Review of the Zodiac-8 3,5 / 30

For the opportunity review of the Zodiac-8 3,5 / 30 Many thanks to Roman Kulikov, who sent me a lens from another area.

Review of the Zodiac-8 3,5 / 30

Review of the Zodiac-8 3,5 / 30

The Zodiac-8 lens was produced in two versions - with a B mount and a B mount (aka Pentacon Six and aka Kiev C) for medium format Kiev and Salyut cameras. Moreover, the lens with the 'B' mount was often called simply Zodiac-8, although there is also the name Zodiac-8Б... The B-mount lens was produced under the name Zodiac-8В... There are also names in Latin - Zodiak-8. After the collapse of the Union, the lens continued to be produced at the Arsenal factory under the name Arsat 1: 3.5 30mm.

Zodiac-8 3,5 / 30 with its huge front lens

Zodiac-8 3,5 / 30 with its huge convex front lens

The lens looks very unusual. Its front convex lens is simply huge, and the lens itself is very heavy, weighing a Zodiac-8 3,5 / 30 a whole kilogram. The front lens cannot use light filters, and the cap simply fits tightly without snapping onto the lens. Zodiac-8 3,5 / 30 uses light filters that are installed in the back of the lens. I used Zodiac-8 3,5 / 30 with 3,5 / 30 38 × 05 ND clear filter. This method of attaching filters is used in many wide-angle lenses and some tele lenses. The lens is made very well, feels like a single monolith in the hand.

Indicators on the Zodiac-8 3,5 30 and the view of the aperture blades on the back of the lens

Indicators on the Zodiac-8 3,5 30 and the view of the aperture blades on the back of the lens

The focusing of the lens is smooth. Focus ring rotates 270 degrees. The front lens does not rotate when focusing, the trunk is lengthened by 1 cm. The minimum focusing distance is 30 cm, and infinity 'starts' on the focusing scale after 2 meters. The lens has a depth-of-field scale (quite wide). The diaphragm has 6 blades. Closing the diaphragm produces uneven 'nuts'. The petals have a metallic sheen. The metal diaphragm is a disease of many good Soviet lenses. The lens has a blinking aperture device. Only intermediate values ​​from F / 3.5 to F / 22 can be used.

View of the lens Zodiac-8 3,5 30 with a dressed adapter KP-6-N

View of the lens Zodiac-8 3,5 30 with a dressed adapter KP-6 \ N

Sample Photos

My copy number is 872530. The lens is very sharp in the center at any aperture value. At the corners and edges, the sharpness is slightly worse. Zodiac-8 3,5 / 30 is not good friends with backlight, easily catches such hares. How to use Soviet old lenses on modern Nikon cameras read here, and on Canon here.

Personal experience

When using the Zodiac-8 3,5 / 30 on full-length and cropped modern digital cameras, it losing all its charm... On a full frame, it's just a wide-angle with terrible distortion, on a crop it's a 'dark' distorizing fifty-kopeck piece. The unusualness of this fisheye lens can only be felt on medium format cameras for which it was designed. Considering that and aperture the lens was cheated, on digital cameras it is interesting only for its unusual appearance.

Zodiac 8 with a lid on

Zodiac 8 with a lid on

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

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Zodiac-8 3,5 / 30 is an unusual, probably the only Soviet lens for medium format cameras of the class Fish Eye. On full-length and cropped cameras, it loses all its charm. It has a very unusual look due to its convex front lens, weighty, allows you to shoot at long exposures with your hands. Focusing is very easy.

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

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Comments: 36, on the topic: Review of the Zodiac-8 3,5 / 30

  • Ivan

    Thanks for the review. It was interesting to see how the medium format fish on the CZK behaves.

    As expected, not so hot.

    It’s a pity that they don’t release budget medium-format cameras on a digital basis, but they could and wouldn’t need a frantic resolution here, they just would have made a large-area matrix with a resolution of up to 18 megapixels, and would have been enough with our heads.
    But medium format optics would receive a new revival.

    But neither Nikon nor Canon are interested in this, since they do not produce such optics, and Hassel hardly needs it, they have their own market segment and they are not chasing to carry their goods to the masses.

    • Arkady Shapoval

      Pentax at 6000 cu stamps medium format :)

      • Ivan

        Wow, that inspires hope.
        I just looked, he really has a matrix not of 60x60 but 44x33 mm, but still he was pleasantly surprised.

        All the same, not 20 thousand bucks.

        • Anatoly

          You can take a look at the MAMIYA mid-formatters at a price just above UAH 20000.

    • Michael

      > would make a large-area sensor with a resolution of up to 18 megapixels
      It is the size that matters. It is difficult to make a large single crystal (matrix) without defects - there are many defects.
      Technology is still being improved and there is where.

      Arkady, thanks for the reviewer.

      • Ganesha-1

        To obtain a panorama along the vertical and horizon, use frame-by-frame multi-matrix shooting with subsequent assembly on KOME. In this case, each frame has 18-50 M/pic and the overall image will be excellent. True, for this it is necessary to use special SOFT. In the general consumption of soft - assembly of 4x6 frames. We put the camera on a tripod and move along the horizon along the vernier. We return to the starting point. Raise vertically and take the next series of shots. As you understand, this way you can shoot any number of frames for the assembly.

