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Leica Jupiter-3 5cm F1.5, Various Manufacturers

BrianS

Super Moderator
Apr 3, 2013
124
Classic Sonnar forumula, based on the Wartime Carl Zeiss Jena Sonnar. Not all J-3's are created equal, only way to state it. Most are good at F1.5, much sharper at F2.8. Most benefit from changing the shim to optimize for close-up/wide-open work.

This one is from 1950, required a complete rebuild- including changing the focal length and setting into a new focus mount. It was worth the effort.

These are at F1.5, with a Red filter.
 

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BrianS

Super Moderator
Apr 3, 2013
124
Between F1.5 and F4: probably about 1" at minimum focus. I optimized these for F1.5. For most of the FSU lenses built to the Zeiss standard, the focus shift works in your favor for infinity focus. Normally, you have thicken the shim of the lens about 0.1mm for the Leica. This would mean it falls short at infinity. Stop down- the focus shift makes up the shortfall.
 

BrianS

Super Moderator
Apr 3, 2013
124
Jupiter-3's and the pre-war Sonnars: more deviation between the rendering of individual lenses than what you will find in modern optics. Slight changes in the actual focal length of the front and rear sections, relative spacing between them. So each one is slightly different, some are very smooth. I swapped out optics in one lens built from scratch based on the Bokeh. I'll have to post some shots with a couple more.
 

KS11

Regular
Apr 29, 2013
8
Jupiter-3's and the pre-war Sonnars: more deviation between the rendering of individual lenses than what you will find in modern optics. Slight changes in the actual focal length of the front and rear sections, relative spacing between them. So each one is slightly different, some are very smooth. I swapped out optics in one lens built from scratch based on the Bokeh. I'll have to post some shots with a couple more.
please do, i'm looking forward to those sample shots as well.
 

BrianS

Super Moderator
Apr 3, 2013
124
Two of my best Jupiter-3's and the C-Sonnar.

A 1950 Jupiter-3 with a SN on the rear module showing it was made by Zeiss in April 1945. A lot of work was required to correct the spacing between the groups on this lens, the optical fixture was the wrong length. "WORTH IT!".

A 1956 KMZ lens, one of the last made by KMZ. In a new focus module.

All wide-open, with Orange filter. M Monochrom.
 

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Penfan2010

All-Pro
Jul 21, 2012
123
NJ, USA
Classic Sonnar forumula, based on the Wartime Carl Zeiss Jena Sonnar. Not all J-3's are created equal, only way to state it. Most are good at F1.5, much sharper at F2.8. Most benefit from changing the shim to optimize for close-up/wide-open work.

This one is from 1950, required a complete rebuild- including changing the focal length and setting into a new focus mount. It was worth the effort.

These are at F1.5, with a Red filter.
Last photo of the desk is really good, great lighting.
 

BrianS

Super Moderator
Apr 3, 2013
124
One of the last KMZ Jupiter-3's ever made, has perfect glass. I set it in a much later focus mount, relubed and shimmed for F1.5 and close-u. On the M Monochrome with an Orange filter. Straight exports to JPEG using LR4.

Comparison Shots at F1.5 and F4.
 

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pierrickg

New Member
Aug 5, 2013
3

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asiafish

All-Pro
Aug 9, 2013
123
Bakersfield, CA
I also have one of Brian's Jupiter 3s, a Zomz from 1963 that is PERFECTLY tuned to my M Monochrom. I've tried many other 50mm lenses including two Leica Summicrons, a Summitar and a Zeiss Planar, but day in and day out, it is the Jupiter 3 that spends the most time on my camera.

This lens has a character that I just can't get enough of. My only complaint is the mechanical build (which I knew going in). I bought this hoping to use it occasionally for its unique effects, and to have a "modern" lens with modern coatings for everyday use. Sadly, I think for an everyday lens I will need to pony-up for either a C-Sonnar or 50 Lux. The Jupiter 3 works well enough for now that when I go out with only one lens, this one is usually it.

At around f/4

L9999017-Edit.jpg by Lawman1967, on Flickr

Wide-open f/1.5

L9999009-Edit.jpg by Lawman1967, on Flickr

f/4

L9998974-Edit.jpg by Lawman1967, on Flickr

f/1.5

L9998689.jpg by Lawman1967, on Flickr

f/1.5

L9998676.jpg by Lawman1967, on Flickr

f/2

L9998674.jpg by Lawman1967, on Flickr

f/8 (I think)

L9998671.jpg by Lawman1967, on Flickr

f/1.5

Table 10 by Lawman1967, on Flickr
 

BrianS

Super Moderator
Apr 3, 2013
124
They look really good! The all-aluminum construction does seem to last- with some effort. I've been using "Lacquer" (a color of nail polish that Nikki quit using) to secure the set screws. That seems to be the weakest link; the second is the guide pins used to keep the helicals together. I've picked up some spares and try to get good matches between the heads of the guide pins and the rails.

