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LZOS Jupiter-9 MC  M42 85mm F2 Review RSS Feed

LZOS Jupiter-9 MC M42 85mm F2

Reviews Views Date of last review
22 171,663 Tue March 16, 2021
Recommended By Average Price Average User Rating
95% of reviewers $92.22 8.29
LZOS Jupiter-9 MC  M42 85mm F2

LZOS Jupiter-9 MC  M42 85mm F2
LZOS Jupiter-9 MC  M42 85mm F2

This is the most recent version (available new as recently as 2007) of the long-running Jupiter-9 lens.

Manufacturer: LZOS, Lytkarino, Russian Federation
Finish: Black enamel
Focal length: 85mm
Aperture range: f/2-f/16
Aperture type: Pre-set
Diaphragm blades: 15 (curved)
Minimum focus: 0.8m (31.5 in.)
Weight: 380gm (13.4 oz)
Length: 52mm min - 65mm max
Diameter: 66mm
Filter thread: 49mm
Mount: 42mm thread (M-42)
Coating: Multi-coated

Note that lenses sold under this model name have been manufactured by a number of different entities in both "silver" and black finishes and in both 39mm and 42mm thread mounts for SLR as well as Kiev bayonet, Leica Thread Mount (LTM, L39) and Kiev/Contax (see here) bayonet. All share a common heritage in being derived from the Zeiss Sonnar 85mm f/2. (The Soviets were granted the designs and tooling as war reparations at the end of WWII.)
Mount Type: M42 Screwmount
Price History:

Add Review of LZOS Jupiter-9 MC  M42 85mm F2
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New Member

Registered: March, 2021
Posts: 2

1 user found this helpful
Review Date: March 16, 2021 Recommended | Price: $80.00 | Rating: 8 

Pros: Fast, bokeh, good IQ, built like a tank, can be found cheap
Cons: Heavy and cumbersome to use, flare, low contrast
Sharpness: 8    Aberrations: 8    Bokeh: 10    Handling: 6    Value: 8    Camera Used: Pentax K50   

I have the M42, black version (identical to the one in the actual review page main photo).
I had the opportunity to try another black Jupiter 9 M42, identical to mine but with different serial number. I found out that mine was definitely sharper wide open, with more vivid colours (somewhat warmer too). My copy seems to not have any coatings on the lenses! even the internal ones they seem to be pure glass. The other one had some clearly visible bluish coating on the lenses. So i don't know, but those russian lenses seem to differ quite a bit depending on the manufacturing year and location, even if they look identical...

Anyways, my copy is quite sharp, even at f/2. CA is noticeable (but not distracting, actually somewhat pleasing) wide open and becomes way better after f/4. My copy has no coating on the lenses so is very prone to flare and has low contrast (hood not only recommended, but mandatory!). Color rendition is very good.
Bokeh is absolutely gorgeous.

Mechanical-wise it's built like a tank... i like to believe that the actual metal that it's made of, actually comes from a real russian tank
With that said though, this big chunck of thick metal and glass comes to a cost... It's heavy!
In my copy the focus ring is very stiff, so it's a little bit of a pain to focus.
I personally kind of like the preset aperture mechanism. A bit cumbersome sometimes, but once you get used to it, it's actually quite fun to use.

Here are some shots at f/2.

Senior Member

Registered: November, 2012
Posts: 151
Review Date: May 18, 2018 Recommended | Price: $150.00 | Rating: 9 

Pros: Bokeh Rendition
Cons: Focus ring
Sharpness: 8    Aberrations: 8    Bokeh: 10    Handling: 7    Value: 9    Camera Used: K5 iis   

I bought a silver copy of this lens from online. My copy is sharp from wide open. Will share more pics later. The bokeh is beautiful and rendition is sweet. It has a unique feel to it. And, its a solid metal lens. Coming to negative aspects, its focus ring is stiff and getting the right focus is difficult, at least compared to my pentax manuals. Its prone to flare as well.

