MS Zenitar-M 1,9 / 50 review

For the opportunity to write review lens MS Zenitar-M 1,9 / 50 many thanks AndreyWhich sent I have a lens from another area.

MS Zenitar-M 1,9 / 50 review

MS Zenitar-M 1,9 / 50 review

MS Zenitar-M 1,9 / 50 is a fast prime lens, a standard lens for some Soviet film cameras. There are many variants and modifications of the Zenitar fifty kopecks. For example, you can see the review of the faster brother - Zenitar-M 1,7 / 50... The lens from this review has the serial number 91029969, MS Zenitar-M 1,9 / 50 has been produced since the beginning of the 90s. Funnily enough, the lens chamfers are not blackened; older lenses did not have this ailment.

MS Zenitar-M 1,9 / 50 - side view

MS Zenitar-M 1,9 / 50 - side view

The focusing of the lens is smooth, the focusing ring rotates slightly more than 180 degrees. The front lens does not rotate during focusing. Front filter diameter 52mm. The focusing ring is metal. There is a scale of depth of field and focusing distance. The number of diaphragm blades is 6, and the metal blades are also not blackened. Multi-coated lens allows you to get a high-contrast picture. The letter 'M' in the lens name in this case denotes the M42 lens mounting thread. Unlike Zenitar-M 1,7 / 50 MS Zenitar-M 1,9 / 50 does not have a diaphragm device operating mode switch.

Enlightenment of the front and rear lens of the MS Zenitar-M lens 1,9 50

Enlightenment of the front and rear lens of the MS Zenitar-M 1,9 50 lens. Diffraction rings are visible on the front lens.

Sample Photos

Like most fifty dollars, the quality of photos taken with the MS Zenitar-M F / 1,9 50mm is at a high level. The lens is sharp and pleasant to handle. Everything is filmed on Canon 350D without processing.

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 at 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, with the Nikon F-mount), you need to use adapters with a corrective lens, which allows you to focus correctly at all focusing distances. For any mirrorless cameras, 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 Pentax cameras with K mount, you need an M42-Pentax K adapter, 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 'E'/'FE' mount series 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 bayonet mount Micro 4/3 (Micro 4:3) you need an adapter M42-Micro 4/3, you can find it at this link.
  3. CANON M: For cameras with Canon EF-M mount need adapter M42-Canon M, it can be found at this link.
  4. CANON R and RF-S: For cameras with Canon RF mount 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 cameras Nikon Z series (FX/DX) need an 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, you need an M42-Samsung NX adapter, you can find it at this link. There are no adapters for the NX mini camera yet.
  10. PENTAX: For Q-mount cameras, you need an M42-Pentax Q adapter, you can find it at this link.
  11. SIGMA / PANASONIC / LEICA: For cameras with L mount you need an M42-Leica L adapter, you can find it at this link.
  12. LEICA: For cameras with a bayonet mount Leica M 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).

View of the lens MS Zenitar-M 1,9 50 Zenit-V

View of the lens MS Zenitar-M 1,9 50 Zenit-V

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. Many different photographic equipment can be found on AliExpress.


MS Zenitar-M 1,9 / 50 is a good high-aperture Soviet fifty dollars. There is the exact same 'K' mount lens. Nowadays, many amateur photographers successfully use old Soviet high-aperture fifty-kopeck pieces as portrait lenses on cameras with APS-C sensors. MC Zenitar-M 1,9 / 50 can be used nowadays for almost any creative photo tasks.

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

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Comments: 48, on the topic: Review of MS Zenitar-M 1,9 / 50

  • Jury

    The optical design is a classic planar, i.e. drawing close to Helios 44, 77, 81

    • Oleg

      Helios are not Planars. Not Planars at all.

      • Jury

        yeah, and penguins are not birds, not birds at all

      • Valentin Kalenichenko

        Helios are different - some "proletarian", there are also "bourgeois" (see my comments on the Helios)!

  • Eugene White

    this zenithar with the good old 50 / 1,7 has nothing in common except the name. The sharpness is worse, and the MS is just a formality.

    • Sergei

      Because these are generally different lenses. They have in common only the name and appearance. The optical design is different. 1,9 is a planar and 1,7 is an ultron.

  • Oleg

    I tried to shoot on the D600 with Zenitar-M-50 / 1.7 and Helios-44-2 lenses. So helios seemed sharper with the same settings. Although, if I'm wrong, then correct me.

