Beauty shots, Jupiter 3 (Sonnar) 50mm f/1.5

Started Apr 28, 2012 | Discussions
Yanko Kitanov
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Beauty shots, Jupiter 3 (Sonnar) 50mm f/1.5
Apr 28, 2012

The Jupiter 3 is a Russian copy of the original Zeiss Sonnar 50mm f/1.5, the lens is identical to the original 1930's Zeiss design and some of these were made with Zeiss glass shipped as WWII reparations from the factories in Germany to the USSR.

I have never tried this lens for simple portraiture, as I use it for more artistic shooting usually, but today I had to use it and I am happy with the results, so I decided to share several as an illustration of this rare and underestimated lens. All shots were taken wide open at f/1.5

So probably by now many would like to see a 100% crop - here is one from the last shot f/1.5:

Have a great day/evening!
Yanko
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Yanko Kitanov

I am dreaming to enhance the sensitivity of my own perception and not the sensitivity of my camera's sensor...

pabloban
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Re: Beauty shots, Jupiter 3 (Sonnar) 50mm f/1.5
In reply to Yanko Kitanov, Apr 28, 2012

Nice shots.

You probably have a good piece in your hands.

I had two of these and none of them made OK photos. Both were just too blurry, hazed, unclear or whatever you call it...

Most of the people like smooth and creamy bokeh, however, I personally LOVE "busy" bokeh how some people call it. I adore those light disks, bubles, rings and all of that stuff that I was getting some time from the VC 40/1.4 or that I now am getting from the Pen Oly 38/1.8. The Meyer Trioplan 100/2.8 is also a great glass if you fancy such special effects in the bokeh area :>

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EWR72
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Re: Beauty shots, Jupiter 3 (Sonnar) 50mm f/1.5
In reply to pabloban, Apr 28, 2012

Very nice shots indeed. Did you have the camera set up on a tripod? I have this lens also but have not tried it out yet, waiting for the adapter. Also do you shoot at f/1.5 or have you found it better stopped down a bit?

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Yanko Kitanov
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Re: Beauty shots, Jupiter 3 (Sonnar) 50mm f/1.5
In reply to pabloban, Apr 28, 2012

Thanks! The Sonnar bokeh is not the clearest too, actually it becomes creamier at f/2 than at f/1.5, this is one of the many strange facts about the great sonnar.

I like old lenses and crazy bokeh too, as we were talking about 50mm for crazy bokeh 50mm on a NEX system I prefer the Helios 77M-4 50mm f/1.8 for swirly bokeh, the Cosina(Tomioka) 55mm f/1.2 for crazy bokeh and the combination of these two can be found in Leica Summitar 50mm f/2 which besides this is a great lens.

The Sonnar 50mm f/1.5 has always been a soft lens wide open, but it is soft not so much in terms of resolution, but more in terms of microcontrast and contrast, also flare and harsh light are enemies of these old lenses with poor coatings and lower contrast.

Here is a small article on this subject and at the end of the page - what Zeiss have to say about the Sonnar:
http://www.luminous-landscape.com/reviews/lenses/zeiss_sonnar_50mm.shtml

Cheers!
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Yanko Kitanov

I am dreaming to enhance the sensitivity of my own perception and not the sensitivity of my camera's sensor...

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Yanko Kitanov
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Re: Beauty shots, Jupiter 3 (Sonnar) 50mm f/1.5
In reply to EWR72, Apr 28, 2012

Hi and thanks!

EWR72 wrote:

Very nice shots indeed. Did you have the camera set up on a tripod?

No these were all made handheld.

Also do you shoot at f/1.5 or have you found it better stopped down a bit?

All shots were shot at f/1.5, but stopped down a bit the lens gets much more contrasty and sharper.

Cheers!
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Yanko Kitanov

I am dreaming to enhance the sensitivity of my own perception and not the sensitivity of my camera's sensor...

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EWR72
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Re: Beauty shots, Jupiter 3 (Sonnar) 50mm f/1.5
In reply to Yanko Kitanov, Apr 28, 2012

Thanks. Which Nex camera did you use?

