Leica Showcase ZOMZ 50mm f/1.5 Jupiter-3 in LTM


Top Veteran
The Lowlands
Some samples taken with my Jupiter-3 50mm f/1.5 lens manufactured in 1959 by the Zagorsk Optical Mechanical Plant (ZOMZ). The lens hasn't been adjusted to proper Leica flange distance. And using it on a Leica body has always yielded some less than satisfactory results. And with my leaky Zorki I it proved to be a much better combination. But when I use it on my Epson R-D1 with cheap brass LTM adapter it handles exceptionally well (though there is some back focus at short focus and wide-open).

Recently cleaned out the watermarks from between the elements (with a little help from Brian). And used it yesterday evening at a local music festival

Taken at ISO800, between f/5.6 and f/4

slightly cropped
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slightly more cropped
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Not cropped
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Looking forward to getting my Zorki I back from the repairman to use this lens on it again.
I know that lens...

A Jupiter-3 that is in spec for the Russian standard will require the shim to be thickened by a nominal 0.1mm- this compensates for the focus throw from 0.9m to Infinity for a 52.4mm lens compared with a 51.6mm lens.

I've found that ~75% of the Jupiters require the 0.1mm adjustment, some- WAY off needing a much thicker shim (probably misassembled) and a rare few need a thinner shim- usually misassembled.

ZOMZ really hit the stride around 1958, and some of the best I've used were made from 1959. 1956 and 1957- I see a lot of variation on quality.
I picked up a 1975 Jupiter-3 last week, from a seller in the US that got it at an estate sale. It looks like it had never been used. The grease was more like wax, and the focus was uneven. I ended up giving it a CLA "Twice", reworked the inner helical as well. Also discovered that one of the set screws holding the helical in the mount was too tight, put too much pressure against the helical. Not the first time I've seen that problem. It came out really good, and the focal length is very close to the Leica standard. The spec for lenses of this era was 52.4mm +/- 1%. I got lucky, must be the -1% for this lens.

Close-up and wide-open on the M9,


1975 ZOMZ Jupiter-3

1975 ZOMZ Jupiter-3


How about a product shot?


Having been through a few russian lenses myself, I'd say a really good 1.5 sonnar, properly calibrated, is a rare and special thing indeed.

This must be on the shortlist for most successful design in the history of lenses for 135. :)

The lens is very interesting wide open of course, but at f/4 it really is a monster, with critical centers and strong contrast--at least that's how my 1937 f/1.5 from jena behaves, and many other copies also.


DSC02268-1-2 by unoh7, on Flickr


Hi Brian,
Please explain why "this" is good ..

"The spec for lenses of this era was 52.4mm +/- 1%. I got lucky, must be the -1% for this lens."
The Leica standard is 51.6mm. SO, (52.4mm - 0.524) is about 51.9mm, close enough to the Leica standard to be usable across the full focus range.

I'll get a shot of the J-3 up this evening.

Unoh7- this is the Sonnar that you had re-cemented?