Zenit Brand to Reappear?

Discussion in 'Former Soviet Union Cameras' started by M. Valdemar, Feb 10, 2016.

  1. Brian

    Brian Super Moderator Subscribing Member

    Apr 3, 2013
    I will be interested to see what they come out with next. The Jupiter-3+ build quality is better than any Jupiter-3 or LTM Zeiss lens that I've had my hands on.
     
  2. asiafish

    asiafish Leica Place All-Pro

    Aug 9, 2013
    Bakersfield, CA
    Andrew
    I remember when I bought my first real camera, a Minolta SRT200 in Canada around 1981 or so. The Minolta was the cheapest "real brand" 35mm SLR I could buy and cost something like $200 with a 45mm f/2 lens. I saved my pennies for a year to buy it.

    What was very tempting were the Zenit SLRs with their Helios lenses at around $140 or so. I really wanted to like them, but the screw mount and maximum shutter speed of 1/500th turned me off before I even picked one up. I'm sure the Minolta was a much better camera, but good as it was, I'd be willing to bet the Helios lens was as good or better than the cheapest Rokkor.

    I would probably buy a new Zenit if it had the same attention to detail as the Jupiter 3+, which my first impression suggests is my best Sonnar type lens.
     
  3. M. Valdemar

    M. Valdemar Leica Place Regular

    129
    Aug 5, 2013
    New York City
    I'm tempted to buy the new Jupiter-3+. But I have so many 50mm Sonnars I don't know what to do with them.

    Brian adjusted a very early ZK Sonnar for me, and it is one of the best lenses I have. I shoot it all the time on my M9.
     
  4. asiafish

    asiafish Leica Place All-Pro

    Aug 9, 2013
    Bakersfield, CA
    Andrew
    Brian adjusted all of Sonnars and Jupiters, all are outstanding, but the new Jupiter 3+ adds modern coating and, most importantly, the brass body. My vintage lenses are now special purpose, while the new one will be my everyday.
     
  5. k fahlman

    k fahlman Leica Place Regular

    41
    Jan 31, 2016
    Vancouver, BC
    Ken
    I finally received my J3+ last night via UPS.

    The construction of the lens is a definite upgrade from the ZM Sonnar.
    I've only had a chance to play around with it in a house for a bit, must say I'm very impressed, very sharp and lovely tonal qualities in B&W. I've only tried it on my M246 so far.

    The focus is very precise and perfectly dampened, aperture is the same.
    I'd say the focus throw's somewhere in-between the 50 Summilux V2 E43, and the V5 Summicron.

    My only beef would be that the numbers on the lens would have been easier to see in dim lighting, if they were any other colour than black. Or, if there were click stops on the aperture you could easily figure out where you are without looking at the lens at all, that's more important than knowing where you are on the focus scale.
    I may have a tech paint the numbers in, I'll give it while in the field before changing that though.

    Although, I'd buy it again in a split second, as this very minor and easily dealt with on your own!

    cheers/ken.
     
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  6. Brian

    Brian Super Moderator Subscribing Member

    Apr 3, 2013
    I thought about the click stops- and any reasonable way to do it would involve making the lens larger in diameter. Maybe I'll experiment with a J-3 barrel in the parts bin. The original Nokton puts a spring loaded ball bearing in a small hole, not much room- but impossible to work on without a special tool for loading it.

    I wonder if there will be a Black Paint version. I prefer the chrome over brass- no paint to flake off on the Sensor. But... I do like my Black-Paint 1934 Sonnar.

    24610035270_1906a1886d_b. Three_Generations by fiftyonepointsix, on Flickr

    Maybe we'll have a Digital Zorki 3M+, updated with manually selected framelines and use the 32MPixel Dalsa CCD. I can dream.

    Zenit did a great job on the J-3+, world-class optics, RF precision, and finish. It will be interesting to see what they do next. I'd like to see a J-9+ built to the Leica spec. I've had a number of requests to adjust J-9's, and it just cannot be done without cutting an internal Cam. This must be done at manufacture, to much guess-work for DIY. I had a Canadian movie producer ask for an adjusted J-9 just for portraits from 1.5m to 5m. That I could do. The J-9 is a 1-3-3 Sonnar and has smooth rendering. The Nikkor 8.5cm F2 and post-war 85 Sonnars are 1-3-1, 5 elements in 3 groups.