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Yanko Kitanov
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Re: Beauty shots, Jupiter 3 (Sonnar) 50mm f/1.5
In reply to EWR72, Apr 28, 2012

You are welcome. I used my wife's NEX c3.

Cheers!
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Yanko Kitanov

I am dreaming to enhance the sensitivity of my own perception and not the sensitivity of my camera's sensor...

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DuncanDovovan
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Re: Beauty shots, Jupiter 3 (Sonnar) 50mm f/1.5
In reply to Yanko Kitanov, Apr 28, 2012

Great shots, beautiful woman, but I personally do not like the bokeh on this lens. Far to busy and harsh for my taste.

But others may like it.

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zygh
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Re: Beauty shots, Jupiter 3 (Sonnar) 50mm f/1.5
In reply to Yanko Kitanov, Apr 28, 2012

Thank you for posting. Very interesting results. Is it the M39 mount variant? Would be great to see some 'atmospheric landscapes' with the lens stopped down.

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Yanko Kitanov
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Re: Beauty shots, Jupiter 3 (Sonnar) 50mm f/1.5
In reply to DuncanDovovan, Apr 29, 2012

Thanks for the comments!

This lens usually has a smooth bokeh, here the small distance to the bg contributes to its busyness, but in a 50mm bokeh test this lens had one of the smoothest bokeh of all M39 lenses.

The one M39 50mm lens with creamier bokeh is the Jupiter 8 50mm f/2 - it's a bit slower but it is also a genuine Sonnar scheme copy and it has higher contrast, microcontrast which also contribute to higher saturation of the images. It is also a bit sharper.

Leica M39 lenses are all contrasty and sharp and have the best 3d atmospheric volume rendering, but they all have the craziest bokeh.

Cheers!
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Yanko Kitanov

I am dreaming to enhance the sensitivity of my own perception and not the sensitivity of my camera's sensor...

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Yanko Kitanov
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Re: Beauty shots, Jupiter 3 (Sonnar) 50mm f/1.5
In reply to zygh, Apr 29, 2012

zygh wrote:

Thank you for posting. Very interesting results. Is it the M39 mount variant? Would be great to see some 'atmospheric landscapes' with the lens stopped down.

Thanks!

It's the M39 version, I havent tried the contax version, but generally the best versions are considered the contax one and the oldest M39 version. Mine is the oldest M39 but in Ex+ condition and these are very rare.

Today I am taking three 50mm M39 lenses out with me - the discussed Jupiter 3, the MC Jupiter 8 50mm f/2 and Leica's Summitar 50mm f/2 - all three lenses are mint and of the best versions produced so this will be a nice experience I guess. Tonight I will post some landscapes/cityscapes with these stopped down to f/5.6-f/8.

I must admit that I have the prejudice that the Summitar has the best 3d volume rendering of atmospheric landscapes, but the test might prove me wrong...

Cheers!

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Yanko Kitanov

I am dreaming to enhance the sensitivity of my own perception and not the sensitivity of my camera's sensor...

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zygh
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Re: Beauty shots, Jupiter 3 (Sonnar) 50mm f/1.5
In reply to Yanko Kitanov, Apr 30, 2012

I have both the same lenses, the 1,5/50 and 2/50, alas in Contax RF mount. I'm waiting for an adapter from the US to be able to mount 'em on the NEX. Your report about the character of the two lenses is very interesting, and it generally describes my experience with exposing film by the two lenses, alas not that extensive.
Appreciate you taking the time to post the samples online.
Cheers!

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loofaerau
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Re: Beauty shots, Jupiter 3 (Sonnar) 50mm f/1.5
In reply to Yanko Kitanov, Apr 30, 2012

Great shots. I've been watching these lenses on eBay. Do you know what year a make of Jupiter-3 you have?