Veteran Member

Registered: March, 2014
Location: Dallas, TX
Posts: 890

5 users found this helpful
Review Date: July 1, 2015 Recommended | Price: $160.00 | Rating: 9 

Pros: Well built. Outstanding Versatility. Outstanding Bokeh. Fast.
Cons: A couple of idiosyncrasies with the Aperture Preset and Settings (read)
Sharpness: 9    Aberrations: 9    Bokeh: 10    Handling: 9    Value: 9   

First of all, I am enamored with preset lenses. I love to shoot them and for me it is more fun to shoot than AUTO (A/M) lenses as I get to infinitely adjust the aperture intuitive and see the effects through the view finder as I dial the aperture up or down. I also find them more intuitive and natural than shooting fully manual Pentax A, K, and M type series lenses as I am always forgetting to stop-down meter via green button. I purchased my Jupiter-9 85/2 from a forum member after doing a bit of research and found that is a well regarded lens. It also nicely filled a prime lens FL gap I had as I had nothing between 58mm and 100mm. Although I am not a portrait photographer, this FL gap was all I needed as an excuse to justify yet another lens purchase.

So what about the lens!!?? Well, I must say I struggled with 85mm at first. My shooting preferences really lends itself to shorter/wider focal lengths. It was really a struggle to get what I wanted in frame at first, but after a few days, I figured it out for the most part and adapted to a different shooting style that accommodated this new and strange FL.

OK -- so what about the freakin' lens!!?? Well, the lens is very sturdily built and has a nice "heft" without being difficult too heavy. It has a very reasonable close focus ability that allowed me to shoot my style of images (flora mostly) and has a well dampened focus that feels just right and a nice focus throw allowing for precise focus. The Aperture setting ring moves relatively easily throughout the stops and the adjustment ring dials the diaphragm open and closed smoothly and with minimal effort. Determining the aperture is a little awkward and does require you looking at the lens form the front and I do wish the aperture mark on the lens was a little more visible. There is also a trick to changing the aperture preset ring in that the diaphragm ring has to be at the wide open setting to allow the aperture preset ring to be moved. Once I understood that, it did not pose a problem.

The Jupiter-9 85/2 renders beautiful images. It is a nicely fast lens at F/2 max aperture allowing relatively low-light photography and a nice shallow DOF for subject isolation. This lens has 15 curved blades making up the diaphragm and because of this renders beautiful creamy bokeh -- but don't forget it is also a Russian lens, so you can coax some pretty wild painterly and bubble bokeh on-demand. Images are rendered with a soft glow when shot wide-open (perfect for portraits) and sharpens up very nicely at f/4-5.6 and very sharp/crisp at f/11. The lens really is surprisingly sharp and images captured can withstand some pretty significant crops and still look great. Colors are rendered nicely and although not as bright and intense as SMC coated limited lenses, they are rendered nicely and accurately.

In closing, I found it to be a rather versatile lens, once I learned how to work the FL and learned to exploit the Jupiter's versatility and capabilities. I have an awful lot of lenses and this one has certainly become a favorite! My advice ...


IMGP3773 by Richard, on Flickr

IMGP3765 by Richard, on Flickr

IMGP3753 by Richard, on Flickr

IMGP3699 by Richard, on Flickr

IMGP3689 by Richard, on Flickr

IMGP3527 by Richard, on Flickr

IMGP3485 by Richard, on Flickr

IMGP3462 by Richard, on Flickr
Forum Member

Registered: September, 2013
Posts: 62

1 user found this helpful
Review Date: December 27, 2013 Recommended | Price: None indicated | Rating: 8 

Pros: cheap 85/2 lens!
Cons: very difficult to work with (pre-set aperture)
Sharpness: 7    Aberrations: 8    Bokeh: 9    Handling: 5    Value: 8   

chip 85/2 lens, M42 connection.
no any automatic.
soft, if needed, if not needed - also soft.

it can be useful only is You are working slow, tripod, steady model... pre-set aperture it is a issue.
You can set it before focusing but it is so... who the hell is need it?