    I wrote an article for Lomography's magazine, should be out next week. I like it. They did a great job, and it's a 1-3-3...
     
    Last edited: Feb 11, 2016
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  7. k fahlman

    k fahlman Leica Place Regular

    41
    Jan 31, 2016
    Vancouver, BC
    Ken
    Hi Brian,

    Ya, I'm ok without the click stops. I do agree the lens would be a larger diameter for sure, I love the size now so wouldn't want to change that. They certainly did a brilliant job!
    I think I'll probably end up changing the numbering to "ruski red!" lol
    Just the aperture scale though.
     
    Last edited: Feb 11, 2016
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  8. asiafish

    asiafish Leica Place All-Pro

    Aug 9, 2013
    Bakersfield, CA
    Andrew
    They absolutely nailed it. I actually regret buying my 50 Summilux as I think this new Jupiter 3+ is entirely adequate as a main 50mm lens. Build quality isn't up to modern Leica or Zeiss spec, but its not far behind and still better made than I am. Focus shift is much better controlled than on my other Sonnar type lenses, appearing accurate at all distances at f/1.5 and f/2 and accurate again at all distances at f/5.6; not bad.
     
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  9. k fahlman

    k fahlman Leica Place Regular

    41
    Jan 31, 2016
    Vancouver, BC
    Ken
    They did, however I'm not so sure the build quality doesn't surpass the Zeiss ZM.
    I've had my ZM for just over a year and a half, sparingly used due the focus shift, and it's already a victim of the infamous Zeiss wobble... I've noticed no shift with the J3+ thus far.
    The Leica Summilux, on the other hand, is a different story, but it should be for the price tag! ;)

    cheers/ken.
     
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  10. k fahlman

    k fahlman Leica Place Regular

    41
    Jan 31, 2016
    Vancouver, BC
    Ken
    Sonnar city. It's not as big as Brian's city, maybe a subdivision.;) The Three Graces.
     
    Last edited: Feb 12, 2016
  11. Brian

    Brian Super Moderator Subscribing Member

    Apr 3, 2013
    The Jupiter-3 Focus mount is brilliant simplicity. Only way to put it. The inner helical is two pieces with a fine thread, focus stop screw rides in a cut-out ridge; inner helical and outer helical held together by two guide pins that ride in a rail. The sides of the rail must be parallel, and set apart by the diameter of the guide-screws. Get this right: no backlash, no binding. This is where I see the biggest deviation in vintage J-3's. This Jupiter-3+ is built to a much tighter tolerance than those of the 70s and 80s.
     

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  12. Brian

    Brian Super Moderator Subscribing Member

    Apr 3, 2013
    The optical engineers for the J-3+ paid a lot of attention to focus shift and bokeh. The focal length of the center of most 5cm Sonnars is longer than the focal length of the edges. This is why focus shifts towards infinity as you stop down. The rate of change of the focal length across the diameter of the optics controls how hast the shift occurs, and controls the intensity of light across the circles of confusion for out of focus areas. With the Nikkor 5cm f1.4- I believe that the engineers optimized it for wide-open use, and the rate of change is designed to favor wide-apertures. I think this is why you get a "ring" for the circles of confusion. The J-3+ appears more smooth, the rate of change must be more even.
     
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  13. asiafish

    asiafish Leica Place All-Pro

    Aug 9, 2013
    Bakersfield, CA
    Andrew
    The J3+ is fast becoming my favorite lens. I will take it to Tennessee next week and use it as my main lens.
     
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  14. k fahlman

    k fahlman Leica Place Regular

    41
    Jan 31, 2016
    Vancouver, BC
    Ken
    That'll be fun! I'm still waiting for the rain to stop...
    Have a great trip!

    cheers/ken.
     
  15. Brian

    Brian Super Moderator Subscribing Member

    Apr 3, 2013
  16. asiafish

    asiafish Leica Place All-Pro

    Aug 9, 2013
    Bakersfield, CA
    Andrew
  17. Brian

    Brian Super Moderator Subscribing Member

    Apr 3, 2013
    I posted the original picture years ago, it's taken with the Nikkor 5cm F1.4. Certain people announced it was a "Bad Bokeh Lens". The break in the leaves reminded me of the "thought bubbles" in a cartoon- so....
     
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