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kuujinbo
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and the beast?? shots, Jupiter 3 (Sonnar) 50mm f/1.5
In reply to Yanko Kitanov, Apr 30, 2012

Very nice shots Yanko! I can't match your beautiful model and hope my "model" won't be too offended with my post title (he was just being silly anyway). Here's a shot with my Jupiter 3 wide open @f1.5 on a NEX-5N:

The image above was slightly sharpened, but the crops below are untouched. Missed focus, got the rim of the jacket hood instead of the eyes

I love Jupiter lenses and also have a Jupiter 8 and Jupiter 37A (M42 mount).

Yanko Kitanov wrote:

Today I am taking three 50mm M39 lenses out with me - the discussed Jupiter 3, the MC Jupiter 8 50mm f/2 and Leica's Summitar 50mm f/2 - all three lenses are mint and of the best versions produced so this will be a nice experience I guess. Tonight I will post some landscapes/cityscapes with these stopped down to f/5.6-f/8.

Looking forward to seeing those photos too.

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Yanko Kitanov
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Ooops, delay :)
In reply to zygh, May 1, 2012

Actually I just met some friends and started with the bears before I started with the photography, so today will be the day
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Yanko Kitanov

I am dreaming to enhance the sensitivity of my own perception and not the sensitivity of my camera's sensor...

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Yanko Kitanov
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Re: Beauty shots, Jupiter 3 (Sonnar) 50mm f/1.5
In reply to loofaerau, May 1, 2012

loofaerau wrote:

Great shots. I've been watching these lenses on eBay. Do you know what year a make of Jupiter-3 you have?

Thanks!!!

There are several versions mine is the PT1650, produced by ZOMZ.

http://www.sovietcams.com/index.php?1976488110

Mine is about 1960-1962 as it is the the s/n starts with 60

Cheers!

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Yanko Kitanov
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Re: and the beast?? shots, Jupiter 3 (Sonnar) 50mm f/1.5
In reply to kuujinbo, May 1, 2012

Hi and thanks!!

Nice results from your Jupiter 3 too it seems excellent once focused correctly. You probably know regarding the focus shift of this lens - once you change the aperture setting the focus plane shifts a bit, so if shooting closed down better focus already closed down.

I hope I will manage to test the lenses today.

Cheers!

P.S.

what are your impressions of the Jupiter 8 when compared to the Jupiter 3 at f/2? Both are similar (quite naturally for these Sonnar schemes) and different at the same time imho...

The Jupiter 37A is another genially calculated Sonnar - I love it and use it extensively and even prefer it to my Super-Takumar 135mm f/2.5 or the Komine's version of the Vivitar 135mm f/2.8!

Cheers!
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Yanko Kitanov

I am dreaming to enhance the sensitivity of my own perception and not the sensitivity of my camera's sensor...

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kuujinbo
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Re: and the beast?? shots, Jupiter 3 (Sonnar) 50mm f/1.5
In reply to Yanko Kitanov, May 1, 2012

Yanko Kitanov wrote:

Hi and thanks!!

Nice results from your Jupiter 3 too it seems excellent once focused correctly. You probably know regarding the focus shift of this lens - once you change the aperture setting the focus plane shifts a bit, so if shooting closed down better focus already closed down.

Thank you. Yes I know, and once stopped down the lens is pretty sharp!

I hope I will manage to test the lenses today.

Look forward to it.

P.S.

what are your impressions of the Jupiter 8 when compared to the Jupiter 3 at f/2? Both are similar (quite naturally for these Sonnar schemes) and different at the same time imho...

I love both. But I prefer the Jupiter 3 at f2, and in general. But they're much different - my Jupiter 3 was made in 1962 and my Jupter 8 in 1989. I was originally looking for a red P version of the 8 too, but got a pretty good deal for the one I have, so can't complain. Maybe I will look for an older version of the 8 later, since I've also been looking around for a good Jupiter 9 at a reasonable price (am being very patient on that one).

The Jupiter 37A is another genially calculated Sonnar - I love it and use it extensively and even prefer it to my Super-Takumar 135mm f/2.5 or the Komine's version of the Vivitar 135mm f/2.8!

Sounds like you have a really nice lens collection.

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