LOMO Zh-53 F = 75 1: 2. Review of an adapted cinema projection lens from reader Radozhiva

Review of LOMO Zh-53 F = 75 1: 2 lens specially for Radozhiva prepared Rodion Eshmakov (instagram).

Projection lens Zh-53 with a built-in diaphragm installed in a helicoid.

Projection lens Zh-53 with a built-in diaphragm installed in a helicoid. increase.

A whole series of six-lens Planar-type lenses produced in the USSR at different times (since the late 1930s) (as a rule, perhaps, there are exceptions) had a laconic, inexplicable designation - “Zh-xx”. These lenses were mainly intended for the film industry: some served as filming lenses (Zh-1, Zh-2, Zh-3, Zh-5, Zh-21, Zh-24, Zh-48, Zh-25), others - film projection ( Zh-32, Zh-34, Zh-53, Zh-54, Zh-55). But there were also those that had a technical purpose (Zh-49, Zh-51, Zh-26). All lenses were manufactured at the LOMO factories (and its predecessors - GOMZ, Lenkinap, LOOMP). There is little documentation on this optics on the Web.

Cinema projection lenses of the Zh-5x series are the predecessors of the much more common RO50x-1 lenses, which were subsequently replaced by the faster 35KP / OKP. The LOMO Zh-53 presented in this article is, apparently, the shortest in the line of cinema projection lenses for 35 mm film. Modest in comparison with other projectors dimensions and convenient parameters - a focal length of 75 mm and aperture F / 2 - make the Zh-53 a rather attractive short portrait lens, appreciated in the secondary market more than the long-focus PO500-1 and others.

Specifications:

Optical design - 6 lenses in 4 groups, "Planar" (sketch not found);
Focal length - 75 mm;
Format (calculated) - 16 * 22 mm, covers 36 * 24 mm;
Geometric relative aperture - 1: 2;
Case diameter - 62,5 mm;
Rear focal distance - 50,82 mm (the lens can be installed on all small format SLR cameras);
Features - a projection lens, does not have a focusing mechanism and aperture.

Lens construction and adaptation

The lens unit is a tube filled with aluminum pancakes, into which the lenses are rolled. A blackened aluminum spacer is installed between the front and rear groups of lenses, which regulates the lens distance and, moreover, serves as a constant diaphragm to combat multiple reflections.
The first stage of Zh-53 adaptation is to install a diaphragm in the space between the lens blocks. I used my favorite standard 36 mm microscopic irises, although you can use more modest options like the Industar-55U diaphragm.

The diaphragm diameter is much larger than the light diameters of the splices. But there are as many as 14 petals and the installation is convenient.

The diaphragm diameter is much larger than the light diameters of the splices. But there are as many as 14 petals and the installation is convenient.

At the second stage, the lens unit was installed in a 65-65 mm M25-M55 helicoid, for which a shank with a thread for attaching to the M42 camera was specially made.

LOMO Zh-53 with aperture and factory-made helicoid is no worse than any old manual 85/2 lens.

LOMO Zh-53 with aperture and factory-made helicoid is no worse than any old manual 85/2 lens.

Converted in this way, the lens is quite compact and lightweight compared to the longer focal lengths, but still significantly larger than, for example, the PO2-2M - the Zh-53 uses a full-size rear lens group to minimize vignetting. Cine planars (like stills) often have a reduced rear lens group and noticeable vignetting.

Unfortunately, despite the margin of the image field, it is difficult to adapt a double aperture lens for vignetting control (https://radojuva.com/2018/05/vega-interesting/) on a SLR camera - the back section is too small. But the lens will definitely appeal to users of the medium format Fuji GFX.

But vignetting control is very conveniently implemented with projection planars with FD> 100 mm (on the left - 35KP-1,8 / 100, converted into a universal 100 / 1.7 Planar).

But vignetting control is very conveniently implemented with projection planars with FD> 100 mm (on the left - 35KP-1,8 / 100, converted into a universal 100 / 1.7 Planar).

The applied helicoid has a convenient thread lead and allows you to achieve a small MDF - about 0.5 m. This is a very good indicator for optics of the 85/2 class.

Changing the dimensions of the adapted LOMO Zh-53 when focusing from infinity to the MDF.

Changing the dimensions of the adapted LOMO Zh-53 when focusing from infinity to the MDF.

Lenses LOMO Zh-53 have single-layer coating of pink and violet shades. The lens turns a little yellow when viewed through the light, but this does not look critical and is typical of many old lenses.

Round hole of the closed diaphragm and light yellowness of LOMO Zh-53.

Round hole of the closed diaphragm and light yellowness of LOMO Zh-53.

Zh-53 was pleasantly surprised by its small dimensions compared to other projectors and ease of adaptation: in the popular LETI 92/2, for example, it is much more difficult to mount a diaphragm. Also, this lens has not the worst enlightenment, which inspires more confidence in comparison with the typical whitish-blue "bloom" on LOMO PO500-1 lenses.