    • Michael

      Colleagues, please do not forget that all Soviet lenses suffer from the same quality. Therefore, having one lens of one model and one lens of another, it is incorrect to compare their optical drawings. At a minimum, for such conclusions, you need to compare two lenses of different models. And yet, as they say, "the taste and color ...". I have Zenitar 1,7 / 50 in appearance as soon as from the factory, but there are a lot of problems with the mechanics. There are no complaints about the picture, you just need to get used to it.

      • Valentin Kalenichenko

        It is also useful to remember that all Soviet Zenith lenses with M39 mounting thread did not suffer from quality, they took prizes (including the Grand Prix) at international exhibitions and, in particular, Helios were no worse than Planarov.

        • Felix

          The planar in its pure form was not used for photographing, or was used extremely rarely.

          Helios scheme is biotar.

          This zenitar is a further development of biotar, and has nothing to do with gelos (biotar).

          As proof, count the number of lenses :) And look at the back gluing in the zenith.

          • * * *

            Do not write nonsense.
            Biotar is not an optical design, but a trade name for a line of lenses developed by Willy Merte for Zeiss. Most Biotars are double gauss constructively. Most, but not all, for example, R-Biotar 1: 0,85 is a Petzval lens structurally.
            There are a lot of different options for a double gauss, including the Planar, developed for the same Zeiss by Dr. Paul Rudolph.

    • Andrei

      Could you send sample photos with Nikon D600 + Zenithar 50mm or Helios?

    • R'RёS,R ° F "RёR№

      I somehow got a Helios 44-k4 (I think that’s the name) for free, so when I installed it on the Pentax I was very surprised by its picture, much more interesting than the standard zoom. Perhaps the specimen was lucky. And I was lying in a box in the dust for 15 years, I didn’t even know what a treasure I had.
      By the way, f/1.7 Zenitars are not made with a Pentax mount. I have never used adapters. I think this is still the same brand.

  • Andrei

    Bokeh is some kind of straight twisted eye. In the photo you pay attention to the background, not the subject.

    • fresh cucumbers

      bokeh is noble, expensive… .when customers see such bokeh, they are ready to pay 2 times more than the agreed rate.

      • Smoked bacon

        I have the same lens, excellent bokeh.

  • red bell pepper

    This glass has 3 finely dispersed elements and surpasses all fifty kenon, including elks.

    Metal and glass, constructive gorgeous.
    If the diaphragm is gently bent with a screwdriver, then the aperture ratio of this glass will be 1.2 ... .1.3

    Weddings bomb them the most.

    • Michael

      Give a link to this information, or tell me how to do it?
      Where does infa on structural elements come from?

    • Smoked bacon

      Can you explain how to increase the aperture ratio of this lens? Thanks.

    • Andrei

      I have such a lens can’t tell me how to make it faster than before Thank you.

    • Albert

      The light diameter of the front lens is 28 mm, the focus of the lens is 50, and 50/28 = 1.8, so whatever you do inside the lens, you will not get a higher aperture than there is.

    • Wade

      If you put a light bulb inside, you can remove it in the dark.

  • EGOR

    Arkady, I'm sorry, probably a stupid question, but still ...
    I have a Pentax k30. Soviet K-mount lenses - how are they doing with sharpness at infinity? I have 2 lenses for M42 and a cheap adapter - it's a problem. I am waiting for the adapter with infinity aiming to arrive, do not the lenses with the “native” mount have the same problems?
    Thank you.

    • Michael

      I use Helios 44k-4, and Jupiter 37a with a k tail. There are no problems with infinity. And the "jump rope" of the diaphragm on the helios works.

      • EGOR

        Thank you Michael!
        So I will boldly look for glass with a native mount =)

    • Alexander

      and I have K20 and a bunch of glasses M42, the usual adapter that is flush (not the same as for Nikon with a side) and all the glasses with infinity (w21m, g44, w11a)

  • Arnet

    Pentax problem. Hello Arkady. My question is this. Is it worth changing the focusing screen on the Pentax k5 with wedges. And also, is it worth upgrading new versions. I have version 1.01 from the factory. The fact is that I used to have KIEV-19 (it's nice to remember) and now I have to trust the aftofocus. He really doesn’t lie on whale optics, but it seems to me there will be problems with Zenitar too. I want to hear your opinion on the Internet. Thanks.