    • Victor

      PENTAX-K1 33 m/pic, CANON EOS 5DSR 55 m/pic

    • Ganesha-1

      The USSR provided us with optics for many years. Hassel-blood costs 200-350 thousand rubles. There is no money and never will be. Do not use the automatic diaphragm closing pusher! When determining the exposure on a digital camera, it takes 3-10 seconds. Therefore, set the aperture in advance and do not touch.

  • washi

    well ..
    I have a Nikkor 18-55 on the Nikon F65 takes wider.

    • Rustam

      Ex, Vasya, well, go with your 18-55. And I will attract glances and smiles with my world-20N and Zodiac-8. The world has not wedged on your 18-55. Optically very dull glass, pah on that.

    • Yura

      Vasya is Vasya. I bought a whale 18-55, not knowing that I bought a shit - and boasts about it. Shoot kebabs, “photographer”: D

    • Peter Sh.

      And I, too, take off this whale sucks, one horror. So he was driving, he snapped through the car window without looking, while driving he was:

  • Jury

    Good afternoon! I have such a miracle ARSAT 3.5 / 30. But for some reason the diaphragm does not work (Canon). If someone came across, tell me - does it not work at all on digital cameras, or is there an option to look for another adapter?

    • Victor

      he needs an adapter from 84 mm to 42 mm. It is not difficult to do - turning and adjusting work.

  • Pacman

    I haven t measured the actual angular coverage, but as can be seen from the above comparison the increase is significantly more than the m focal length difference would lead you to believe. This is of course because the Arsat isn t designed with the usual linearity constraints of a typical lens.

  • ikram

    Where can I buy the Zodiac8 3,5 30 mm or Arcat 1: 3,5 30 mm

  • Sasha Sanek

    On the figure, you can use a lens with an arax adapter as a cheap tilt-shift lens. Or without an adapter, disconnecting the lens by twisting it at the bayonet. Very interesting effects can be obtained.

  • Alek

    Good day, thanks for your reviews, really like your site. Tell me, if this Zodiac-8 through an adapter is used on a micro 4/3 system, will everything be completely bad? I just have one, and does it make sense to try? Thanks!

    • Rodion

      There is a minimum of sense - it will be terribly heavy and large dark non-televik) On the other hand, it will most likely be very harsh.

  • Lev

    Maybe there are already adapters that allow the use of Zodiac-8 3,5 / 30 on full-format and cropped modern digital cameras while maintaining its uniqueness?

    • Rodion

      The Araksian shift adapter will help.

    • Ganesha-1

      The cameras will strive only towards increasing the format in accordance with the needs of SPACE: 60x60 mm, 130x130 mm, 480x480 mm.
      All these CMOS matrices are a complete rip-off. Our optics are ahead of the rest: ZODIAC-8, MIR-26, VOLNA-3, MIR-1, MIR-38, KALEINAR-3, JUPITER-21M (very high quality 45 lines / mm and not expensive 2-3 thousand rubles. lens), JUPITER-36, TAIR-33, MTO-11CA, macro-shooting using Macro-fur - Vega-5u, Vega-30u 52 lines/mm.

  • Alex

    There is one hidden ambush with this lens. The glass flutters are shitty there. That is - the UV filter simply “ruins” the sharpness. The lens starts to shine like a diamond when thrown off.

    But there is one peculiarity here. Since it is ultra-wide, the thickness of the filter glass plays a role. And infinity on it is calculated precisely in the presence of a filter. If you throw it off, then the lens starts to fall a little short of infinity. Therefore, having thrown off the filter, it needs to be adjusted so that it goes to infinity. True, then with filters he will "skip" through it, but this is already elementarily corrected when focusing on frosted glass.

    • Victor

      with frequency range correction it is better not to joke. Modern DSR cameras allow you to correct (change) the spectrum.

    • Victor

      In principle, all filters are plane-parallel, spectrally divided. Why they affect the resolution is not clear. Any addition of extraneous optical elements only degrades the quality due to surface contamination and birefringence, loss of light flux.

  • Victor

    As a general rule, any non-ZOOM lens is better than the zoom lenses currently made with acrylic lenses that change in the cold due to the degradation of the plastic's molecular chains.

    • Victor

      You will be surprised, but lenses without a zoom lens are now made in exactly the same way, with “acrylic” lenses.

      As well as zooms were previously exclusively made of “glass and metal” ©

      • Ganesha-1

        At -15'C I tested BOWER-500 for frost resistance. The lenses were distorted, the molecular chains changed, the image crumbled as if covered with large salt crystals. All this acrylic is Japanese shit. Soviet means excellent. Dmitry Evtifiev's block allows you to calculate the aperture angle depending on the focal length of the lens - very sensible.

    • Rodion

      Yes, after the Faculty of Chemistry it is funny to read such abstracts)

  • willow

    Can anyone tell me which adapter needs to be ordered in order to screw the Zodiac-8V (namely, B, screw) to Nikon or Sony / Minolta? Thank you.

    • B. R. P.

      KP-88-N or KP-88-Sony/Minolta. Expensive.

  • willow

    Thank you.
    Expensive or not - it is necessary to somehow resolve the issue.
    Here's a snippet, maybe it will be useful to someone.

    There, at the end in the comments, people describe this:

    сб, 2017-01-07 10:47
    I came up with a little differently. True, I had to ask a turner, because everything was done on a machine tool. I machined an adapter for a lens with a 42mm thread. Then on top 42 \ N.A mount like Jupiter's tails. That's all. If anyone is interested in this adapter, you can find it on OLX.

    • B. R. P.

      The site is familiar.

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