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Old Russian lenses, I'm new to this!
  
 
Sir_Loin
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p.1 #1 · p.1 #1 · Old Russian lenses, I'm new to this!


I've been looking at buying myself some old Russian lenses for a while now and since I bought myself an EOS M3 that urge just got stronger. So I started scanning eBay and found a dealer in Ukraine who has some particularly nice stuff in good condition some of it 'new'! I couldn't resist so I bought myself a Helios 44-6 MC 58mm f/2.0 (1992) and an Industar 50-2 50mm f/3.5 (1986) pancake lens. Both look brand new and the Industar even comes with a hard case, instruction manual and what looks like it's old warranty sheet (I don't speak Russian so that's a guess). I'm not likely to get them, or the adapters until the New Year what with Christmas post, so I was wondering if there's any other lenses I should keep an eye out for to compliment those 2? I am looking at the Industar-69 28mm f/2.8 pancake lens and the Jupiter-9 85mm f/2.0, but they're a bit more expensive, particularly the Jupiter! Does anyone have any thoughts and/or experience with any of the lenses I mentioned?

Thanks in advance.




Dec 22, 2016 at 04:11 PM
Sir_Loin
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p.1 #2 · p.1 #2 · Old Russian lenses, I'm new to this!


Anybody?


Dec 23, 2016 at 01:49 AM
PhotoMaximum
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p.1 #3 · p.1 #3 · Old Russian lenses, I'm new to this!


I don't have any of these Russian lenses but they intrigue me.

The good news is that generally speaking the price of admission is very affordable.

I think the best thing for you to do is go to YouTube and search for "Jupiter lenses". I have watched a few videos on this topic recently. There are some interesting short videos with lots of the usual semi worthless comments. But its a good place to start. Some portrait shooters love the sharp/soft conflict that these lenses show.

There are a lot of these lenses in the "wild", with most of them avaialble from Eastern Europe.



Dec 23, 2016 at 02:06 AM
p242
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p.1 #4 · p.1 #4 · Old Russian lenses, I'm new to this!


I think most of the ~50mm are nice - some are sharp, others have nice bokeh and generally are not expensive so they are always fun to get. Then 85mm and 135mm aren't that many different models and they are all nice if you like portrait lenses with somewhat "retro" rendering... 35mm and wider are somewhere between "nothing special" and "bad" imho, except maybe the fisheye zenitar which people seem to like, but I have no personal experience with it. The Industar 69 28mm in particular is pretty crappy optically, but I guess it can be fun for certain types of photography.

There are countless variations of these lenses made over the years (and in different factories) especially the ~50mm ones, and some versions are supposed to be better than others but in my experience (I've probably bought/sold ~40-50 of them in total over the years) it is mostly a matter of luck if a particular copy is good or not.



Dec 23, 2016 at 09:59 AM
DavidBM
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p.1 #5 · p.1 #5 · Old Russian lenses, I'm new to this!


Sir_Loin wrote:
I've been looking at buying myself some old Russian lenses for a while now and since I bought myself an EOS M3 that urge just got stronger. So I started scanning eBay and found a dealer in Ukraine who has some particularly nice stuff in good condition some of it 'new'! I couldn't resist so I bought myself a Helios 44-6 MC 58mm f/2.0 (1992) and an Industar 50-2 50mm f/3.5 (1986) pancake lens. Both look brand new and the Industar even comes with a hard case, instruction manual and what looks like it's old warranty sheet (I don't speak
...Show more

I've used a Jupiter 3 and 8 and a Helios 44-2.

They are all interesting lenses in various ways, but I'm not at all sure that they make a whole lot of sense on an APSC camera. They'll work, of course, and it might be fun: but these lenses are all about the bokeh, which doesn't quite work in crop mode. Also, their central sharpness is while fine not well served by the effective extra magnification of APS sensors.




Dec 23, 2016 at 10:24 AM
MartinV
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p.1 #6 · p.1 #6 · Old Russian lenses, I'm new to this!


Helios 44 and Industar 50 are nice ways to get into manual lenses. Since you are using a mirrorless camera, you can also look into more compact rangefinder lenses (also the adapter is much smaller), such as the Jupiter 8 and Jupiter 3 (more expensive). Make sure you are aware of the different mounts and how they can be adapted. Your Helios and Industar 50-2 will be M42, but the Industar 69 will be L39 (well pretty much, it will fit an L39 adapter, but you probably wont get infinity without modifying the lens). Jupiter 3 and 8 are also available in L39 (aka LTM, Leica screw mount). That would be preferable to Contax/Kiev mount versions, which also exist, but are more difficult/expensive to adapt. You'll also want to avoid Kiev 10/15 mount lenses, which might be cheap, but that's because they will be very difficult to adapt. A few popular lenses exist in that mount, too, such as Jupiter 9 and 11, recognizable by "ABTOMAT" (Automat) on their name ring.

It will be more difficult/expensive to get truly wide on APS-C with Soviet lenses, not sure if it's worth it. Going tele will be easier.