Optical properties

LOMO Zh-53 boasts a very sharp image in the center of the frame from an open aperture, although the longitudinal chromatic aberration... The edges of the image formed by the Zh-53, even on a full frame, are unexpectedly good - usually the sharpness of simple planars quickly decreases towards the edge of the frame. In general, the picture is noticeably better than that of its long-focus counterparts: when the circuit is scaled n times, the aberrations grow n ^ 2 times.

Zh-53 did not cause any complaints during the work related to the contrast and color of the image. In this it does not differ from the good old manuals of the 50-70s of the last century.

This lens has virtually no background twisting due to low vignetting. The bokeh is typical for planars, rather calm, somewhat flavored with spherochromatic green-yellow edges of the discs of confusion.

Technically, the Zh-53 is one of the best 85/2 class six-lens lenses I have ever owned. Perhaps only much more complicated Schneider Cinelux 70/2 demonstrates the highest quality.

Below are sample photos taken with a full-frame Sony A7s camera (shooting in RAW, processing in Imaging Edge).

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.

Conclusions

So far, no projection planar has disappointed me. Zh-53 is no exception: it is a really pleasant and high-quality lens for portrait photography (and not only). Its adaptation is not transcendentally difficult, and the result of its work is at least not inferior to expensive film-making PO2-2 (M) and OKS1-75-1. An excellent choice for the classic lover.

You will find more reviews from readers of Radozhiva here.

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Comments: 15, on the topic: LOMO Zh-53 F = 75 1: 2. Review of an adapted cinema projection lens from reader Radozhiva

  • Oleg

    Rodion - golden hands and a bright head - a wonderful style of description. An excellent and interesting review. Thank you!

  • ñ

    nice drawing, good lens

  • Maksim

    Nice soft bokeh. In general, projectors draw well open, the aperture may not be necessary there at all, in bright light I use a neutral-gray ND filter.
    Example: https://www.flickr.com/photos/max_tm/albums/72157680832712124

    • Victor

      Maxim, positive photos, many of course are well twisted, but that is at the discretion of the author, of course.

      The helicoid inspires respect :-)

  • Alexey

    Thanks for the review, an excursion into the past. I liked the photos, the bokeh is very nice. I wanted to experiment.

  • Max kotov

    Sincerely!

  • Sergei

    Thank you! There is this lens, I also plan to adapt it to the camera, though I have a micra, and the lens is probably the most useful for FF. Although there is a fairly well-known “portrait” telephoto lens 75 f1.8 under the micra, and here it will be 75 f2, I brought it to the mount with my Hand - quite sharp.

    There are also RO-500 90mm and P-5 130m. In general, under FF I have a set of classic portrait projectors, but I don't have FF. : D Well, maybe if I have extra money, I'll buy some kind of digital back like the same Sonya A7 first or eski.

    For some reason, by analogy, I thought that this is also an aplanat like the P-5, but it turns out that this is a planar, thanks for the excursion! Do you know what the scheme is for RO-500?
    Still interesting to know more about where do you get the diaphragms? I thought about doing it myself on a 3D printer, but if you can find a factory version for adequate money - why suffer? : D

    • Rodion

      Lenses P's are classic Petzvali, not aplanat. They are very different in picture from each other.
      The PO50x objectives are the same familiar 6/4 planars as the Zh-5x. The site has reviews of these lenses.
      Diaphragms can be bought on aliexpress. But, generally speaking, they are very expensive.

      • Sergei

        The site has a review of P-5, but it says that it is aplanat. The PO500 and 501 reviews did not mention the optical scheme. Anyway.
        On alik, yes, if the diaphragm is large, it is already non-acidic.

        • Rodion

          Well, it is written in the reviews, but there is a diagram in the reference book. The same catalog of Yakovlev lenses. Petzval, in principle, can be classified as aplanat too, but in the context of the presence of two types of lenses - P-x and KO - it is better to separate them. The picture is different. Of the PO500-1 reviewers, there are two mine, in which the diagram from the reference book is given.

    • Basil

      Sergey, I have such a lens adapted for Sony 3500, the same Next in a different body. I tried it on Mikra, okay too. Now I bought C-ku7, I haven't tried to print yet, but everything is induced like on Next. I glued it to some helicoid and to an adapter without a diaphragm. It turned out quickly and nothing dangles. Compared with Helios-92, adapted to Minolta through the MD-Next adapter. I did not see much difference, I have not tested it on the street with the 7th. From Neksta I gave it to print - the result is excellent, though also from the premises. Now I'm thinking which one to sell.

  • DTL

    what nafig fuji gfh is a glass for working with aps-c kadrik. approx 15x21mm. on nedosredneformat tama will be worse.
    the scheme is available in the Soviet catalog from 1970. and sho is very strange - for newer okp and kp the resolution is promised much worse than usual. and these types have the oldest 100/80.

  • Igor Tsap

    scheme

  • Igor Tsap

    continuation

  • Igor Tsap

    parameters

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