The best Soviet lens for portraiture

Here in Radozhiv, a vote was taken on the best Soviet portrait lens with a focal length of 85 to 135 mm. Its results are shown below.

The best Soviet portrait lens

The best Soviet portrait lens. A total of 25 people voted. The image is clickable.

A large number of reviews of Soviet optics will find here. Results of voting for the best Soviet fifty dollars can be found here.

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Material prepared Arkady Shapoval. Please, if this material was useful to you, help my project. And don't forget that everyone can write your review for one or another photographic equipment.

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Comments: 167, on the topic: The best Soviet lens for portraiture

  • Varganchik

    For me, as one who does not have Soviet lenses, but who passionately want to have them, Jupiter-37A, 3.5 \ 135 (Helios-40-2, 1.5 \ 85 - very expensive), Jupiter-9, 2.0 \ 85 and MC Helios-81N will be enough 50mm F2, or can you use any of these focal lengths ??? That is, I do not need to buy all the lenses, but will these Top Votings be enough?

    People say that different lenses, say from this list will draw in different ways, so you need to take everything)))

    Macro what advise and landscape?

    I was advised to cover such distances for a complete set: 24mm, 50mm, 85mm, 135mm !!! This will be enough???

    • Arkady Shapoval

      The question is what you will shoot with these lenses.

      • Varganchik

        Everything!!! Each for its immediate purpose

        • Arkady Shapoval

          Well then, you really need to buy everything too.

    • Timothy

      Hello! For macro, take wave 9, definitely.

  • Varganchik

    I'm going to take Nikon 7000. Tell me how to properly test it in the store for broken, hot pixels, etc., the number of frames captured ... What should you pay attention to first of all ???

    • Arkady Shapoval

      The test for pixels is carried out with additional ext. settings with the lens / mount cap closed at slow shutter speeds and high and low ISO. This is a complicated camera, check all the functions at a time does not work.

      • Varganchik

        Maybe you heard how marriages come across in this camera?

        • Arkady Shapoval

          It happens sometimes.

        • Dmitry

          WELL AND WHAT IS ONE OR TWO PIXELS OF KIRDYK !?

  • Varganchik

    What wide-angle lens on the Nikon d7000 can you recommend? So, it is possible to take a Nikon 24mm f / 2.8 Nikkor fix for 850 UAH. But I doubt it! Can take something from the Soviet optics cheaper? And which distance is preferable: 20, 24, 28? Thank you for the answer =)

    • Arkady Shapoval

      Because of the crop, I recommend something from a number of 10-24.

      • Anatoly

        Yeah. Nothing to add.

  • Eugene

    Hello Arkady, please advise a foreign portrait lens shorter than 135? Jupiter 37a was available from the Soviet ones - I am satisfied, but I want to be shorter .. Jupiter 9 is something I don't like very much, white ones are not very visible in prodzhe, and black ones are not very much. budget up to $ 200.

    • Arkady Shapoval

      I would save a little and take Samyang 85mm f / 1.4

  • Eugene

    it is a pity that it is not autofocus (the same manual but already for 2600 UAH

    • Arkady Shapoval

      Do you want an autofocus telephoto portrait lens for 200 cu?

  • Eugene

    no, manual up to 200ue. in this case, the word manual means cheaper for an autofocus analog ...

    • Arkady Shapoval

      For 200 cu you can find the Nikon 85mm 1.8, a pretty good lens.

      • Dmitry

        For 200 you will not find.

  • Coil

    I am using Jupiter-37 and I am delighted. Of course, the minus is manuality to shoot the dynamics is not an option, but this is actually characteristic of all Soviet lenses ... And so IMHO this is the best. I shot it on helios 44 m, I also liked it very much.

    • Exhausted

      And what were the foreign autofocus lenses in the 60s-70s? And do not call your homeland, though the former, a scoop. Does your much-praised modern Russia produce autofocus and manual lenses?

    • anonym

      I fully support Iznurenkov in that you do not need to call your homeland a scoop !!!
      But Russia doesn’t need to say too much. In SUGS Ukraine, nothing more is left now, even manual lenses are no longer produced.

