Jupiter-3+, C-Sonnar, Jupiter-3 Comparisons.

Discussion in 'Leica M and LTM Lenses' started by Brian, Feb 1, 2016.

  1. Brian

    Brian Super Moderator Subscribing Member

    Apr 3, 2013
    Edit- after getting back in from the quick backyard test, I noticed the C-Sonnar had a Skylight 1B filter on it rather than the UV filter to properly compare with the J-3+ and J-3. I will redo this test, hopefully with some Sun and not heavy overcast. The 1B filter increases contrast.

    This will be an ongoing project, to build some comparison images between 80+ years of Sonnar formula 5cm F1.5 lenses. This is of course due to the Lomography/Zenit introduction of the Jupiter-3+. This lens is the only 1-3-3 50mm F1.5 Sonnar produced in the 21st century. It is also the Best Jupiter-3 that I've ever seen, or made. I just proved that point to myself, tested against my very best Jupiter-3 created using Zeiss glass optics, a Jupiter-3 barrel with the spacing set for the Leica standard, all in a buttery-smooth KMZ Focus mount modified to focus to 0.75m. I have about 40 hours of time invested into that lens. Getting the spacing between the two triplets to focus across the full range took a lot of trial and error.

    We are getting through a major snowstorm, weather has been lousy, and I would love a Sunny day at Gunston Hall to really test this new lens.

    Until then, I trekked out to the backyard with my tripod, M9, Jupiter-3+, C-Sonnar, and Millenium J-3. She may not look like much, but I've made some special modifications.

    All images uploaded at full-resolution, "click" on the images to "pixel peep".

    Up first, the Jupiter-3+, wide-open.


    Attached Files:

    Last edited: Feb 1, 2016
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  2. Brian

    Brian Super Moderator Subscribing Member

    Apr 3, 2013
    A second with the Jupiter-3+ at F1.5.

    [​IMG] 24731242336_6e6ef75750_o.

    For this batch, for "Pixel Peeping", I shot two each wide-open and 1 each stopped down to F4.

    Note that I did not change focus to compensate for focus shift at F4 with any of the lenses. This is so you can see how much focus shift occurs with each lens.

    Jupiter-3+ at F4,

    Last edited: Feb 1, 2016
  3. Brian

    Brian Super Moderator Subscribing Member

    Apr 3, 2013
    NEXT UP: The Zeiss C-Sonnar 50mm F1.5. Note the FOV looks slightly greater than the Jupiter-3+. The C-Sonnar uses an Indexed-Cam, and is probably a true 50mm. The Jupiter-3+ and my custom-made Jupiter-3 both use a 1:1 cam and must be 51.6mm to maintain focus across range.

    Wide-Open at F1.5,


    Second at F1.5,


    And at F4.


    The C-Sonnar has higher contrast in these images BUT I later noted that I left the Skylight 1B filter on it, and had UV filters on the J-3+ and J-3. I will redo this test with the UV on each. All images are straight LR6 exports with default sharpening, no changes in intensity or contrast. Camera set to +2/3rds EV to account for snow in background.
    Last edited: Feb 1, 2016
  4. Brian

    Brian Super Moderator Subscribing Member

    Apr 3, 2013
    All pictures shot under heavy could cover, it's raining now. I need a Sunny Day, Blue Sky, and a day off to do these lenses some justice.

    The tripod shifted a bit changing lenses. I kept distance to 0.9m for the C-Sonnar.

    1950 KMZ Jupiter-3 optics barrel with 1945 Zeiss Glass set in a KMZ focus mount from 1956. This lens has perfect glass because it could not have been used in it's original barrel and mount. The barrel was too short, the triplets were too closely spaced, and the focus mount was unusable. It looked like it was assembly practice. I get the best glass from lenses like this.



    Wide-Open #2,


    And at F4,


    All for now! I think the next comparison will be with the Nikkor 5cm F1.5, 1943 CZJ 5CM f1.5 Sonnar "T", and Canon 50/1.5. All of these lenses have perfect glass. Anyone that thinks the Jupiter-3 is a "clone" of the Zeiss lens has not taken them apart. The Jupiter-3 mount is a better and more durable design, allows much more flexibility in calibrating the RF for infinity focus. The ZOMZ lenses from 1956~1963 have a re-designed rear fixture that allows better centering in the barrel. The shape of the rear triplet is different from the Zeiss lenses and the KMZ J-3's.
    Last edited: Feb 1, 2016
  5. Brian

    Brian Super Moderator Subscribing Member

    Apr 3, 2013
    I just noticed an error that will bias contrast in Favor of the C-Sonnar: it has a Skylight 1B filter on it, the KMZ and J-3+ have Schneider Multicoated UV filters.

    I'm leaving these up, but will redo the test between the C-Sonnar and J-3+ on a Sunny Day, both with the same filter- or none. I have a habit of using filters on my lenses, I don;t want to be the guy that screws up the front element of a lens that is 80+ years old and Perfect.
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  6. k fahlman

    k fahlman Leica Place Regular

    Jan 31, 2016
    Vancouver, BC
    Thanks for these Brian!
    I actually prefer the colour of the J3+, seems a bit more on the cool side.

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  7. dante

    dante Leica Place Rookie

    Nov 18, 2015
    I leave filters on lenses because I'm lazy and also like sticking my camera in a coat pocket (keys and front elements don't mix...).

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