Overview Zenitar-M 50 1.7

For the opportunity lens review Zenitar-M 1,7 / 50 Many thanks to Alexander Perever and Igor Tihan.

Review Zenitar-M

Review Zenitar-M

TTX Zenitar-M 1.7 / 50 (aka Zenitar-M 1.7 / 50)
MDF: 45sm
Optical design: 6 elements in 5 groups
Focal length: 50mm
Number of aperture blades: 6 pieces
Diaphragm: F1.7-F16.0
The weight: 280 g
Landing thread: M42
Front Filter Diameter: 52mm

This review presents exactly Zenitar-M with serial numbers 859616 and 850340. There is a modification of the lens MS Zenitar-M with multi-enlightenment and slightly smaller MDF, you can see the overview MS Zenitar-M 1,9 / 50... Zenitar-M 1.7 / 50 was used as a standard lens for Zenit-18 and Zenit-19 cameras. There is also a very interesting modification - Zenitar-ME1 50 mm f / 1.7 MS with just two aperture blades that form a square aperture and give a fun "grid" in the out of focus area at closed apertures.

View of the Zenatir-M lens 1,7 50 from different sides

View of the Zenatir-M lens 1,7 50 from different sides

Features of the lens Zenitar-M 50 1.7

1. Focusing ring moves smoothly, slightly tight. The minimum focusing distance is 45cm, infinity starts at 15 meters on the scale on the lens. The focusing ring itself rotates approximately 270 degrees. When focusing, the entire lens unit moves. When focusing, the “trunk” is lengthened by about a centimeter. The depth of field indicators are plotted for diaphragms 4, 8, 11, 16 and, most likely, for 2.8, but without a numerical designation. On the aperture scale, you can set the values ​​1.7, 2, 4, 8, 11, 16 and, most likely, F2.8, F5.6 without a digital designation.

Enlightenment of the front and rear lens of the Zenitar-M lens

Enlightenment of the front and rear lens of the Zenitar-M lens

2. The lens is excellent maximum aperture F1.7, which allows you to achieve a very small depth of field. Considering that on cameras with a 1.5x crop EGF will be 75mm, and for 1.6x EGF is 80mm, then the lens can be used as a good portrait lens. The number of aperture blades is only 6 pieces. If you need a portrait lens for a crop, also look towards the Helios-44 in the white version.

3. The lens is well assembled. The first copy that I visited was with the backlash of the focus ring. But my second lens was made very high quality.

Sample photos on Zenitar-M 1.7 50mm

Sample photos on Zenitar-M 1.7 50mm

4. The diameter of the front filter is 52mm, you can easily find a protective or specialized photo filter. When focusing, the front group of lenses does not rotate, which simplifies working with the lens.

Sample photos on Zenitar-M 1.7 50mm

Sample photos on Zenitar-M 1.7 50mm

5. The lens has a blinking (jumping) aperture. It’s very convenient that you can disable it with a special switch and you can set aperture values ​​in manual mode. The lens has no aperture preset ring.

Sample photo on Zenitar-M F1.7 50mm

Sample photo on Zenitar-M F1.7 50mm

Sample photos on Zenitar-M

All photos are unprocessed. Unloading from RAW -> JPEG Q80%, resized to 1600 * 1200, data from EXIF. Everything is filmed on Nikon D200, Nikon D40, Canon 350D.

How to use with modern cameras?

Lenses with mounting thread M42 (M42 X 1 / 45.5), such as the lens from this review, are very easy to use on almost any modern digital camera (both SLR and mirrorless), for this it is enough to choose the right adapter (adapter). You do not need to carry out any additional steps to modify the lens.

The cheapest adapters can be found aliexpress.com... There are adapters (adapters) with a chip that provide more convenience during shooting, usually chips are used to confirm focus and / or metering exposure, and form the correct EXIF. The chip does not affect the image quality in any way.

For some SLR cameras (for example, Nikon F) it is necessary to use adapters with a corrective lens, which allows correct focusing at all focusing distances. For any mirrorless camera, such a lens is not needed, and the adapter is a simple decorated hollow metal tube with an appropriate mount.

For SLR cameras

  1. Canon: For cameras Canon EOS with bayonet mount EF / EF-S need an M42-Canon EOS adapter, such an adapter with a chip can be found herewithout chip here.
  2. NIKON: For cameras Nikon DX / FXas well as for cameras Fujifilm и Kodak with a Nikon F mount, you need an M42-Nikon F adapter, you can buy such an adapter without a lens and a chip here, with a lens without a chip herewith chip without lens here, with lens and chip here. Why a lens? Why chip?
  3. PENTAX: For cameras Pentax with mount K you need an adapter M42-Pentax K, you can buy such an adapter here.
  4. SONY/MINOLTA: For cameras with a Sony / Minolta A mount, you need the M42-Sony A adapter, you can find such an adapter without a chip at this linkwith a chip at this link.
  5. OLYMPUS / PANASONIC / LEICA: For cameras with a 4/3 bayonet mount (not to be confused with Micro 4/3!) You need an M42-4 / 3 adapter, you can buy such an adapter here.

