Category: DIY, Photography, Vintage Lens

I found a way to file down a shim within the Jupiter-9 which closes that 0.3mm difference to the focal plane but the Tair-ll has a very different design. I finally worked around this, modifying the EOS-M42 adapter by milling down 0.3mm using a drill press. This was not the easiest task and a drill press is not the most appropriate tool for this job but it worked…

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Category: DIY, Photography, Vintage Lens

This has been a good month for finding prime, vintage primes and the latest addition is the finest condition lens so far. This 1964 Mir-1 is perfectly mint and comes straight from Ukraine where it was made. It wears the badge “Grand Prix Brussels 1958” for which it won the title at the 1958 World Fair. I did have a few reservations about permanently modifying this near perfect lens but my purpose has always been to make this a usable set of vintage lenses and this modification does not alter the function in any way…

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Category: DIY, Photography, Vintage Lens

I absolutely love the pristine Jupiter-9 M39 mount I recently acquired and it has become the standard walk around lens on my 5D3. It takes amazing nostalgic photos and once you learn to tame it by stopping down a bit, it strikes a beautiful balance between soft and sharp. The one thing that has bothered me compared to the Helios 44-2 M39 is that the Jupiter has been unable to attain infinity focus. I decided, reluctantly, to crack open the Jupiter in the hopes of modifying the registration distance and was pleased to find just how easy the Jupiter-9 is to service…

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Category: DIY, Photography, Vintage Lens

I’ve been casually looking for a good example of this lens for over a year. I really wanted something longer than the Helios for portrait stills and physically smaller than the Pentagon Six lenses I’ve adapted for cinema work. Jupiter-9 lenses are plentiful on eBay although generally in well used condition. I’m really pleased to have scored a near mint example straight from the motherland. This is a silver edition from 1965 that was originally made for the Soviet Zenit SLR. This is a stunning lens to look through and to look at. This is a lens I will treasure and pass down. I’ve never thought about any of my expensive Canon gear that way…

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Category: Photography, Vintage Lens

I did the tourist thing the other day and grabbed my 5D3 with a few old communist lenses…Helios 44-2 2/58, Zeiss Jena Flektogon 4/20 and Biometar 2.8/120. I intended to shoot some video but ended up enjoying the new focus screen so much I stuck to stills. The Helios remains my all round favourite due to size and vintage look. The Flektogon has amazingly little distortion compared to my Canon 17-40 (check out the straight lines on the image of Buckingham Palace). It’s a bit soft around the edges but that’s its character…

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Category: Opinion, Video & Film, Vintage Lens

Here’s a quick compilation of some footage I shot in the pouring rain last week. It’s really nothing that interesting but it was a fun day out getting to know the Sonnar a little better and dealing with the challenges of shooting in the rain…

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Category: DIY, Photography, Vintage Lens

Probably the single biggest challenge using a manual focus lens on a modern DSLR camera is finding the sharpest focus point. The focus screen seen inside the viewfinder of modern cameras tends to be optimised for auto-focus lenses and therefore lacks some of the manual focus aids (like split prisms) found on camera bodies past…

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Category: Opinion, Video & Film, Vintage Lens

I finally got a free day with some dry weather to take my increasing collection of Jena primes out for a spin. This is the first time I’ve been able to shoot with them together for comparison so it’s a bit of test film more than anything else. Sorry it’s a familiar spot for me (Kensington Gardens) but since I’ve already shot this place to death with my Canon glass it made for a good location to test…

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Category: Opinion, Photography, Video & Film, Vintage Lens

Carl Zeiss (today reunified) have historically been pioneers in the field of optics with many innovations in design carrying through to this day. Zeiss glass has an almost legendary look and while many of the most highly regarded lenses came out of the West, the East German produced lenses should not be overlooked. I’ve been building a collection of vintage primes primarily for cinematography use and have chosen a specific range of Carl Zeiss Jena lenses from the mid 1960s that were originally made for a medium format camera system called the Pentacon Six…

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Category: Opinion, Photography, Video & Film, Vintage Lens

It’s paradoxical to have spent years in the pursuit of optical excellence, carefully choosing professional grade lenses based on performance to now be selecting glass based on character and imperfection. It’s human nature to long for the greener grass on the other side but for lower contrast grass that’s less sharp and covered with flares? LOL I’m loving it!

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