Overview of the non-retro focus lens JUPITER-12 2,8 / 35

This review examines the version of the legendary JUPITER-12 lens - JUPITER-12 2,8 / 35 with external mount Contax-Kiev RF, manufactured by LZOS (Lytkarinsky Optical Glass Plant) in a 'black' body with serial number N7311221 (most likely 1973 Year of release).

You can find a lot of useful information about the Contax-Kiev RF mount in the review JUPITER-11 1: 4 F = 13,5cm P with external mount Contax-Kiev RF.

JUPITER-12 2,8 / 35 with mount Contax-Kiev RF

JUPITER-12 2,8 / 35 with mount Contax-Kiev RF

With the Contax-Kiev RF mount, the JUPITER-12 lenses were produced in several modifications at three factories:

  1. BK 1: 2.8 F = 3.5cm P, the so-called Biogon Krasnogorsk. It was produced in the period 1947-1948 at KMZ from German blanks.
  2. ZORKIY BK 1: 2.8 F = 3,5cm P, almost the same BK 1: 2.8 F = 3.5cm, but with the added prefix 'ZORKIY', was produced between 1949 and 1950 at the same KMZ, most likely from the same German blanks ...
  3. JUPITER-12 1: 2,8 F = 3.5cm P of the KMZ plant, has three subversions, distinguished by the frame of the case. They began to produce under this name since 1950. Since 1952, the lens has been manufactured from domestic optical glass. At KMZ, this lens was produced until 1961.
  4. JUPITER-12 1: 2.8 F = 3.5cm P of the LZOS plant in a white metal case.
  5. JUPITER-12 1: 2.8 F = 3.5cm P Arsenal factory in a white metal case. Released since 1957.
  6. JUPITER-12 2,8 / 35 LZOS factory in a black case. This version of the lens is shown in this review.

'JUPITER-12' would be copied from German Carl Zeiis Jena Biogon 1: 2,8 f = 3,5cm... The first lenses were produced from German blanks, later the lens was recalculated for the domestic grade of optical glass. JUPITER-12 is the most common Soviet wide-angle lens for rangefinder cameras.

JUPITER-12 2,8 / 35 with mount Contax-Kiev RF

JUPITER-12 2,8 / 35 with mount Contax-Kiev RF

The JUPITER-12 2,8 / 35 is interesting primarily because it is not a retrofocus wide-angle lens. The distance from the rear element to the focal plane is much less than its focal length. All lenses for full-frame cameras with a focal length of less than 40 mm are retrofocal. It is believed that non-retrofocus lenses such as this JUPITER-12 2,8 / 35 have certain advantages: compact size and a fairly simple optical design. Some users add here some more 'fabulous' drawing of such lenses.

JUPITER-12 2,8 / 35 and JUPITER-12 1: 2.8 F = 3.5cm P (both with Contax-Kiev RF mount)

JUPITER-12 1: 2.8 F = 3.5cm P and JUPITER-12 2,8 / 35 (both with Contax-Kiev RF mount)

A copy of JUPITER-12 2,8 / 35, which I visited in my review, looks quite decent in appearance, without signs of wear and other injuries, but has tangible backlash focus rings. My copy of the Arsenal plant is in a much more deplorable state, but it does not have such a backlash. JUPITER-12 2,8 / 35 body is completely metal.

Focusing is performed by moving the entire lens block. The focus ring rotates approximately 300 degrees. Focusing is smooth, while focusing, the front lens rotates. There is a scale with a focusing distance in meters. The minimum focusing distance is as much as 90 cm, and the maximum magnification ratio is approximately 1:24.

The depth of field scale is available for F / 2.8, 4, 5.6, 8, 11, 16, 22. The depth of field for F / 22 is so large and the focusing ring travel is so small that the depth of field at this value occupies almost the entire frame of the body - two marks for F / 22 stand side by side.

The diaphragm is adjustable by the inner ring. The aperture ring sets any value from F / 2.8 to F / 22. The aperture value scale is shown for F / 2.8, 4, 5.6, 8, 11, 16, 22. Aperture consists of only five blades. Petals are poorly blackened.

The diaphragm control ring is very uncomfortable. To understand what the value of the F number is, you have to turn the lens with the front lens towards you. In addition, the ring very narrow. And the worst part is that during its rotation you can knock focusTo prevent this from happening, you have to hold the focusing ring with one hand, and rotate the aperture ring with the other. In addition, in fact, the filters are screwed into the rim of the aperture control ring. And if you install a polarizing or gradient filter on the lens, you can go crazy trying to rotate the filter adjustment ring so as not to knock out the set aperture and focusing distance. Working with filters on this lens is sheer hell.

