Tuesday, January 28, 2014

1972 Jupiter-12 Lens

Jupiter is a brand of rangefinder camera lenses made in Russian by a company called KOMZ and later by another company called LZOS, production started around 1942.  In the past when I was visiting used camera shops in Japan I would always keep my eyes open for these Russian made lenses but had very limited luck finding them. A few months ago when I the visited Prague, I stopped in the  camera store called Centrum Foto҆koda and found a small collection of Russian made lenses including the 35mm Jupiter-12 lens.  Of course you can find this stuff on eBay, but that's no fun.
I tried and it worked without an issue on my M8.  There is actually a lot of information about these lenses on the internet.  This particular copy was made at the LOZS factory just southeast of Moscow in the city of Lytkarino. 
 The bottom of the lens says "Made in USSR", but I'm not sure why this is printed in English.   This copy was made in 1972 (you can tell by the serial number, first 2 digits) making it over 40 years old. This lens is also a copy of a German Zeiss 35mm lens form the mid-1930's.
It's amazing, but this lens is very capable of taking good photos, here are a few random shots from old town Grottaglie.
A light outside the main church.
To correctly take color photos, the Leica M8 needs a UV/IR on the front of the lens, without it some colors are not correct, black sometimes become purple.  The Jupiter-12 has a non-standard filter threads, so using a filter is not possible... One way around this is to convert photos to black and white.
 A ceramic phone on the side of a building.
Some random street signs... Parking in the direction of private property?... This lens is the most antique shopping that I have done in years!