Review of the adapted Vega-5U 4/105 (MMZ) from the reader Radozhiva

Overview of the Vega-5U 4/105 lens (MMZ), in an adapted version for Radozhiva prepared Rodion Eshmakov.

Vega-5U 4/105

Vega-5U 4/105

Characteristics Vega-5U
Design: five lenses in 4 groups (Biometar / Vega scheme)
Resolution (center / edge): 56/24 lines / mm
Angle of View: 54 degrees
Format: designed for negatives up to 6x9 cm (i.e. it covers 9x9)
Aperture Limits (Factory): F / 4-F / 11
Diaphragm design: six-petal, rounded, without presetting mechanisms, with ratchet.
Diameter for filters: no thread, diameter for smooth nozzles - as for Helios-44-2 - 55 mm.
Mount: M42, working length 83 mm
The presence of a focuser: none

Vega-5U 4/105

Vega-5U 4/105

Various Vegas and Industars were common among the photo-magnifying optics in the USSR (the former were valued for uniform high sharpness, and the latter were cheap), the Industar-23U 110 / 4.5 and Industar-100U 110/4 focal length analogs.
However, the cheapest and universal I-23U and the significantly higher-quality Vega-5U were most widely used.

Vega-5U 4/105

Vega-5U 4/105

Construction Vega-5U
Vega-5U was produced at the Minsk Health Ministry and existed in frames of different designs (depending on the year of manufacture), but in principle the design always remained the same. The lens is simply a high-quality lens block with a mounting thread and a diaphragm; it does not have a focusing mechanism. Therefore, Vega-5U, like other photo magnifying lenses, is very inexpensive and very affordable.

According to the method described here, the lens has been upgraded and adapted:
1. The diaphragm is more open, the ratchet is removed
2. A focusing mechanism based on Helios-44M with MDF ~ 1.2 m was made
3. Infinity was derived for compatibility with the M42 mount with a segment of 45,5 mm (however, the lens has a lot of reserves, making it with a segment of 47,5 mm and M42 is easy for Nikon).

Now the lens is fully ready for full use.

Vega-5U 4/105

Vega-5U 4/105

Optical quality
Vega-5U - lens with medium aperture, F / 4. Usually lenses with a focal length of ~ 100 mm are f / 2.8 or more. However, as a rule, all magnifying lenses have an average aperture value. In addition, F / 4 is not so small, for example, the popular Jupiter-11 telephoto lens has the same maximum relative aperture, and the now widespread 18-135 at the far end is twice as dark.
The ratio of focal length and aperture allows you to achieve a small depth of field, which can be used for artistic purposes.

But the f / 4 of this lens is fully working, already at an open aperture the lens shows good sharpness across the entire image field, although you can notice some slight soft effect. In general, most Vega type lenses have a sharp picture.
The lens has well-fixed spherical aberrations, there are small HA (fringing). Distortion and vignetting are missing.

Vega-5U has an interesting bokeh, completely devoid of spin due to the lack of vignetting. I liked using the lens as a short lightweight telephoto and a sharp portrait. In general, photographic magnification optics are still very often used in macro photography.

Vega-5U 4/105

Vega-5U 4/105

But the contrast of the lens is rather bad - the lens holds backlight extremely poorly, it is necessary to make a light-cutting washer under matrix sizeto place it behind the rear lens - the “extra” light greatly reduces the overall contrast. Practically all images have to be “contrasted” during development.
In the backlight, the picture draws in a veil, large color highlights appear from bright sources. In short, it’s a little tough to handle this lens without a lens hood.
In mild conditions, without unnecessary flare, the lens shows good contrast and good colors.

conclusions
Vega-5U is an interesting and very affordable technical lens that requires a preliminary application of forces to use it. When adapted, Vega-5U shows good image quality and nice drawing. The main thing is to choose a hood for the lens) Vega-5U can serve as a replacement for a 135/4 lens, combining the qualities of a small telephoto lens, a makrik and a sharp potter.

Thank you for attention! Eshmakov Rodion.

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

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Comments: 9, on the topic: Review of the adapted Vega-5U 4/105 (MMZ) from a reader of Radozhiva

  • Artem

    Rodion continues to delight us with his crazy hands;)

    • Rodion

      Okay, at least to please

  • Vadim

    Rodion, tell me, didn’t the optical characteristics suffer from adaptation? That's what I think, lenses for photo enlargers, as a rule, have great sharpness and very small CAs, perhaps they can be designed like this precisely because of their fixedness at the same distance. And reworking for focusability can degrade properties. Or not?

    • Rodion

      Alteration, of course, does not affect the optical scheme. Because the picture does not suffer.
      On the contrary, photomagnification optics in the USSR was rather flawed - it was obviously assembled according to the residual principle - judging by the bulk structures of lens blocks, etc.

  • Vadim

    Thank you, I don’t know how about residualness, but Vega 11u just shocked me with sharpness and low HA, Vega 5u is definitely sharper than most standard lenses. By the way, it was thanks to the site that I was happy that I discovered the world of lenses from enlargers. Thanks. The other day came Rodenstock Apo Rodagon N 50mm f2.8, well this is just prime. Now I’m thinking whether Vega 5u will find its place in my collection, or give it to someone.

    • Rodion

      Vega-11u - yes, it is known for its sharpness)
      Vega-5U is also not bad at all, I would say. It's just for the SF. If it is quite sharp even on a crop with 18MP, what will happen in the native format?

  • KalekseyG

    Arkady, put this lens in the list of all lenses, otherwise it will be lost!

    • Rodion

      Yes, it’s strange that the lens is still not on the list.

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