The lens can only use a threaded hood that is screwed into the thread of the filter. The diameter of the front light filter is small - 40.5 mm, such a diameter is used by all common lenses with a Contax-Kiev RF mount. The lens cap is plastic, fits snugly to the frame of the case, but does not have latches, it is very easy to lose such a cap. The cover can be installed on top of the filter.

Different lens illumination in JUPITER-12 2,8 / 35 with a Contax-Kiev RF mount and JUPITER-12 1: 2.8 F = 3.5cm P

Different lens enlightenment for JUPITER-12 2,8 / 35 and JUPITER-12 1: 2.8 F = 3.5cm P (both with Conta-Kiev RF mount)

The JUPITER-12 2,8 / 35 is the first lens that I got my hands on, and the rear lens is visually much larger than the front.

The JUPITER-12 2,8 / 35 in a black rim of the case has always been produced with the name written in Latin - 'JUPITER-12 2,8 / 35'. It is generally believed that this is an export version of the lens, but is it really so?

JUPITER-12 2,8 / 35 with mount Contax-Kiev RF

Disassembled JUPITER-12 2,8 / 35 with mount Contax-Kiev RF

JUPITER-12 2,8 / 35 with mount Contax-Kiev RF

Disassembled JUPITER-12 2,8 / 35 with mount Contax-Kiev RF

JUPITER-12 2,8 / 35 with mount Contax-Kiev RF

JUPITER-12 2,8 / 35 tags with Contax-Kiev RF mount

JUPITER-12 2,8 / 35 with mount Contax-Kiev RF

Enlightenment of the front lens JUPITER-12 2,8 / 35 with mount Contax-Kiev RF

Jupiter-12 on the Kiev-4 camera

Jupiter-12 on the Kiev-4 camera

The lens is quite capricious in operation. First of all, you immediately run into the problem of working with side and back light. In backlight, the lens can very easily produce multi-colored highlights, basically similar to the shape of the aperture opening. Also in the frame there are always flashes of edges and corners, 'rainbows' and color stripes.

The sharpness in the center of the frame is quite adequate even at F / 2.8, but the edges and corners of the frame at F / 2.8 are very, very weak. There may be a loss in image quality, including sharpness at the edges and corners associated with color shift. Be that as it may, but the sharpness in the corners returns to normal only after closing the aperture to F / 8.0. At F / 11-F / 16, the lens gives good sharpness over the entire field of the frame.

Also, the lens creates a noticeable vignetting at any values ​​of the number F. Perhaps most of the vignetting is due to the fact that I used the lens not on a film, but on a digital full-format camera, where color shift made itself felt.

As for the distortion, everything is fine here. In addition, the lens has nice bokeh and, in general, nice picture.

Example photo JUPITER-12 2,8 / 35. Easter review

Example photo JUPITER-12 2,8 / 35. Easter review

Source files can download from this link (40 photos in the '.ARW' format, 761 Mb). On camera Sony a7 I used a lens with a makeshift adapter. Part of the photo was taken in APS-C cropping mode. Please note that many photos were taken with unfocusing ad infinitum due to unsuccessful adapter settings. The archive shows only those photos that were taken using the correct adapter settings.

JUPITER-12 2,8 / 35 with mount Contax-Kiev RF

JUPITER-12 2,8 / 35 diaphragm petals with Contax-Kiev RF mount

My experience. Personally, I do not share those praises that sing about non-retro-focus wide-angle, especially since such lenses on digital matrices can suffer severe color shift. And JUPITER-12 2,8 / 35 is not so compact. For instance, Lens EF-M 22mm 1: 2 STM noticeably shorter than the lens from the review. The JUPITER-12 2,8 / 35 is in many ways a very uncomfortable lens, and problems with backlight cannot be treated in any way. I don’t even know how some photographers shot this lens for twenty years in a row. With this lens, there’s too much excess, useless hassle that takes precious time.

JUPITER-12 2,8 / 35 with mount Contax-Kiev RF

JUPITER-12 2,8 / 35 with a Contax-Kiev RF mount on a Sony a7 camera

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

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JUPITER-12 2,8 / 35 is very unusual and specific. By many amateurs and professionals extolled almost to heaven. In fact, from a technical point of view of image quality and control, this is a rather mediocre lens.


Another interesting one appeared on Radozhiv review Jupiter-12 2,8 / 35 (LZOS, 1973) for Kiev / Contax cameras.

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

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Comments: 81, on the topic: Overview of the non-retro-focus lens JUPITER-12 2,8 / 35

  • Yura

    Bach the cave, and the Ternopil region 🤘🏻🥹, take such (garni) shots, take a negative note about the school))

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