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.


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)

  • Alexander

    Hello. There is a problem with the "Pentacon to Nikon" adapter (Chinese). I can’t put on it either Vegu-12B, Jupiter-36B, or any other Soviet lens with a B mount. The lens is put on, but the ring does not catch on due to the greater thickness of the three projections on the optics than the width of the gaps between the retaining ring and the adapter. To put it on, you need to work with a file a couple of mm. And yet, the retaining ring from a foreign pentacon will not screw onto the Soviet adapter - the thread pitch is different, I checked it. It turns out that Bayonet B and Pentacon 6 are not the same thing, but just a similar construct ??? Or did I come across a defective Pentacon adapter for Nikon?

    • Sergei

      Perhaps the answer is not quite on this question (and even more late), but with the goal that others would not step on this rake: The mounts on the Vega-12B and Vega-12V lenses are different. The last letter “B” or “C” is precisely the designation of the Bayonet. In the article, the author talks about this. But the main thing is not to ignore it))) I myself almost bought Vega-12V recently, in the presence of a P6 adapter. Those I could not put this lens on the adapter I have. I looked closely at the photo of the lens in time and decided to clarify these similar letters. Be careful! I was very pleased with the lens - I recommend it)))

  • asp

    On the open Vega-12B 2.8 / 90 is soapy, but the drawing is present. The main thing is that bokeh does not repel, which means that it has the right to life ....

  • oksana

    Good day!
    say be caress, in your opinion, for a portrait photo on a crop of Helios-81N, why is it still Vega-12B 2.8 / 90?


  • Igor

    Cool lens. I think soon I will buy one)

  • Maksim

    on aperture 4, it is much sharper, many when they take off the medium format, they cover it specially.

  • anonym

    There are two veggies-12, with adapters, on Nikon and Canon (just put on the camera and shoot). who is interested in buying write to soap.

  • anonym

  • Victor

    Adapters are terribly expensive, cost more than an objective.
    There is such a brand new with a camera, I sell, write to anyone you need

  • Ivan

    I got a lens with the name of the Latin alphabet 81g. So his diaphragm is not yellow, but four-sided, black! On open does not softit.

  • Ivan

    And more

  • Ivan

    Even in the side light, contrast falls.

  • Oleg

    tell me which adapter is needed to make friends Vega-12B and Panasonic DMC-G7 if possible

    • zengarden

      We need an adapter Pentacon Six → Micro FourThirds, for example, this:

  • anonym

    Arkady, which is better as a portrait lens - Vega 12B or nikkor-p 105 mm F2.5 AI. There is a choice)))


    • Rodion

      Nikkor, you know yourself. Although Vega Vega will also be interesting. And Vega is cheaper.

  • Valery

    there is a very rare MS Vega-12B in perfect condition, maybe someone will be interested. write on soap

  • Vladimir

    Good evening. Above you wrote that Vega 12B for crop cameras is not a good option, but a person writes that he is the best option

  • Ruslan

    I tried this Vega with a slightly different mount on the Salute. You can’t take pictures without a hood, the contrast drops instantly, I can’t even remember which other lens is so critical to exposure

  • abzar

    good day!!! Happy holiday to start !!!! tell me what is connected with it, that when I take a full picture with a Vega 12B lens in the central part, there is light? is this due to the opening of the diaphragm or the specimen features? thanks!

  • Petr

    Thank you for the article.
    I want to put such a lens on the Canon EOS through an adapter.
    In the shank of the lens there is a spring-loaded protruding PUSHER (like a button).
    With the installed Pentacon Six adapter (with a chip) - Canon EOS will this Pusher perform some function or can the Pusher with a lever be removed altogether?

    Thank you.

  • Jury

    with tilt adapter

  • Alex

    "The error came out, that's what science is silent about" wanted "C" and turned out to be "B" who is interested
    KP6 / N contact avdavd@mail.ruI will give it not expensive :)

  • Jury

    fall through this lens on a tilt adapter

  • Victor

    Hello! I got a Vega-12B 2.8 / 90 with a Pentacon-Nikon adapter in good condition. Everything is good, except for one thing: there is no “infinity” focusing. Focusing is normal up to about 20 meters, and then no. What is the reason? Thanks!

    • Dmitry

      too thick adapter, probably. try to find that you can sharpen 0.1-1mm, and thus bring the lens closer to the matrix

      • Victor

        Somehow I would not really like to bore a branded adapter :). But for the answer and the hint, thank you!

  • Alexey

    On nikon, will infinity be with this glass?

    • Michael


  • Jury

    I will try to insert a new picture DSC_1543

  • Dmitriy

    Arkady, you write that 90mm on a sf is wider than on ff.
    But here also the crop factor works, if you use this glass on ff. Just the opposite. Or am I confused?
    EGF Vega 12 on ff - 90 × 0.7?

    • Arkady Shapoval

      On the average format, the EGF will be somewhere around 90 * 0,7 (depending on the length of the medium format diagonal, there are a couple of options). And at full frame (narrow format, 35 mm), it will be the same 90 mm (90 * 1).

      • Dmitriy

        Now it is clear. Thank you

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