Dec 23, 2016 at 12:08 PM
Sir_Loin
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p.1 #7 · p.1 #7 · Old Russian lenses, I'm new to this!


Thank you all for your replies, all very useful information!

p242: Thank you for your input on the Industar 28mm, I shall give that a miss then!

DavidBM: I do have a 1D4 and 5D3 as well, it was just the M3 prompted me to act now for some strange reason! . So I've also ordered a M42 to EOS mount adapter as well.

MartinV: I think I probably agree with you regarding wides, I think I'll stick to teles.

Once again, thank you all for your replies. If there's anyone else with some helpful advice it would be very much appreciated.



Dec 23, 2016 at 01:55 PM
 

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Vcook
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p.1 #8 · p.1 #8 · Old Russian lenses, I'm new to this!


The helios 44-2 has a funky bokeh that is fun, there is a fair amount of copy variation but decent ones are very sharp at f2.8 and pretty sharp at f2. They're cheap and plentiful, worth picking up and playing with.




Dec 23, 2016 at 03:06 PM
pasblues
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p.1 #9 · p.1 #9 · Old Russian lenses, I'm new to this!


I just received a Russian Helios 44-3. On my Fuji X, it's the sharpest lens in my bag. PERIOD.

I have a Minolta 85mm f1.7 that is extremely sharp and the main Fuji range: 10-24mm; 50-140mm; 35 f1.4; 56mm and 35 f2 and some more Minolta MD lenses that are very nice and sharp.

But this humble Helios is a mind blower.

It was $79 including the adapter, a little wrench adjuster and shipping from the Ukraine. It did not need to be adjusted. Fit perfectly and worked perfectly right out of the package.

This is not just a fun lens. This is a useable, amazing lens. Very easy to see focus and get it accurate.

If I could get a Sony adapter as good as this Fuji X adapter, I'd try it on my a7r. I just got the lens so I will have to ask the seller if he suggests a Sony adapter for it.

I'm going to take it for a spin today but the test shots are incredible.

My understanding from reading various reviews of people who are more expert than me on these lenses, the 44-3 is a sharper lens than the 44-2 - FWIW. And then maybe I just got really really lucky on a first try.

I just bought a Sony Zeiss 55 f1.8 at the overwhelming reviews here and elsewhere. I will be interested to see if this little Russian gives the Sony a decent run for it's money on sharpness.



Sep 05, 2017 at 05:43 PM
retrofocus
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p.1 #10 · p.1 #10 · Old Russian lenses, I'm new to this!


You didn't mention which mount these lenses came in - some were made in different mounts. I don't own Russian lenses but one Ukrainian one - the Peleng 8/3.5 fisheye lens for FF in EF-mount. It is a good lens which suffers from a tiny cut off the fully circular 8 mm frame in this mount. Only con is its easy reception for lens flares - it can be a nice addition for artistic image effects, but I mostly found it less pleasant in the final images created with this lens (best is to have the sun behind or not at all present when using this lens to avoid flares). I keep the lens for its uniqueness and its solid metal housing build, and when I rely on an aperture ring. I used this lens together with my Leica M cameras plus K&F Concept EF/M mount adapter (to my knowledge no M-mount based fisheye lens exists). In combination with my Canon DSLR and Sony mirrorless cameras, I replaced it with the Canon 8-15/4 fisheye lens (which has no aperture ring).

Leica M7, Peleng 8/3.5 lens, K&F Concept EF/M adapter, Kodak Gold 200 film



Edit: just saw that the OP is already a year old and was revived! Anyway!



Sep 05, 2017 at 09:11 PM
pasblues
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p.1 #11 · p.1 #11 · Old Russian lenses, I'm new to this!


The Russian lens I just got is a 58 f2 and it came ready to use with a FujiX mount. I'm still learning to use it...the first time out, I didn't have it hooded so I had cup the sun out by hand. I dug around at home and found a nice lens shade in my stash that fits it nicely - so I'll have another go when I get a break between projects.

Your fisheye looks fun! I love that circular look and can see that some creativity could be done with it in a variety of situations, depending on what a shooter wanted to design with it.

The fisheye that I got is a Minolta MC 7.5mm - but I'm still working on a proper mount for it. I think I'm going to need a focusing helicoid to use it with the Sony...I've tried three adapters and, while the Novaflex was the best of these, I think a focusing helicoid could make this work better. It's an extremely sharp lens and I want to take full advantage of that.





Sep 08, 2017 at 08:33 PM
pasblues
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p.1 #12 · p.1 #12 · Old Russian lenses, I'm new to this!


How do you guys post a picture uploaded from your computer and not a link to someplace online?


Sep 11, 2017 at 04:56 PM
mcbroomf
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p.1 #13 · p.1 #13 · Old Russian lenses, I'm new to this!


Here's the procedure (in the FAQ section)
http://www.fredmiranda.com/forum/faqforum.php?Action=Viewfaqforum&id=13#faqforumid13



Sep 11, 2017 at 07:57 PM







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