For mirrorless cameras

  1. SONY: For cameras with an 'E' series mount SonyNEX и Sony Alpha you need an adapter M42-Sony E (aka M42-Sony Nex), you can find it at this link. An autofocus adapter is also available for these cameras. Techart PRO Leica M - Sony E Autofocus Adapterwhich can be found at this link.
  2. OLYMPUS / PANASONIC / KODAK /  XIAOMI: For cameras with a Micro 4/3 bayonet mount (Micro 4: 3), you need the M42-Micro 4/3 adapter, you can find it at this link.
  3. CANON M: For cameras with a bayonet mount Canon EF-M need adapter M42-Canon M, it can be found at this link.
  4. CANON R and RF-S: For cameras with a bayonet mount Canon r need adapter M42-Canon R, it can be found at this link.
  5. Nikon 1: For cameras Nikon 1 Series need adapter M42-Nikon 1, you can find it at this link.
  6. Nikon Z: For series cameras Nikon Z need adapter M42-Nikon Z, it can be found at this link.
  7. FUJIFILM X: For cameras with mount X need an M42-Fuji X adapter, you can find it at this link.
  8. FUJIFILM GFX: For medium format cameras G-mount need M42-Fuji GFX adapter, you can find it at this link.
  9. SAMSUNG: For cameras with NX mount need adapter M42-Samsung NX, you can find it at this link. For the camera Nx mini adapters do not exist yet.
  10. PENTAX: For cameras with Q mount need an adapter M42-Pentax Q, you can find it at this link.
  11. SIGMA / PANASONIC / LEICA: For cameras with L mount, you need the M42-Leica L adapter, you can find it at this link.
  12. LEICA: For cameras with a Leica M mount need adapter M42-L / M, you can find it at this link.

If you have any questions on compatibility and adapters - ask in the comments (comments do not require any registration at all).

Portrait on Zenitar-M 1.7 50

Portrait on Zenitar-M 1.7 50

Image Quality at Zenitar-M

Zeninar-M lens which gives sharpness already with the maximum open aperture F1.7... Moreover, the sharpness is not conditional, but quite normal. Sharpness at closing the aperture only increases and is present throughout the entire field of the frame (taking into account the effect of diffraction). Lens distortion on the cropped matrix is ​​minimal. The lens produces good, smooth and soft bokeh at full aperture. The image is contrasting. Color reproduction is normal. A little afraid of counter light, in general, tolerates side light normally. There is nothing more to say - just a high-quality fifty kopeck piece.

Zenitar-M on a modern camera

Zenitar-M on a modern camera

Personal impressions

I liked Zenitar-M 1.7 50. The owner of the Zenithar, who has the ability to focus on infinity, claims that F1.7 can even take a landscape. Of the Soviet fifty kopecks, I usually recommend Helios-81n, Helios-77m-4, now I will recommend Zenitar-M 50 1.7. I advise you to look in the section to vote for the best Soviet fifty dollarswhere Zenitar-M takes the honorable 3rd place.

Sample photo on Zenitar-M F1.7 50mm

Sample photo on Zenitar-M F1.7 50mm

You can judge the sharpness yourself:

Zenith-M lens sharpness

Zenith-M lens sharpness

Backlight, the lens is still afraid. Example photo with hard backlight below.

Example photo with hard backlight below

Example photo with hard backlight below

But the blurring of the background on a fully open aperture is simply gorgeous.

Background blur on Zenitar-M

Background blur on Zenitar-M

Color rendition on the example of a photograph with flowers.

Color rendering Zenitar-M

Color rendering Zenitar-M

Zenitar-M has a shallow depth of field at F1.7

Background on the Zenith-M went into kissel

Background on the Zenith-M went into kissel


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


Comments on this post do not require registration. Anyone can leave a comment. Lenses and promotions on them look at Moyo.ua.


Conclusion

Zenitar-M 50 1.7 is an excellent fast prime lens. It has good sharpness at all apertures and nice open bokeh. I recommend.

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

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Comments: 232, on the topic: Zenitar-M 50 review 1.7

  • Beautiful spring photos turned out!

  • Egor

    Much less flu than g81n? What do you personally like?

    • Arkady Shapoval

      The flu is almost the same. I prefer the G-81n, since it serves to twist the background and the circles in the blur zone are more highlighted. But Zenitar turned out to be very, very good, the MS version should be even better.