I have one, I do not use it.
but - it is still cheap 85/2 lens
Veteran Member

Registered: May, 2009
Location: Lithuania
Posts: 344
Review Date: January 23, 2013 Recommended | Price: $160.00 | Rating: 9 

Pros: Great bokeh, stepless aperture (always round bokeh), build to last forever, sharp when closed a bit
Cons: softer at f/2, stiff focus ring, lacks contrast, flare
Sharpness: 8    Aberrations: 8    Bokeh: 9    Handling: 8    Value: 8   

This is my lens:

It came with original rare hood which helps a bit when taking on sunny days.
My lens was made in 1983 and I bought it on eBay. It has typical Jupiter softness at f/2, however while pixel-peeping, I found that my lens is sharper than most properly focused samples i've seen on net. It's still not razor sharp and has softness but small details are rendered greatly and moreover, the softness does not show really when I take portrait pics. Also, I noticed, that the further you focus at f/2 the softer it gets, and it's interesting optical design. The lens shows some CA's on very contrasty scenes but no more than DA70 (which I used to have before). Nothing to be worried about.
The bokeh is very nice and has a character (not like DA70, which had dull and quite ugly bokeh). Also , the DOF control is quite amazing. Ok, it's not 1.4, but it is still fast lens and can focus close enough (80cm).
Here is bokeh sample (notice the pinkish lens flare) :

Aperture has 15 blades and is always round - great! Also stepless aperture means you can take movie and turn it without interrupting exposure and see the DOF difference - great bonus when taking movie or using liveview!
Here is a short video showing how the aperture works in movie mode:
The lens is prone to flare so the original hood I got is useful (never mind if you do not have, ebay can sell you chinese alternatvie). The hood is plastic and can be used on some Tair model (written on hood itself).
The focusing ring is quite stiff. My lens looks like very little used, very clean with minimum signs of usage on it thus the grease hardened over time. Now it rotates a bit easier since I purchased it (a week ago or so). Also in cold weather it gets even stiffer. Aperture ring is a bit easier to turn. All symptoms are known for jupiter users. BTW aperture has only very little oil on them.
Also the lens lacks contrast so it's good to edit pics in editing program. The colors are on cooler side.
One thing to mention is that the lens does not like front/side light. The picture gets heavy color cast, low contrast.
overall I found this lens incredibly joyful to use. it's great for bokeh,for portraits and for taking videos. Somehow it becomes more expensive with time. With some practice you can get great results!
New Member

Registered: September, 2012
Location: Belo Horizonte
Posts: 17
Review Date: November 26, 2012 Recommended | Price: $120.00 | Rating: 9 

Pros: Very good contrast, Quality, at f/2.8 forward is sharp
Cons: Hard to focus on open f / 2
Sharpness: 9    Aberrations: 8    Bokeh: 10    Handling: 8    Value: 8   

This lens is a very misunderstood, with it you have to take it easy, because it is difficult to open concentration in f / 2,
she gives soft images of book for girls. what is great treatments in reducing post editing.
The version that got a black cape and single coating. this with the perspective perfect no scratches or dust.

Personally I enjoyed it despite spending some anger.

Down some pictures I took with it at f / 2
Junior Member

Registered: August, 2009
Location: Lexington, KY
Posts: 30

1 user found this helpful
Review Date: February 1, 2012 Recommended | Price: $10.00 | Rating: 9 

Pros: Tiny (in Kiev 10/15 mount), sharp, great bokeh
Cons: Soviet build quality
Sharpness: 9    Aberrations: 7    Bokeh: 10    Handling: 8    Value: 10   

First off, my pristine 1981 Jupiter 9 is in Kiev-10/Kiev-15 mount, which explains the low price. I built my own adapter for it, which wasn't fun, but works. My adapter doesn't make changing the aperture easy, but this is a lens I'd shoot wide open as often as possible.

My copy looks like a completely different lens from the one pictured above. In Kiev 10/15 mount, it is tiny with a small diameter barrel. It is perhaps 1/3 the volume of my Samyang 85mm f/1.4. However, optically it seems that the Kiev version is the same as any other Jupiter 9.

