokeh, the perfect cheap lens for portrait.

Although it's well constructed, my copy has a little rugged focusing, need to furbish for a smooth ring.

D50 + Jupiter 37A at f3.5
New Member

Registered: August, 2013
Posts: 8
Review Date: January 11, 2014 Recommended | Price: $100.00 | Rating: 9 

Pros: Great Lens
Sharpness: 9    Aberrations: 9    Bokeh: 9    Handling: 9    Value: 9   

Great Russian Lens... iam using for Panasonic Lumix G3 -micro 4/3 mirrorless camera ..Excellent lens and perfomance for me...
New Member

Registered: September, 2013
Posts: 3
Review Date: January 1, 2014 Recommended | Price: $25.00 | Rating: 9 

Pros: Perfect handling and build quality, very sharp wide open, you can get it almost for free.
Cons: Flare appears too often, a little bit too long on crop, "nervous" bokeh.
Sharpness: 10    Aberrations: 7    Bokeh: 7    Handling: 9    Value: 10   

Perfect lens for portraits in soft light. It's microcontrast makes it perfect for conditions with soft and "unimpressive", "flat" light.
I don't know any other lens, wich can provide such a good picture on a cloudy day with a completely diffused light.
But it's virtually unusable in sunny conditions - shadows tend to get too dark and overall contrast decreases significantly.
New Member

Registered: June, 2011
Location: Kaliningrad region
Posts: 7

2 users found this helpful
Review Date: April 2, 2013 Recommended | Price: None indicated | Rating: 10 

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

Pentax K-r + Jupiter-37A 135mm f/3.5

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