Biometar 120mm

Biometar 120mm P6

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Not as popular (or as expensive!) as its big brother the 180mm Sonnar but certainly worthy in its own right as a superior middle length portrait lens for P6 mount cameras like the Kiev 60, Praktisix, and Kiev88CM. This is the older ‘Zebra’ single coated version, there is a later all black multicoated version, as is true of the Sonnar.

120mm in medium format is equivalent to about 80mm in 35mm format. Many photographers like something longer for portraits, about 135mm in 35mm format, which is one of the reasons the Sonnar is more popular. (That and the fact that it’s consistently a great performer of course!) I myself prefer something slightly shorter — I’m used to shooting portraits with a normal lens so even a middle range lens is a bit of a stretch for me. Luckily this is such a great image-maker that I’m compelled to use it more often.


Fits onto the mount only one way because of its alignment pin, and locks with the knurled locking collar. I find that the aperture ring on the CZJ zebra lenses is frustratingly easy to turn by accident when focusing so be careful or your exposure may be off by several stops and you won’t even know it.

Special Notes

Five feet seems awfully far away for me. You can get closer if you use the macro rings, but then your focal range becomes so short that you can only do super-close up macro work. I’ve seen some interesting stuff done this way, though, don’t knock it!

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