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Jupiter 8 vintage lens on Micro Four Thirds review

Discussion in 'Adapted Lenses' started by Nico Foto, Jul 30, 2011.

  1. Nico Foto

    Nico Foto Mu-43 Rookie

    15
    Jul 30, 2011
    Montevideo, Uruguay
    This is my first post on the m43 user group, so hi to everybody!

    I just published a review on using Jupiter 8 lens on Panasonic GF1 (or, in general all Micro Four Thirds cameras). It a very interesting lens due to its sonnar heritage and characteristic image rendering, wide open it "glows" quite magically.

    For those who don't know this lens, its a 50mm f/2 for M39 rangefinders (such as zorkis, feds and even leicas), easily found on the bay - it becomes a fastish medium tele lens on m43 cameras. I hope you find it interesting.
    I'd love to hear your feedback.

    Jupiter 8 on Micro Four Thirds Review | NICO-FOTO

    Kind regards,
    Nico.
     
    • Like Like x 5
  2. billy_pilgrim

    billy_pilgrim Mu-43 Regular

    39
    Jul 6, 2011
    Great sample shots! Also, I love all the hats! The glow and less-than-perfect sharpness do make for compelling images. It's not always about maximizing sharpness at expense of everything else.
     
    • Like Like x 2
  3. thearne3

    thearne3 Mu-43 Top Veteran

    807
    Jan 28, 2010
    Redding, CT USA
    Thanks, Nico. Could you comment on the variety of Jupiter 8's available? Looks like very different lenses in ebay. Some black, some silver, some appear to have small mounts, etc.
     
  4. NicolasGOD

    NicolasGOD Mu-43 Regular

    31
    Jun 19, 2011
    Riyadh, KSA / France
    Nice review, as you said a good lens with a Sonnar heritage.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  5. Ned

    Ned Mu-43 Legend

    Jul 18, 2010
    Alberta, Canada
    The silver ones are older, the black ones are newer. Mounts are generally Leica M39 or Contax. The Zeiss Sonnars were rarely in Leica mount because of the competition between Leica and Zeiss, but this doesn't apply to the Soviet copies. The black versions should still be aluminum unless they were made in the recent millennium, in which case they may have plastic rings.

    The silver ones from the 1950's are said to be best, as they were still using Carl Zeiss parts from the Zeiss factories which were completely disassembled in Germany and reassembled back in Russia, but I hear the new modern ones can be pretty sharp. I don't have any 8's, but I have a Jupiter-3 (the f/1.5 version) from 1953 which I am very happy with (it was traded for with one of the members on this forum, Roberto). The Jupiter-8s are supposed to have better consistency and are more likely to get a good copy. I'm looking for a Jupiter 9 (85mm f/2), though I'm told these are even tougher to find a good copy of than the Jupiter-3's.

    I'm just learning about these lenses, myself. :)
     
  6. Ulfric M Douglas

    Ulfric M Douglas Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Mar 6, 2010
    Northumberland
  7. Nico Foto

    Nico Foto Mu-43 Rookie

    15
    Jul 30, 2011
    Montevideo, Uruguay
    Hey there! It looks like ned has given you some good advice with regards to the different versions. From my personal investigtions, i'd say my conclusions were similar to his - silver ones have a higher chance of being good. That said, like everything regarding former soviet union lenses, ymmv - i have heard reports of people perfectly happy with black ones (look for info in rangefinderforum.com, there you'll probably find anything you need to know).

    When searching on ebay I tried to find a balance between condition and price - my rationale was that it didn't make sense paying a premium for a lens that could well be a lemon.

    If I were you i'd do that. Look for a lens in good condition at a fair price, regardless of if it is black or silver or whatever. Try one, have fun, and if you like it, you could buy another one in the future, or maybe even the twin brother Jupiter 3 (with a yummy f/1.5 maximum aperture). I know it is in my list, as well as other more exotic manual focus lenses. In any case, the J-8 os THE BARGAIN when it comes to rangefinder lenses adapted for any mount in my opinion...
     
    • Like Like x 1
  8. Nico Foto

    Nico Foto Mu-43 Rookie

    15
    Jul 30, 2011
    Montevideo, Uruguay
    Hey, thanks for the comments. I totally agree with you. There's so much character and fun to be found on legacy glass, it goes to show that sometimes we forget about mood and texture and rendering idiosyncracies in our quest for ever more perfect clinical quality glass. It opens a new world to our imaging palette, and that can only be good.
     
  9. Nico Foto

    Nico Foto Mu-43 Rookie

    15
    Jul 30, 2011
    Montevideo, Uruguay
    Thanks!
     
  10. Nico Foto

    Nico Foto Mu-43 Rookie

    15
    Jul 30, 2011
    Montevideo, Uruguay
    I'd like to have a J-3. Adds almost one more stop of light and allows for an ever tighter depth of field, something that - depending on your shooting style - might be very important in m43. In any case, i think an EVF is mandatory, as i don't think the GF1 LCD is detailed enough (or visible enough under the sun) to make such a beast justice. I've been thinking of the J-9 myself, but it looks like finding a good copy is a bit hit and miss, it is bigger (i'm interested in smallish lenses for my m43 rig), and honestly i wonder how usable it can be at 170mm equivalent focal length - quite a challenge to focus properly hand held.
     
  11. Nico Foto

    Nico Foto Mu-43 Rookie

    15
    Jul 30, 2011
    Montevideo, Uruguay
    Thanks! I really want to convey how the lens performs taking real pictures, not my desktop or my cat or a brickwall, if you know what i mean.
     
  12. chris_jenkins

    chris_jenkins New to Mu-43

    4
    Jul 27, 2011
    Mauritius
    I'm liking these portraits, good work! Looks like an interesting lens!