Review MS 3M-5CA F8 500mm

For the opportunity review lens MS 3M-5CA many thanks to Alexander Panasyuk.

View of the lens MS ZM-5CA and filters from the kit

View of the lens MS ZM-5CA and filters from the kit

There are two lenses. MS 3M-5A and MS 3M-5CA. The second version of 3M-5CA is just an updated version of 3M-5A. 3M-5CA - two times lighter than his brother, and slightly smaller in size. On the one hand, less weight is good, but on the other hand, due to the light weight of the lens, the minimum excerptat which you can take off without grease pictures.

Focal length: 500mm
The weight: 620g
MDF: 4 meters
Diaphragm: F8.0 fixed
Front Filter Diameter: 72mm
Landing thread: M42
Manufacturer: LZOS (Lytkarino Optical Glass Plant, Lytkarino)

Also, you can find the name of the lenses: MC ZM-5A and MC ZM-5SA - these are the same MS 3M-5A and 3M-5CA.

View of the lens MS ZM-5CA and size comparison

View of the lens MS ZM-5CA and size comparison

The letters MC in the name of the lens indicate multilighting. The letters ЗМ stands for "mirror-meniscus". 3M-5CA Is not a classic lens lens. Have 3M-5CA special mirror-meniscus design, which includes the meniscus, mirrors and lenses. Menis and lenses have multi-lightening.

View of the MS ZM-5CA lens on a modern digital mirror camera

View of the MS ZM-5CA lens on a modern digital mirror camera

The main important information about MS 3M-5CA
1. The lens is super telephoto. 500 mm focal length give a very strong approximation. If used 3M-5CA on a camera with a cropped matrix (APS-C type), then the angle of view with this lens will be even narrower, and EGF will equal 750mm for Nikon with crop factor 1.5 and 800mm for Canon c crop factor 1.6. With such a large focal length it is easy to reach distant objects, or simply go unnoticed by shooting from far away.

2. The lens fits for full frame. They will be able to work with him Nikon D700, D800(to), D3(x, s), D4, Canon EOS 5D (Mark II, Mark III), 1Ds Mark II (Mark III), 1D Mark IV and 1D X. Typically long-throw full-frame lenses are quite expensive, MC 3M-5A and 3M-5CA can be found for less than $ 100. e.

3. The lens only one aperture value equal to F8.0. The aperture value cannot be changed. For example, aperture F8.0 lower per aperture with an aperture of F5.6 ordinary whale lens only 2 times.

Photo on MS ZM-5CA

Photo on MS ZM-5CA

4. The focus ring is very convenient, rotates almost 360 degrees. The aim is smooth. The minimum focusing distance is 4 meters. After 30 meters, infinity begins on the focus distance indicator.

5. The front cover does not snap into place, but is screwed in. Moreover, it takes a long time to screw the cover. The cover covers the front lens, which is actually a concave meniscus.

6. Together with the lens there are 4 light filters: UV-1x, N-4x, ZhZ-2x, O-2.8X (ultraviolet, neutral, green and orange).

Sample photo on MS ZM-5CA

Sample photo on MS ZM-5CA

How to use on modern digital SLR cameras?
Despite the fact that the lens has an ending in the name “A”, the lens does not have a replaceable shank. On my copy of the MC 3M-5CA, there is simply an M42 thread for attaching to the camera. The lens has an amazing ability to focus beyond infinity. I use the lens with the KP-42 \ N adapter without a lens, while the ability to focus on infinity is preserved.

Attention 1: MS 3M-5CA cannot be installed simply with an adapter KP-42 \ N on cameras junior line due to the fact that the lens abuts against a built-in flash. I could not attach the lens to Nikon D40, Nikon D5000. The lens sits on older cameras without problems. You can see the camera class in the section 'all nikon cameras'. As for Canon, I can't say.

Attention 2: in spite of the fact that the lens has M42 thread, on Nikon it will be possible to focus at infinity even with a KP-42 / N lensless adapter due to the fact that the focusing ring has a small "Running across" for infinity.

Attention 3: The lens is quite difficult to shoot. This is due to a large focal length of 500 mm, a small lens weight and a small aperture F8.0 Almost all Nikon cameras can confirm focusing on a green dot with apertures up to F5.6 (indicated in the camera specification). Therefore, confirmation by the green focus point will not always work. The green dot will only work well under normal lighting conditions. Who has a Live View is not a problem. Also, professional cameras such as Nikon D4 can be sharpened at F8.0 aperture by confirming with a green dot when using part of the focus points, as D4 supports focusing at F8.0

You can read how to install and use old lenses on modern Nikon digital SLR cameras in the section Soviet optics. For Canon in Old Canon Lenses.

Portrait on MS ZM-5CA

Portrait on MS ZM-5CA

Image quality:
The MS 3M-5CA lens gives a slightly contrasty image (it’s not at all a problem to fix it during processing). The lens has two very interesting features in the construction of the image. The first is the lens is completely devoid of chromatic aberration. Usually, the highest quality telephoto lenses are lightweight. HA, MS 3M-5CA - does not have them at all. Lack of HA associated with the mirror-meniscus lens design. The lens has an unusual bokeh - all the luminous points in the out-of-focus area are transformed into donuts and rings - this is a feature of the mirror-meniscus lens. Many people do not like this type of bokeh, in any case, the picture looks unusual.

Bokeh on MS ZM-5SA

Bokeh on MS ZM-5SA

Sample photos on MS 3M-5CA. All photos are taken on Nikon D200without processing. Converting from RAW to JPEG with auto levels, reduced the size to 1600 * 1200 and added a watermark with parameters EXIF. I did add auto levels, since raw RAW has pretty little contrast.

