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Helios lens

Lens Jupiter-12 (Contax-Kiev) review

Wide-angle lens with coated optics for rangefinder cameras Kiev.Jupiter-12 implements the optical design of the Biogon 2.8 / 35 lens by the German company Carl Zeiss.
The design and technological documentation of Zeiss went to the USSR as reparations. The production of lenses at KMZ began in 1947 on the basis of optical units supplied from Germany. Since 1952, the lens has been equipped with lenses already completely manufactured in Krasnogorsk.

Variants with M39 and Contax-Kiev threads were produced for rangefinder cameras Zorkiy and Kiev, respectively.

The review presents a 1950 rangefinder version with an external mount Contax-Kiev, for Kiev cameras, produced at KMZ.

I have good reason to believe that this instance contains a lens unit with German glasses.

Optical design:

  • Focal length: 35mm
  • Field of view: 63 °
  • Frame size: 24 × 36 mm
  • Number of lenses / groups: 6/4
  • Working distance - 34.85 mm
  • Aperture ratio: 1: 2.8
  • Aperture scale limits: 1: 2.8–1: 22
  • Aperture blades - 5
  • Aperture adjustment - stepless
  • Aperture preset - none

  • Near focusing limit - 0.9 m
  • lens with camera - external bayonet Contax-Kiev
  • for screw-in bits - M40.5 × 0.5
  • Filter Mount Location: Front
  • Resolution according to TU (center / edge): 34/12 lines / mm

  • Weight - 118 g

The lens is enlightened, as evidenced by the red letter P, printed on the recessed front slice, but the enlightenment is practically invisible.

The lens is relatively fast. The maximum aperture is f2.8, which is perhaps the limit of expediency for a 35 mm lens.

The lens barrel is covered with a transparent varnish, which is perfectly preserved and protected the surface from corrosion. Despite its age, the lens looks like new.

The lenses of this instance have a strong shine. In my experience, this indirectly indicates the high quality of the glasses.
Bayonet Jupiter-12 is slightly more compact than its threaded counterpart. The aluminum body of the lens is not stretched out as far forward and does not expand as much. As a result, the knurling of the diaphragm ring is more accessible and this makes the diaphragm control more convenient.

The photo clearly shows the "skirt" and the latch of the external bayonet Contax-Kiev. This is a very interesting and complex type of fastening.

If you are interested in learning more about him, then I have a special article.

The focus ring is as far from the camera as the lens barrel allows. It is knurled, which is slightly wider than the body. It is convenient to use.

The full stroke of the helicoid is about 270 degrees. This is much more than the threaded version.

The aperture control ring is located a little further, almost closely - on the front end of the lens.
The ring itself represents almost the entire inner funnel-shaped surface of the front part of the lens, but only about 2 mm with knurling protrudes forward beyond the main body.

However, as I have already said, there are no problems with control, the geometry is well verified.

When the helicoid rotates, the entire lens unit rotates and the diaphragm ring rotates with it. But since you need to control the aperture looking at the lens from the front, all this rotation does not cause any particular inconvenience.

The diaphragm consists of 5 blackened blades that form distinct pentagons.

Bayonet Jupiter-9, as a threaded one, has a design in which the lens tail protrudes far into the apparatus. Moreover, the rear lens is strongly convex and is in no way protected from contact with anything.

My version comes with 2 back covers.
The first, external, is put on the lens mount. It is made of aluminum, not the usual bekalite.

The second, inner, is worn directly on the tail. It is made of thin metal and is held only by friction.

The inner cover protects the rear lens even when the main cover is removed.

That's all for me, test shots are definitely expected.
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