Zenitar-M 50mm f1.7 - An obscure Russian Lens (several images)

Discussion in 'Adapted Lenses' started by sLorenzi, Jun 2, 2012.

  1. sLorenzi

    sLorenzi Mu-43 Top Veteran

    586
    Sep 15, 2010
    Brazil
    Sidinei
    Hi all,
    I've noticed an increase of people looking for legacy lenses here in the group, and decide to post something about one of my favourite legacy glass, the Zenitar-M 50mm f1.7 in M42 screw mount (pentax). The lens is not so easy to find, but I believe it worth the (a little) higher price over other FSU (Russian) 50's. It's a bit faster that the Helios 44, has a nice bokeh and is sharp wide open, but what make it special for me is the colours it produces, just beautiful.
    I read somewhere that this lens is inspired on the Zeiss Ultron optical design, but I couldn't confirm that.
    Here some photos I made with it.

    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/slorenzi/7019193655/" title="Brazilian Watercolor (Please see it in black background - press L) por sLorenzi, no Flickr"> 7019193655_4973d90e90_b. "1024" height="827" alt="Brazilian Watercolor (Please see it in black background - press L)"></a>

    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/slorenzi/5590434331/" title="Never Alone por sLorenzi, no Flickr"> 5590434331_b2db7cb40f_b. "1024" height="768" alt="Never Alone"></a>

    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/slorenzi/6878113791/" title="Uhm, Is it Something New? por sLorenzi, no Flickr"> 6878113791_c4687f663f_b. "768" height="1024" alt="Uhm, Is it Something New?"></a>

    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/slorenzi/5565951397/" title="Zenaida auriculata por sLorenzi, no Flickr"> 5565951397_7c042b0515_b. "1024" height="782" alt="Zenaida auriculata"></a>

    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/slorenzi/6879274442/" title="Jaboticaba por sLorenzi, no Flickr"> 6879274442_bdae6ff512_b. "1024" height="783" alt="Jaboticaba"></a>

    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/slorenzi/7012228647/" title="Sunflower Like Flower por sLorenzi, no Flickr"> 7012228647_de9fa48107_b. "1023" height="1024" alt="Sunflower Like Flower"></a>

    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/slorenzi/6865217680/" title="Curious Boy por sLorenzi, no Flickr"> 6865217680_66c1708969_c. "795" height="800" alt="Curious Boy"></a>
     
    • Like Like x 8
  2. RevBob

    RevBob Super Moderator

    Jun 4, 2011
    NorthWestern PA
    Bob
    Very crisp and sharp - and the color is excellent.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  3. sLorenzi

    sLorenzi Mu-43 Top Veteran

    586
    Sep 15, 2010
    Brazil
    Sidinei
    Thanks for commenting.

    I'm a little scared about how expensive those Zenitars are in e-bay. I got mine with a Zenit 19 Body for about US$70.00, but now they are being offered for more than 100.00m just the lens. :eek: At that price I don't think it's such a good idea, because the risk of getting a bad copy is big.
     
  4. stratokaster

    stratokaster Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jan 4, 2011
    Kyiv, Ukraine
    Pavel
    There are several versions of 50mm Zenitar lenses floating around.

    Zenitar 50/1.7 is the best. Very sharp, with sturdy metal build and nice bokeh.

    Zenitar 50/2 is the most common one. A very good lens optically, but plasticky and not very durable. (Mine is almost new, and it already has issues with aperture control ring.)

    3473529400_25ce9187c4_o.

    3473580594_bae182cb39_o.

    Zenitar 50/1.9 is the least common one. Its build is very similar to the Zenitar 50/1.7, it has very interesting bokeh wide open and is as sharp as any legacy fifty. You can see some image samples here: Старое Ñтекло - Зенитар 50/1.9

    There is also very rare Zenitar-ME 50/1.7. Optically it's identical to the Zenitar 50/1.7 but its aperture opening is square and as such the lens produces a very funky bokeh.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  5. sLorenzi

    sLorenzi Mu-43 Top Veteran

    586
    Sep 15, 2010
    Brazil
    Sidinei
    Didn't know about this ME version. Did some research and find some samples on-line. All I can say is: It's WEIRD!:eek:

    Zenfolio | Photography by Alex Holovachov | Zenitar ME-1 | Photo 2
     
  6. colbycheese

    colbycheese Mu-43 Veteran

    378
    May 1, 2012
    Way up there.
    Nice lens. I love the pictures you took with it. Just one question: where did you get this lens and how heavy is it?
     
    • Like Like x 1
  7. sLorenzi

    sLorenzi Mu-43 Top Veteran

    586
    Sep 15, 2010
    Brazil
    Sidinei
    Thanks. Mine I got on e-bay. I bought the Zenit 19 camera and it was its kit lens. Oh, and it weights 280 g.

    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/slorenzi/5845885621/" title="Zenit 19 with Zenitar 50mm f1.7 por sLorenzi, no Flickr"> 5845885621_75e1b7d995_z. "640" height="480" alt="Zenit 19 with Zenitar 50mm f1.7"></a>
     
    • Like Like x 1
  8. Crdome

    Crdome Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Sep 11, 2011
    West Central Indiana
    Chrome
    sLorenzi thanks for this posting. It's an interesting lens, with great images though I'm puzzled by this image. Perhaps you can help me by explaining your sense of aesthetics for this one. I'm quite interested in your choice of treatment, but having a difficultly trying to understand the graininess or noise in the wonderful bokeh. Was it shot in a particularly dark environment that you had to bump up the ISO.

    Thank you. I would appreciate you helping me to "see" through your eyes.

    -Chrome

     
  9. sLorenzi

    sLorenzi Mu-43 Top Veteran

    586
    Sep 15, 2010
    Brazil
    Sidinei

    Thanks Chrome.
    It's a little hard for me to give a why, and maybe it's more of my lack of ability in PP. The photo was shot in good light and low iso. What I was trying to do was make a better balance between the lower and upper halfs of the image, by boosting the colours and brightness of the bokeh, so it could compete with the flower in the foreground, which was a mundane one and less beautiful than the background. The bokeh was so beautiful I needed it to be more appealing, and I believe I boosted the grain too. But, besides that, the bokeh had already some grain in the original unprocessed image. 90% of my photos I take in RAW, but I don't know why, this one was shot in JPG.
    Sid
     
    • Like Like x 1
  10. Crdome

    Crdome Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Sep 11, 2011
    West Central Indiana
    Chrome
    sLorenzi , thank you for taking time to share your thoughts. I now see what you mean, and now appreciate the amazing gem-like quality of the bokeh, and understand what you tried to accomplish.