Review Era-6M 1,5 / 50

According provided by lens Era-6M 1,5 / 50 (KMZ, serial number 000182) many thanks to Denis Kirilov. When mailing, the lens was estimated by Denis at UAH 9999.

Review Era-6M 1,5 / 50

Review Era-6M 1,5 / 50

Era-6M 1,5 / 50 - a rare high-aperture Soviet 'fifty-kopeck piece' with M42 mounting thread. Judging by the pictures from the network, the Era-6M 1,5 / 50 was produced in various body modifications. Different versions of Era-6M 1,5 / 50 differ in focusing ring, aperture setting and aperture mode switch. There are lenses with the name written in Latin letters - 'Era-6M 1,5 / 50'.

In addition, you can find several more versions of Era-6: Era-6A (with a replaceable shank), Era-6 Automatic (for cameras 'Kiev-10, -15' of the Kiev plant 'Arsenal'), Era-6K (on the network there is not a single picture with this lens) and Era-6 for rare 'Zenit-7' cameras.

Era-6M 1,5 / 50

Era-6M 1,5 / 50, rear view lens

Era-6M 1,5 / 50 is well made, as befits the old Soviet fix - everything is made of metal and glass. The focusing ring is ribbed, but not wide enough, and therefore inconvenient, located in the front of the lens. The focusing ring on the sample from the review rotates tightly, most likely the lens was rarely used. When focusing, the lens trunk is noticeably lengthened, but the front lens does not rotate. It is very good that the focusing ring rotates by about 300 degrees (3/4 of a circle with a tail), and the minimum focusing distance is only 30 cm, which is a rarity for ordinary regular 'fifty dollars'. The maximum zoom ratio for macro is about 1: 4 (see the line).

Era-6M 1,5 / 50 with front cover

Era-6M 1,5 / 50 with front cover

Era-6M 1,5 / 50 uses 58 mm color filters. On the lens barrel there is a scale with a focusing distance (only in meters) and a depth of field scale for aperture values ​​of F / 4, 5.6, 8, 11, 16. Also, there is a red 'R' mark, to make corrections when focusing in the infrared spectrum ...

Era-6M 1,5 / 50 with covers

Era-6M 1,5 / 50 with covers

The diaphragm ring is also ribbed and metal, with its help you can set the values ​​of F / 1.5, 2, 2.8, 4, 5.6, 8, 11, 16 and one intermediate value between them. When switching the aperture from F / 1.5 to F / 16 to the basic value indicated on the lens body, a distinctive click is heard, when switching to intermediate values, the click is more muffled. When switching from F / 16 to F / 1.5, the click sound is the same, distinguishable from the first two.

The diaphragm consists of only 6 blackened blades (for such a lens I would like more), which easily give 'nuts' in the out-of-focus area on closed diaphragms. In addition, at F / 1.7 (intermediate between 1.5 and 2), F / 2, F / 2.5 (intermediate between 2 and 2.8) and F / 3.2 (intermediate between 2.8 and 4), the petals form a pronounced jagged hole (see) With further closing of the diaphragm, the notches disappear (on F / 4.0 they are already gone). At the edges and corners of the frame, circles in the blur zone turn into limonchiki (see), which in the image often have a pronounced glow of the edges (edging). The closer to the corners and edges of the frame, the stronger the glow is visible only from one side of the 'lemon' (the side that is closer to the edge).

Era-6M 1,5 / 50 with a back cover

Era-6M 1,5 / 50 with a back cover

Also, on the lens barrel you can find an 'M-A' aperture blinking (jumping) switch that allows manual or automatic iris control (with cameras that support it). The 'M' mode is very useful when working with modern digital cameras, in this mode on any modern camera the aperture is manually controlled. Here's what's funny - usually such a switch is very small and has a small stroke, but on the Era-6M 1,5 / 50 it takes up a lot of space and has a very long stroke. In extreme positions, the switch clicks into place with a characteristic sound.

Era-6M 1,5 / 50, front view

Era-6M 1,5 / 50, front view

The copy from this review shows streaks of green paint near the DOF marks (see), which seems to hint at some negligence in the manufacture of the lens. I saw such a jamb on a huge number of Soviet lenses and not on a single Nikkor or other lenses from reputable lens building companies.

