Blog posts tagged in jupiter
Time for the third part of the ongoing review of Russian LTM lenses. This time around we are going to take a look at Jupiter lenses, virtually all of which are decendants (ripoffs is a more appropriate word though) of Carl Zeiss designs from 1930s and 1940s. The biggest issue with the Jupiters that users have to keep in mind is that they are all based on Contax designs with 52.3mm register distance vs 51.6mm for Leica. This means that when screwed on the actual Leica bodies, the lenses would exibit focusing errors because of the rangefinder misalignment with the lens register. The misalignment is greatest at the MFD and so even when you think you focused spot on with the rangefinder, the images would end up mis-focused. This might not be much of an issue with slower lenses, those with f/2.8 and slower max aperture, because of the increased DOF, but fast lenses like Jupiter-3 and Jupiter-8 can easily frustrate unsuspecting user. Of course all this becomes a moot point if you\'re using the leses on Sony NEX or MFT cameras.
Jupiter 3 - At a Glannce
Weather has been somewhat unpredictable lately here In San Jose, so when the clouds finally cleared up on Sunday, I grabbed my bag of photo gear and finish a couple of long-delayed tests. Last week I run through a quick comparison of 50mm rangefinder lenses on Sony NEX-5n and I wanted to finish testing this setup before moving on to something new. This time around I used Sony NEX-7, but also changed focusing distance, moving closer to the MFD for all lenses - this is where I'm hoping we will see the most difference among all lenses. As in the previous section, this part of the review focuses on bokeh, DOF and color rendering, not resolution or various artifacts like vignetting. I did not use focus bracketing and did not refocus lenses when moving from one aperture to another - this would put lenses that have focus shift (i.e. Sonnar, Nokton, Jupiter...) at a disadvantage, and hence I would not recommend using the samples below for evaluating lens sharpness. In part 3 of this review I will do a bit more comprehensive test for resolution, lateral CA and vignetting. Again, no commentaries - figure out what you like on your own or wait for part 3 if you're curious to know which lens(es) I liked personally.
In the meantime, here's a summary of the shooting conditions:
- Sony NEX-7 with v1 of firmware
- WB set to Daylight (5,500K, +10 tint)
- RAW, Adobe RGB space
- ACR with default settings: Blacks +5; Brightness +50, Contrast +25
- JPEG max quality
- 1.5m focusing distance
- 2 shots per lens - max aperture, and stopped down to f/4
With Sony being quite slow in ramping up production of new E mount native lenses, and particularly the E 50mm f/1.8 OSS (I've been on a waiting list with Amazon for over 2 months now), the ever increasing community of NEX users has been actively evaluating a variety of alternative 50mm primes easily adoptable to the NEX mount. This particular comparison traces roots to fredmiranda.com's alternative gear forum, where a bunch of die-hard alternative glass users have been debating the properties of a number of Zeiss 50mm lenses on NEX cameras. I got curious in the topic and volunteered to do a quick test with a few popular, and often considered high-quality, 50s.
This section of the review will showcase bokeh rendering of 8 alternative lenses on NEX-5n. Results below are presented without much commentary - considering that tasted vary quite widely, I will let the reader decide which of the lenses have the most appealing characteristics. I will repeat this test on NEX-7 in a couple of weeks, but will use a different focusing distance, which hopefully would present the readers with a more diverse overview of the tested lenses. Finally, a third part of the review will compare more general characteristics like resolution, vignetting and lateral CA (expect very opinionated commentary in this section).
Before we jump to results, let's touch base on the test conditions: