View Full Version : Fair price for a Jupiter 9
I hope i haven't overlooked a topic on this.
But do any of you have an idea what would be a fair price to pay for a Jupiter 9 lens?
I'm looking to buy one in Leica Tread mount for my Bessa, as an inexpensive portrait lens.
But people are offering them in a range of 90 to 250 dollars. What do you guys think is a fair price?
I've had very bad luck adapting Jupiter-9's for use on a Leica. They are built for the Soviet cameras, and the rangefinder mechanism is calibrated to a different standard.
You can make them work correctly over a short range, but not from close-up to infinity.
I would advise looking for a Nikkor 8.5cm F2 in Leica Mount. They go in the $200~$300 range.
See this thread:
With LTM J9s you have to get lucky or buy from a reputable seller.
The worst have been taken apart, relubed, and assembled incorrectly (sometimes as Frankenlenses from different J9s). They'll have smooth focus and aperture rings but might be impossible to adjust correctly.
I've heard that the export versions have better quality control. These are black and have English text on the front (instead of Cyrillic) and "Made in USSR" on the bottom. I've also heard that lenses made in the 80s had worse quality control, while the best ones were the chrome J9s from the late 50s/early 60s.
I would go one of two routes:
Get a J9 that you know hasn't been disassembled. Stiff action from dried-out lube is a sign of this. Buy it cheap, carefully overhaul it yourself or get someone who knows J9s to do it. It still might need adjustment.
Buy a known good J9 from a reputable seller who has tested it for backfocus at minimum distance, infinity focus, etc.Consider whether it's worth the trouble!
I went through three of them, including one that was new-old-stock. I can make them work on the Contax II without problems. They are made to the Contax standard, as are the Soviet screw mount cameras.
I improved the focus on one of them by changing the element spacing and then shimming. It did better, but not good enough.
Kim Coxon had luck with a number of them, but it varies wildly.
$80-100 seems like the going rate for one described as "good condition" from one of the Ukranian sellers. Personally, I suspect they do not closely examine or test their equipment, but send it off hoping for the best, and with the knowledge that anyone wanting a refund will have to pay $15+ in postage for their troubles (hence, not bother). I lucked in to a good copy here on RFF, which I plan on holding on to for a long time, after first going through two duds from eBay. Here's a sample from the good one:
I like my J-9 but good ones seem to be as rare as hen's teeth. I think there's a Canon 85mm that goes for around $200-ish, which is probably a better bet all things considered.
My J-9 gave an error of 6 cm. at closest focus. I now use it only on a FED-2 body whose range-finder is mal-adjusted to compensate for the error. It is a good lens. I also have a Canon Serenar 85/2, and that focusses perfectly but is as large and heavy as a pregnant blue whale. The Nikkor 85 is, I understand, somewhat smaller. It costs more, though.
My J9 is a gem for my barnack. The lens was probably modified for the Leica as it is way off on my Zorki D. I bought my J9 on ebay and the seller had actual pictures at different stops to show how it performed on his Leica. My IIIa, Eastman Double-X.
Wow, thanks guys for all your insights.
So up to $100 seems reasonable and then I'll have to hope and pray its a good copy. I've seen some for that price wich are said to be refurbished so I'll take a little chance.
A Nikon 85mm is a little to expensive for me, since I won't be using it much. I'm addicted to my 40mm.
You might also want to look at a Canon 85/2 or 85/1.9. They are longer and heavier, but work correctly with a Leica.
The Canon could be an option, thanks for the tip Brian and ethics_gradient.
I will keep an eye out for the canon versions, but have not seen them around on ebay for a while.
Look on www.igorcamera.com and www.keh.com.
Look on www.igorcamera.com (http://www.igorcamera.com) and www.keh.com (http://www.keh.com).
KEH I knew, but igorcamera i did not, thnx!
By the way ethicsgradient I really like your shot of that police officer, it shows what a Jupiter 9 can pull off.
As others have been pointing out, it really depends. I love mine. I paid ~$100 for it in Contax mount from a private seller who offered no guarantees. It is perfect as far as focus goes.
I think $100 for a J-9 that will work with your body is ripping off the other party. I've done it, I'd do it again, but I wouldn't sell one for less than $200 that I knew works well.
That said, I'd track down someone who could align it or whatever it might need, get a bid as far as what it would cost to CLA a clean example, and proceed from there. Or buy from a shop that stands behind it.
It's such a fine lens. Buy one. Pay too much if you have to. Buy from a reputable seller if you buying LTM, I'd say. Fedka has a few for sale, and I'd say they are worth the asking price from them, at the risk of sounding like a commercial. But there are plenty of good sellers. Before you buy from a private seller, make sure you know where to get a CLA and consider that just part of the cost of the lens. But at best, get sample shots so you know it focuses well before you buy.
There's no denying that it's a good lens when working properly. Both of these were taken at f/5.6. I got the lens for $125 (price plus shipping) from a Russian seller.
Thanks guys I took the plunge and ordered a crome one from a russian seller for 110 dollars plus shipping.
Lets hope its good, otherwise I will be looking to get it fixed. He has already shipped it.
*keeping my fingers crossed*
I've got my Jupiter! The glass looks in exelent condition.
Now lets snap a roll and see how the focusing is!
Cool, hope it's a success. It should be though, you don't hear too many complaints about them being off.
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