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