Leica Jupiter-3 Plus Compared with Three Rare Sonnar lenses

It would be interesting to see the J-3+ and these other Sonnars used on a full-frame mirrorless. Sonnar formula lenses sit closer to the image plane than their Planar counterparts. The microlens array that Kodak used for their CCD's amazes me: I can use a Jupiter-12 with lens-detection off on the M8 (1.3x crop) without vignetting. Lens detection applies a "non-uniformity correction" to reduce vignetting, meaning it is a multiplier across the image. Either drop the center to match the edges- lose efficiency; or multiply the edges to match the center- possible contour banding. Starting with a more uniform image reduces the need for software trickery. I wrote my first non-uniformity correction routine for a digital image almost 35 years ago.

For the next comparison- I have the Carl Zeiss 50/1.5 "zeroed" with the new Amedeo adapter, focus is spot-on from 0.7m to infinity. That took a little time, you remove the rear retaining ring and turn the variable stand-off ring- put back in and test on the camera. Zeiss dropped the "Opton" sometime during the run, simply marked them "Carl Zeiss". There were two distinct versions of the 50/1.5 that were produced concurrently. Almost looks like two sets of tooling used, the fixtures and exact shape of the optics is different between the two.
 
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k fahlman

Regular
Location
Vancouver, BC
Real Name
Ken
Hi Brian,

The only experience I had was with the 50 ZM C Sonnar on my A7r, strong vignette up to f4, and anywhere off centre was soft.
Any of my Leica lenses below 50mm on that body were marginal at best.

cheers/ken.
 

Hap

Top Veteran
Rambling here.....obviously M digital cameras are designed for RF lenses intended. Hence the thinner glass covers and presumed specific microlens arrays. Hit or miss to some degree on non M cameras (and maybe even M cameras). The Ricoh A12 M mount module may be ancient by today standards, but it is designed for RF lenses according to Ricoh engineers. It's performance seems to bear that out even with the CV 25/4 that Sean Reid uses. Miyazaki san who developed the Sonnetar has said that this lens , based on Sonnar design, has optimization for digital M which appears to be a departure from earlier statements. The way it's used with digital versus analog M, especially with manual coma adjustment is different. I do not know why....but lots of effects possible. It also seems that Sony design evolving to account for RF lens use on their cameras although Reid confesses that design optimized for FE mount lenses. Fast Sonnar designs appear to be a jumble of compromises and the fun , if you can say that, is in the creativity of photographer to work with that to produce a vision....."faults" and all.

Maybe Brian or someone else can answer this: why aren't sensors curved, like eye retina or the mirror of a large telescope.?
 

k fahlman

Regular
Location
Vancouver, BC
Real Name
Ken
Sony has actually patented a curved sensor to try and resolve that exact issue, when, or if ever it will be commercially produced, is the big question...

cheers/ken.
 
Sensors are made from Silicon Wafers, then have to be "thinned"- milled down.

I thought that back-side illuminated sensors used in the latest Sony would be better for lenses with a short back-focus, but the microlens array and filter stack also play a roll. I am betting that the next digital M will be BSI technology. I would like to see a new camera use the Dalsa 32MPixel CCD, available in color and monochrome. Phase 1 uses CCD's in their latest monochrome back, the 32MPixel Dalsa CCD is the 24x36 version of the one used in the medium format back.
 

Hap

Top Veteran
I am not sure there will be another revolutionary digital M. If Leica somehow uses new (read expensive) or novel technology , then it would be out of the realm of a consumer device. The SL without a lens is already 8K. The "people" have run out money. As the saying goes...socialism really sucks when the other guy runs out of money. If Sony uses novel technology, maybe there's a chance it could be affordable.

Nice thing about the rising prices of M technology is that it makes film look like a legitimate and financially viable alternative.
 
Digital Technology is coming down in cost, BSI sensors are less expensive to make than CCD's. I would be happy with the M9 and M Monochrom for the rest of my life. My oldest Digital SLR was bought in 1994, still works- but easier to take apart and keep running. Kind of like WALL-E.
 

Hap

Top Veteran
Hi Brian

Yes....digital technology goes through a deflationary cycle. However, Leica technology is never introduced at bargain prices or attains that status.

Now...the M3 was introduced in the 50's and is still a viable mechanical camera which can be repaired and still operate as intended, although competent repair facilities are dwindling.. Do you honestly believe, really, that you are going to have a functional M9 or Monochrome for the rest of your life.. ? Will there be parts ? Electronic devices are trashed in short order since they have complex circuitry and integrated miniaturized boards and connectors. Sensors degrade. Even Rolex...Rolex does not typically keep parts guaranteed beyond 25 years....and Rolex just went through a process of screwing independent watchmakers by denying them parts which are only kept in rolex repair facilities. in Cuba they are still running 57 Chevy's...but they aren't really Chevy's anymore.....enterprising Cubans have reverse engineered and machined parts to keep these running. Sorry, you can't yet convince me that an M9 will be viable for the rest of your life...:)) M 9 will be as relevant as a Norden bomb site.

Nobody knows what a Wall-E is anymore.
 
Of course you are dealing with someone that writes FORTRAN and Assembly for MS-DOS computers for a living and rebuilds 80 year old lenses for fun. Do I believe that I can keep an M9 running for 20 years- That would be like having a Nikon E3 still working. It does.
 