    • Michael

      As the owner of k5, I will answer:
      1. Screen with wedges - song! (I resharpened from Yashiki FR) Focus confirmation doesn't always work correctly. And if a small flu, often by :(
      2. The firmware is worth updating.

  • Vladimir

    The letter “M” in the lens name does not mean M42 thread, but “blinking diaphragm”. Although, if there is an “M” on the lens, then it has an M42 thread, but always with a diaphragm drive.

  • Svyatoslav

    Good afternoon. Arkadiy, could they have seen the Zenitar-M 16mm fis-ah?)

  • Svyatoslav

    Right! I forgot to get, looking around buv. Crazy.

  • John

    I have a Pentax k30 and Zenitar 50-K2 f2 perfectly fulfills infinity, only the jump does not work. We have to underscrew the lens to the end to release the diaphragm. On K10, in M ​​mode, everything works fine and the exposure is even set with a green button.

  • Sergei

    Help please, how to put it on Canon Eos? After reading the article “Soviet optics on Canon. Soviet lenses for Canon ”I still did not understand this. An M42-Kenon adapter is put on it, and the pout that is responsible for the diaphragm will not interfere, or do you need to do something with it?

  • The most beautiful

    Guys help remake (or give information) this lens to Nikon with infinity .. I will be very grateful

    • anonym

      it is necessary to unscrew the rear lens and put a ring under it, about 4 mm thick (selected experimentally). A very good ring is obtained from a case from the "kodak", "conic" and other foreign films. Until recently, there were a great many of those. It becomes like a native. It is also required to change the operation of the "jump rope". There is a spring there (behind the shank), trying to move the diaphragm blades apart. It is necessary to change the spring so that it works to shift the diaphragm towards the center. The spring is extremely primitive and can be easily made either from a string or from another spring of a suitable diameter. In extreme cases, you can disfigure the "native". Thus, infinity and a working diaphragm will appear.

      • anonym

        don’t listen to it, you can’t change the optical scheme, then you’ll have horror on the sides, I don’t know how it is in this lens, but like in 1.7 / 50 it was possible to disassemble it and launch the helicoid into another thread, thereby all the lenses will become a drop deeper

      • Boris Alexandrovich

        I encountered the same problem - focusing at infinity. How can you install a “ring 4 mm thick”, if on my “Zenitar-2K” it is possible to install a ring of at most 2 mm! Otherwise, the nut securing the lens will hang in the air!

        • Boris Alexandrovich

          Making the spring work in the opposite direction is as easy as shelling pears: hook it on the opposite side of the helicoid, making a small hole for hooking the spring in the diaphragm drive lever. In the standard version, one end of the spring is hooked onto a peg on the other side of the helicoid......But then the spring will constantly strive to close the diaphragm! Is it necessary to do THIS?!!

  • anonym

    You, dear, did not even hold this lens in your hands, if you are carrying such nonsense. No "side creep" will come of it. Unlike you, I know from my own experience. The lens, with this upgrade, surpasses the G-44 in contrast and sharpness by 2.0. It is not possible to move the lens unit entirely in this lens.

    • Rodion

      The heading "harmful advice" on Radozhiv from Anonymous

  • Maksim

    I will sell the lens Zenithar-M 50 mm f / 1,9
    Novosibirsk + by mail in Russia and abroad
    Our site:

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  • Denis

    I use this lens with a Chinese lens adapter. The adapter does not squeeze the diaphragm rod a little and therefore it could be set to f / 2 or f / 2.5 (probably). And at these values ​​it’s hard to get into sharpness and the lens is soapy. Now I’ve finished the lens a bit: I need to unscrew the three screws of the diaphragm ring and insert the ring (I cut from the rubber plug that is worn on the new helium rods for ballpoint pens) onto the jump rod so that it is recessed. It turns out the diaphragm is always tightened. Now it is possible to set larger f values, and sharpening has increased. Good luck to all!

  • anonym

    good glass

  • Vladimir Ivanovich

    Who cares how to remake the mount from M42 to Nikon with infinity, then here is the link:

  • Lyudmila

    What filter and which lens hood should I choose?

  • Claudia

    Hello! I have a Nikon D3200 - a carcass. I bought a Tamron AF 18-200mm f / 3.5-6.3 (IF) Aspherical LD ​​XR DiII Macro A14 lens. Question: Which adapter should I choose? Cheaper. I'm new to sites and I don’t know how to search.

    • anonym

      Arkady answered you yesterday.

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