Lomography brings back the Jupiter-3

Discussion in 'Leica News and Rumors' started by Brian, Jan 21, 2016.

  1. Brian

    Brian Super Moderator Subscribing Member

    Apr 3, 2013
    http://shop.lomography.com/en/jupiter-3-plus

    http://shop.lomography.com/en/

    Not cheap at $649- but this is a fast Rangefinder lens with two triplets in it. About 1/2 the price of a new C-Sonnar, and a bit less than a 50/1.5 M-Mount Nokton. A near-mint J-3 runs $300, and you can figure that it will need a full CLA. This "Jupiter-3+" looks like the original Jupiter-3 design has been updated to close-focus to 0.7m. Chrome-plated brass is used rather than aluminum. I have modified a couple of original J-3's to focus closer, it is not hard to do. Basically a few cuts into the metal allows the close-focus position to exceed 1m and the focal length of the lens must be brought closer to 51.6mm.

    The engravings are different in the new J-3. I suspect the optics are the same, why change a winner. At $649- I expect KMZ quality control, which was much better than the late Valdai lenses. ALSO- with a change in the barrel, setting the rear triplet in closer will reduce the focal length to the Leica standard. This is certainly necessary to allow accurate focus from 0.7m to infinity.

    There are fast Sonnar formula lenses that I do NOT own, the Tanar 5cm F1.5, 500 made. That one would cost more than this new J-3+, and I already have the Nikkor 5cm F1.5. You could buy a few of these new J-3+ lenses for the price of the Nikkor. Both are chrome over brass, both focus close, and both made to the Leica standard.

    I have Five cherry-picked Jupiter-3's that span from 1950 through to 1984, two KMZ's with Zeiss serial numbers, a late 1956 KMZ, 1975 ZOMZ, and 1984 Valdai. Also a 1949 ZK Sonnar. I have a lot of Fast Sonnars. The KMZ Jupiter-3's are among the best 50/1.5's ever made by anyone.
     
    Last edited: Jan 25, 2016
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  2. ecowarrior

    ecowarrior New to Leica Place

    9
    Dec 23, 2015
    That would have to be some lens to compete with the Nokton. It's showing up as £499 UK. I paid £502 inc postage for a brand new Nokton not that long ago. Like the look of it though.
     
  3. Brian

    Brian Super Moderator Subscribing Member

    Apr 3, 2013
    My 1950 J-3's come very close to the Zeiss C-Sonnar 50/1.5, and are sharper than the Nikkor 5cm F1.4 and Nikkor 5cm F1.5. These J-3's are better than my (3) post-war Zeiss Opton/Zeiss West German 50/1.5's. Better than my Post-War CZJ 5cm F1.5 Sonnar and Canon 50/1.5. The Nikkor 5cm F1.4 lens goes in the $500+ range these days, for a clean copy. If this lens matches the KMZ J-3's, built to the Leica spec, made in brass- $650 is better spent on this lens than on a wartime Sonnar in LTM.

    I have the Black LTM version of the 50/1.5 Aspheric Nokton. It is a great lens, very different signature from the Sonnar/J-3.
     
    Last edited: Jan 21, 2016
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  4. Brian

    Brian Super Moderator Subscribing Member

    Apr 3, 2013
    It's interesting that the coating on this lens is "back to blue". Valdai lenses used a yellow coating. KMZ- blue/purple, like the wartime Sonnars. I want to see a picture of the back of this lens, important for noting if the barrel design is back to the KMZ/early ZOMZ with a separate fixture for the rear triplet. This makes it possible to more easily set the focal length. The later one-piece barrel with just a retaining ring for the rear triplet made it impossible to easily adjust the focal length.

    If this lens is as good as the 1950s KMZ Jupiter-3's, made in brass- $649 is a decent price. Wartime Sonnars sell for that much, and their mechanics are very poor compared to the original KMZ J-3's. I've set wartime Sonnars in Jupiter-3 mounts as the original mounts were not very good.
     
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  5. Mr_Flibble

    Mr_Flibble Leica Place Veteran

    463
    Aug 16, 2013
    The Lowlands
    Rick
    I should really tighten up my J-3 one of these days.
     
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  6. Brian

    Brian Super Moderator Subscribing Member

    Apr 3, 2013
    It's well worth it!

