So pleased with my first Soviet M42 lens purchase, a 1978 Helios 44M, I decided to take the plunge & buy another piece of Soviet glass.
The Jupiter-9 is an 85mm f2, a focal length classically used for portraiture. After the 1.54x crop factor of an APS-C sensor the effective focal length is 131mm, making it an ideal replacement for the common 135mm f2.8. Designed for portraiture, images are understandably soft wide open, but quickly sharpen as you stop down; the beneath was taken at f4. Really need to take it out & do some actual portraiture mind.
I wasn’t quite so lucky with the serial number this time, getting a 1991 sample. Those who know Soviet history will recall that the USSR collapsed in 1991 & as the rumours of this collapse circulated there was an understandable drop in the quality of output from state-subsidised optical plants like KMZ & its satellite plant LZOS. Still, whilst this particular sample may not be optically as good as some of the earlier, chromed samples, the build quality is still superb & the rings are some of the smoothest I have felt. Incidentally, this is the first pre-set aperture lens I have used; there are two aperture rings, one to set what aperture you want & a second to actually stop down. So you set the aperture you want with the first ring, focus wide open & then stop down with the second ring before taking the shot.
Not an in depth review I’m afraid, as like always these days I’m short on time. Collected her from the Post Office a few days ago but have been so busy I’ve only today had a chance to unbox her. Purchased as an impulse in HLJ’s Christmas sale with free EMS shipping. Very impressive overall, the fluid pose is beautiful though I’m slightly worried about leaning as she’s only attached to her base by a single metal prong in her left foot that doesn’t extend very far into her leg.
I need to invest in a better tripod, as both the cheapo ones I have now aren’t sturdy enough for my new camera, particularly in portrait mode (that’s why none of these photos are portrait!). Also need some sort of dedicated lighting for figure photography, but I’ll probably make that myself. Cut a hole in the bottom of an aluminium bowl, mount a bulb & attach silk across the top to diffuse the light or something.
These photos were shot with old manual Pentax lenses from my 35mm SLRs, a 50mm 1.7 & a 100mm f4 macro. With the crop/zoom of the APS-C sized sensor in the K20D, those work out as 75mm & 150mm lenses respectively, which are great for figure photography – with the 100mm in particular though it feels a little weird taking such close up photos from several meters away!
I should be collecting Alter’s 1/7 Fate T Harlaown Shin Sonic Form from the Post Office on Tuesday, which is the one I’ve been waiting for since the summer (originally meant to be released at the end of August I think, she only actually shipped at the end of November!). I’ll try to upload a few quick photos when she arrives, but hopefully I’ll have more time later on once I’ve gotten a better tripod & lighting to take some decent photos of all sorts of figures.