Era-6M 1,5 / 50, view when focusing on MDF

Era-6M 1,5 / 50, view when focusing on MDF

The front lens cap is simply put on the trunk and is not fixed with snaps, this is typical of most old Soviet lenses. Because of this feature, I have already lost more than one cover. I strongly recommend that owners of optics with similar caps buy any 'Chinese' cap of the required diameter, which is installed in the thread under the light filter (like in modern lenses).

Era-6M 1,5 / 50, diaphragm mode switching ring

Era-6M 1,5 / 50, diaphragm mode switch M-A

On Canon cameras I used an Era-6M 1,5 / 50 lens using a conventional adapter M42-Canon EOSwhile maintaining the ability to focus on infinity. On Nikon cameras, I used a lens with a conventional adapter M42-Nikon F (aka KP-42 / N), with which the lens can focus a maximum of 2-3 meters.

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).

Enlightenment of the front lens Era 6M 1,5 50

Enlightenment of the front lens Era-6M 1,5 / 50

The threaded Era-6 has enlightened optics, most likely, it is some simple single-layer enlightenment. It is strange that the Era-6M 1,5 / 50 is considered a fairly high-quality lens, and does not have multilayer enlightenment.

Enlightenment of the rear lens of the lens Era 6 M 1,5 50

Enlightenment of the rear lens of the Era-6M 1,5 / 50 lens

Among Soviet lenses, I know only three fifty dollars that have the maximum aperture F / 1.4: MC Zenitar 50 / 1.4, MS Volna-4 50 / 1.4 and MS Helios-123H 50/1.4 (and their 'over 9000' subversions). Somehow with aperture F / 1.4, in general, was tight at the time. But with F / 1.5, like the lens from this review, you can find much more Soviet lenses, especially for rangefinder cameras. The difference between F / 1.4 and F / 1.5 is minuscule and is about 15%.

Lens aperture lens Era-6M 1,5 / 500

Lens aperture lens Era-6M 1,5 / 50

Judging by the lens logo from the review, it was produced at the KMZ (Krasnogorsk Plant named after S.A.Zverev). Era-6M 1,5 / 50 has been produced since 1971, a copy from this review is well preserved and quite suitable for use. It always amazes me how you can take a very old 'piece of glass' and revive it on modern digital technology, and even more surprised that this lens will live for decades. It's a pity, but, most likely, all Era-6 lenses will gather dust on collectors' shelves and they will forget what sun glare is, forget the color of the grass, and how the shutter curtains ring on the camera :(.

Era-6M 1,5 / 500 and MS Helios-81N 2/50

Era-6M 1,5 / 50 and MS Helios-81H 2/50

At F / 1.5, the lens lacks a bit of sharpness (even in the center of the frame), but when the aperture is closed, the lens turns into a normal, very sharp 'fifty dollar'. Strong vignetting is noticeable at F / 1.5. Also, it is easy to see a slight barrel distortion (more than usual). The lens copes well with side light, but in the backlight it can give strong glare and flare (flare example) The lens a little yellow-green (which many Soviet lenses sin). In general, the Era-6M 1,5 / 50 has a nice design and can be considered an optically good lens.

Here link to the archive with the originals - 574 MB, 50 photos in .NEF, .CR2 format (RAW) from cameras Nikon D700 (FX) and  Canon EOS 5D (Ff). First photo from Nikon D700 was shot using a lensless adapter, with the lens set to infinity - it will be impossible to focus further than shown in this example. AT EXIF photos from D700 the aperture number 1.4 is hardcoded, because on the camera, in the 'Non-CPU lenses' menu, you cannot select the value F / 1.5 (only F / 1.4, or the next - F / 1.8). Part of the photo was captured using a Nikon SpeedLight SB-900.

Era-6M 1,5 / 50 on ZK

Era-6M 1,5 / 50 on ZK

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

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Era-6M 1,5 / 50 is a very rare, good and quite pleasant high-aperture fifty kopeck piece. It is soft at F / 1.5, has a small MDF and has no multi-coating.

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

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Comments: 50, on the topic: Review of Era-6M 1,5 / 50

  • gary

    era-6m 50mm f1.5

  • Dmitry Kostin

    FotoSSSR now sells this one with the number (No. 000040) the price is 65000 rubles, which is equivalent to ~ 2-3 Zeiss planar 50 / 1.4

    • B. R. P.

      Zeiss Planar 50 / 1.4 like from $400 used.

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