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Helios lens

Lens Jupiter-8M (Contax-Kiev) review

Standard lens with coated optics for rangefinder cameras.Replica of the Carl Zeiss Sonnar 1: 2/5 cm lens. The design and technological documentation for this Zeiss lens went to the USSR as reparations.
Variants of Jupiter-8 with M39 and Contax-Kiev threads were produced for rangefinder cameras Zorkiy and Kiev, respectively.

The review presents a version for the internal mount Contax-Kiev, produced at the Kiev plant Arsenal.

Optical design:

  • Focal length: 50mm
  • Field of view: 45 °
  • Frame size: 24 × 36 mm
  • Number of lenses / groups: 6/3
  • Working distance - 31.85 mm
  • Aperture ratio: 1: 2
  • Aperture scale limits: 1: 2–1: 22
  • Aperture blades - 9
  • Aperture adjustment - with fixed positions.
  • Aperture preset - none
  • Near focusing limit - 1 m


  • lens with camera - internal mount Contax-Kiev
  • for screw-in bits - M40.5 × 0.5
  • for slip-on attachments - ∅42 mm
  • Filter Mount Location: Front
  • Resolution according to TU (center / edge): 32/18 lines / mm
  • Light transmittance coefficient: 0.81
  • Weight - 130 g

Interestingly, the optical design of the Jupiter-8 and Jupiter-8M lenses has slight differences.

Probably for this, the letter M. was added to the name. Other optics produced both for the thread and for the bayonet were not marked in the name in any way.

The coating of the front lens has a purple tint.

Jupiter-8M is a compact lens. There are 2 rings on its body.

The one closest to the camera is motionless. It serves to hold the lens while locking it into the mount. And besides, it is precisely for this ring that the lens must be rotated together with the internal mount during focusing.

The ring located closer to the end of the lens is thinner - it is responsible for the aperture.
The diaphragm switches with a clear fixation, accompanied by a click. The diaphragm mechanism is rather tight. Due to the fact that focusing in the inner bayonet assumes rotation of the entire lens, it is completely unrealistic to change the aperture without knocking out the focus.

You have to hold the lens by the close ring with one hand and switch the aperture with the other. Placing the fingers of two hands on such a small lens is not the most comfortable task ..

As already mentioned, when focusing, the entire lens rotates, and, therefore, the aperture scale with a risk strives to “run away” somewhere down. To make life easier for the photographer, the scale was duplicated on both sides of the lens.

Aperture blades are black, matte. There are 9 of them. The petals are not that they are not rounded….

They have the opposite rounding! The petals bulge towards the inside of the diaphragm opening and form fun circular saws.
The circle is obtained only at f2. And starting from f8 and more, instead of saws, the classic nagons with more and more smoothed corners are formed.

Jupiter-8M is a good lens, very widespread and very cheap, but it is rarely used now because of its exotic mount at the present time.

A factory adapter for it will cost more than a hundred dollars, but craftsmen make adapters in an artisanal way from the mounts of old cameras and factory thread adapters.
Of course, we are talking about adapters for system mirrorless cameras. with Jupiter-8M SLRs, like all rangefinder lenses, it will work only as a Macro, which makes it completely meaningless to use a lens with such a difficult mount.

Jupiter-8M gives, in general, a picture similar to Jupiter-8. This means the lens is great. With a soft and distinctive pattern. With good aperture and a beautiful pattern in the out-of-focus area.

The differences specifically to the -8M model are small. Jupiter-8M has slightly more detail around the edge of the frame.

If you want to use Jupiter-8 on your own, you'd better find a threaded version of it. The difference is imperceptible, and installation on a mirrorless camera is easier and cheaper.

Test shots are pending.
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