Jupiter-9 questions

Discussion in 'Adapted Lenses' started by Mellow, Mar 14, 2012.

  1. Mellow

    Mellow Mu-43 All-Pro

    Aug 27, 2010
    Florida or Idaho
    Tom
    I've been thinking about getting a Jupiter-9 to play with. I've read as much as I can about the different versions (silver vs. black, coated vs. MC) but I'm unclear on the mount.

    Specifically, is it true that a version using the Contax/Kiev RF mount will require an expensive adapter to allow it to focus? I know there are inexpensive Contax RF adapters, but my understanding is that most (all?) of the lenses made for the Contax RF mount used a coupled focusing mechanism in the body and so won't focus without a complicated focusing mount adapter.

    I'm curious about the Contax/Kiev mount versions because they are cheaper--but obviously won't be if the adapter costs >$100.

    Can anyone clarify this for me?
     
  2. fredlong

    fredlong Just this guy...

    Apr 18, 2011
    Massachusetts USA
    Fred
    The Contax and Kiev copies had the focusing mechanism in the body and the adapter duplicates that. the Leica thread mount versions are usually expensive. The M42 version is often only around $130-180 and may be your best option.

    You could also find a Tamron Adaptall II 90mm f/2.5 macro for about $100. It's not f/2 but it's close and it's a very good lens.

    Fred
     
  3. avidone

    avidone Mu-43 Top Veteran

    520
    Jun 24, 2011
    Rome, Italy
    I just recently bought an m42 version newer, black, multi-coated Jupiter 9, which I have been using on my Canon 20d and I just LOVE this lens. I did not try it on the mu43, but I imagine it will still be pretty charming there. I did a lot of reading around the net before choosing this newer, multi-coated version and decided it seemed the least risky, also since there seem to be lots of stories of older ones having been disassembled/reassembled or patched together from parts, etc. Be aware that, in addition there are some copies out there which are the "zenit m39" in addition to the "Leica m39" The Zenit versions have the same focal plane distance as regular m42, but with an m39 thread. I think there are also copies out there in the Kiev 10/15 Automat mount which is not only an "incomplete" style lens sort of like the Contax/Kiev ones, but also such an obscure mount that apparently neither the Chinese nor the Russians have made any mount adaptors for digital cameras.
     
  4. Mellow

    Mellow Mu-43 All-Pro

    Aug 27, 2010
    Florida or Idaho
    Tom
    Thanks. You mean the 'expensive' adapter duplicates that, right? (Looking on eBay the simple adapter costs about $25 (]Contax Kiev rangefinders lens 2 M4/3 Micro 4/3 Adapter | eBay) while the 'expensive' adapter costs $175 (]Kipon adapter Contax RF lens -M4/3 E-P1 E-P2 G1/GH1/GF1 | eBay)
     
  5. foto2021

    foto2021 Mu-43 Veteran

    301
    Nov 5, 2011
    SE England

    If you find a lens with an M39 mount, there are simple, inexpensive M39 to M42 adapters available. These enable you to use the lens with a m4/3 body via an easy-to-find M42 to m4/3 adapter.
     
  6. Mellow

    Mellow Mu-43 All-Pro

    Aug 27, 2010
    Florida or Idaho
    Tom
    OK, now I'm confused! I thought the M39 versions were designed for rangefinders, with their smaller focal plane distance. Why won't a simple M39->m43 adapter work?
     
  7. foto2021

    foto2021 Mu-43 Veteran

    301
    Nov 5, 2011
    SE England

    As Avidone explained, the M39 mount has the same screw thread diameter and pitch as the L39 Leica screw mount, but the distance between the sensor and the lens flange (the "register") is much greater. In fact the register for M39 is the same as for M42, with the flange much further from the sensor than L39.

    So if you used an L39 to m4/3 adapter, the register would be a long way from the correct distance and the focusing would be a long way off. Believe me, this is not something you would want to do. :wink:
     
  8. apicius9

    apicius9 Mu-43 Veteran

    348
    Feb 1, 2010
    Honolulu, Hawaii
    I had one a while ago and played around with it on a GH1 using the m39-m4/3 adapter with no problem. Nice lens, I only sold it because I had too many competing in that length.

    Stefan
     
  9. the.growler

    the.growler Mu-43 Regular

    With all due respect to foto2021, there are two different versions of the Jupiter-9 with the M39 mount - one with the Zorki/FED rangefinder register and one with the Zenit SLR register. The rangefinder version works just fine on a Micro 4/3 camera with a M39 - M4/3 adapter. The Zenit version requires an additional M39 - M42 adapter (a simple threaded collar) and should work on a Micro 4/3 camera with a M42 - M4/3 adapter. I say "should" because its been my experience that the Zenit register can vary a little bit from the standard M42 register.

    Fortunately, the two versions of the lenses look very different. The rangefinder version is elongated and the Zenit version is almost square in its proportions, with a large knurled ring at the rear.
     

    Attached Files:

  10. Mellow

    Mellow Mu-43 All-Pro

    Aug 27, 2010
    Florida or Idaho
    Tom
    Thank you so much. That pretty much explains it to me. Bottom line seems to be that the lens will be the same length once you've attached the adapter. Reading between the lines it seems like the Zorki/FED M39 or M42 versions would be easiest to attach to an m43 camera--is that right?
     
  11. the.growler

    the.growler Mu-43 Regular

    @Mellow:

    IMHO, the M39 rangefinder version is the easiest. It also gives the cleanest look - almost all lens, very little adapter.
     
