KO-120M 1: 1.8 F = 120mm, a review of the film projection lens from a reader Radozhiva

Review of the lens KO-120M 1: 1.8 F = 120mm N602842 specially for Radozhiva prepared Rodion Eshmakov.

KO-120M 1: 1.8 F = 120mm

KO-120M 1: 1.8 F = 120mm

Technical characteristics of KO-120M:

Structure: 4 lenses in two groups (aplanat)
Vision angle: ~ 18 degrees on APS
Format: can work at full frame
Maximum Aperture: F / 1.8
Resolution (center / edge): 75/40 lines / mm (projection), ~ 38/30 (photographic, excluding field curvature, in comparison with Jupiter-11)
Features: no focusing mechanism, aperture and filter thread. Has a curved field. Then these same lenses were called 35KP-120 / 1.8, but there was another one, the same in name, but already fundamentally different in scheme.
Years of production: from the 60s to the 90s (MMZ).

Appearance and ergonomics

The lens itself is just a tube consisting of two detachable parts, each of which contains a gluing of two lenses. There are no focusers, no apertures in the lens. Therefore, to use it, the lens was mounted in a temporary (which has remained constant for now) focuser made of an epoxy-paper tube with an EF mount: a loop on the lens barrel is cut through which the stem from the tube travels and focusing is carried out. I rotated ~ 250 degrees with a 10 mm stroke with a large MDF of almost 2 m - you still can't shoot a macro without a diaphragm. In addition, to use this lens, it should be blackened from the inside: it is better with toner from a printer or soot. The large flange focal distance allows this lens to be easily transplanted to most modern small format cameras.

In general, we can say that this is an enthusiast lens that requires a lot of time or money before you can shoot with it. So is the skin worth the candle?

View of two lenses KO-120M 1: 1.8 F = 120mm and KO-120 1: 2,1 120mm

View of two KO-120M 1 lenses: 1.8 F = 120mm and KO-120 1: 2,1 120mm

Lens picture features

Looking at the diagram of the lens, you can immediately notice that it has a curved field. What does it mean? What is the threat? This means that the field of focus of the lens is curved with an arc: the focus is farther in the center, and closer to the photographer at the edge. On the one hand, this is a minus. But on the other hand, it gives great possibilities for frame composition!

With this lens you can:

  • Convey perspective in an unusual way - by sharpening the distance in the center of the frame and the foreground along the edge;
  • Shoot portraits with a subject in the center - the background will blur along the edge much more than with a similar flat-lens lens;
  • Shoot objects located at different distances from the photographer - with an open aperture, keeping a scanty depth of field! And these are group portraits, spectacular subject photography;
  • The curvature of the field changes the pattern in such a way that it seems that the frame was shot with an old box-camera straight from the 19th century with a large brass Rapid Aplanat 360/9.
KO-120M 120 / 1.8

KO-120M 120 / 1.8

Despite the simple scheme, the lens has a very good correction for the remaining aberrations, although you usually do not expect this from a cheap lens with such characteristics. Its sharpness is more than enough for a portrait, for filming in nature. Only HA usually reduce the sharpness of this lens. The contrast of the lens directly depends on the quality of blackening: it is almost impossible to shoot with a non-blackened sample, but a lens blackened with soot already allows you to obtain a sufficiently contrasting image (comparable in contrast to Jupiter-36). The blue-violet chemical enlightenment does not really save the lens from backlight. Contrary to expectations, the lens has a well-corrected coma, as well as astigmatism, which is not seen at all. This allows full use of the edges of the image. The lens has barely noticeable vignetting (even in the native APS-C format), which, however, is not critical. Distortion, of course, is absent.

Download source files in format JPEG can at this link (32 files in the '.JPG' format, 208 MB). All photos were shot on Canon 600D.

Other movie projection and movie shooting reviews:

  1. RO3-3M 2/50
  2. PO 500-1 F9 CM. 1: 2 P (review from the reader)
  3. 2/92
  4. F = 92 1: 2
  5. ОКП-6-70-1 F=70 1:1,8
  6. LOMO RO501-1 F = 100 1: 2 (+ materials from the reader)
  7. LOMO RO500-1 F = 90 1: 2
  8. 16KP-1,4 / 65 (review from the reader)
  9. 35KP-1,8 / 70
  10. 35KP-1,8 / 75 (review from the reader)
  11. 35KP-1,8 / 85
  12. 35KP-1.8 / 120 (review from the reader)
  13. 35KP-1.8 / 100 (review from the reader)
  14. LOMO P-5 F = 90 1: 2 (review from the reader)
  15. LOMO P-5 F = 100 1: 2 (review from the reader)
  16. ЛОМО ОКС1-40-1 40/2.5 (review from the reader)
  17. LOMO J-53 F = 75 1: 2 (review from the reader)
  18. LOMO J-54 F = 85 1: 2 (review from the reader)
  19. LOMO OKS1-300-1 F = 300 1: 3.5 (review from the reader)
  20. Tair-41 50/2 (review from the reader)
  21. KO-120 1: 2,1 120mm
  22. KO-90 1: 1,9 F = 9cm (review from the reader)
  23. KO-120M 1: 1.8 F = 120mm (review from the reader)
  24. KO-120M 120 / 1.8 with a diaphragm and helicoid (review from the reader)
  25. KO-120 1: 2.1 F = 12cm (review from the reader)
  26. LENKINAP RO500-1 F = 9cm 1: 2 P (review from the reader)
  27. Schneider Super Cinelux 70/2 (review from the reader)

The names of the lenses correspond to their exact spelling on the body.

