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KMZ 50mm 1.7 Zenitar-M Review RSS Feed

KMZ 50mm 1.7 Zenitar-M

Reviews Views Date of last review
8 76,452 Sun December 3, 2017
Recommended By Average Price Average User Rating
100% of reviewers $55.83 9.75
KMZ 50mm 1.7 Zenitar-M

KMZ 50mm 1.7 Zenitar-M
KMZ 50mm 1.7 Zenitar-M

Great Russian lens with unknown design. I'm not quite sure from which company the russians take the design but it is great. The latest rumors are that Zenitar is ultron design with russian touch because it is not 1:1 with ultron lenses. There are rumors about summicron design, but it is much bigger. Some say it is early Rokkor 50 1.7, ...The build quality is alful just as in a Russian lens but the IQ is awsome! For a Russian lens - great build.

It's a 6 element lens in 5 gruops with 6 blade aperture.

The aperture has many steps 1.7 2.0 2.4 2.8 3.2 3.6 4.0 ...

It is very sharp lens. Quite sharp even at F16. there are some CA but a little only, not more than in my FA 50 1.4 which is not sharper.

After I tested it on 16mp it is sharper than M 50 1.7 pentax, A 50 1.2, FA 50 1.4... the only problem is coatings - contrast is not it's strong side.
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Sort Reviews by: Date | Author | Rating | Recommendation | Likes (Descending) Showing Reviews 1-8 of 8
New Member

Registered: March, 2014
Location: Bilbao - Basque Country
Posts: 15
Lens Review Date: December 3, 2017 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $80.00 | Rating: 9 

Pros: sharpness and bokeh
Cons: focus ring turning in the opposite direction
Sharpness: 10    Aberrations: 7    Bokeh: 10    Handling: 7    Value: 9    Camera Used: Pentax k30   

My best 50mm lens, specially wide open.

Better than my SMC takumar 50 f1.4 and pentax A 50 f1.7.

Very sharp wide open with a nice bokeh.

Sin título by Mikel García, en Flickr
New Member

Registered: February, 2016
Posts: 3
Lens Review Date: February 20, 2017 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $75.00 | Rating: 9 

Pros: Sharpness and contrast even wide open
Cons: Big and heavy, CA at open apertures, flare against the sun
Sharpness: 10    Aberrations: 7    Bokeh: 8    Handling: 7    Value: 9    Camera Used: Canon 600d   

My best 50mm lens wide open (among Pentacon mc50 1.8, Rikenon p50 1.7, Rikenon 50 2, pentax M50 1.7, m50 1.4, Yashica ML 50 2, Rikenon Xr50 1.7, yashinon dx50 1.7, ds50 1.9, SMC Takumar 55 1.8, Helios 44-2, Chinon 55 1.7 MC), @1.7 is clearly superior to pentax m 50 1.7, second best. Corners are especially sharper.The pentax only catches up at f4.
My copy has slight field curvature at infinity to the left side of the image.
Colours are fairly saturated and realistic (less warm than pentax's)
The only 50mm lens which looks that sharp at any aperture is Ricoh Rikenon P 50/1.7, but not wide open, because there the ricoh is disappointing, only @ 2.8 and closer apertures.
This lens must be fantastic on extensión tubes for macro work.
I really like this glass, but beware of direct sunlight, it seems to have no coating whatsoever.
Get it, price is rising quickly. Even if it cost over 100euros, it is worth having.
Forum Member

Registered: February, 2012
Location: NJ, USA
Posts: 75
Lens Review Date: February 20, 2017 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: None indicated | Rating: 10 

Value: 10    Camera Used: sony a3000   

Nice lens. Just started to use it on sony a3000 with speed booster.
According factory website
it is ultron schema.
Senior Member

Registered: December, 2013
Posts: 166
Lens Review Date: October 27, 2015 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $15.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: Sharp, bokeh, a/m switch, cheap
Cons: none
Sharpness: 9    Aberrations: 8    Bokeh: 10    Handling: 9    Value: 10    Camera Used: K-5 II   

Better than Pentax-A 50/1.7; my best 50mm lens. Great bokeh. Sharp even from f1.7.
Bought it in pair with Zenit 19 for US$ 45 and Zenit camera was sold for US$ 30.
New Member

Registered: February, 2013
Posts: 8

2 users found this helpful
Lens Review Date: January 4, 2014 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $65.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: Very sharp, inexpensive, solid metal
Cons: None for a manual focus lens
Sharpness: 10    Aberrations: 8    Bokeh: 8    Handling: 9    Value: 10   

I had to pay a little bit more than originally planned but found out that the money was well spent. This lens is a gem. Solid metal build with a m42 mount. It 's a manual focus lens, of course but the adapters are available in plenty.

