Jupiter 3 50mm f1.5 review — LTM m39

Tristan Zand
Oct 6 · 3 min read
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the compact form-factor and lightweight of the Jupiter 3 make it a very portable choice

Let us focus once again on an old legendary lens with a story; let me try the Jupiter 3 50mm f1.5.

Those of us who know these old lenses already know they are usually exciting artistically and pack a lot for the price. This one is the wider-opened sibling of the Jupiter 6 50mm f2.0, with an optical construction based on the Zeiss Sonar 50mm f1.5.

The one I am trying here is from 1962. Its body is of robust aluminum, and both the focusing and aperture ring, while feeling a bit lose, move precisely and with ease. While not as noble as other materials, this makes for a lighter lens.

Again, I first only try these lenses wide open. And this one offers a very shallow depth of field, with very smooth bokeh in most situations, but a bit pronounced and charged with complex backgrounds. The circular 15 blades diaphragm will maintain a circular aspect for bokeh at all apertures, which you might find interesting.

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an example of the near closed diaphragm shape

My lens’s overall color balance tended to go towards warm colors, and there was a visible chromatic aberration in highly contrasted scenes. This lens’s optical formula tends to halo contours in these high contrast situations, resulting in a pretty artistic effect. It is all about character. ;)

Geometry was well preserved, with straight lines staying straight and respect of parallel lines.

  • cheap for a 50mm f1.5 lens in LTM mount
  • light
  • precise
  • recognizable bokeh
  • flares quite easily with rainbow arcs
  • haloes in high contrast situations
  • tends to warm up colors
  • some vignetting wide open

Here are my first sample images, taken on a 47MP SL2. I hope they give you a better idea of the lens’s potential. Will edit the article in the future.

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You can always check some other photographic examples on my Instagram page.

The Raw Camera — Von Cam

A raw review of diverse cameras and lenses, with a practical focus.

Tristan Zand

Written by

I like to hide behind sunglasses/music/photo/tech/arts/politics/whatever/oh and bass... Experimental photography and conceptual media. http://zand.net

The Raw Camera — Von Cam

A raw review of diverse cameras and lenses. More of how the equipment feels than sole objective technical data, but hopefully useful.

Tristan Zand

Written by

I like to hide behind sunglasses/music/photo/tech/arts/politics/whatever/oh and bass... Experimental photography and conceptual media. http://zand.net

The Raw Camera — Von Cam

A raw review of diverse cameras and lenses. More of how the equipment feels than sole objective technical data, but hopefully useful.

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