Legend of the last century, the national lens - Jupiter 37A 3,5 / 135. He is called a small telephoto or a large portraiture, which is true. Jupiter 37-A takes first place in my vote on the best Soviet portrait lens in the range of 85-135mm.
Jupiter-37A has interchangeable shank, which is marked on the lens with the letter "A". Replaceable shank allows you to change the "rear" part of the lens, which attaches it to the camera mount. Regarding the replaceable shank, it is necessary to erect a monument to domestic manufacturers for this ingenious move. With the help of an interchangeable shank, this lens can also be attached to cameras under the M42 thread or "H" mount.
How to use with modern cameras?
'A' lenses with an interchangeable shank, such as the one in this review, are very easy to use on almost any modern digital camera (both DSLR and mirrorless), just select correct adapter. The replacement 'A' shank usually has an external M42 thread and an 'H' mount (similar to Nikon F). For use on modern cameras, the easiest way is to add the required adapter from M42 to the desired system or from Nikon F to the desired system to this shank.
In times of mass use, version with MS was twice as expensive as usual, which actually affects the quality of work. Nevertheless, a lens without an MC feels great with the hood installed. The lens hood can be worn backwards, the hood has special grooves that allow it to be screwed in the opposite state into the thread for the light filter. I know of only one Soviet lens that allows you to put on the hood backwards - and that is Jupiter-37A.
Most likely, Jupiter 37A became a copy Carl Zeiss Jena DDR MC Sonnar 3,5 / 135 (Sonnara / Zonnara). Both lenses are pretty good, but narrowly focused experts say that the Sonnars are nevertheless better assembled and give a slightly sharper image.
Positive aspects and their brief description:
1. Cheap. Of course, in our time it can be obtained at a fairly low price. This is due to its mass production. This allows novice photographer to get a great picture for low cost.
2. Normal enlightenment. But even such enlightenment avoids unnecessary glare, Zaitsev. Removes fear of back and side light. But nevertheless, Jupiter-37A is a little afraid of flare and gives a light veil in the generated image.
4. Lens hood in delivery. The metal hood is quite long. It sits very well on the lens. But here is one minus of the lens hood that it is metal, it adds extra weight and when screwing the metal into the metal, the lens hood wedges and then it takes a lot of effort to unscrew it back. So I do not advise tightening it up much.
5. With interchangeable shank. I wrote about this at the beginning of the article. Allows you to use photo systems with different working lengths.
6. As many as 12 aperture blades. Therefore, it can act as an excellent portrait lens with smooth circles to blur the background (it has good bokeh).
7. Non-fixed stroke of the iris ring. Let me explain - the ring does not have fixed aperture values of type 4.5, 5.6, 8, but has a continuous stroke ring. This is very useful when shooting video, when you can smoothly close and open the aperture (and not jerkily at fixed values)
8. The large stroke of the diaphragm F3.5-F22. Pretty maneuverable lens. Jupiter-37A has a function of preset diaphragm... To use this function, you need to strangle the aperture ring towards the camera and release it at the desired aperture value. After that, the diaphragm will close only to the specified value. This is quite convenient when working with manual optics - to focus on a fully open aperture, quickly close to the desired value and shoot.
9. Metal case... As they say - give the people bread and circuses, and here - give glass and metal.
10. It works in minus 15 to plus 45 ° C, it is nice to read about it in the instructions before going on a winter photo walk.
Features and their brief descriptions:
- The weight. Over 400 grams, makes you feel all the "power" of the telephoto. But still heavy.
- The location of the diaphragm ring itself is rather inconvenient.
- Close focusing from 1.2 meters, you can forget about macro. The focus ring rotates 270 degrees.
- The thread of the filter is 52 mm, which is a fairly popular diameter.
- The lens has 4 lenses in 3 groups
On the fully open F3.5 aperture, you get slightly soft excellent portraits, but if you close it, then the sharpness is enough with the head for almost all tasks. What does my copy without MS, 1980.
From personal experience using:
I shoot on Jupiter-37A, even when there is very little time to set the sharpness. The picture is excellent. I really like its contrast, although sometimes it seems dull, in the editor it can be made simply incredible. At aperture of 3.5, you can shoot portraits without fear for the soapiness of the glass. Impressions are pretty positive. Here's another interesting comparison of Jupiter-37A and Kaleinar-5N. Jupiter was slightly better.
But if you need to shoot at least slightly moving scenes, then I would prefer any autofocus telephoto, even if it is a zoom and even if it is very dark (does not have enough aperture) and even if from the manufacturer’s know-how, for example, similar to very cheap Quantaray 70-300mm 1: 4-5.6 D LDO MACRO.
Sample photos on crop (APS-C, Nikon DX)
All photos in the gallery below were shot on the APS-C Nikon DX, crop 1.5x. No processing. Reduced size to 2MP, imprinted data from EXIF.
Sample photos on crop (Canon APS-C)
Full-frame sample photos (FF, Nikon FX)
Photographer shared examples of photos on Jupiter 37A 3,5 / 135 with readers of Radozhiva Lilia Nemykina:
There are several modifications of JUPITER-37, produced at different times:
- MS Jupiter-37AM 3,5 / 135, 1990-2002 (prefix 'MC' is placed before the lens name)
- Jupiter-37A 3,5 / 135 МС, 1983-1986 (the prefix 'MC' is placed after the lens name)
- MC Jupiter-37A 3,5 / 135, 1986-1989 (prefix 'MC' is placed before the lens name)
- Jupiter-37A MS-N-30 3.5 / 135, 1983-1984, very rare
- Jupiter-37A 3,5 / 135since 1978
- Юпитер-37AМ 3,5/135, 1990-2002
- MC Yu-37A 3,5 / 135, from about 1978
- U-37AM 3,5 / 135 MS
Catalog modern brand lenses 'Zenitar' и 'Helios' can look at this link.
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Hack and predictor Aviator
Jupiter 37A 3,5 / 135 - good lens. The lens has a pleasant background blur and excellent sharpness starting at its widest aperture. Jupiter-37A is one of the best Soviet portrait lensesIt is easy to install on modern DSLR cameras with an interchangeable shank system.