    Just to show what a KMZ Jupiter-3 is like on the M Monochrom, ~wide-open, Red filter:

    11880571776_2589e5c076_o. L1001288 by fiftyonepointsix, on Flickr

    100% crop:

    11887271555_7f593517ec_o. occ_rcornercrop by fiftyonepointsix, on Flickr

    11887545163_c685b1cc59_o. occ_cornercrop by fiftyonepointsix, on Flickr

    You have to remember that the Sonnar has high field curvature, so at F1.5 the DOF "curves" through the image. It's a Feature! This KMZ J-3 is the first lens I used on the M Monochrom. "Matched optics"- meets the resolution of the sensor.

    8298291827_476d0d854c_o. L1000008 by fiftyonepointsix, on Flickr

    If I get a new Jupiter-3 in hand, I'll test it against THIS lens. I modified this one for close-focus, and for the Leica focal length.
     
    Last edited: Jan 22, 2016
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  7. kds315

    kds315 New to Leica Place

    1
    Oct 10, 2013
    Dr Klaus Schmitt
    I read the news Brian, but would I spend EUR599 /$649 for that, doubt it, rather get an older one ;-)
     
  8. raid

    raid Leica Place All-Pro

    Apr 12, 2013
    USA
    Raid
    Maybe "they" hear your voice. Brian, and you will get a loaner lens for testing.I once got two modified Zeiss lenses from Contax G mount to M, as they first came out in Japan. I used them and then I returned them.I also received about fifty loaner lenses from individuals! That was very cool.
     
  9. Brian

    Brian Super Moderator Subscribing Member

    Apr 3, 2013
    I've had a buyer of one of my KMZ Jupiter-3's resell it for $350, and a buyer of one of my converted pre-war 5cm f1.5 Sonnars resell it for $660. Wartime Zeiss 5cm f1.5's in very clean shape go for well over $500, and the focus mount is flimsy compared with a Jupiter-3, let alone a mount made in brass. I paid $400 for a clean wartime Sonnar that needed the middle triplet reseated, the reason it got little use. My best J-3's- I repositioned the rear triplets to bring to the Leica standard, that required some work.

    I have two KMZ J-3's that I would not consider selling for that price, they are very close to the new C-Sonnar, which I also have. The latter was over $1000.

    The new lens uses the original 1-3-3 configuration. It is made to the Leica spec, made in Brass, focuses to 0.7m, and is made by KMZ. My opinion, KMZ is the best of the ex-Soviet manufacturers.
     
    Last edited: Jan 23, 2016
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  10. raid

    raid Leica Place All-Pro

    Apr 12, 2013
    USA
    Raid
    So maybe this lens is worth the asking price? I have too many similar lenses, so I will not buy one.
     
  11. Brian

    Brian Super Moderator Subscribing Member

    Apr 3, 2013
    If Nikon re-issued the 5cm F1.4 (or F1.5) or Canon re-issued the 50/1.5 in LTM for $650, people would jump on it.

    I'm not going to pronounce judgement until seeing (or conducting) some critical tests.
     
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  12. Brian

    Brian Super Moderator Subscribing Member

    Apr 3, 2013
    Last edited: Jan 24, 2016
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  13. Brian

    Brian Super Moderator Subscribing Member

    Apr 3, 2013
    Giving this some thought, it is amazing that Lomography and KMZ are bringing back this particular lens. I plan on getting this new Jupiter-3+, I've worked on a lot of J-3's, J-8's, and Sonnars to cover the cost.

    I've been reading a lot of negative comments associated with this announcement, most complaining about the $649 price tag compared to an Ebay J-3. I've worked on a lot of those Ebay J-3's, and have spent upwards of Ten hours on many of them. I take on J-3 work because I like the lenses. Converting Sonnars to Leica mount: even more work.

    ANYWAY! Assuming the lens makes it to me, and the focus is good on my M Monochrom: I will be doing some extensive comparisons between it and several other Sonnar formula lenses.
     
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  14. Brian

    Brian Super Moderator Subscribing Member

    Apr 3, 2013
    23961571853_bf6342184d_o. j3_1 by fiftyonepointsix, on Flickr

    24480063162_fae8b92407_o. j3_2 by fiftyonepointsix, on Flickr

    This is my current line-up of J-3's, after 12 years of "cherry-picking". Front 1949 ZK 5cm F1.5; Middle 1956 KMZ (on left), and two 1950 J-3's, Back row- 1975 ZOMZ and 1984 Valdai. All of these lenses required a big investment in time. I went through ten Valdai J-3's to get a good one, and this one required a 0.5mm shim to focus correctly. It was way off when received. Same with the ZOMZ, the focus was so far off that it probably had not been used in 40 years. If the new J3+ is as good as any of these six lenses are now, I will be happy. Good as the 1950 KMZ lenses- I will be thrilled.

    I also have another 6 J-3's that were "back-Hacked" into Contax and Nikon S-Mount, the best of the left-over optics from converting Sonnars to Leica mount.

