This will be a short review of my new/old Jupiter-8 50mm ƒ/2 lens from the Soviet Union. It was built for use on Soviet thread-mount cameras like the FED, but uses almost the same 39mm thread as the original Leica bodies as well as most Japanese post-war rangefinder cameras.
|Jupiter-8 lens mounted on my 1949-vintage Leica IIIC camera|
|Coated front element of Jupiter-8, probably 1962 construction (note: scratch-free and clear)|
Many film photographers love the rendition from the classic Zeiss Sonnar 50mm ƒ/2 lens. Dr. Ludwig Bertele at Zeiss Ikon, the German optical giant, first formulated this lens in 1929. The name comes from the word “Sonne,” meaning Sun. In the 1930s. Zeiss sold it with their magnificent Contax rangefinder camera in the 1930s and later. This competed with Ernst Leitz's popular Leica thread-mount cameras when equipped with their 5cm ƒ/2 Summar lens or the later 7-element ƒ/2 Summitar lens.
After WWII, the Soviets packed up and moved remnants of the Zeiss factories, tools, machinery, glass, and technicians to the Soviet Union and painfully began to rebuild their home optical industry. They largely copied the Zeiss optical designs but made minor changes over the years and coated the glass surfaces to reduce flare. They renamed these new lenses Jupiter (ЮПИТЕР). The 50mm ƒ/2 version is the ЮПИТЕР-8. They produced these lenses from the early 1950s until about 1991, when the Soviet economy collapsed. The Jupiter-8 was the standard lens on many Zorki, FED, and Kiev cameras, which were made in the millions. The Soviet lenses had aluminum mounts instead of the superior brass/chrome mounts of the older German production. The Internet is full of excellent reviews of the Jupiter-8, so I will not try to repeat the same material.
Recently, the Lomo company has reintroduced the Jupiter-3, which is the 50mm ƒ/1.5 model. Note that Zeiss still sells a modern Sonnar lens, an amazing testament to a long-lasting design (but the current lens is significantly different then the original).
|Approaching storm, Kansas City Southern rail yard, Levee Street, Vicksburg (ƒ/5.6)|
|After the storm, Levee Street, Vicksburg|
|Washington Street view north|
|Sondheimer, Louisiana (1/10 ƒ/11.5, yellow filter, tripod-mounted)|
|1101 N. Chestnut Street, Tallulah, Louisiana (1/10 ƒ/8.0)|
|PoBoy Don's, LA 602 east of Tallulah, Louisiana (1/100 ƒ/4.0, hand-held)|
|Footbridge from Avenue B over Stouts Bayou, Vicksburg, Feb. 15, 2021 (1/10 ƒ/11.5)|
|Acadia Place, Vicksburg, Feb. 15, 2021|
|Kansas City Southern rail tracks at Maloney Circle, Vicksburg National Military Park (1 sec. ƒ/16)|
|Fairground Street Bridge (¼ sec ƒ8; click to see 2400 pixels)|
Fuji Acros 100 Film
|Old bus, Moseley Gap Road, Vicksburg (¼ ƒ/16)|
|Ford Fairlane, Mt. Alban Road, Vicksburg (1/10 ƒ/11.5)|
I also finished a roll of Fuji's amazing Acros 100 film with the Jupiter-8 lens. Being an ISO 100 film, it is easier to use out in the field than the slow Panatomic-X film (but the examples above are tripod-mounted).