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Helios lens

Legend of Soviet lens building Jupiter-21A 4 / 200mm

Jupiter-21A 4/200 is an A series telephoto lens with an interchangeable shank. Designed for 35mm cameras. With the appropriate shank, it can be fitted to any system. Produced from 1968 to the end of the 70s at the Krasnogorsk plant named after. S. A. Zvereva (KMZ).

Jupiter-21A is considered one of the best Soviet telephoto lenses. It has good optical characteristics and a convenient design. He was awarded the 1st degree diploma of the Exhibition of Economic Achievements of the USSR. Despite its success, not many Jupiter-21A 4/200 have been produced. In the late 70s - early 80s, KMZ ceases production of Jupiter-21A.

In 1973, the development was transferred to the Vologda Optical and Mechanical Plant (VOMZ). As a result, the design of the lens was redesigned and the Jupiter-21M was released. The rear section was changed to fit the M42 system, and an automatic diaphragm preset was added, which made the frame thicker. and the lens itself is 240 grams heavier, and the number of aperture blades has become 8 versus 10 for Jupiter-21A.


  • The focal length is 200 mm.
  • The maximum aperture is 4.0.
  • The minimum aperture is 22.
  • The number of aperture blades is 10.
  • The number of lenses / groups is 4/3.
  • The minimum focusing distance is 1.7 m.
  • Resolution center / edge - 50/36 lines per mm.
  • Attachment attachments - threaded m58.
  • Optics mount - M42.
  • Weight - 740g.

Ergonomics and design:

The lens is solidly assembled, a metal frame, a wide focusing ring, not rubberized. There are scales for focusing and depth of field. For a telephoto lens with a focal length of 200 mm and f / 4 aperture, Jupiter-21A has good dimensions. It is not very heavy, not fat. It's a pleasure to use.

The focus ring rotates 270 degrees for convenient focusing on your subject. Rotating the ring extends the rear of the lens by 34 mm. The lens has an interesting aperture presetting mechanism. Two rings. One is to set the aperture value, the second is to close the aperture up to the value set by the first ring. Such a retro mechanism is also found on the Tair-11 lens. In general, this mechanism is not very convenient to use.

The diaphragm has 10 blackened blades. The adjustment is smooth, which is convenient when shooting video. There is also a retractable visor that extends by 32 mm. The visor is tight and does not fold.

Artistic features and photo examples:

The picture quality is just flawless. Jupiter 21A has good sharpness already from an open aperture. When closed, the sharpness increases. The lens shows a very nice picture. Sharp and plastic at the same time. Beautiful artistic Zonnar blur. Shows excellent color reproduction and contrast. The backlight does not hold perfectly, but it still copes with it better than most Soviet lenses.


Jupiter-21A 4/200 is a rare fixed-telephoto camera with outstanding parameters and an excellent picture, which can easily compete with modern high-aperture telephoto cameras. Interesting for its design and artistic properties. In collectible terms, a real rarity.

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