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A Bad 85MM
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PostPosted: Sun Apr 08, 2018 3:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The majority of J9s are soft at f2, that is why people seek out pre-1965 examples where the chances of finding a better one are higher. The J9 really doesn't reach it's full sharpness until f4 or f5.6, depending on the individual copy and always shows a marked improvement in sharpness between f2 and f2.8 - it was a bit of a stretch of the Sonnar design to produce an f2 85mm and subsequent evolutions of the Sonnar 85 were f2.8 and markedly sharper. The best copies of the J9 are quite sharp at f2.8, but most have to be closed to f4, largely because contrast is quite low at wider settings (perceptual sharpness is a function of both resolution and contrast).



There is an excellent exposition of the characteristics of the J9 here:

http://allphotolenses.com/reviews/item/c_9.html


PostPosted: Sun Apr 08, 2018 10:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

iangreenhalgh1 wrote:
The majority of J9s are soft at f2, that is why people seek out pre-1965 examples where the chances of finding a better one are higher. The J9 really doesn't reach it's full sharpness until f4 or f5.6, depending on the individual copy and always shows a marked improvement in sharpness between f2 and f2.8 - it was a bit of a stretch of the Sonnar design to produce an f2 85mm and subsequent evolutions of the Sonnar 85 were f2.8 and markedly sharper. The best copies of the J9 are quite sharp at f2.8, but most have to be closed to f4, largely because contrast is quite low at wider settings (perceptual sharpness is a function of both resolution and contrast).



There is an excellent exposition of the characteristics of the J9 here:

http://allphotolenses.com/reviews/item/c_9.html



Great examples ,i was mainly looking at jupiters to start with as they are seemingly the most affordable and i've read the praises on many a forum.

I would ideally like a konica hexanon 85mm 1.8 but they are hard to find and then go for crazy prices .


PostPosted: Sun Apr 08, 2018 10:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

As you can see from that test, a good J9 is a great lens, soft and medium contrast wide open at f2, which makes it a great portrait lens, sharp and contrasty from f4 so it makes a great general purpose moderately long lens.

Another option to consider that is affordable is the Carl Zeiss Jena Biometar f2.8 80mm, they come in M42 but those are not all that common and more expensive, the common cheaper version is in P6 mount and you can get adapters from P6 to M42 and many other mounts. I have a 1960s one, single coated so not as contrasty as later MC versions, but it's very sharp, has lovely bokeh and is imho, a great lens.

Wide open on my Sony a850, I tweaked the contrast:



PostPosted: Mon Apr 09, 2018 6:00 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

iangreenhalgh1 wrote:
As you can see from that test, a good J9 is a great lens, soft and medium contrast wide open at f2, which makes it a great portrait lens, sharp and contrasty from f4 so it makes a great general purpose moderately long lens.


You are right about the J9 portrait quality.

Today's photograhic standards are just ridiculous, people want to see every piece of dust in the model's eyebrow, which is not right for portraits. And then they remove them with photoshop.


PostPosted: Mon Apr 09, 2018 6:04 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I see a lot of portraits where they have clearly used software to soften the image and remove imperfections in the skin etc, there are several Photoshop plugins specifically for doing this. I agree with you, they should just use an older lens like the J9 and get the same effect plus a more characterful image rendering.


PostPosted: Mon Apr 09, 2018 6:59 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Marek wrote:
I've heard there are lemons among newer black Jupiter 85 lenses too but never had an opportunity to see thank God.
All my black Jupiter-9s were horrible. I mean horrible in center until f/5.6...


PostPosted: Sat Apr 14, 2018 2:00 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

There's always the three different soft-focus Pentax 85mm lenses (K, F, and FA). They are SOOOOOFT wide open.


PostPosted: Mon Apr 16, 2018 7:00 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Concerning russian lenses such as Helios-40 and J9 from which i was able to test a fair amount of copies, it's clearly a important point to be able to test the copy or at least to choose a vendor who can honestly describe the quality of the particular lens.
And it's clearly not a legend that you will find better copies in the early silver models. If you choose a black modern M42 J9 on eBay, this will be a real lottery and you can receive a lens that you will just hate : some produce more than the famous Jupiter glow but will show a real lack of sharpness WO.
And generally, the RF versions will be better than the others ; but will show some vignetting on FF, easy to fix in post prod. I don't know why and will regard to open a discussion on this but i would be happy to know why RF versions are pretty often better than reflex versions.
On silver J9, the copies i've sold have never been really bad, some show the typic glow (and this is why we want this lens) and other just don't because of a really sharp definition and contrast even WO. The J9 is one of my favorite lens when good : perfect WO for most of situations, a fantastic bokeh to play with, capable of creating wonderfull textures, small, nice mechanical design, easy to clean... (cleaning of the LTM version in french only : http://www.musashichan.com/blog/34-nettoyage-de-la-mise-au-point-d-un-jupiter-9-ltm-l39-ou-m39)
For the Helios-40, this is very difficult to find a really nice lens capable of a nice render WO. I find most of them way too weak and difficult to use at 1.5 ; but when you find one, it's a magical lens to use. Fortunatly, if the lens is just a average/good copy, you just have to close it to something between 1.5 and 2 to have a nice render. I have now a silver 00 serial which is just great, and it's very pleasant to use and work with :



PostPosted: Mon Apr 16, 2018 10:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm fortunate to have had this forum to study before buying a J-9. I first bought a 1961 RF and while it is sharp, it gives a yellow cast to images. I then found a mint 1966 M39 which is also sharp as well as clear. I have yet to use either one since changing to a FF camera.

I have a Cyclop and just used it for the first time over the past weekend. I haven't accomplished the same swirl as what Musashichan just posted but will try again. Often, the swirl is dependent on distances, both to the subject and the background. However, it seems quite sharp - obviously at f/1.5.



PostPosted: Tue Apr 17, 2018 7:05 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Nice ! It seems to be sharp, they are pretty always soft but yours seems to have contrast. Swirly bokeh depends on distance and texture of the background yes. But it's not the only beauty of those lenses, it can produce very soft background, but not too much : here for exemple at something like 2,8.


Do you know how to resize the image with BBCode ?