      • afbezgin

        The grip value is constant for the same fr and aperture, regardless of the type of lens.

  • Shtatnik Zenits 18 and 19. On the aperture scale, the dots are marked - not "most likely", but exactly - 2.8 and 5.6.

    • B.R.P.

      By the way, there are intermediate values ​​between 2 and 2,8, 2,8 and 4, 4 and 5,6, 5,6 and 8, 8 and 11. There is only between 1,7 and 2 and 11 and 16.

  • here is the Zenitar-M test of the MS version. with an example of bokeh and test.
    http://evtifeev.com/?p=633

    to the point, Arkady, that Zenitar reminded you of MC Pancolar 1.8 / 50 Carl Zeiss Jena DDR and Pentacon auto 1.8 / 50. These two lenses are GDR-ovs and have no relation to Carl Zeiss and their enlightenment is most likely Soviet.
    here is a little written about it
    http://evtifeev.com/?p=4753

    g81-N - I agree, a good lens, I also tested it. I didn't check the bokeh, really. most of the Soviet "swirly bokeh". this is called geometric vignetting and is specially introduced to compensate for other lens imperfections.

    Zenitar is generally a good lens, but suffers from poor enlightenment, like most Soviet lenses. Moreover, the versions “not MC” and “MC” do not differ much. This affects the loss of contrast, the pictures are slightly lightened. At F1.7 there are lenses that are sharper than Zenitar. Although for its price it is a must for use :) Unless you already have better lenses.
    I used it until I changed it to Carl Zeiss Planar 50 / 1.7. Bokeh is better there.
    here is a comparison and something about the loss of contrast
    http://evtifeev.com/?p=2245&page=11

    • Arkady Shapoval

      Thanks for the useful information.

    • Eugene

      "Although for its price it is obligatory for use" - now it is from 400 UAH ... not so tasty price already :)

    • Konstantin

      I tried with it the usual metal hood.
      Specially compared with a hood and without a hood.
      With backlight, the quality with the band is better, less exposure.
      Under normal conditions with a hood, the quality of the photo is worse, although not always.

  • Great lens!
    I also have 44m-6 gilios (2 pieces), this one is a bit more interesting, especially bokeh.
    In general, shooting with manual optics (iron, solid) somehow affects the creative process of photography, making it creative!

  • Oleg

    Great reviews! Thanks!!! I read with pleasure)

    • Arkady Shapoval

      Thanks. I am trying.

  • Alex

    In my opinion, Helios and Zenitar are completely different)

  • Raf

    Different unconditionally. Helios is good as a portrait indoors. He is better at dealing with distortion present in various lenses, coolly conveys the plasticity of the face, skin. But in bokeh it can manifest itself unpredictably, especially in open spaces with highlights in the background. Zenitar-m 1,7 / 50 I like more as a landscape painter, as a universal lens for all kinds of reportage shootings. To shoot a half-length portrait would be helios, zenith for shooting groups of people, even bokeh (sometimes even smoother and more pleasant than Zeiss planar 1,7 / 50 gives).

  • Sergei

    Not at all on the topic. I take a closer look at the rather progressive micro3 / 4 format, in addition to the well-known advantages, it also allows the use of domestically produced rangefinder optics through adapters, which are still available in huge quantities in amateur photographers, however, it limits the crop factor 2, but our fifty rubles (U-3 , Yu-8, I-50, I-61) will be equivalent to f = 100mm, and the same Yu-11 - 270mm, there is also I-69, which after a simple alteration becomes a fifty-kopeck piece for m3 / 4 (I I don’t know if the Ju-12 will fit this system because of the very prominent lens in the rear, I would like to know the location of the shutter in these devices). A big request to you - pay attention to this relatively new system, I think that it will be very interesting to many amateur photographers. PS You have very useful reviews and articles. Keep it up!

  • Sergei

    I am very sorry, the system is called micro4 / 3, automatic error ...

  • Maximum

    Good day! Well, firstly, thanks for the wonderful site and project! This is my question. What do you think about MS Zenitar 50 1.9. As I understand it, this is a later model with multilayer enlightenment. Someone writes that he is much worse, even if not enlightened 1.7, someone says that he is better than 50 1.7 in everything. And whom to believe?

    • Arkady Shapoval

      I would like to help you, but I didn’t use MC Zenitare 50 1.9, therefore, I can’t give good advice.