Personal impressions:
Take off hand lens 3M-5CA on the camera Nikon D200 without grease I get on shutter speed not lower than 1/100 of a second. I advise you to shoot no lower than 1/500. How to avoid blurring, is written in the article as Take off with Hands. Due to the small aperture and the need for a short excerpts when shooting handheld, even on a sunny day you will have to raise ISO. On a cloudy day I had to shoot at ISO 1600 and shutter speed about 1/320.

Photo on the lens of the MS ZM-5CA

Photo on the lens of the MS ZM-5CA

Why can I use such a lens?
With the lens, you can quietly shoot fearful animals, distant objects, etc. .. In fact, the lens is not so big, Tair-3 is much larger than the MC 3M-5CA. Fans of stealthy shooting, MS 3M-5CA will like it. On the camera, the lens looks pretty decent and impressive, it attracts a mirror, which is located in the middle of the front meniscus, which is rather strange for a conventional lens lens. MS 3M-5A and 3M-5CA have more brothers - these are 3M-4A, ZM-6A, with F6,3 and 500mm. ZM-6A is faster than 1.6 times (2/3 stops) for 3M-5A.

Photo on MS ZM-5CA

Photo on MS ZM-5CA

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

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The 3M-5CA is an excellent super telephoto lens. Picture 3M-5CA has a complete absence of chromatic aberration. Focusing is smooth. The lens has low contrast and shooting without a tripod is quite difficult. I recommend it to all fans of hunting photos.

Material prepared Arkady Shapoval. Training/Consultations | Youtube | Facebook | Instagram | Twitter | Telegram.

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Comments: 192, on the topic: Review of MS 3M-5CA F8 500mm

  • anonym

    I put the ZM-5SA on a Nikon D90 through a regular adapter. Close to the flash, even strikes it. There is no infinity ...

    • Kanunnikov

      Does everything work with the lens?

  • Antip

    I bought a used GX10 specifically for Soviet lenses. Now there are no problems with infinity and exposure lenses - through the adapter ring everything works without any rebounds
    and experiments.

  • Oleg

    Arkady, is there a tripod mount for this lens?

    • Sergei

      It is possible to order on Tripod a tripod ring for Nikon 80-200 / 2,8
      It competently sits on the lens in the area of ​​the distance scale.
      I also advise you to buy in the same place a deep lens hood for telephoto lenses on a 72 mm thread and an eyepiece with a magnification of 1,6 - it really helps to focus quickly.

    • Dmitriy

      I have a ZM-5A (it has been working since the 83rd year; first at the Zenith, now at the Canon). There are two mounts to the tripod, approximately at the cross section of the lens de-weighting, at 90 degrees to each other. The trick is that when you attach this lens (M42 thread) through the M42-CanonEOS adapter rings of almost all manufacturers, standard mounts to the lens turn out to be at a random angle relative to the camera axis. Taking into account the huge reserve of the lens in focusing “beyond infinity”, I laid the place where the M42 adapter ring and the lens junction with a ring of thin wire in insulation, which gave (due to puncturing the insulation) a fairly reliable positioning of the lens mount relative to the camera.
      By the way, the filter thread diameter for the ZM-5A is not 72mm, as indicated in the review, but 77mm in 0,75 increments.
      A separate “bonus” of this lens is the presence of a non-removable hood in the form of a sliding ring

  • Sergei

    Good day. This lens was lying on my mezzanine for about 20 years, I did not even know that it was, I thought, an air sight (its dimensions, mirror and military grandfather).
    I hooked it through an EF-M42 adapter to a Kenon 80D camera. Everything works fine, metering, focusing. Mounted the lens itself on a tripod, fortunately, it has four mounting points. A very interesting experience. Pleased with a fixed hood.
    By the way, filters from it are suitable for 17-55 and other lenses with a 77 mm thread.

  • Valentine

    Please tell me who came across, on pentax k20d this lens becomes ZM-5CA?

  • Eugene

    Tell me, did anyone install on Pentax k-5?

  • Eugene

    Installed on Sony a7rii, everything works

  • Igor

    Today, I bought it. I tried it on nikon D700 and on fudzhik soak! What to say HA is absent from the word at all. Low contrast is true! I am very pleased, the focusing is smooth, the sharpness is quite good, I thought it would be worse. For that kind of money, it's a godsend. F8 but what to do - this is the constructive. At 1 / 250c, I shot without blurring with a read, finally shine, focusing is smooth! For photo hunting - the very thing, and the size and weight, you can always take with you and not strain! Super!

  • Yariy

    Long focus, but without autofocus ... Masochism.

    • B. R. P.

      In mirrored lenses, there is no af.

      • Sergei

        It happens.
        Minolta and later Sony had AF 500mm / 8

        • B. R. P.

          Domestic did not have it yet)

  • Ruslan

    Example from the field

  • Jason

    In my arsenal there are MS ZM-5SA, ZM-6A and MTO-1000. Two DSLRs Nikon D3200 and Canon EOS2000D. So MC ZM-5SA sat down better on Canon, since on Nikon it rests against the flash. But the ZM-6A does not sit well on my Canon, but it fits perfectly on Nikon. MTO sits perfectly on one and the other carcass. The focus on infinity is everywhere. For Nikon adapter without lens, for Canon with focus confirmation chip. I took adapters on Aliexpress.
    In general, I am very pleased with the lenses!

  • Valentin

    Tell me which is better:
    this 3M 5SA or ZRT-460 as a telephoto lens?

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