After using my cheap Focal 135mm lens for a little macro work as I posted a while ago, I wondered how well that same type of rig would work if I were using a decent 135mm lens and that’s where the Jupiter 37A came into play. With a little research via google and the phrase “cheap sharp 135mm lenses” plus some additional ebay searches I settled on the Jupiter 135mm 3.5 37A lens. I had never used a Jupiter lens so I needed to learn a few things before I purchased anything because that’s just what I like to do. After some digging on Camerapedia, I found that true Jupiter lenses don’t actually say Jupiter in English; only in Russian. If the lens says Jupiter in English, then it was actually made in Japan and is a copy of the Russian version (which happens to be a copy of a Zeiss lens but that’s another story). From what I’ve read, the Russian version has more contrast and is sharper that the Japanese and that’s the reason I went with it.
The lens came with an M42 mount, but my Topcon macro bellows was designed to work with an Exacta mount camera. The cool thing I found out about the Jupiter lens is that it has a removable mount which is the same size inner diameter as many common T-mounts (with the “T” threads removed). After a little ebay sourcing, the Jupiter lens now sports an Exacta mount and you can’t tell that it’s not how it was originally designed. With the mount in place, all I needed to do was put it on the camera and test it out which is what I did for the iMac pics in the last post.
Here’s a few pictures on the Jupiter 135mm 3.5 37A if you’re interested. I can’t recommend it high enough for a lens that only costs about $60.