    Let's hope that the new J-3+ makes my line-up "The Magnificent Seven".
     
    Last edited: Jan 24, 2016
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  15. uhoh7

    uhoh7 Leica Place Regular

    163
    Oct 14, 2014
    If the Lens is Leica calibrated and well built, I think it would be worth every penny :) Brass and .7m CF, very sweet. I always wanted a J3, but yikes, the issues. I have had luck with Russian lenses, and except the ones once owned by Brian, all of it was bad LOL
     
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  16. Brian

    Brian Super Moderator Subscribing Member

    Apr 3, 2013
    A couple of years ago I wanted to know "What makes a Sonnar formula lens a SONNAR formula lens. Some people would state that only a 1-3-3, seven elements in three groups qualifies- others are "derived from". I took quite a few Sonnar formula lenses apart, separated into front and back sections and made approximate measurements of their focal lengths. The front element is a positive, the middle group is negative: together the front section is a Telephoto lens with a focal length "ABOUT" 2.5x the focal length of the completed lens. The Rear group forms an image, has a focal length length "about" the same as the completed lens. The front and rear sections are brought together using the lens maker's formula, the asymmetry means they are closely spaced compared to a double Gauss. This gives the Sonnar it's compact attribute and optical properties.

    This is with the 1984 Valdai, wide-open on the M9.

    24296005000_d8dba55bf2_o. L1007938-Edit by fiftyonepointsix, on Flickr

    at 100% crop you can see every eyelash. But- I went through Ten to find a really good one.

    24296008880_b2c7fa4277_o. valdai_on_M9 by fiftyonepointsix, on Flickr

    They are pretty.
     
    Last edited: Jan 24, 2016
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  17. raid

    raid Leica Place All-Pro

    Apr 12, 2013
    USA
    Raid
    Brian: what makes you identify a ZK a genuine ZK and not a fake one? Do serial numbers play a role here or is it only engraved numbers that you see after taking a ZK apart? I have a "1948 ZK". Genuine or fake? Big differences? Rarity?
     
  18. Brian

    Brian Super Moderator Subscribing Member

    Apr 3, 2013
    I've seen fakes down to a fake stop screw put into the focus ring of a J-3. These days- I would want to take one apart to determine the authenticity. The focus mechanism is very different on the ZK lenses (same as Wartime Zeiss lenses) and the Jupiter-3 mount. The Zeiss design has a stop screw in the focus ring that rides in a groove.

    24135646741_3c3cdbeb67_o. little_m by fiftyonepointsix, on Flickr

    24192140886_6beeba7388_o. helical_sn by fiftyonepointsix, on Flickr

    The J-3 uses an internal stop screw mounted in the inner helical. The latter is better, is better anchored, and allows more flexibility in positioning the helical in the mount to adjust for infinity focus. "How much better"... I've moved German optics modules FROM the original LTM focus mount to a Jupiter-3 focus mount.

    You can see the focus stop screw and the groove to limit focus on this Valdai focus mount. This is the lens above, rquired the helical to be moved deeper into the lens mount to drive the RF to infinity. After that, you need to drill out three new taps to re-index the focus ring.

    24224156079_572f4b7ee0_o. focus_ring_new_taps by fiftyonepointsix, on Flickr

    Detail instructions for CLA and Adjusting a classic j-3 hosted here:

    USSRPhoto.com - Russian / Soviet Cameras Wiki Catalog - Jupiter-3 Clean, Lube, Adjust
     
    Last edited: Jan 24, 2016
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  19. Brian

    Brian Super Moderator Subscribing Member

    Apr 3, 2013
    I had to check prices on Ebay for the Nikkor-SC 5cm F1.4 in Leica mount.

    Nikkor-S.C 5cm F1.4 Lens

    $306. "As-Is/ For Parts or Repair"... So if Nikon re-issued the 5cm F1.4 in Leica mount for $650, people would jump on it. I paid $95 for mine ~12 years ago. My 1950 KMZ J-3's are sharper than the Nikkor. I'll compare my Nikkor 5cm F1.4 with the new J-3.
     
  20. Brian

    Brian Super Moderator Subscribing Member

    Apr 3, 2013
    I've just received notification that my new Jupiter-3+ is on the way, should be here this week. I have a lot of respect for Russian Optics, and especially KMZ. I'm more excited about this lens than the Zeiss C-Sonnar. Why? This lens uses Ludwig Bertele's 1-3-3 configuration, the "C-Sonnar" is really the "C-Ernostar". Also made by Bertele, just not for Zeiss!
     
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