Conclusion:

The KO-120M is a great lens for the enthusiast who is willing to take the time to adapt it. The lens has great potential, allows you to achieve beautiful effects and has a kind of "ace in the sleeve" - ​​a curved field, which, as we found out, can be easily used to your advantage.

PS I am very sorry that there are no modern high-aperture lenses with such a scheme, but in normal bodies, with an iris diaphragm. With their low cost in production, the quality of the picture, and their creative potential, they would be in great demand among both amateurs and professionals.

A list of all reviews from readers of Radozhiva will find here.

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Comments: 43, on the topic: KO-120M 1: 1.8 F = 120mm, a review of the film projection lens from a reader of Radozhiva

  • Oleg

    Thanks to Rodion for the good reviews and dances with a tambourine in the preparation of this material

  • Alan Grek

    the image of the lens was not impressive in quality, but the curved field looks interesting .. for the first time I hear that this happens at all.
    can someone tell me other lenses with a curved field? It would be interesting to shoot)

    • Oleg

      Canon EF 20mm f / 2.8 with spherical field)

      • Alan Grek

        thanks, but 20 mm will be a bit short, at least from 50 ...
        and the second moment, as far as I know, the Canon lens on Nikon cameras is extremely problematic to use ((

        • Rodion

          You can make a curved lens yourself. True, the use of the edge is unlikely.
          Try to get the gluing from the 8 * 30 binoculars. It has a focus of 120 and f / 4 - very good shots. Sharp in the center, blurred by a coma around the edge.
          There is still a new Petzval, but it is in a specific frame and expensive unjustifiably.

        • Michael

          Buy helios flips the front lens and voila

          • Rodion

            With such advice, I wish to sincerely kill myself against the wall.
            1. Never kill a normally working thing.
            2. If, nevertheless, killed - you will get a thing always worse than what it was.
            3. In this case, such a monocle will be so terrible that you simply cannot use it. Helios lens is not suitable for making a classic monocle ("landscape lens").
            Well, in general - a monocle is a different class of lenses related to “soft” and “lomographic”, I would say. Apart from curvature, they have a full bouquet of all aberrations of different orders.

            • Michael

              This is not a monocle, but a lens with an inverted front lens.
              The curvature of the field appears, the background is spinning harder.
              Not all helios are working and only a few of them are normal (now we are talking about 44 mx.)

              • Rodion

                Ah, i.e. you have made it even more sacrilegious. They turned the lens over ... and raked it:
                1. Spherical
                2. coma
                3. Astigmatism
                And no good from this!
                It is much simpler:
                1. Partially shield the rear lens for twisting bokeh
                2. Zoom in the two lenses of the Helios, which will also give an enhanced spin, if the goal is this.
                And trying to deliberately bend the field at the anastigmata is a very dubious undertaking.

              • Igor

                Please tell us more in detail, or a link who did this. Thanks.

    • Edgar

      canon ef 24-70 f2.8L usm (I Gen). It has the same trouble at 24mm (diaphragm gives little)

  • Rodion

    Mostly not soap - but focus misses. It’s very, very hard to hit these glass.

  • anonym

    Class! You are a real enthusiast, Rodion. I do not like to go into the optical-technical properties of glass, I either like the picture or not, naturally in skilled hands. This lens has a peculiar picture in the field of the frame, in the rendering of colors, in my opinion watercolor (which SOME call soap). Very informative. Your experiences are not for couch f-theorists. Keep it up! I’ll go pick my children's projectors :)!

    • Rodion

      Lenses made according to this scheme simply do not have very high resolution. Nevertheless, in my opinion, it is enough for most of the tasks that are put before 120 / 1.8. If you aperture this lens to 2.8 or 4, it will become very, very sharp, leaving behind its flat-field counterparts.

  • BB

    The picture is unusual, thanks for the review!

  • Michael

    Just a bunch of reviews lately. Thanks Rodion, it’s very interesting to read!

  • Alexander

    Some kind of dregs. Can a pan with holes be adapted as a lens? Or a bucket .. well, so as not to throw it away. A rusted hole will give a unique bokeh !!! Such “effects” are much easier to achieve by combining two or more pictures taken with a tripod and moving the focus point. It will come out even more abruptly !!!

