Jupiter 50mm f2 adapter

Started Apr 7, 2013 | Discussions thread
Mel Snyder
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Re: Jupiter 50mm f2 adapter
In reply to Thoughtless, Apr 10, 2013

The mount is a Nikon rangefinder mount. If you find an adapter for that, the common Kiev lenses will fit. Fed and Canon copied the Leica screw mount, Nikon copied the Contax mount. The Kiev is a Ukrainian Contax. At the end of WW2, the Russians took Jena in the Eastern zone, where Carl Zeiss was headquartered, and transported the whole darn Contax operations to a big Czarist-era building in Kiev called "the Arsenal." Some of the early Kievs were actually looted Contax bodies with Kiev badges. The Kiev rangefinders are FAR AND AWAY the best "Russian" cameras, a testimonial to the quality of the Zeiss tooling. Robert Capa shot with a Contax during WW2. They are not easy to hold because the rangefinder windows are so far apart you need to practice a "Contax grip" to avoid the one on the cameraman's right.

There should be some defunct Kiev rangefinders, because the shutter mechanism is a rather strange system that does fail and is complicated to repair. I have a pair of them in excellent working condition, and I was blown away with the quality images they produced when I shot with them 5-6 years ago.

HOWEVER - by the time you get one and do the surgery, you can more easily and probably cheaply get a Jupiter or Helios lens in an M39 mount.  If you have to pay for shipping from Ukraine for a whole camera, this project could get more expensive than you think.

Thoughtless wrote:

kuuan wrote:

Did you have to get a specific Kiev body to get the mount off? It looks like it was relatively easy to unscrew it away, I'm guessing you take off the outer plate to get to the lens mount screws?

I believe that any Kiev rangefinder will do

getting the mount off the camera was quite easy, the plate which now looks protruding screws off and it includes the mount. There is a linkage to a wheel on the Kiev camera that is used for focusing, de-coupling that was, as much as I remember, the only bit tricky part, but it was easy enough too

if I am not mistaken it was that coupling that includes a stop for how far the helicoid moves. Anyway there is not stopper any more on my adapter and therefore one can move it further, actually one must be careful not to screw it too far as the mount come into two pieces. That allows for much closer focusing as originally on the Kiev and that's the neat part, e.g with the Sonnar 1.5/50 shown above:

However I find focusing much better on a lens with built in helicoid that with this adapter, but maybe it's just mine that isn't smooth enough.

it sure is a fun project though, broken Kievs are cheap, and lenses in Contax FR mount are cheaper than their LTM equivalents

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photos mostly taken with manual lenses on Sony NEX5N, Pentax K-x and *istDs: http://flickr.com/photos/kuuan/

Thats very interesting, is there any step by step guide on the internet that you might have run into?

Its something I will try but the focusing adjustment is the only thing that worries me with it, I'm looking in to getting a broken Kiev now to try it out

 Mel Snyder's gear list:Mel Snyder's gear list
Sony Alpha NEX-6 Sony Alpha 7 Sony E 16mm F2.8 Pancake Tokina AT-X Pro 11-16mm f/2.8 DX Leica Summicron-M 50mm f/2 +13 more
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