Jupiter-9 85mm

J9 M42

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Outstanding portrait lens in M42 mount. Also very sought after in LTM mount, the trouble there is that many of the LTM versions have frozen up from age, and then been dissassembled, lubed, and reassembled in amateur fashion. They are notoriously complicated to reassemble due to the crisscrossing helicals (I hear). And overlubing will ruin them, the grease or oil will get on the blades and then on the glass. I don’t know that the M42 mount versions are prone to this problem.

What I do know: this lens is very well made by a plant famous for its excellent lenses, LZOS in Lytkarino, who made lenses for KMZ-Zenit and Arsenal like the Jupiter-12. It’s a short but heavy lens, pick it up and it feels like a solid chunk of glass. Big glass. Multicoated but not obviously so, with outstanding color rendition and its near-circular aperture gives great bokeh (pleasing out of focus images). Nice even at wide apertures.


It is a preset lens meaning it has no automatic aperture operation. You have an aperture selection ring at the front of the lens, which is simply a limiting ring. You set it to the selected number and then manually stop the iris down or open it up by turning the aperture ring. It’s nonintuitive and somewhat inconvenient, which is why I exclusively use this lens for formal portrait sessions where the light is more or less controlled and I don’t change apertures. My first roll with this lens was horribly overexposed — I changed the selector ring but didn’t remember to actually turn the aperture ring to stop down the iris. Took me a while to figure out what I did wrong.

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