  • Maximum

    Arkady, thank you very much for your quick reply! I have one more question. In a nutshell, my situation is like this. I am a micro 4/3 user. Native optics are very expensive. I need a manual aperture fifty for portraits and macro. I have already tried it through an adapter Helios 44-2. Not satisfied with the sharpness on the open and bad contrast. Pictures look “burned out”. More or less normal colors only if the light is good and in the back. Question - I want to pick up another fifty dollars for the same M42. What can you recommend? I understand that the best options in terms of price-quality ratio are Zenitar 50 1.7, Pankolar 50 1.8 and Pentacon 50 1.8? Helios 81H needs another adapter, Helios 77m is something very expensive lately. What do you recommend?
    And another question. What can you say about the quality of enlightenment, and in general about the quality of Soviet and GDR lenses in comparison with Japanese fifty dollars like Hexanon, Zuiko, Nikorra, etc. Should I contact the same Zenitar or see Japanese counterparts?
    Thanks in advance.

    • Arkady Shapoval

      Japanese lenses are more stable in copy-to-copy quality. Pankolars, too, are different. If Zenith is satisfied, then take it. Industars, Tessarov, by the way, also have good contrast and sharpness. https://radojuva.com.ua/2012/05/best-50mm-soviet-lens/

  • Maximum

    Thanks for the reply and link. Already looked in there. The first two in the Helios poll fall away, it turns out that Zenitar remains. But I have no idea he will suit me or not. Unfortunately, there is no way to test it. I heard a lot of good things about Tessar 50 2.8, it seems to be famous for ringing clarity with open and good color rendition (Industar 61 copy of it?), But the diaphragm is another category. And the prices for it, too, have risen. You see, Arkady, I don’t really want to buy up a mountain of lenses and then choose the best one. And then what to do with the rest? I would like to buy more or less immediately verified. And it will be very funny if I buy say Helios 77m or Zenitar, and the picture will not be much better than mine 44-2. That's the question.

    Thank you.

    • Arkady Shapoval

      I wonderfully understand :) if in Kiev, I can talk with a person who has Zenitar 50 1.7.

  • Maximum

    Yes, Arkady, I'm in Kiev. Thanks for the suggestion. In general, I do not mind. Incidentally, I already applied for a link to the sale of manual optics. Prices bite a little, not very painful, but bite. Well, what can you do, such a time.

  • Dmitriy

    And what is better, he, 44m-6 or 44m-4?

    • Arkady Shapoval

      They have different focal lengths, it is not entirely correct to ask this way. Very good 44m-7

  • Oleg Yudin

    Hello, the Zenitar M3100x1,7 installed on Nikon d 50 will focus at infinity or not? Something I did not catch this moment from your article. Thanks.

    • Arkady Shapoval

      No. More details in the section Soviet lenses

  • Andrei

    It was just so cool to buy a manual glass or adapters with chip chips, but because there is no dough and will not, it is necessary to work.

  • Alexey

    I rummaged through the Internet a bunch of articles and reference books. It seems that the Zenith MC version 1.7 did not exist.

    • Arkady Shapoval

      So I myself engraved 1.7 / 50 on the lens at night?

  • Nikolay

    What do you think is the best lens to choose
    Pentacon MC 1.8 / 50 or ZENITAR-M 1,7 / 50 ????

  • Nikolay

    What do you think is the best lens to choose
    Pentacon MC 1.8 / 50 or ZENITAR-M 1,7 / 50 ????
    very important

    • Arkady Shapoval

      It would not be bad to indicate the goals for which the lens is selected. I would take Zenitar.

  • Alexander

    Good afternoon!, Maybe not the topic ,,,, did not find a review on Vivitar 85-205 (very cheap), can you tell me ???

    • Arkady Shapoval

      Not used, I can not tell.

  • Alexander

    and thanks for that, I have already taken it, it’s hard, terrible, sharp, which calms ... :)

  • Alexander

    Good day! Is there any point in comparing the Minolta Normal AF 50mm f / 1.7 with zanitar ms? I have such a zenith, my friends are pushing me to buy an imported half-road. Does it make sense to change to a minolta?

    • Arkady Shapoval

      Minolta Normal AF 50mm f / 1.7 did not use, I can not tell.

    • Nat

      Already probably not relevant, but I will answer. I have both. Zenitar did not take off the camera, I liked it so much. I bought Minolta (I wanted AF), I hardly use it. Zenith is more interesting in the picture.

  • Alexander

    OK thanks.

  • Ilya

    Maybe someone will come in handy. An article on the transfer of the Zenith to Nikon.
    http://iliyatikhonov.livejournal.com/

    • VYACHESLAV

      Ilya, Thanks for the link! in the same way, you can put the lens on the pentax using the appropriate adapter ... with infinity and a working jump rope, as for the K-5 camera! cool invented!

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English-version of this article https://radojuva.com/en/2012/03/obzor-zenitar-m-50-1-7/comment-page-1/

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