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Helios lens

Lens Mir-1C review

Mir-1Ts is a rather rare wide-angle lens for Zenit cameras with a central shutter. Such cameras were produced in the USSR in the mid-60s and there were only a few types of them:
- Zenit-4
- Zenit-5
- Zenit-6
- Zenit-11

Zenit-11 with a central shutter - the device is very rare and should not be confused with the Zenit-11 device of the same name with a curtain shutter produced at KMZ later - these are completely different devices. Nothing in common.

Zeniths with central locks were produced for only 4 years and interchangeable optics for them, although they were supposed to, were practically not produced.

Only standard lenses for these cameras are widely known.
- Vega-3 2.8 / 50 (Zenit-4, Zenit-5)
- Rubin-1 2.8 / 37-80 (Zenit-6)

Today we will consider the version of the Mir-1 lens for the central Zeniths. Despite the fact that Mir-1 is generally one of the most widespread lenses in the USSR, Mir-1Ts is a rare modification.

Mir-1Ts was produced at KMZ. It is difficult to determine the year of release of my copy, tk. the numbering is continuous. But it is clear that this is the mid-60s.

Optical design:

  • Focal length: 37mm
  • Field of view: 60 °
  • Frame size: 24 × 36 mm
  • Number of lenses / groups: 6/5
  • Working distance - 47.58 mm
  • Aperture ratio: 1: 2.8
  • Aperture scale limits: 1: 2.8–1: 22
  • Aperture blades - 5
  • Aperture adjustment - blinking, controlled from the camera
  • Near focusing limit - 0.7 m


  • lens with camera - Bayonet C
  • for slip-on attachments - ∅51 mm
  • Filter Mount Location: Front
  • Weight - 169 grams

The design of the lens resembles a miniature Rubin-1. The same conical shape, the same black glossy varnish, similar "Zebra" knurling on the rings.

The lens size is comparable to other first Worlds. Zenit-4 with the attached Mir-1C is completely transformed. If Vega is visually too miniature for the large carcass of the central Zenith, and Ruby, on the contrary, is monstrously large, then the World has a classic size and looks very proportional.

Taking this lens in my hands for the first time, I expected to see a depth of field display system with movable blades, similar to that on Vega-3.

I read somewhere that on optics for Zeniths with central shutters, just such an innovative system was used. And only on Rubin with its variable focal length, these systems, in principle, are not implemented.
But it turns out that's not the case. On my copy, DOF is determined in the traditional way.

The bayonet looks typical, no surprises here. The miniature case back is traditionally placed directly on the lens frame.

The very narrow knurled ring closest to the camera serves to hold the lens during attachment.
The focus ring is a little further. The knurling on it is also quite narrow, although the width of the ring itself, in principle, allows you to make it wider. The course of the helicoid is about 270 degrees.

The lens does not have a diaphragm control ring. On Zeniths with a central shutter, the diaphragm is controlled from the body of the device.

The diaphragm has only 5 blades. This is not to say that they are strongly blackened. There is some sheen.

The front lens has a purple hue.

The name of the lens uses the letter "C", which indicates the type of mount. It is customary to pronounce this letter in the names of standard lenses, but it was not written on the bodies.
Mir-1Ts, now, of course, is of interest only to collectors. Silently later, I will definitely publish test images from this lens, but, in general, the Soviet wide-angle, and even with such troubles as the C-mount - there is no reason to try to install it on a digital camera.

But in Soviet times, for the owner of the Zenith with a central shutter, it was not a lens, but a dream. Still, a moderate wide-angle is the most requested focal length!

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