Hap

Top Veteran
I've been shooting my J8 at middle to higher f stops . I am curious to see how flare controlled if at al.....and if sharpness improved. aso waiting for mm hood to show up from China. My first impression is that it is not sharp enough at f2 but like you I should start mounting on a tripod before remonstrating.....

My first inclination after receiving it from adjustment was to shoot wide open or close to it.
Hap
 
We've veered a bit from comparing the J-3+ with three rare Sonnars, BUT- this seems to be a good place to put in the Jupiter-8 shots from a lower-cost Sonnar.

This one is now in the hands of a Leicaplace member... It is Specially Modified for 0.65m close-focus, and is in focus across the range.

17920415424_ab11a13e29_o.jpg
L1016243
by fiftyonepointsix, on Flickr

18355418040_fd07ebef97_o.jpg
L1016254
by fiftyonepointsix, on Flickr

Both at F2.

And F2 on the M Monochrom with a Yellow filter.

19063008152_3d8623a4e4_b.jpg
G1005267
by fiftyonepointsix, on Flickr

18882443299_2d6f743323_b.jpg
G1005240
by fiftyonepointsix, on Flickr

Processed using my Custom FORTRAN code for applying a Gamma curve and converting to 16-bit pixel values.

This lens took a lot of work, ie shortening the focal length and modifying the mount. I bought another Jupiter-8, cannot modify it for close-focus, but it is made in 1957. Like me.
 

Hap

Top Veteran
YOu can see how shallow DOF is at F2.....eyelashes sharp but other features nearby are not as sharp.

But as you know the cost of a J8 is extremely reasonable. Still fiddling with the critical focus of J9. I would probably have worked it out if I had an M8.

Maybe I will post one or two of my J8 shots if I find something reasonable wide open. Again, tripod mount could be in order.
 

Hap

Top Veteran
If I understand you correctly, you are implying some degree of backfocus while stopping down as you adjusted this lens to focus correctly wide open? Wouldn't DOF generally compensate for minor backfocus at reasonable distances?

Hap
 

k fahlman

Regular
Location
Vancouver, BC
Real Name
Ken
If I understand you correctly, you are implying some degree of backfocus while stopping down as you adjusted this lens to focus correctly wide open? Wouldn't DOF generally compensate for minor backfocus at reasonable distances?

Hap

A rangefinder has no idea at what aperture you've focused at, so stopping the lens down makes no difference to the eye, unlike live view.
It all depends on what aperture the lens was calibrated at for precise focus. Usually wide open, to f2.8, so shift would occur between f4/5.6.
 
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uhoh7

Regular
It would be interesting to see the J-3+ and these other Sonnars used on a full-frame mirrorless. Sonnar formula lenses sit closer to the image plane than their Planar counterparts. The microlens array that Kodak used for their CCD's amazes me

Any A7 version with the Kolari thin filter mod is right in there with M240 and M9. I like the v2 Kolari, which is .8mm, as opposed to the stock sony 1.9mm cover glass. That mod costs 400 or 500 depending on the A7 version and is well supported by Kolari.

Here's the 28 cron on the v1 Kolari:
17295224422_3a8225c64e_b.jpg

Old Hotel
by unoh7, on Flickr

And the SEM 21:
21878493909_6982ff95a7_b.jpg

Light up the leaves
by unoh7, on Flickr

What about a Sonnar? Here's the Nikkor S 50/1.4 WO, now on an unmodified A7r:
11229639893_9f4f56e581_b.jpg

Vic
by unoh7, on Flickr

So, for your samples a stock A7r2 would shoot the sonnars great because the FC induced by the thicker cover would not matter. There is nothing at the edges except the grass and it would still show sharpness, but closer compared to the center. It's the landscapes that gives everyone, including me, fits with the Sonys unmodified. Wide open shots seldom demand flat sharp edges---10%? Most everybody puts the subject in the center and fires away LOL.

But with the thin filter mod you get the lens at near film flatness, like the M9. Here is the Sonnetar around 1.5 on the A7.mod:
21304942373_6afd9becdb_b.jpg

Cold Comfort
by unoh7, on Flickr

Film is flatter yet than the M9, as I'm sure you are aware, Brian. There are a number of small wides which are much better on film than a M9, like the CV 21 and that slow zeiss 21. But the bottom line is a used A7 is 700+400 for thin filter mod and for 1100 you have a very strong M shooter which can use any lens the M9 likes to good advantage: right out to the edges. :)

I still prefer my M9, and they are down to 2200, but the Sony mod makes a superb companion, because it not only does M well, but shoots my 500/4 P Nikkor like a dream :)

Anyway I love your sets with the sonnars, Brian, and it's very interesting to see the wartime Sonnar basically win the contest. At f/4 I think the J3+ is right with it, but wide open, my eye says the wartime sonnar wins in these samples. It's also so interesting to see how warm the other sonnars shoot.

Thank you so much for the report :)
 
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Hap

Top Veteran
The j8 was adjusted by Brian at f2. ....close focus to infinity. I know the rf has no idea of the aperture...but I do. He is telling me that stopping down will produce back focus. I could figure out on a live view m....but on analog need to guess and practice the amount to nudge the focus compensation.
 

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