  • Alexander

    ... it is even possible that a properly fitted old pan fitted instead of a lens is preferable. It will allow you to save money on “blackening with soot” !!! And in this case, I propose to make the “carcass” of the camera stationary: lay it out of bricks and cover with slate for all-weather conditions !!! ))))

    • Rodion

      Oh, it seems to me that this method of shooting is exclusively suitable for you, dear well-wisher!

    • Vyacheslav

      Smiled) The lens, like most similar ones, exclusively for enthusiasts, in practice I can not imagine what is suitable.

      • Rodion

        In practice, a very useful thing for astrophotography. It is also suitable for macro when setting the aperture - its sharpness potential is very good. You just need to make more investments in it for it to "play".

        • Vyacheslav

          An interesting photo with the galaxy. I don’t understand how it happened with such a focal and long shutter speed not to grease the stars)) From a tripod it seems unrealistic.

          • Rodion

            The secret is very simple.
            1 minute is the total time. In fact - 6 pictures 10 seconds each. 10 s is a lot, I was just too lazy to do 30 3 s in a human way.
            Use rule 600:
            600 / (effective focus) = maximum shutter speed
            ISO the less the better
            RAW
            Processing in Deep Sky Stacker

            • Vyacheslav

              Thanks for the info, it will get warmer - I will test the u37a on the stars

              • Rodion

                Astronomers have Jupiters 37 and 21 as their favorite instruments for astrophotography of large nebulae.

  • Oleg

    An informative article, in any case, broadens the mind. I personally like such articles. Sharpness for 120mm and aperture 1.8 is really nothing. If it were possible to cover up to 2.8, the picture became really sharp. Such articles make you think about the cost of lenses. After all, manufacturers have no budget 135. It would be funny to see Jupiter 37a with autofocus for the price of say $ 100. Indeed, in its optical design there are only 4 elements, and the picture is really nothing. Maybe some Chinese Yongnuo will pamper us

    • Alan Grek

      or Tair-3 - there are even fewer, only three lenses ..
      only it’s unlikely that the Chinese would make glass (((they would stuff some plastic and that's it ..
      but in general it’s very unfortunate of course that such developments were bored .. with Zeiss, an example would be to take yes to revive it all ..

    • Rodion

      Sonnar / Jupiter are very expensive lenses at cost price, by the way. It is much easier to rivet cheap faceless 135 / 2.8 with five or six lenses than a good Zonnar 135 / 2.8 or even 135 / 3.5 with four lenses. Jupiter-9 is generally very expensive to manufacture - it has two whole triplets glued together, and thick ones!
      Tair is also that thing ... There are even three lenses in three hundred - they require a very precise fit, up to thousandths even. Therefore, it is also not cheap. And in the 11th tair and in all others there are four lenses. With the same requirements exactly.
      So - “few lenses” and “cheap” do not always correlate, as with the same aplanat or tessar.
      But “few lenses” is almost always better than “many lenses”.

  • anonym

    Has anyone tried the co-90 on a DSLR (Nikon)?

    • Rodion

      He does not stand on the mirrors, the segment is exactly 44 mm. Not enough 3 mm to infinity.

  • Jury

    The lens is gorgeous ..! The picture is always pleasing, although you still have to get a handle on getting into focus. I use this glass on Nikon 5100 with a self-made focusing mechanism. For portraits, a very original piece of iron, and for a subject, nothing like that ...
    Many thanks to the author for the photo and positive emotions from viewing the work ..!

    Photo from my copy:

  • Jury

    And this is how a self-made helicoid for KO-120 looks like ...
    Well, a couple more photos ...

  • Jury

    KO-120 next to the regular 18-55

    • Peter

      Hello, Yuri. Can I take a look at the self-made helicoid disassembled?

  • Jury

    Portrait…

    • Rodion

      Wonderful picture. Like.

  • Semen

    To whom and where you can sell 2 pieces of co-120m and one co-140m. New ones. Thanks.

  • Valeko

    One of my favorite lenses. As for the sharpness, I will say the following - it is difficult to hit (and because of the curvature of the field too), but if you hit, and even 100 percent, then the sharpness is more than.
    PS Example from my lens https://photographers.ua/photo/1145302/

  • Sergei

    I have all three (KO-90M, KO-120M, KO-140M), of which, in my opinion, the KO-140M is clearly the best - both in terms of the working distance (it fits on anything) and in sharpness. Examples of photos: http://www.photoforum.ru/f/photo/000/849/849477_23.jpg
    http://www.photoforum.ru/f/photo/000/847/847880_23.jpg
    http://www.photoforum.ru/f/photo/000/850/850345_71.jpg

  • Nicholas

    It was shot with my favorite 6 megapixel d40

    the portrait is sewn as a panorama in Photoshop from 3-4 frames, after which it is cropped

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