Focusing Adjustment for Jupiter 8 : LUSENET : Leica Photography : One Thread

I have seen some discussion in this forum about adding a shim or a thin piece of tape to adjust the focusing on Russian lenses. How does one go about doing this specifically?

-- Ben Lieb (, June 05, 2002


Use the tape to hold the lens to the bottom of the can under your desk until someone comes to empty it. :-) Or use it on a Russian LTM camera.

The movement of the cam at the back of the lens is at a different rate from that required by the Leica RF. If the cam moved around the back of the lens, as does, for instance, the cam on the back of the Leica 50mm, you might be able to do something by adding to the cam and re-working it, or if the lens was out of whack the same amount along the whole focus range, as the Canon 135mm sometimes is (a simple alignment problem), you could simply shim the cam to fit, but in the Jupiter the problem is in the pitch of the threads that drive the cam, and you can't change that.

Besides buying a Russian body, your other options are to not use the lens close up when the problem becomes evident, or to use it close only at small stops so DOF covers the problem, or to lower your standards until the results are acceptable. :-)

-- Michael Darnton (, June 05, 2002.

Ben; It sounds like you have a bad lens....It may not be worth fooling with......I have about 4 Jupiter -8's and they have focused well...I have had more problems with the 50mm F1.5 Jupiter 3 and alot of problems with the 85mm F2 Jupiter -9........

The most knowledgeable group on the internet about Russian cameras is the Russian Camera- User Board at Beststuff dot com.... Bob Shell; the man behind Shutterbug Magazine for a long time is a Kiev russian rangefinder fan...He is a regular on his board.........

The post World War II russian lenses are built to the same nominallens flange to film plane distance as the Leica screw mount cameras..Also the lens cam on the lens is built to the same nominal rate......

The Russian lenses vary alot more in tolerances...That is why there is so much differences in performance among users....Alot sold is the crap that have focus problems....My best Russian lens came with camera and case; a complete camera........I own about 7 cameras and 10 russian lenses.....

Most all will work on my M3 or Bessa R with no focusing problems......BUT some require re-adjusting the cameras's rangefinder.....The russian cameras are easier to adjust than my M3....It is typical that a russian camera user will adjust the rangefinder just a tad when changing a lens......

I bought my new Leica #11619 50mm F2 Summicron LTM and used it on my Zorki 3C with great sharpness wide open; close and far.......This was before I even owned my Leica M3...............I also use a 50mm F1.2 Canon LTM on my Zorki 3C and Leica M3.....Michael must have a missaligned leica if he believes that there are different lens cam specs.........The average lens is the same as Leica's; the spread or variation is alot more than Leicas.....

Russian bodies and Leicas both allow adjustment of the infinity rangefinder focus and the close focus rangefinder alignment.....the mechanics are cruder on the Russian camera; but the basic gain of the focusing system is made by changing the length of the cam arm......

Lets us place our Leica egos aside and compare it to some other optics wide open on a Leica M3; all with rangefinder Not re-adjusted for each lens....

Compare my new 1000 dollar 50mm F2 LTM Summicron @ F2 to the 25 dollar KMZ Russian Industar-50mm F3.5 @ F3.5 .......

(1)Is the Industar a piece of junk?

(2)Would a Leica owner have the guts to admit that some of the Russian lenses are ok or good?

(3)The Industar-50 exceeds my 2700 dpi scanners resolution; am I "lowering my standards" by using it?

Industar-50 50mm F3.5 @3.5 on a Leica M3: Close up of standard USAF test chart:

50mm F2 Summicron @ F2 on M3:

Canon 50mm F1.2 LTM @ F1.2 on M3 :

Here my 1956 50mm F1.5 Jupiter 3 is more of a dog wide open; It is a 60 year old lens design...My black 1970's vintage Black Jupiter 3 probably gets Michael's doorstop award when wide open:

-- Kelly Flanigan (, June 05, 2002.


I have a 50mm Industar f2 that came with a Zorki 4K attached for 25. The lens fits on my M6 and Hexar RF bodies with a Cosina adapter ring.

I have notice NO variations or inadequacies in focus with any combination. The Industar matches or surpases my 2nd version 50mm Summicron in every , albeit amateur, test I have tried.

I am lucky in that teh mechanics of this lens are as good as the optics, as I have had bad luck on others.

I had a 50 3.5 Industar which was by far the highest-resolvong lens I have ever had. OT twice: This morning I visited a shop in Shanghai ( in a 3 story photography shopping mall with about 50 different shopos carrying everything from Bron sinar to teh lowest grade chinese developing tanks)that specializes in Russian optics and saw the Arsat 35mm shift lens for Nikon for less than $200 US NEW!! There is nothing wrong with Russian lenses if you try them first and for the money, there NOTHING that comes close. The coatings on them are superb as well.

OT Thrice: I saw an amazing deal there in the Shen Hao LF shop: a wheel mounted studio camera, copied from an early Deardorf, for about $200 US. It uses 6 1/2 x 8 film as well as 8x10 and weighs at least 500 lbs. Now to get it shipped home?!?!

To answer your question, if you notice the focus is off, dig a hole in the ground, lay it gently in the hole, recite " Ghospodi Pomilwy", then respectfully cover it with soil. Then go find another one that focuses correctly.


-- RICHARD ILOMAKI (, June 06, 2002.

Thanks everyone for your responses. I just bought a mint black Jupiter 8 that was manufactured in 1977. I already had a silver Jupiter 8 from the 1950s that I use for portraiture but I wanted a black lens for my black M6. What amazes me most about the new lens so far is how small it is. It is significantly smaller than my other J8, so much so that the M adaptor is very visbile (thinking of painting the adaptor black now). I have just run a test roll for the lens shooting wide open at distances from 1 to 3 meters to see how this new lens performs close in. Hopefully, the lens is a keeper!

-- Ben Lieb (, June 06, 2002.

Tape won't work, unless the infinity setting does not line up. I don't think Soviet rangefinder helices are made around the same standard-length lens, which means that close-focusing will always be a big problem. Watch the LUSENET in the next few, and I will post a URL to the page I have done that covers both the Leica/Soviet incompatibilities and the Contax/Nikon ones.

-- Dante Stella (, June 06, 2002.

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