I found the bokeh quite good with little chromatic aberration like the most of the older lenses of film era. I tested it against two of my best manual focus "Nifty-fifty" lenses—Canon FDn 50/1.4 and Pentax-M 50/1.4. Zenitar-M is equal in sharpness, aberration and bokeh (I like Pentax-M 50/1.4 pleasantly smoothest @ f/2, though).

A bit too narrow for a walk-around lens but great for smaller targets. It seems to render everything a little cool but it can easily be corrected in PP. Overall a real and under rated gem. If you find one in good condition—don't snooze but get it!

Here's my resolution chart test of center sharpness with large apertures:

Some bokeh tests here:

Couple of samples that are converted from RAW with default settings. Some NR applied without sharpening and then down-sized to 1020 pix:

New Member

Registered: December, 2012
Posts: 14

1 user found this helpful
Lens Review Date: July 7, 2013 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $50.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: Extra creamy bokeh!! great sharpness
Cons: mechanical construction, some aberrations
Sharpness: 9    Aberrations: 7    Bokeh: 10    Handling: 7    Value: 9   

Application Domain:
Zenitar M for me is a rare hidden gem. The results on portraits ca be simply superb IMO, even in low light conditions. Together with my SMC takumar 50 mm f1,4, and supertakumar 105mm f2.8, my lens portrait favourites. Mounted on my K7, M42 adapter, Av mode, +0.3ev and ready to focus.

Can also give good results on night street photography, thanks to his 1,7 full aperture and sharpness even at full aperture. On landscapes, the great color rendition and sharpness can be usefull.
See some images on soviet lens forums!

Best characteristic is the creamy creamy bokeh. Combine this with with f1,7, shallow DOF on full aperture, high sharpness on in focus areas, great colors and it can give you great portrait results. The colors do have a certain cold touch, you can easily adjust in PP if needed.
Sharpness is amongst the highest in all my collection of soviet and takumar lenses.

On the other side, the aberrations. When shooting againt direct lights, produces strange effects on shiny things and light reflections. But sometimes you can have beautiful results from the effect, at night has some strange effects on little artificial lights.

One of my copies has the focusing ring that gets a bit loose after one day of handling. Nothing critical, you screw a bit the tiny screws on the side, and ready again. The handling of focusing and aperture ring are good, 80´s soviet era all metal construction...but no comparison with the suede touch of the takumars.

Seen not very often in fleabay, with few bidders, ridicously high prices sometimes.
It is my only doubled lens. My first copy, purchased on fleabay, was winned in an strange way. I did not know anything about the lens, and I put a low bid on it. Only another bidder, few bid loops and I finally losed the auction. But the seller contact me later to offer me item, as the winner has finally rejected it because already had a copy. (the seller throw a self-bid to raise benefit??). Strange thing, but 33 eur, without shipping cost seem OK to me, and the rare gem fall into my hands, with an extra gift of an M42-canon adapter. My only lens purchased in Spain, and one of my greatest bargains. It has cyrilic letters on it.
My 2nd copy arrived from US fleabay, with carefully CLA applied, occidental letters on it, extense description, carefully packaged. About 2 times the prices of the first, but I wanted a back-up for one of my fav lenses.


Go for it while available!

New Member

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

2 users found this helpful
Lens Review Date: April 2, 2013 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: None indicated | Rating: 10 

Sharpness: 10    Aberrations: 7    Bokeh: 10    Handling: 8    Value: 9   

Pentax K-r

Senior Member

Registered: January, 2011
Posts: 258

2 users found this helpful
Lens Review Date: January 10, 2012 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $50.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: Sharp, good contrast and color, GREAT bokeh
Cons: Russian made
Sharpness: 10    Aberrations: 9    Bokeh: 10    Handling: 8    Value: 10    Camera Used: Pentax K200D, K30, Nex F3, 5r   

Very nice lens!
I'll let the photos speak instead of me.

some portraits

PS here some new shots

Here I will add a link to a set with my Zenitar shots.
KMZ Zenitar 50 1.7
And a comparison between FA 50 1.4, A 50 1.2 and Zenitar 50 1.7 made with K30
Is the Zenitar sharper? Oh yeah! It is sharper than both pentax lenses, the bokeh is unique and that's why the A 50 1.2 is sold now and the zenitar is in the bag .
Add Review of KMZ 50mm 1.7 Zenitar-M

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