View Full Version : Industar vs. Jupiter

11-22-2004, 08:56
I'm just getting into the Russian-collecting. Recently got two Kievs, both of which have the Jupiter-8 50mm.

It appears that early Zorkis came with something called Industar-22, and later ones with the Jupiter-8 (my Kievs won't fit the Zorkis). Then there seems to be a return to Industar. Of course, who knows, after 40 years, if the lens you get is the original one on that particular camera?

My question is, a little reading seems to show a preference for the Jupiter over the Industar. Any opinions?

I'm now considering trying to acquire a run of Zorkis fom 1 up to 5 or 6. Granting that the lenses on them are essentially interchageable, I'd probably wind up with sonme Industars and some Jupiters. Other focal lengths can come later.

11-22-2004, 09:37
There are two different shooting styles involved.

With I-22 being essentially a collapsible rendition of the venerable Zeiss Tessar, the name of the game is to have a compact 35mm RF body and plan on shooting in daylight, preferrably at f/8. If you are doing daylight photography, you can leave the light meter behind as well. Just the raw essentials are needed.

The Fed 2 and an I-22 seem to be a marriage made in heaven for daylight shooting with a streamlined packaged.

With regard to the Jupiter 8, another Zeiss copy is based on the pre-war Sonnar and has more reach in low light. - It also offers better performance over a Tessar formula below f/8. - I'm not knocking the Tessar equivalents, as I usully use one for medium format, but the Sonnar and its clones are better general purpose lenses than the Tessars, which may be why you see so many recommendations.

With the Jupiter 8 and Zorki 4 or Fed 3a, you can usually forego the flash unit when working indoors, which lends itself well to what I plan to do in a classroom. I'll be using a hefty Z-4 with a Jupiter 9 - so I can sit 3 rows back to photograph student teachers when they are doing something right.

The Soviets only received so much from Zeiss. - So the coated Planar design, which was not widely produced in 1945 and a step up from the old Sonnar, were not part of the Soviet 35mm line-up. However, they did get the Biogon design, which is the basis for the Jupiter 12.

11-22-2004, 11:47
Short summary:

I-22 and I-50 are collapsible Elmar/Tessar types, good sharpness, low contrast, very compact, but not very fast (1:3.5); the I-50 also comes in a rigid version.

I-26m - another Tessar clone, a bit faster than the first two (1:2.8), very middle-of-the-road results, nothing outstanding, nothing really bad; I don't use them a lot - they are not as compact as a collapsible Industar, and not as good as a Jupiter.

J-8: Sonnar clone - which means: GREAT bokeh; rather low contrast (good for portraits); great bokeh; fast (1:2); great bokeh; not particularly sharp at f/2, but very sharp from around f/2.8 to 4 onwards; oh, did I mention that it has great bokeh? ;)

J-3: faster version of the J-8 (1:1.5); I never owned one myself; said to be rare with unscratched front elemen (soft coating!)

I-61 L/D: Tessar clone with special lanthanium glass elements - VERY HIGH contrast (more than modern SLR lenses), VERY sharp. There is also the older I-61 (non-L/D) version, which I don't have any experience with.


Jupiter-8: best choice for low-light shooting and for portraits (BOKEH!!!)
Industar-61L/D: best choice for general photography
Industar-22 or -50: best choice for compact set-ups.


11-22-2004, 12:55
Well as Andrew and Roman point out they are both Zeiss clones, the Industar being a Leitz Elmar copy (which is itself a Tessar design) and the Jupiter is a Sonnar copy. (And I loved the way Andrew delicately phrased: The Soviets only received so much from Zeiss... ;) )

I've tried an Industar-22 and was surprised with it's quality, it was sharp and with better contrast than an equivalent vintage Elmar, but the Elmar was sharper. Put a light yellow filter on the front of the Elmar and you have a better lens, but of course you lose 1/2 a stop. It's an issue because these lenses are relatively slow at f3.5.

The Jupiter is an f2 lens and as Andrew & Roman say it's a good solution for a Russian normal lens. The main issue with all the Russian lenses is that they vary enormously in quality. The problems seem to be mechanical rather than optical, the glass is of a uniformly high quality. The Jupiter is made in two places, at the KMZ plant near Moscow and the Zavod Arsenal works in Kyiv, Ukraine. Most of them are made by KMZ, and have the year of production as the first two digits in the serial number. Late 50's and early 60's are reputed to be the best year for production quality. These lenses generally have a red Cyrillic letter π on the front of the barrel between the focal length and the serial number. Some are made at the Arsenal plant and these have serial numbers that often begin with a zero and you can't identify the year of manufacture from the serial number.

11-22-2004, 13:05
Here is a link that shows a bunch of 50mm lenses focused on a flower patch, Canon Leica, Jupiter & Industar:

50mm (there or thereabouts) lenses (http://www.comworks.gr.jp/~taka/hobby/camera/Lens/LensTest/)

11-23-2004, 07:55
That link is a very interesting comparison. However, I have two questions:

1) Can anyone make sense of that title at the top??

2) I have a hunch the various lenses were NOT all shot at the same aperture.

11-23-2004, 08:03
1) I can't!

2) I don't think they were either. I think all the shots were taken with each lens wide-open.

11-23-2004, 09:07
Peter: 2): certainly. Just look at the canon's f/1.2 how much more defocused the background is.

11-23-2004, 14:22
Yep, and my sense is that the different apertures make the comparisons more difficult. I remember looking at a comparison of a pre-ASPH 35mm Summicron and an ASPH version, and the differences though slight were discernible and you could draw inferences because both lenses were the same speed and set at the same apertures for the comparison pics.

11-24-2004, 06:25
That's my point, that if they were all shot wide open, there would be differences. It seems that if they had all been shot at, say, f5.6-f8, the comparison would level(?) the playing field.

As for Leica lenses, my M4-2 and three lenses (35-50-90) were all purchased in the '80s. No doubt recent changes make some differences, but at today's prices, I'm not contermplating upgrading! My entire outfit cost less than the current price of an M-7 body. And I think there is a little more than simple inflation going on.

11-24-2004, 07:04
Well it depends on what you're looking for. I personally wouldn't get too much from comparisons at f5.6-f8, because I'm interested in the OOF areas at wide-open (or near) as well as how sharp the subject is rendered.

11-24-2004, 07:51
Actually, i find the referred comparison shot series useful - not for the final decision about "Which lens is better" :) but for deciding which one you like more, and then you can just get out and buy it - in this sense it's great that it is in japanese so the conclusions of the authors (if any) will not bias you :)