Archived posting to the Leica Users Group, 2001/03/26

[Author Prev] [Author Next] [Thread Prev] [Thread Next] [Author Index] [Topic Index] [Home] [Search]

Subject: Re: [Leica] Jupiter 85mm f2
From: "Dante A. Stella" <>
Date: Mon, 26 Mar 2001 19:47:13 -0500
References: <>

But what could describe the majesty of trying out a bunch, even from "good
years," seriatim, and getting frustrated because the dies were worn out that
day, or the barrel's been flexed a little, or someone skipped the shims in
the RF cam.  I know the black ones have a certain cachet, but they are
generally pretty poor.  "Chrome" is better, maybe 56-59 (the years I have had
in that color have been good).

And in a lighter vein,

The best years for the Jupiter-9 - the 85/2 Sonnar in LTM - are in the 50s,
and the best factory was a secret one the Soviets built in Japan.  This was
the "Nippon Kogaku" facility (symbol: some lens-looking elements smooshed
together), where a bunch of precision-fixated Soviets from the KMZ plant
began building the same lens, but in brass, with better centering of the
triple-cemented middle group, much harder glass coatings, click stops to f/32
(and a phantom stop at f/45), and much better fit finish and feel.  They
carry the name "Nikkor," which is apparently the name that Kruschev himself
gave the plant on a state visit.  This is believed to be a corruption of
"Krikor," his manservant's name.  The "Nikkor" Jupiters have the odd quality
of a rotating front, a characteristic seen on only one other Soviet LTM lens,
the 50/2 black Jupiter-8.

Sadly, these examples of this great Soviet (nee, German) lens cost a pretty
penny more than the run-of-the-mill Jupiter-9 (about twice as much), but the
performance is flawless and there aren't anywhere near the number of duds (if
there even are any).  That factory was also the only factory to make a 105mm
lens for rangefinder.  These non-Leitz LTM lenses are so rare that they don't
even appear in the 39mm Diversity!  Later, the Soviets abandoned the plant to
Mitsubishi and it became known as... Nikon.

: )  It's a Monday.

Marc James Small wrote:

> At 11:32 AM 3/26/2001 -0800, Juan J. Buhler wrote:
> >
> >I'm in the look for a Jupiter-9 85mm f2. I've looked in the archives
> >for comments on this lens, but there's one thing I cannot find: What
> >years are the safest to go with?
> Were I more humble, modesty would preclude my suggesting this, but I would
> recommend that phenomenal work dripping with arcane knowledge, NON-LEITZ
> LEICA THREAD-MOUNT LENSES:  A 39mm DIVERSITY by <ah-HEM> Marc James Small,
> published by Rita Wittig and cheerfully available for a mere pittance
> worldwide.
> The 2/85 Jupiter-9 is discussed there in some detail.
> Marc
>  FAX:  +540/343-7315
> Cha robh bas fir gun ghras fir!

In reply to: Message from Marc James Small <> (Re: [Leica] Jupiter 85mm f2)