      • Rodion

        Well do you understand

  • Eugene

    It doesn’t work out which day to see the voting results: Failed To Verify Referrer

    • lord

      Helios-40-2, 1.5 \ 85 (36%, 1 689 Votes)
      Jupiter-37A, 3.5 \ 135 (23%, 1 Votes)
      Kaleinar-5N, 2.8 \ 100 (14%, 639 Votes)
      Jupiter-9, 2.0 \ 85 (12%, 555 Votes)
      Tair-11A, 2.8 \ 135 (10%, 489 Votes)
      Jupiter-11, 4 \ 135 (2%, 95 Votes)
      Vega-12, 2.8 \ 90 (2%, 85 Votes)
      Industar-24, 3,5 \ 105 (1%, 58 Votes)

      Total Voters: 4

  • Valery

    You forgot Vegu-13. And this is also a very good portraiture, reminiscent of Kaleinar but with a softer picture.

    • Arkady Shapoval

      Thanks. Added by.

      • Roderick

        Then you need to add Vega-28.

  • Denis

    He aimed at Kaleinar-5N. Who used it? Does he have minuses and which ones? What are the negative and positive impressions? I want to use it specifically as a portrait on Nikon D7000.

    • anonym

      read below

  • Garik

    I use Kaleinar-5N on D800
    Great! I can send links to photos

  • Denis

    I use Vega 28B MS, body D3100. I like it very much. Sharpness I catch on a green dot, I do not use chips. I offer the best, although the lens is rare as I understand it. It is unlikely that many will be able to appreciate it.

  • Denis

    I will add to the previous comment. Vega 28B 2,8 / 120 MS

  • Sergei

    I think the survey is completely incorrect due to the existence of cameras with a crop…. you need to indicate in the rating for which cameras…. This does not mean that your work is less interesting from this ... I always look forward to new reviews and new reviews)))
    With respect to your work.

    • Arkady Shapoval

      When these lenses were released, there was practically no crop as such.

      • Sergei

        In this case, your survey is relevant at that time)))))

      • Anatoly

        All questions to Arkady. In 1991, three months before the collapse of the USSR, I went into debt, in a word, I spent huge money and by hook or by crook bought a Kiev-19 TTL DSLR (no overpayment, in a store !!!), and a little later (sent cash on delivery, mail from "Arsenal") and three additional (interchangeable) lenses - Telear, Kaleinar, Mir. That is, I had the best lenses of those times and peoples ... But I really didn't manage to shoot (ten films, no more).
        Years and decades have passed. Specifically: November 2006 came, and I had time to practice my favorite photography. But very few people use the film - it's a laborious business ... And for six years now I've been taking pictures with digital cameras and pseudo-mirrors - Pentax, Fuji, Nikon, Sony. With the last camera (old model, N-2) I shot at least 12-15 thousand frames. The shutter handed over last fall, 5,5 years after the purchase (it fails, I will definitely not repair it - it’s expensive, and I don’t believe that it will be repaired with high quality, without breaking anything along the way ... In addition, after 5 years, imported equipment is pouring in whole ... Today shutter, tomorrow a matrix, then - something else ... Especially after our climbing from the collective farm of the runaway Kulibins.
        And I decided to buy a DSLR. I really like Sony, Olympus and Pentax (they have no equal in color rendering!), But is doomed to love and life with Nikon. And only because of the presence of an arsenal of Kiev optics (as many as 4 glasses, count, new non-dark lenses - with an H mount - this is not huhry-muhry!). Is not it?

        And the questions I have, for you, Arkady are. For the second year now, I have been mocking with the choice of Nikon's model (the pensioner does not have much money). D90 is already old and, moreover, expensive. D5100 - nothing, but they say he is not on friendly terms with Soviet optics? I like the D7000. Almost everyone is good. Dear, really. But, most likely, I will buy it if it becomes cheaper by the spring by even a hundred bucks. What do you advise?
        And further. You need at least one good lens. Light, harsh, and more versatile. Should I take a whale of 18-105 mm? It is not very sharp, and not bright.
        By the way, and Kiev lenses (from Kiev-19 TTL) will they greatly slow down the work? Say, can I use them for photo hunting, reportage shooting?
        Or will they be as "fast" as on film SLRs?