  12. Ned

    Ned Mu-43 Legend

    Jul 18, 2010
    Alberta, Canada
    Yup, M39 and M42 are both simple screw mounts and very simple to attach. M39 LTM (also shortened as L39) is a rangefinder mount and therefore very small and slim on a Micro Four-Thirds camera. M42 is an SLR mount (also known as Universal Screw Mount or Pentax Screw Mount), and requires a much longer register distance.

    However, that doesn't necessarily mean that the same lens made for both mounts will be shorter on the L39, as the longer telephoto lenses often have extra dead space between the rear element and the sensor, so the adapter simply eats up dead space that would have been there anyways. I believe this is the case for the Helios-40 (somebody may correct me if I'm wrong), which is also an 85mm Russian lens, but the Helios brand is mostly in M42 mount, and copies of the Carl Zeiss Biotar formulas. The Helios-40 is the one rare exception which has an L39 version (which I want, by the way!). The Jupiter lenses are commonly found in L39 as they are made for rangefinders and are mostly copies of the Carl Zeiss Sonnar formulas.

    I have the Jupiter-3 in M39 LTM, and this is what it looks like on a PEN...
    jupiter-3_web.
    e-pl2_and_e-pm1_web.
     
  13. I think you are right about the register distance not being exactly the same. I have a Zenit M39 mount version of the Helios 44. With the M39-M42 threaded collar the lens will mount on an M42 adapter but it doesn't achieve infinity focus even though the base of the lens sits flush with the adapter once it is screwed in all the way.
     
  14. the.growler

    the.growler Mu-43 Regular

    @ Luckypenguin:

    I had exactly the same problem with both of my copies of the Helios-44 (M39 Zenit) and with an Industar-50 pancake (M39 Zenit). I keep a modified M39 - M42 and M42 - M4/3 adapter combo (some material taken off of the face of the joined adapters) just for those lenses.
     
  15. I thought about doing the same to my adapter since the adapted Helios is the only current M42 mount lens I have and I wasn't really planning to get any more.
     
  16. the.growler

    the.growler Mu-43 Regular

    @ Luckypenguin:

    If you don't want to sacrifice the M42 adapter and you have other M39 rangefinder lenses in your collection, think about getting a set of M39 macro tubes/rings. I found that a KMZ-made 26mm macro tube gave me just the right register for Zenit lenses. The lens looked a little weird perched on the end of the macro tube but it worked just fine - and I use the remaining macro rings all the time with my other Russian M39 lenses.
     
  17. avidone

    avidone Mu-43 Top Veteran

    520
    Jun 24, 2011
    Rome, Italy
    I have also heard of problems with infinity focus with Zenit m39 lenses adapted to m42 mount with the simple screw adapter. It may be a similar phenomenon as with m42 to Pentax K mount, which also have the same register, so anything the slightest bit off about the adapter can cause problems. Still, most cheap Chinese m42 adapters I have tried on mu43 focused a good bit "past infinity" so they may make the double adaptation likelier to work. Unsure, as no direct experience.

    Probably safest to go with an m42 or a real m39/ltm/rangefinder lens (BTW, that is where "Fed" goes, not with Zenith-- Fed and Zorki were the biggest name m39 rangefinders in Soviet production). As a further caveat, I have read that the construction and focusing mechanism in the ltm/m39/RF Jupiter 9's are quite different from and more complex than the m42 and m39/Zenith ones, and possibly more prone to trouble. Still, they might be the best bet if you reallywant one of the old silver coloured lenses.

    Personally, after reading and reading about these and looking at lots of pic samples, I was convinced that the newest, MC (multicoated) versions of the lens looked most promising and having decent QC. The one I got looked to be new old stock or barely used, though produced in 1991. There seemed to be some evidence that the multi-coating favours better colours and contrast than the newer or older single-coated ones and seem to also be pretty consistent in giving soft-focus/Leica glow wide open at f/2.0, good for portraits, then sharpening up nicely from 2.8 and tack-sharp from 4. I have not done a scientific study, but what experience I have using it seems to more or less confirm that idea.

    Some people seem to swear by "good copies" of the old silver coloured lenses, but I have also seen lots of stories about "bad copies" whether by bad production QC, abuse, and/or sloppy rebuilds. And of course there is no reliable way to know how good a specimen you have if you order it online.
     
  18. kinlau

    kinlau Mu-43 Top Veteran

    836
    Feb 29, 2012
    It would help if people stop using the wrong term.

    M39 is a SLR mount, same registry distance as M42, basically only found on old Russian SLRs.

    LTM is the term for Leica Thread Mount, for Leica rangefinders and copies. There's no such thing as a m39 for rangefinders.

    It gets even more screwy because the Braun Paxette series also uses the same thread size but different registry distance.

    Those terms have been in use for many years, so please don't change them now... Keep in mind your posts may come up for someone else doing an Internet search.
     
  19. Ned

    Ned Mu-43 Legend

    Jul 18, 2010
    Alberta, Canada
    Yes, this is why I use the short-term "L39" when I don't want to say M39 LTM (as if that's so much more to type), to avoid confusion.
     
  20. foto2021

    foto2021 Mu-43 Veteran

    301
    Nov 5, 2011
    SE England

    That is why I also used "L39", precisely to avoid the confusion that seemed determined to follow.

    You can't please all the people all of the time. :rolleyes: