Review Vega-12B 2.8 / 90 (VEGA-12B 2.8 / 90)

Accidentally on flickr I found a couple of photos on Vega-12B, with signature Bokehnator (Bokener). Vega-12B Really a great lens, but in my opinion, it still does not reach the Bocker. The bokeh of the lens is slightly twisted, circles in the blur zone are clearly traced. Regarding the bokeh and the lens design, remember that each person has their own tastes and preferences, because on the Internet you can find many good and bad reviews about Vega.

Vega-12B. View of the lens.

Vega-12B. View of the lens.

I reviewed two lenses: 'Vega-12B ' - export version and the usual 'VEGA-12B'. It's funny that the lens says exactly Vega-12B, in Latin letters “Vega” and in Cyrillic the letter “B” (designation of the bayonet). In the USSR, it has always been interesting to combine the Latin and Cyrillic letters in the names of lenses and cameras, which is only the occasional transliteration of MC into MS. Several German publications even wrote about the problem of the names of Soviet photographic equipment, and there were always explanations in the catalogs of equipment.

VEGA-12B 2.8 / 90

VEGA-12B 2.8 / 90

TTX Vega-12B
Optical design: 5 elements in 3 groups
Focal length: 90mm
Aperture limits: F / 2.8-F / 22
The weight: 480g
Front Filter Diameter: 58mm
Number of aperture blades: 6 pieces without blackening.
MDF: 60cm

The optical design of the lens takes root from Carl Zeiss Jena Biometar 2.8 / 80. Many people really like the picture that planars and biometars give, but recently I heard from one old photographer who used the Biometar that he really did not like the biometar bokeh. Therefore, the taste and color of all the pieces are different. Those who choose a similar lens from the medium format most often stop at the lens MS Wave-3 2.8 / 80 which has a more predictable picture.

Vega-12B. View of a modern camera with a KP-6 N crossover

Vega-12B. View of a modern camera with a KP-6 N crossover

Lens Highlights Vega-12B:
1. The lens is designed mount B (not to be confused with B), this is a copy of the mount Pentacon Six (P6).  The Vega-12B lens was standard for a number of medium format cameras Kiev-6S, Kiev-60, Kiev-88S, etc. It could seem. that 90mm is a bit too much for a regular one. But on medium format, the angle of view for 90mm was much wider than for 35m film.

The difference in focal length and bokeh between Vega-12B and Nikon 85mm AF F1.8D

The difference in focal length and bokeh between Vega-12B and Nikon 85mm AF F1.8D

2. As befits an old manual lens, it has focus scale, manual iris control and depth of field scale. Indication of depth of field is available from aperture 4.0 to 22.0. The aperture control ring allows you to set the aperture to 2.8, 4, 5.6, 8, 11, 16, 22. The aperture control ring has only fixed values, a nice click is heard when setting the next or previous value. The focusing ring is metal and ribbed, has a stroke of approximately 300 degrees. Long stroke of the focusing ring very convenient for smooth focusing ..

VEGA-12B 2.8 / 90

VEGA-12B 2.8 / 90

3. Since the lens is from a medium format camera, when using full frame and crop almost no vignetting and distortion. When used at full frame or on 35mm film, this will be a regular 90mm lens. On the cropped NIKON DX matrix, the viewing angle will be equivalent to the viewing angle for 135mm 35mm film lens. In any case, that on a full frame, that on a crop, a lens with its body range is great for portraiture.

VEGA-12B 2.8 / 90

VEGA-12B 2.8 / 90

4. Who reads to Radozhiva, already managed to notice that basically, all old lenses have very good metal construction. Vega-12B is no exception. The lens, with its considerable weight, is nice to hold in your hand. Any camera with Vega looks pretty decent. Weight balance with mine Nikon D200 perfectly distributed on a small Nikon D40 the lens seriously outweighs the camera.

VEGA-12B 2.8 / 90

VEGA-12B 2.8 / 90

5. The lens has diaphragm pressure control. You can aim at fully open, and take a picture at the set value using the aperture ring.

VEGA-12B 2.8 / 90

VEGA-12B 2.8 / 90

How to use the Vega-12B lens on modern cameras

I use Vega-12B on Nikon cameras without any problems using an adapter KP-6 \ N. In more detail about the use of old manual lenses on Nikon in my article Soviet Optics... On Canon, you can easily use a lens with an adapter Pentacon SIX - Canon EOS or with two adapters KP-6 \ 42 + M42 - Canon EOS. More details about using old lenses with Canon in articles Old Lenses on Canon.

Picture on Vega-12B

Understand correctly, the best picture result can be obtained from Vega-12B in its native 6x6 medium format. In extreme cases, it will also be good in the full frame, but a certain zest of Vega-12B is lost on the crop, although the photos are just excellent. Therefore, I brought Vega-12B into list of the best Soviet portrait fixed lenses. In general, the picture does not have vignetting and distortion on the crop. The bokeh is good, circles in the blur zone are clearly visible. HA well fixed, but due to small spherical aberrations, the picture slightly borrowed the effect monocle - well-defined contours in the photo, but slightly soft. Sharpness? I don't want to talk about sharpness on Vega. For those of you who care, 2.8 is already decent sharpness. When the aperture is closed, the sharpness increases almost linearly. The contrast is excellent. The backlight is mediocre, since the lens has only one-layer coating. The picture appears slightly yellow in the viewfinder, but BB on a digital camera does it.

VEGA-12B 2.8 / 90

VEGA-12B 2.8 / 90

Sample photos on a Vega-12B lens and sprinkled DX camera Nikon D200... All without any kind of treatment. RAW -> JPEG, resized from 10MP to 1600 * 1200, quality at conversion 80%, imprinted data from EXIF about shooting options.

As advertising: I'm sure many have heard of the legendary medium format lenses Vega-12B, Volna-3, etc. If you want to buy them - please contact us from the manual optics section. We kindly ask you not to email me and in contact about buying or selling lenses, I'm just writing Articles и REVIEWS, You will be answered about the availability of one or another instance of the contacts on the Manual Optics page.

VEGA-12B 2.8 / 90

VEGA-12B 2.8 / 90


Catalog modern brand lenses 'Zenitar' и 'Helios' can look at this link.

In the comments, you can ask a question on the topic and they will answer you, as well as you can express your opinion or describe your experience. For the selection of photographic equipment, I recommend large catalogs, for example E-Catalog. Many little things for the photo can be found on AliExpress.


conclusions

Vega-12B excellent full-time lens for medium format. On a 35mm film or on a crop it turns into a good portrait with a characteristic biometar picture. Vega-12B is interesting for its sharpness and contrast.

Material prepared Arkady Shapoval... Look for me on Youtube | Facebook | VK | Instagram | Twitter.

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Comments: 186, on the topic: Review Vega-12B 2.8 / 90 (VEGA-12B 2.8 / 90)

  • Anatoly

    Thank you It is very interesting and pleasant to read your reviews, Arkady.
    If I understood correctly, (and the photo for the review is a confirmation of this) lenses for medium format, Vega-12B and Volna-3 make sense to use on cropped cameras like Nikon D60? I myself mostly use Helios-81N and Jupiter-37A ...

    • Arkady Shapoval

      Actually, the article clearly states that, indeed, Vega-12B from the medium format 6x6. I’m on the D200, D40 I use it quite well.

  • Smetanka

    winter photos - fairy tale

  • Alexey

    Thank you for the article! I liked the picture - beautiful bokeh. I like this bokeh more than Helios twisted. I wonder if it is realistic to find this lens on the domestic market in good condition?
    Arkady, which one do you prefer - MC Volna-3 2,8 / 80 il Vega-12B?

    • Arkady Shapoval

      Both are good. You can buy this particular Vega from this review by contacting from the contacts in the Manual Optics section (if in Ukraine).

  • altavista

    Is it possible to use dandelion with this lens?

    • Arkady Shapoval

      yes maybe.

  • The article is just super !!))) The main thing is not to be afraid of difficulties, such as frosts and get beautiful photos)

  • Sergei

    Advice for those wishing to buy. I noticed that many lenses with bayonet b suffer from flooding of the diaphragm in the open position after a long lying in the closet on the top shelf, it was like that for me, I disassemble Vega, but there’s no world 26, I set the minimum aperture value to 22 and shook it a lot, it’s possible even knocking, not with a hammer, the arms are desirable, and the petals will be in place, the truth can then stick again, but you can slowly develop without disassembling.

  • Sergei

    By the way, World 26 b, is also quite interesting with Nikon, bokeh gives smooth, dull and very deep, especially on an open diaphragm, Kaleinar 5 N, probably the most popular Soviet fix, about bokeh much weaker.

    • Arkady Shapoval

      I would love to write a review about World 26b

  • Boris

    Since the days of the film, I have been using (via an adapter) Vegu-28V from my Kiev-88. Its FR is 120mm. This is a specially designed portrait lens for 6 * 6 format. Unfortunately, its eight-blade diaphragm does not form an even circle, but in terms of conveying the plasticity of lines and halftones, it is great! Of course, the image contrast is low due to the loss of light in the adapter, and the blackening of the diaphragm slats is bad. But portraits simply “breathe” with volume!

    • Arkady Shapoval

      Wow, where to get the Vega-28 for review ...

  • Ruslan

    Hello, please tell me how to connect the Vega-12b lens and the Sony 35a digital camera.
    If possible, then in more detail, I'm a beginner.

    • Arkady Shapoval

      Usually through two adapters Bayonet B - M42 and another M42 - Minolta AF.

  • altavista

    Tell me, will the light filter help from the illumination on the Vega MS?

    • Arkady Shapoval

      Maybe a little, but do not count.

  • Novel

    Thanks for the good review Arkady. I bought myself such a lens, but have not yet put it on my Nikon. In another review of this lens, I read that it has one characteristic and somewhat unpleasant feature. When shooting a portrait, the sharpness will not be on the eyes, but on the back of the head, and therefore, after the camera confirms the focus, the focus ring must be turned towards the near focus limit. Was there such a difficulty shooting with your Vega 12B?

    • Arkady Shapoval

      I bet you read it on Sergey Elizarov's website. Taking a portrait to the waist did not find such a problem. It is simply more difficult to take a facial portrait, but I didn’t find anything like it either, I did a review on the D200, Elizarov, like on the D50. In any case, you can focus on the extreme case of Live View.

  • Novel

    Yes, that was the case, I read a review from Sergey Elizarov and was inspired by the purchase of this lens, and in addition to everything else, your review came out. I hope that on my D3100 such problems with focusing will also not arise.

  • Eugene

    Arkady, I can help with Vega-28V, but can you tell me how can I adapt it on Pentax kr later?

  • Eugene

    Only to it there is not a single adapter

    • Arkady Shapoval

      Bayonet-B - M42 are made to order, and then M42 to Pentax without any problems. Today I will find out how much the adapter will cost.

  • Eugene

    He put it to the camera, even nothing is visible, Arkady what's wrong with the adapter?

    • Arkady Shapoval

      He asked - no one wants to do it.

  • Eugene

    In your photo with Vega 12 on the adapter is written CP 6, this one will not work?

    • Arkady Shapoval

      This is a B mount mount adapter. KP-6 / N

  • Eugene

    Arkady, and if you take KP-6 / N, grind a ring (there is a good turner, and an alloy of silumin) with a three-way thread inside and outside like the above adapter, and this adapter to the ring, and then to the lens, or something else ? And then to your trials

    • Arkady Shapoval

      Actually this is done.

  • Eugene

    Are there any mechanisms in the tail of the lens, or is it one-piece? If it is solid, the tail could be sharpened

  • Makc

    But can he shoot macro? my friend, tell me the adapter for Nikon D90

    • Arkady Shapoval

      It can shoot macro with macro rings. About the adapter is written in the article, be careful. One adapter KP-6 / N is enough.

  • Makc

    Thanks buddy, but I noticed this, I didn’t find such adapters in Google, can I give me the English name to buy cheaper in Chinese?

    • Arkady Shapoval

      Adapter Pentacon SIX / Nikon

  • Makc

    20 bucks on an ebay, dear generally. and it will be better to shoot portraits than my fifty fifty on a dx camera?)

    • Arkady Shapoval

      In general, yes.

  • Makc

    thank you

  • Alexander

    Hello, I wanted to know if installing on canon will focus on infinity be possible?

    • Arkady Shapoval

      Yes, it will.

  • Alexander

    I see. Thanks

  • Q

    Arkady, thank you for such fascinating and understandable reviews!) I have a question - which lens do you think is suitable for a female portrait on a 1.5 cropped Nikon d7000

    • Arkady Shapoval

      Depending on the shooting style and needs. If a full-length, half-length portrait, then you can get by 50 1.8, 50 1.4, if the front - then something from the series 85 1.8, 85 1.4.

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English-version of this article https://radojuva.com/en/2012/01/obzor-vega-12b-2-8-90mm/comment-page-1/