  • Boris

    Arkady, I have such a question. Will I be able to manually focus accurately on manual optics when my myopia is small. Now I have a nikkor 50mm 1.8d fix, and I look into the viewfinder without glasses, I did not use the manual. I would like to experiment on aperture Soviet optics 85-135mm, but I'm afraid that I’ll just throw money away. Waiting for an answer, may God bless your work, success in photo research.

    • Arkady Shapoval

      Turn off autofocus on the Nikon 50mm F / 1.8D and try to shoot for 1-2 days. After that, you will approximately know what to expect from manual lenses with your eyesight.

  • Boris

    Thanks for the tip, a simple tip, I’ll definitely try.

  • BR21

    Vega 28

  • valery_ob

    And yet which portrait lens is better? I liked the simple analysis of one comment - “portrait lenses are better from 55 to 85 (aperture ratio is not discussed). I agree not completely. It is necessary to include the camera format in this dispute, otherwise it cannot be compared even with one FR and EGF (on a crop). You understand this with experience. I myself use now on crops Yu-37A (facial), EGF = 203mm and helios 44M and 44-2,44-4 (EGF = 80). Although EGF and FF are the difference with the same numbers. I will say this: you can make gorgeous portraits with them if you wish, but ... there is BUT! Try the full (and who can medium) formats with them, and you will understand everything. The question is in perfectionism (constant dissatisfaction with what has been achieved).

    My conclusion (IMHO) for perfectionists: portraits can be shot with any RF, even if we fish, but the style of these portraits is the artistic intention of the photographer? For classic studio portraits, you need (namely) FF and 100mm glass (in the red case 85 small-135), even better SF and 180mm glass (in the case 135-200). Moreover, these "extreme cases" depend entirely on the artistic taste of the photographer ... This is where the $$$$ question comes in. Only selection by shooting experience, sample, sample ...

  • Alexander

    “If someone thinks that there are still worthy Soviet fixed Opponents with focal 85-135mm, write in the comments ...” Better to correct it to “fixed PORTRAITS”. Thank you very much for the site, a lot of useful and interesting things.

  • Ivan

    Why not include Wave 3 on the list? It seems to be a good lens ...

    • Igor_K

      I fully support Wave 3B 2,8 \ 80 MS. This lens used to be equipped with Kiev 60 medium format cameras. Unlike Vega 28B (from Kiev 6s), the Wave is sharper, the resolution is slightly higher, the MC enlightenment is more pronounced, the contrast and color saturation are stronger, and the output picture is clearly More fun. But plasticity ”and softness of transitions are better in“ Vega ”. In short, if you shoot female students, then - "Wave", but if "Politburo", then - "Vega"!
      IMHO

      • Igor_K

        To my previous post, edit:
        instead of "Vega 28B 2,8 \ 120" - read "Vega 12B 2,8 \ 90"
        Sorry, did not finish!

  • anonym

    Well ... everyone has their own taste, yes. I vote for two - Ju-9 and Ju-11. Alas, for some reason there is no Tair-11 in the voting list, which is without the letter “A”, white M39. This is another exceptional, exceptional portrait painter. There is also Jupiter-6, but it is obviously exotic, not accessible to everyone and is very long.

  • Zhenya

    pidskazhіt budlaska portrait with beautiful bokeh on the carcass Nikon 5100 85mm ABO 74mm

  • anonym

    Tell Yu37A will be able to resolve the 3200 matrix ?? And what will be the center / edge agility in comparing the cyres e 50 1 / 1,8 lenses and the G81M MC ??

  • Sergі

    Mayu camera Panasonic G6 micro 4/3. Can you please a carcass for taku? I am checking the other day Arsat 100 / 2,8H (Kaleinar 5N) - what are your comments? Wonderful site і garnі look around that statі, є bagoto information, see that critics, dyakuyu.

  • Sergiy

    And maybe I can taku a 4/3 micro carcass, write what it is for ... dyakuyu.

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