Someday- a Chinese company with a CNC machine will start selling focus mounts for Sonnars and Jupiters made of brass. I'll buy 10.
 

asiafish

All-Pro
Aug 9, 2013
123
Bakersfield, CA
They look really good! The all-aluminum construction does seem to last- with some effort. I've been using "Lacquer" (a color of nail polish that Nikki quit using) to secure the set screws. That seems to be the weakest link; the second is the guide pins used to keep the helicals together. I've picked up some spares and try to get good matches between the heads of the guide pins and the rails.

Someday- a Chinese company with a CNC machine will start selling focus mounts for Sonnars and Jupiters made of brass. I'll buy 10.
And when they do I will send you back my J3 for retrofit.
 

Filzkoeter

New Member
Apr 15, 2014
3
Berlin
I've got a 1958 ZOMZ one with cleaning marks on the front element which was very weird from the beginning. I messed around with this lens and it's front focusing problems for a long time, contacted Brian because of it, somehow I got it being useable... but it was always acting somehow strange (tons of aberrations, field curvature from hell, etc.).
Some weeks ago I decided to relube it with better grease and to take a good look at it and finally I've found it's problem! The rear triplet was sitting wrong in it's fixture, something like 1mm too far away. I refitted it into the fixture (it was to tight, I thought for a moment I'll break the elements) and started shimming the lens... not an easy task without any TTL viewers, only 1 Barnack and no digital cameras ;)
After messing around with the stand off ring and being able to localize a position where the lens was focusing okay I started to file down the shim which originally came with the lens to a right thickness (it was the mother of all shims, something like 2mm thick!).

I think I finally succeeded to make this Jupiter useable :D it's maybe still focusing a tiny little bit in front... but it seems to be okay. What's funny, this Jupiter seems now to be okay at all focus distances :16suspect1:

really boring test shots at home, all wide open:

at ~1,2m


at ~2m


at ~5m


around 7-10m


30-40m



regarding the sonnar-focus-shift it's propably now something like a f2.8 optimized J3 ;)
I'm amazed how sharp this lens can be wide open if the focus is nailed

Next thing to do tomorrow: some real life tests outside ;)


Does this performance look okay to your eyes? :confused:
 

BrianS

Super Moderator
Apr 3, 2013
124
I've got a 1958 ZOMZ one with cleaning marks on the front element which was very weird from the beginning.


Does this performance look okay to your eyes? :confused:
It looks close to me, if focus at F1.5 is good at infinity AND it front-focuses at closest focus, the focal length is slightly less than 51.6mm.

This is one case where a Digital Camera helps.

I made this particular J-3 from 4 different lenses. I was sent a 1952 J-3 with beautiful glass in a focus mount and fixture that was epoxied together, would not come apart. The focus was way off, which explains why the glass was so nice, it had never been used. The lens was cobbled together from various parts, the rear fixture was "not standard" and the black paint was flaking off. I ended up buying a 1962 ZOMZ j-3 from Ebay for the focus mount, using a 1950 optical fixture- wartime alloy (another cobbled together lens), rear optical fixture from a 1953 J-3 (bad glass), and aperture ring from the 1962 ZOMZ. The rear triplet and fixture in the KMZ and German lenses have a different shape from the ZOMZ lenses. The latter have threading up front and a guide ring in the back. It will not screw in deep enough to a KMZ fixture, the KMZ glass will not go into a ZOMZ rear fixture. If you need to reapir a pre-war or wartime Sonnar, you can use parts from a KMZ J-3. The ZOMZ and KMZ J-3's: the front triplet and front element can be interchanged. The rear triplets: different.

ANYWAY! Lots of work and rework, the 1950 Fixture was much too long for the ZOMZ rear that someone put into it in Russia. I bought it 10 years ago, realized much later on that the rear triplet was wrong. I had to file the back-end down trying to make it work, never could. Now it worked out- this lens gives good focus from close-up to infinity as the rear triplet is closer to the front group and the focal length is close to the Leica standard. Not the sharpest J-3 that I have, but the Bokeh is very smooth.

Wide-Open

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BrianS

Super Moderator
Apr 3, 2013
124
Close-to Infinity focus at F1.5, focus on the far tree line.

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I made a stand-off shim for the rear triplet using jumper wire, tried 1mm, 1.1mm, and 1.5mm. The latter- too thick to screw in to the focus mount. The 1.1mm worked well, gave enough stand-off and allowed the fixture to be screwed into the focus mount. The insulation of the wire "compresses" so acts as a variable shim for fine adjustments. Lots of trial and error on this one, but in the end- good focus across range.
 

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