This is actually a very sharp lens. Not as sharp as the Samyang wide open, but still very good and perhaps better than the Samyang when stopped down... but nobody buys these to use stopped down. The real selling point is the bokeh, which is impressive.

It doesn't take long to discover why the bokeh are so good. This lens has more spherical aberration than any other I've tested. That makes stuff beyond the focus point beautiful, but stuff closer looks almost like it was shot with a mirror lens. It also gives a nice, sharp-but-soft, feel to portraits. Definitely a great portrait lens... although I think the Samyang is optically superior. The Samyang's bokeh are at least comparably good -- but it's good both in front of and behind the focus point.

Build quality unfortunately has all the smoothness of typical USSR products. It is very solid, but lacks elegance.

Overall, there's a lot to like about this lens. It is probably worth the $100-$150 people pay for an M42 mount version. This and the Samyang are the only commonly-available 85mm lenses that really have the price/performance needed to make me want an 85mm.
Veteran Member

Registered: April, 2010
Location: California
Posts: 484

1 user found this helpful
Review Date: December 16, 2011 Not Recommended | Price: $115.00 | Rating: 5 

Pros: Beautiful bokeh and out-of-focus highlights, sharp from f/4 onward
Cons: quality issues degrading wide open performance
Sharpness: 6    Aberrations: 3    Bokeh: 9    Handling: 6    Value: 4   

My black 1988 M42 copy of this lens is a very mixed bag. On the plus side, it is very sharp from f/4 onward and renders out-of-focus areas beautifully, on the minus side, it is low in contrast and flares easily. This can be worked around in post-processing and by always using a hood, but to make matters worse, it produces a strong glowing artifact at f/2. Upon closer inspection, I found that one cause is light leakage from paint loss near the edges of the front lens triplet that is getting more and more exposed to the field of view as the aperture blades open past f/2.8. This is just shoddy workmanship and apparently a rather common problem, at least with the black Jupiter-9. To make matters worse, I found that there is a bare aluminum shim ring sitting in front of the rear triplet. How anyone can think such a highly reflective part belongs in a lens is beyond me.

The lens can be a solid 9, if you find a good copy, but mine barely even deserves a 2 wide open. Based on this extreme sample variation and considering the current price level well beyond 100$, I do not recommend this lens, unless you have the option to try and return it.
Forum Member

Registered: October, 2010
Location: Klaipeda
Posts: 77
Review Date: November 14, 2011 Recommended | Price: None indicated | Rating: N/A 


Lens from Russian Zenitar group.

Registered: February, 2008
Location: Hawkesbury
Posts: 1,789
Review Date: November 8, 2011 Recommended | Price: $50.00 | Rating: 6 

Pros: Cheap, lively images
Cons: Difficult to work with and maintain
Sharpness: 7    Aberrations: 5    Bokeh: 7    Handling: 2    Value: 7   

I am guessing that the quality control on these lenses has varied considerably over the years. The copy I have experience with has most of the failings mentioned in the other reviews and it can be hard to remember its good features that have given the lens its cult status.
That said, when everything goes to plan, I can achieve sharpish, colourful images with interesting optical effects when I dare to put the lens back on the camera.

At the moment it needs pulling apart so as I can tighten one of the internal rings and stop an element flopping around.
Despite all the difficulties, I'm still giving it a 6 (which is good) because it can capture good images and reminds me just how lucky I am that other lenses are not so temperamental. My yes recommendation is only if you can try before you buy and you don't mind getting your hands dirty.

