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Mir-1 (Mir-1A, Mir-1B, Mir 1V) 37mm F2.8 Review RSS Feed

Mir-1 (Mir-1A, Mir-1B, Mir 1V) 37mm F2.8

Reviews Views Date of last review
11 180,765 Fri August 14, 2020
Recommended By Average Price Average User Rating
100% of reviewers $48.11 8.73
Mir-1 (Mir-1A, Mir-1B, Mir 1V) 37mm F2.8

Mir-1 (Mir-1A, Mir-1B, Mir 1V) 37mm F2.8 Mir-1 (Mir-1A, Mir-1B, Mir 1V) 37mm F2.8 Mir-1 (Mir-1A, Mir-1B, Mir 1V) 37mm F2.8
Mir-1 (Mir-1A, Mir-1B, Mir 1V) 37mm F2.8
Mir-1 (Mir-1A, Mir-1B, Mir 1V) 37mm F2.8

The Mir-1 37mm f2.8 is essentially the standard USSR moderate wide angle lens. The optical formula is believed to be as shown and is a copy/derived from the Zeiss Flektogon. It is available primarily in M42 mount, also M39 mount (early versions particularly), t-mount (Mir-1A) and Russian bayonets like the Kiev-10/Kiev-15.
There are several variants see pics:
Mir-1 silver M39 (early versions);
Mir-1 black M42 (most common)
Mir-1A with t-mount (according to allphotolenses only manufactured for a year and seems uncommon);
Mir-1B M42 (VOMZ).

Also at least three different manufacturies made them: KMZ, VOMZ, ZOMZ, ZA. Lenses with the logo of the ZOMZ: Industrial Amalgamation Zagorsk Optical-Mechanical Factory (as on the silver version pictured) are the most common. Note too the first two digits of the serial number indicates the year of manufacture. However the optical formula and technical construction of the variants appears to be consistent:

Optics: 6 elements/4 groups.
Filter: 49mm.
Aperture range: f2.8 - 16, 2 ring preset.
Iris: 10 blade iris.
Focus: just shy of a full 360 rotation.
CFD: ~ 0.7m .
Length: ~ 6cm.
Weight: ~ 250g.

Mir-1 (M39 version) disassembly/relubing guide here.

Tips on using Mir 1 with pentax M42 adapter (loose fit, light leakage around mount edge) see this thread.
Mount Type: M42 Screwmount
Price History:

Add Review of Mir-1 (Mir-1A, Mir-1B, Mir 1V) 37mm F2.8
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New Member

Registered: August, 2020
Posts: 1
Review Date: August 14, 2020 Recommended | Price: $55.00 | Rating: 9 

Pros: Sharp. Great focal length.
Cons: Weird Soviet dual aperture. Tends to flare in bright conditions
Sharpness: 10    Aberrations: 9    Bokeh: 7    Handling: 10    Value: 10    Camera Used: Canon 6D   

Picked this up on eBay, as I wanted to get a ~35mm M42 lens and couldn't be happier with the one that I got. Made in 1987 and in pristine condition, it looks fantastic and takes photos that are just as good. The build is solid, which isn't a surprise for an old Soviet lens, but the quality is there, as well.

Site Supporter

Registered: February, 2013
Posts: 456
Review Date: August 28, 2016 Recommended | Price: None indicated | Rating: 9 

Pros: Sharp and great colors on macro
Cons: Minimum focal distance is a bit long without extenstion tubes
Sharpness: 10    Camera Used: Pentax K30   

I only use this lens with extension tubes so this is not a general review. I have had a lot of success with it on macro that starts with sharpness but also brings out a dreamy characteristic in the OOF ares.. So here is a link to 8 macro shots that I'm reasonably proud of. Pay no attention to the EXIF focal length as I often forget to set it and it doesn't matter much on an m42 lens. Also, I had some really cooperative bugs that did not mind a lens almost nudging their antennas.
Veteran Member

