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Carburo
11-04-2004, 07:04
I'm looking around for a Jupiter 8 for my FEDs and Zorki, but I really don't know nothing about differences between the older (chrome) and the newer (black).

Some suggestions?

Thanks.

pshinkaw
11-04-2004, 07:10
On the black one, the aperture ring rotates as you focus. On the silver one, it stays put.

Also, most of the silver ones have a focusing tab that should be at about 9:00 O'clock as you face the camera (some were made w/o it and others have been sawn off). The black ones have no focusing tab. Sometimes the tab crashes into the self-timer lever depending upon the model of the camera. It all depends.

-Paul

Carburo
11-04-2004, 07:27
Originally posted by pshinkaw
On the black one, the aperture ring rotates as you focus. On the silver one, it stays put.

Also, most of the silver ones have a focusing tab that should be at about 9:00 O'clock as you face the camera (some were made w/o it and others have been sawn off). The black ones have no focusing tab. Sometimes the tab crashes into the self-timer lever depending upon the model of the camera. It all depends.

-Paul

Yes, thanks.

But I'm mostly interested in *optical quality* differences.

One better than the other or *random* like often happen in soviet optics?

peter_n
11-04-2004, 09:31
I've been doing a bit of research on the Jupiter-8 'cos I'm interested in getting one and FWIW found out the following:

Silver lens:
In 1957 the optical formulation was redesigned and apparently optical performance of the new lens exceeded that of the original C. Zeiss Sonnar. Late 50's to early 60's production is the least problematic, but you still have to test and retest to get a good one. Or of course, you can be lucky. :) Some lenses made from the mid-50's to the mid-60's have a red cyrillic version of the English letter "P" on the front of the barrel between the focal length and the serial number. The symbol looks like this: π. It's an equivalent to the red "T" on Zeiss lenses but indicates that the lens is single-coated, an attribute that some people feel contributes to the old-fashioned "look" of these lenses.

Black lens:
Lenses made for export are generally of higher quality than those made for home consumption. Easily distinguished on the lens as the export samples have "Made in USSR" in green on the barrel and "Jupiter-8" on the front barrel instead of the cyrillic eqivalent. I can attest to this: I once was in the Soviet Union with an export Zenit 3M and the locals couldn't believe that it was made in their own country...

In general:
Most J-8's were made by KMZ (Krasnogorskiy Mechanicheskiy Zavod) near Moscow and use the first two digits in the serial number to indicate year of manufacture. Some were made in the Zavod Arsenal plant in Kyiv, Ukraine and have serial numbers all over the place but they often begin with a zero. The lenses for the Jupiters were made in the Lytkarino Optical Glass Factory near Moscow.

You can do all the research you want, but buying one of these lenses is apparently quite a crap shoot. Sample variance is big so it may be wise to focus on the period when production quality was considered the highest - from about 1958 to 1963 or so. Even then you could get a dog, or buy a lens randomly and get a star. Hope this helps.