I've had much more luck using it on an old russian starlight scope both as the objective lens and as a massive ocular so as I can sit back a metre and easily view the nocturnal images.
Senior Member

Registered: May, 2009
Location: Sacramento
Posts: 131
Review Date: April 8, 2011 Recommended | Price: None indicated | Rating: 9 

Pros: Excellent for portraits, bokeh
Cons: focusing can be a challenge

This is the perfect lens to have on your camera when someone says, "You take such good pictures, you must have a good camera." Hand them your camera with this lens attached and let the fun begin.
This is not, imho, the most forgiving lens. You need to have a plan in mind before you start shooting to make the most of it. The focus ring is alleged to have been originally lubricated with Russian tank grease, probably a tall-tale although it's likely not the smoothest focusing lens out there. I also believe that this lens would benefit from an aftermarket split focusing screen (Katz-eye,etc.) as it "fools' my k20d into a false sense of focus.
That being said, I have been having a great deal of enjoyment learning to "zoom with my feet" and frame my shots clearly. This lens encourages the photographer to think creatively and work with the lens, not against it. I gave it a 9 due to the fun factor and that it is definitely a lens with a soul.

Note:I purchased a lens hood through Ebay which has greatly aided in lessening flare.
Senior Member

Registered: December, 2010
Location: Missoula, MT
Posts: 175
Review Date: December 25, 2010 Recommended | Price: $65.00 | Rating: 9 

Pros: speed, relatively sharp
Cons: grease odor, stiff focusing

Got this several years ago on ebay as part of a 3 lens package ($65 for the trio), although the J9 was what I was really after.

My lens was built in 1989, has a strange odor, and stiff to focus, but it takes nice pictures, and sharp when stepped down to f/4, 5.6, etc, although I like the bokeh wide open to, just soft.

Honestly, it would probably be perfect with a CLA, but I'm afraid of misaligning the focus or something when putting it back together.
Review Date: July 20, 2010 Recommended | Price: $25.00 | Rating: 9 

Pros: Portrait lens, sharp , bokeh (15 blades )
Cons: a bit slow f2

I own the M39 version ( the metallic one) it was designed for FED or leica , i use it on my pen ep1.

Fantastic lens, it is very close to Helios 40 on day to day use , the helios wins at night or in low light situation. The jupiter is a bit sharper than the helios , the bokeh is very good and creamy. The difference in price between the Jupiter and Helios is not justified both give almost the same image quality.
Veteran Member

Registered: May, 2009
Location: Vancouver, B.C.
Posts: 6,513
Review Date: April 19, 2010 Recommended | Price: None indicated | Rating: 8 

Pros: good IQ, small and light, 15 aperture blades (preset), nice bokeh, 3D effect , CA control
Cons: aperture indicators can really be confusing.

I bought this lens out of curiosity. the bokeh is unusual but really nice and smooth and gives that 3D look even at f2. colors are cooler and looks really great. as for sharpness, it is far better and sharper than the Rokinon 85/1.4 from f2 onwards. although it is not as sharp as it's other 85mm counterparts but close or equalizes at f5.6 and over.

this lens could flare up easily, so it's necessary to install a deep hood with it. without a hood, the contrast suffers a lot. also the lens has greasy smell due to being a russian made lens. also, you might find some oil on the blades but those are normal and shouldn't be a concern unless the apertures becomes sticky or wouldn't move or the oil spills on the glass which I haven't heard of any reports yet. the focus ring is smooth and runs freely (being a preset lens). that means aperture adjustments can be made at the tiniest intervals at your disposal. it has 15 blades which makes the OOF highlights consistent circular which is very useful in portraiture work with lighted backgrounds.

I prefer this lens more now compared to my Rokinon, since this is much sharper, lighter, smaller and easier to use. the DOF focus at f2 is pretty easy to nail. and the closer minimum focusing distance of the J-9 at 80cm makes it much easier and convenient to use for nailing and shooting closer shots compared to the Rokinon at 100cm. I might sell my Rokinon pretty soon.
Senior Member

Registered: October, 2008
Location: Great Plain, Hungary
Posts: 204
Review Date: June 24, 2009 Recommended | Price: $20.00 | Rating: 9 

Pros: Nice, well built with good optics
Cons: Nothing in its class

A very good, cheap (compared to new ones in this focal lenght) lens for portraits at its widest aperture. When stopped down it becomes sharp. The man I bought from told me that he used it for macro with extention tubes and got terrific results.
Add Review of LZOS Jupiter-9 MC  M42 85mm F2

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