Registered: July, 2016
Posts: 709

1 user found this helpful
Review Date: August 23, 2016 Recommended | Price: $60.00 | Rating: 9 

Pros: 10-blade rounded aperture which can be stopped down countinously, long focus ring, good sharpness
Cons: A bit prone to flare, 10m to infinity way too short, pre-set can confuse some people
Sharpness: 8    Aberrations: 8    Bokeh: 9    Handling: 7    Value: 8    Camera Used: Sony ILCE-5000   

My copy is an Mir-1B made in 1988, which has a 10-blade rounded aperture. The pre-set system allows continuous stop-down, but it can be a bit confusing for ones never used it and some eyeballing is needed to understand how it works.

The lens is optically a solid performer, but just remember that it is prone to flare, so a hood is recommended for outdoors. I use it as a normal on my crop sensor body.

Inactive Account

Registered: October, 2015
Posts: 2
Review Date: November 13, 2015 Recommended | Price: $40.00 | Rating: 9 

Pros: Solid build, good price, good quality
Cons: Nil
Sharpness: 9    Aberrations: 9    Bokeh: 9    Handling: 9    Value: 10    Camera Used: A7r   

Really nice Russian lens, like many other Russians lenses they're good quality for the price, definitely stays in my kit and gets used quite often.

Would recommend , 37mm is a nice focal length, especially as a walk around travel lens, long enough for Portrait work and still wide enough for general use.

Some samples
New Member

Registered: May, 2013
Location: Jakarta
Posts: 2
Review Date: December 16, 2014 Recommended | Price: $60.00 | Rating: 9 

Pros: sharp, IQ, small
Cons: none so far
Sharpness: 10    Aberrations: 9    Bokeh: 9    Handling: 9    Value: 8    Camera Used: K5, MV   

mine is Mir-1B 37mm F2.8 M42, the lens has excellent sharpness and color rendering, has unique ring apertures

here are the samples shots on digital APSC and 35mm film analog:
New Member

Registered: August, 2014
Location: Rio de Janeiro
Posts: 5

1 user found this helpful
Review Date: August 12, 2014 Recommended | Price: $79.00 | Rating: 9 

Pros: Small, Lightweight, Sturdy, Bokeh
Cons: Pre-set feature (It takes some time to get used with)
Sharpness: 8    Aberrations: 9    Bokeh: 10    Handling: 8    Value: 10    Camera Used: Pentax K-30   

One word to describe this soviet wonder: SUPERB!

Sharpness is pretty good if stopped down a bit. Almost no signs of CA. This lens has a rather unique flare capability. Bokeh is quite surprisingly good, with the (in)famous Petzval effect. It is very sturdy, despite it's lightweight.

The photo below was taken using this lens,at f2.8 with a 12mm macro extension tube. Keep in mind that it was post-processed.

Site Supporter

Registered: November, 2012
Location: North Wales
Posts: 2,867

1 user found this helpful
Review Date: May 19, 2014 Recommended | Price: $40.00 | Rating: 7 

Pros: good resolution, great bokeh, third of the price of a CZJ flektogon
Cons: handling, M42-isms, contrast a bit weak and focus a bit wishy washy.
Sharpness: 8    Aberrations: 7    Bokeh: 9    Handling: 5    Value: 8    Camera Used: K-r   

I was particularly interested to check out a "flektogon" to get a 50mm-equivalent focal length prime for my K-r so was pleased to pick up my early version silver Mir-1 (pic above) in M39 mount in a job lot. Although shabby it was optically OK, and I took it apart to replace the sticky old soviet "cowsnot" (a perrenial complaint with old east bloc lenses) with some modern lithium grease (link above).

I found this to be a rather less than user friendly lens. As well as all the usual inconveniences of K-r + M42- fiddling with the M42 adapter; silly exposure compensation; the dull contrast of this lens meant focus was consistently a struggle, even with my split prism. And I am more prepared to be diligent with preset aperture with tp's, wide angle lenses are for more spontaneous photography and this suffered in comparison with my PKA mount 28mm's. I can also mention that the narrow mount of this lens meant its mounting on the camera was inherently a bit wobbly and because the mount contacts are not covered tricks with foil to address the exposure compensation issues aren't really on (I can make the same points re my helios 44).

