Jupiter 39 135mm 5.6

Front view of a Jupiter-39-135mm-5.6 lens
Jupiter-39-135mm-5.6
Jupiter 39 135mm 5.6

Focal Lenght: 135mm
Max Apeture: 5.6
Lens Mount: M42
Min. Focus: 3 m
Filter Size: N/A – most likely 52
Weight: 350-ish grams? 
Coated: MC
Year – 1960
Factory: MMZ (Minsk Mechanical Factory)
Preset 
12 aperture blades

LENS STORY

I picked up this lens with the Biotar 58mm f2. 

When I first saw it I had no idea what it was – it had a huge front element, it wasn’t the typical soviet lens design and I had never read about it. I was a bit stumped.

It looked more like an enlarger lens than an SLR one. 

I did recognize the m42 (or russian m39) thread mount and luckily I had my M42 to Sony F mount adapter, confirming it was indeed made for the M42 mount. 

The slow aperture had me scratching my head – it meant it was used in a place either that had little variance in light (studio?) or was a really cheap version. If it was cheap thought – wouldn’t it be plentiful? And this was Post-WWII, so the Jupiter-11 existed with an f4 maximum aperture.

Searching online yielded no results, apart from auction site listing, which said it was used by the police and militairy, with one site pointing to a camera called a Selena.

Such a curious lens, let’s see what it can do.

HANDLING

The aperture ring is very flimsy on my copy, preset, without stops, it won’t stop wobbling, at times changing just a little bit on it’s own.

Construction wise, this lens leaves lacking, it’s like the machined parts do not fit too well together.

The aperture blades function well, but have oil on them. (most pictures I’ve seen online have this as well) 

It feels like it might fall apart at times. Me no likey.

OPTICAL PERFORMANCE

Chromatic aberrations run rampart, with purple and yellow fringing high contrast spots, even when stopped down to f8.

Sharpness wise, I can’t complain, it’s a good lens. (perhaps because it’s capped at 5.6, so it’s hard to get that wrong?) 

You do get vignetting and soft corners wide-open, throughout the range colors are pleasing. 

A bit to the warm side, you might want to compensate, unless you’re going for a summer-heat vibe. 

Contrast is good enough.

I’d say this is a good lens if the CA’s weren’t so dominant and distracting. At times small details in a scene seem to be overtaking, making you oozy just looking at the picture.

FINAL THOUGHTS

This is a rare lens, but rare doesn’t always mean good or worth it. 

It was interesting to try it out, but there are lenses which are a lot easier to find out there and better by a long shot (The “Bokeh-Monster” Pentacon 135mm, or a Carl Zeiss Sonnar 135mm)

This is a pass for me, apart from the sheer curiosity of a rare lens.