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Mir 1 Low Serial, Mystery, Fake? Missing part? Confused
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PostPosted: Mon Jul 08, 2019 5:26 am    Post subject: Mir 1 Low Serial, Mystery, Fake? Missing part? Confused Reply with quote

So the story is I was looking to get a Mir 1 to add to my Soviet lens collection. I wanted the Mir 1 and there was a low serial number lens 000294 for a little more than the usual asking price. I decided to go for it even though the seller did not give me as good of a feeling as the ones I usually buy from. I have had good luck with low serial number lenses as it seems quality control was much better the closer you can get to sputnik. I don't really buy into the whole pre production thing but I do think quality control was much better the lower serial you can get.

The lens finally arrived rattling around in its plastic holder, the front element and name plate were loose as well. I assumed it must be a fake since the name plate did not fit the threads inside the lens and there seemed to be remnants of some kind of adhesive that possibly was holding the plate in place. The seller ended up giving me a refund because of the damage that made sending the lens back not worth the money.

So now that I look at it closer I think i might be changing my mind about the fake thing. The ID ring is engraved and matches the ones that i see made by KMZ with serial numbers that are close. Additionally the yellowish lens coating also matches the early ones where as the later lenses are more of a blue coating. I now think that it was disassembled and a ring was lost out of the lens that had a 47mm ID to hold the ID plate which may have been glued in. My early Jupiter 9 seems to have the same set up but I have not disassembled it to check it. The other options would be that they removed the ID plate from a later lens and just threw this one in that they found on a junk lens.

so I guess my question is what you guys think, Fake or missing ring? has anyone had a KMZ Mir 1 apart? anyone have any idea where to find a 47mm ID ring that I can use to fix the lens? I would rather not have to wait and try to find an old junk Mir 1 just to steal that ring. I guess I always could because I am starting to get obsessed with fixing this lens... I set the front element in the lens and took some pictures aiming up and the quality seems really good even with quite a few scratches. Any comments welcome!

PostPosted: Mon Jul 08, 2019 7:40 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

It might just be that the wrong nameplate bezel has been added.
From CameraWiki:
"The first model of the lens was produced by KMZ for the early Zenit cameras with an M39 lens mount; it is the widest lens commonly available for those cameras. It is silver-bodied. It has preset aperture control, between f/2.8 and f/16. It focuses to 0.7 m. It has an M49 x 0.5 filter thread.
After 1960, production of the silver-bodied M39-mount lens was transferred to ZOMZ in Zagorsk.[3] This is distinguishable from the KMZ model only by the maker's spiral-and-arrow logo on the front, instead of KMZ's prism-and-arrow one.
Mir-1B (VOMZ)[4]
This is a black-bodied lens with an M42 mount[5], still with preset aperture control. This lens has an M49 x 0.75 filter thread."

Yours looks like it is mounted on M42 adapter, but I could be mistaken.

PostPosted: Mon Jul 08, 2019 2:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sorry I probably should have mentioned that it is m39 mount, there is an m39-42 adapter ring installed on the lens. I will have to see if I can measure the thread pitch, it does have a 49mm front ring but I am not sure if it is .50 or .75.


PostPosted: Mon Jul 08, 2019 6:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm no expert (other than that I own an old silver Mir-1 just like this one), but I don't see anything that screams "fake" here.

It is of course possible that the name ring is from a different lens, but the yellow coating suggests the glass may be from the correct period. I've got a '58 Jupter-9 with the old yellowish coating and a '62 Jupiter-9 with the later blue-purple coating, so I know what you're talking about there.

The important thing is how it shoots, I would say. Smile

PostPosted: Fri Jul 12, 2019 2:51 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Edit: I changed my mind, the first 2 links are to low serial # KMZ MIR1's, one before yours and one after, they both don't have the Brussels engraving while the later silver ZOMZ lenses do, also, none of the KMZ Brussels lenses are export lenses, the writing is in Cyrillic on both the ID ring and lens body, yours appears to be both, Cyrillic on the ID ring and English on the body, something I don't think they ever did.
IMO it's a Frankenstein lens.

It's nice to see that it wasn't buffed/polished to make it look like new.

Here's a lower number here: (Yours doesn't look like it's been opened up as often as this one)

And a serial # just after yours:

Here's an non-export ZOMZ that's been buffed to death:

An export ZOMZ:

PostPosted: Tue Jul 16, 2019 8:27 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for digging into it! I tend to agree with your assessment, to me it seems like someone took the front element possibly and name plate for sure from an early KMZ lens and put in on another later non KMZ Lens, the Brussels engraving seems like a dead giveaway.. I have taken it apart and it also seems like the spacer between the front and rear sections of the lens is not original and may be contributing to the focus problem. I think my best way forward is to try to find another KMZ Lens and use this one In bad weather etc..

I can’t agree more with you about buffing to death of these Soviet lenses, not sure why this would be desirable or raise the purchase price, looks horrible IMO.

I used a large o ring and 49mm uv filter to secure the front element and take some test shots and the IQ actually seems really good.

Last edited by Mr.Bittacy on Tue Jul 16, 2019 6:14 pm; edited 1 time in total

PostPosted: Tue Jul 16, 2019 8:35 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Not sure why it posted this twice..

PostPosted: Tue Jul 16, 2019 7:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Mr.Bittacy wrote:
I used a large o ring and 49mm uv filter to secure the front element and take some test shots and the IQ actually seems really good.

Well, that's important! Wink

My old silver Mir-1 is nothing special other than being an old silver version, but I like it. It has swirly bokeh and takes really nice macro shots.

It's like a tiny Helios-40.

PostPosted: Mon Jul 22, 2019 4:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I received a package today. this copy does not have the inscription "Grand Prix Brussels".

DSC00930 by Mr TTT, on Flickr