Overall though I was pleased with IQ, this lens is sharp and once contrast has been buffed rendering/colours are good. I was quite happy with this composed shot (RAW, f8) of the site of old Deganwy Castle (also on 500px).

And also with it's close up pics (though I was relying on LV for focus), and the bokeh from that nice 10 blade iris. jpg, buffed and resized in faststone. But 0.7m is not very close, any of my 28's does better, Sigma Miniwide II does a lot better, and eg a Vivitar 35mm (T4/TX tokina made) gets twice as close at 37cm.

But at the end of the day, I didn't feel that this lens offered me anything in particular to offset the convenience of my PK/PKA primes, or indeed lenses like my adaptall 35-80mm 01A. I felt there was no noticeable difference in resolution between the first pic above and the same pic taken with the 01A.

So now you know why I sold it, and I have to say my interest in flektogons has diminished accordingly. The CZJ 35mm f2.4 consistently sells for 100+, I would be interested to hear someone make the case to spend that much on a vintage flektogon when the DA 35mm 2.4 can be acquired for almost the same (update - for less! I acquired my DA35 for 80).

There is a good comparison of a black Mir-1 and the early CZJ 35mm f2.8 (zebra) here (negligible difference between the two on this evidence):

Registered: April, 2011
Location: Lost in translation ...
Posts: 18,076
Review Date: January 3, 2014 Recommended | Price: None indicated | Rating: 8 

Pros: Sharp enough, IQ, solid ... lots of blades
Cons: None at the moment ...
Sharpness: 9    Aberrations: 8    Bokeh: 8    Handling: 8    Value: 9    Camera Used: K-5   


Just recently acquired a copy of this lens (see image below) and like what it has produced thus far ... really waiting for better weather to go out on a spin with it ... some sample images soon, hopefully ... will rate it as an "8" for the moment.

This is a M42 mount - "GRAND PRIX BRUSSELS 1958" - "MADE IN USSR"

Salut, John le Green Frog

Senior Member

Registered: November, 2012
Posts: 295
Review Date: December 17, 2013 Recommended | Price: $65.00 | Rating: 9 

Pros: Sharp, Smooth Bokeh, Unique Flares
Cons: Selective Use, Different Focus/Aperture Rings to Learn
Sharpness: 9    Aberrations: 9    Bokeh: 9    Handling: 9    Value: 9   

Sharp lens, especially for an old lens . Good 3D look to it with depth and deep contrast. A bit longer than normal portrait. Need to work on optimizing flares and lighting.
Forum Member

Registered: May, 2012
Location: New York
Posts: 52
Review Date: October 12, 2012 Recommended | Price: $24.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: Contrast, Sharp, IQ, Resolution
Cons: None
Sharpness: 10    Aberrations: 10    Bokeh: 8    Handling: 10    Value: 10   

I own the Mir 1V version of this lens. Razor sharp, excellent color rendition and in any other way. For the price paid, i'd definitely get one more, as a back up. It's not true wide angle, but for what it is - it's very impressive.
Junior Member

Registered: August, 2009
Location: Lexington, KY
Posts: 30
Review Date: February 2, 2012 Recommended | Price: $10.00 | Rating: 8 

Pros: Good IQ
Cons: Unexciting focal length and max aperture
Sharpness: 9    Aberrations: 7    Bokeh: 8    Handling: 8    Value: 8   

First off, my pristine 1981 Mir 1 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.

Basically, this lens is exactly what one would expect. Like so many USSR lenses, the optical performance is actually quite respectable and build is solid, functional, and feels not very smooth. IQ is a pretty good match for the various Zeiss-derived USSR lenses.

Although there is nothing really wrong with this lens, it's hard to imagine that anyone would find it compelling in comparison to a modern kit zoom.
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