Will my Jupiter 8 focus properly on an M3?

Discussion in 'Leica and Rangefinders' started by henricus, Aug 18, 2005.

  1. Will my Jupiter 8 focus properly on an M3, using an adapter of course?
    If not could I get the lens adjusted to work or is it not worth the
    effort? I thought I read somewhere that these lenses had a slight
    difference that would prevent them from focusing. I would appreciate
    anyone with first hand experience sharing your experiences.
  2. It should.<p> Yes.<p>Not worth it IMO.
  3. Have you used it??
  4. I have a J8 ... have not used it with my M3 ... but the lens is super ... I just shot a series of pics for a project I'm working on and used a Russian Zorki body ... nice LTM lens for low bucks ... no complaints ... I normally use a Canon Serenar 35mm f2.8 on my M3 it's LTM too (with an adapter ring of course).
  5. OK ... Henry I just tried the J8 on my M3 ... I found no issues as far as fit ...
  6. I finally have a J8, on a Zorki 4, in a parcel somewhere between St Petersburg and south-
    east England, and I can't wait to try it out. It does indeed look like it is a super lens.
  7. No better way to spend $25 if you ask me.

    Mine works fine on my M3.
  8. Thanks for all the responses. I think I'm going to get an M3 and use my J8 for a while.
  9. How is this? I thought I had taken this with my DR Summicron but when I went over my notes I realized later that it was with the J8.
  10. Henry, my experience is that all four Russian lenses I have tried focused incorrectly on my Leicas. The two I tried after I got a Zorki 4 both focused correctly on the Zorki and incorrectly on the Leicas. And my Leica and VC screw-mount lenses don't focus correctly on the Zorki. They're just different machines that share the same lens mount.

    You don't notice it as much with a 50/2 or 35/2.8 as with a 50/1.5 or an 85/2. But I believe Dante Stella's assesment is correct--Soviet lens cams are calibrated for a slightly different standard focal length than Leica lenses. See:


    especially the section "Ivan the Incompatible."

    Perhaps the myth dies hard because people want to believe they can get Leica quality in a lens that cost only $12. Or because they shoot stopped down. And because real information on what went on in Soviet factories is so hard to come by.

    Others may differ, but my experience is that you can adjust them to focus correctly at infinity, and they will be slightly off close up, or vice versa. Or you can adjust them for about 8 ft., and you'll have a reasonable compromise that depth of field may cover most of the time. But it isn't quite right, and you'll notice it at wider apertures, close up. Many people interpret this as evidence that the lens isn't as sharp as it really is. Or they blame lousy Soviet quality control.

    That said, the difference may not matter at f/8 on a bright day.

    I like my Jupiter-8. At wide stops, it has a pleasing retro quality that evokes the 1930s, and stopped down it's a perfectly good lens. So I shoot it on my Zorki when I want to use it. If you want a lens of similar design, the f/1.4, f/1.5 and f/2 Nikkors and Canons have the same general optical flavor, but without the focusing funkiness. Another article on Dante's site talks about them quite extensively.

    Here's a self-portrait take with the J-8 on a Zorki 4, I believe 1/30 at f/4: http://users.2alpha.com/~pklein/

  11. Oops, a stray comma got on the end of my URL for Dante Stella's article on Russian lens incompatibility. The correct URL is:


  12. Thanks Peter, that was the article I read some time ago! So the answer is no, sorta. ;-) Seriously, I remember now after using your link. I'll avoid that problem and just use it on my FEDs and Zorkis. Thanks.
  13. I also did a focus-test with all my Russian LTM 50s (3x J-8, 2 I-26m, 2x I-61LD, 1x I-50 collapsible, 1x I-50 rigid), not on a Leica M, but on my Bessa R, wide-open and close-up, and found the focus was consistently off (while my Canon 50/1.8 II LTM focusses correctly, as do the Russians on my FED 2 and Zorki 6); I still love my J-8s, though, a great lens, very nice bokeh, a bit soft wide-open, but gets very sharp if stopped down to around f/4 to f/5.6, you just have to be careful in flare-prone situations; I simply use them only on the Russian cameras, and 'real' LTM lenses on the Bessa.

    If you tend to use the combo not slightly stopped-down, and not near the closest focussing distance, you should be OK, though.
  14. In my experience, with several Russian lenses, at three feet the lens will be focussed about six inches behind where you intend (proportionately less at greater distances, until infinity, where things line up). This might be masked by operator lack of standards, or extra depth of field from a small lens opening, but it's a consistent problem. I guess you could focus and move back six inches.
  15. Michael, that matches pretty much exactly what I found 6 inches equals 15 cm, which is what my lenses wer off at the closest focussing distance (= 1m).
  16. First, it is NOT possible to adjust the J8 rangefinder coupling other than by turning down the rear end of the coupling tube. The helicoid of the coupling tube is assembled in a fixed position. (Yes, you could adjust the helicoid and drill new holes for the guide pins.) It has a double helicoid design as described in Dante's article, but different to many other LTM lenses the adjustment cannot be changed by the user. On the f/2.8 90mm and f/3.5 135 A.Schacht lenses, for example, adjusting the rangefinder coupling is no problem.

    Second, only possible adjustment is the inf. focus. This can be done (and obviously is done on some items) by adding shims between the optical block and the lens barrel (mine does not have a shim).

    Third, I checked my J8 with the 'backsighting method' on the Canon7s, and it is properly focussed (and rangefinder coupled) at inf. Below 2m or so there is a noticeable focussing error.

    As stated by others (and by me) in several other threads, mismatching parts of the J8 during repair or re-assembly, or swapping optical blocks and other components from one unit to the other will introduce severe errors in both focussing and rangefinder coupling.
  17. Yes. It will also image a dog, a cityscape, and a baseball park.
  18. Here I have found the J8 in LTM to be best Russian lens as far as tacking true; with a better than even odds. I have tested probably a dozen J8's; four J3's; several I22's. The dog with poor odds with my group of lenses is always the checked J9. I dont subscripe to the Russians didnt set some of these designs to nominal LTM specs. Alot of this is pure bunk; bias; based on too small a sample. I have seen Leica; Nikon, Canon, Steinheil etc lenses with focus problems. Here I have a LTM body with a knife edge at the focus; where the focus at infinity can be checked. I also have a ground Leitz LTM to C adapter; that cost 45 dollars new in the 1960's, Here one can check the infinity focus of a LTM lens too. Often folks I think are also coupling in Rangefinder errors. The Russian lens also have aluminum coupling rings that can be worn; which adds to the focus errors. Russian lenses bought from fellow AMERICANS via Ebay are in my experience the total crap that didnt focus; and is dumped state side. The great focusing non problem LTM Russian lenses that I have played with are almost always from Russian or the Ukarine. Prior to 9/11 one could by a Zorki 4 with J8 and case; AND shipping for 10 to 17 US dollars. If a worn J8 and zorki scale focus at infinity; one can adjust the cam and RF to focus at all points. IF this worn lens is placed on as standard LTM rangefinderl it will missfocus; because the lens focus ring is worn out.

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