Bessa R/Mir 37mm lens

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Elmer Fishpaw

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Hello to one and all! I've never posted, but have lurked for a few months and now I have a dilema to present to the forum. I bought my second Mir 37mm lens on Ebay. I can't get the the lens to focus. I know it's not rangefinder coupled, but when I set the lens on infinity, nothing at all is in focus on the prints/negs. The same thing happened with the first one I bought and now the second. I'm sure there's a simple thing I'm overlooking. I'm using a Bessa R. My thanks in advance for all your help!
 

Tom Hoskinson

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Elmer Fishpaw said:
Hello to one and all! I've never posted, but have lurked for a few months and now I have a dilema to present to the forum. I bought my second Mir 37mm lens on Ebay. I can't get the the lens to focus. I know it's not rangefinder coupled, but when I set the lens on infinity, nothing at all is in focus on the prints/negs. The same thing happened with the first one I bought and now the second. I'm sure there's a simple thing I'm overlooking. I'm using a Bessa R. My thanks in advance for all your help!

I'll check my books, but I think the problem is likely that you have the wrong lens. The 37 mm Mir with 39mm lens mount was intended for use on the early SLR Zenit cameras so the back focus is probably wrong for your R2.

It may be possible to adjust the 37mm MIR to focus on your R2 - it's worth asking a camera repair person. I would just buy a 2.8/35mm Jupiter 12, which is a Zeiss Biogon design and an excellent performer. It was an RF lens from the start (FED/Zorki/Leica 39mm screw thread and Kiev/Contax bayonet versions are available).

I use 2 Russian WA lenses on my Minolta CLE and my Leica M3s. They are the 4.5/20mm Russar and the 2.8/35mm Jupiter both are 39mm thread RF lenses that were built for Russian/Ukrainian RF cameras.
 
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Tom Hoskinson said:
I'll check my books, but I think the problem is likely that you have the wrong lens. The 37 mm Mir with 39mm lens mount was intended for use on the early SLR Zenit cameras so the back focus is probably wrong for your R2.


Aren't there converters for that?
 

Tom Hoskinson

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Robert Kennedy said:
Aren't there converters for that?

There are 39mm to Leica M mount converters, and they are what I use to adapt the Russian/Ukrainian Rangefinder lenses to my Leicas. These adapters leave the lens distance from the film plane (back focus) unchanged.

Adapting a SLR lens to a rangefinder camera - and enable infinity focus at the same time, is a different problem. I'm not aware of an off-the-shelf adapter that solves this problem.

In this particular case, the 2.8/35mm Jupiter 12 rangefinder lens is an easy and inexpensive solution.
 
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I may be thinking of something else. But I swear that I saw somewhere on R. Monaghan's site mention of using R mounts on M cameras or vice versa.

Then again, I have been taking pain killers.... :smile:
 

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Robert Kennedy said:
I may be thinking of something else. But I swear that I saw somewhere on R. Monaghan's site mention of using R mounts on M cameras or vice versa.

Then again, I have been taking pain killers.... :smile:

Robert, the Bessa "R" cameras are rangefinder cameras. The Bessa "R" lenses are designed specifically for use with rangefinder cameras. In general, you can use Bessa "R" lenses on the M (Leica rangefinder bayonet mount) cameras (exceptions are "R" lenses with Nikon or Contax rangefinder camera mounts).

The problem occurs when you try to use a single lens reflex (SLR) camera lens on one of these rangefinder cameras. The mirror chamber on a SLR (which is not present on a rangefinder camera) necessitates moving the SLR lens far enough away from the film plane so that there is room enough to accommodate the moving mirror and mirror mechanisms without mechanical interference from the lens.

Therefore, you have difficulty moving a SLR lens close enough to the range finder camera's film plane to focus it at infinity - without modifying the lens and/or the lens mount. The shorter the focal length of the lens, the bigger the problem.
 

titrisol

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The soviets copied the 39mm screw mount, but at the beginning it had adifferent thread number than the german mount. If your NIR lens is old enough you may have a tough problem there.
O can't remember the source of this info but I read it not so long ago

PS The information was found here:
http://www.commiecameras.com/sov/35mmrangefindercameras/cameras/fed/index.htm

And here it says the MIR/1 requires 45.2mm distance to film plane to work
http://www.commiecameras.com/sov/35mmsinglelensreflexcameras/lenses/index.htm
 
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Tom Hoskinson

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titrisol said:
And here it says the MIR/1 requires 45.2mm distance to film plane to work
http://www.commiecameras.com/sov/35mmsinglelensreflexcameras/lenses/index.htm

Yep! That is because the MIR/1 was designed for the Zenit SLR camera (early 1950's) - not a rangefinder! BTW, I own one.

OTOH, the 2.8/35mm Jupiter 12 was designed for rangefinder use and thus has the proper distance to film plane to work properly on Leica rangefinders and Leica clones (like the Bessa R series, Ukrainian FEDs and Russian Zorkis.
 
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O.k. Using the Ms on an R was what I was thinking about.
 
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Elmer Fishpaw

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Thanks very very much to everyone for your replies!! Internet is a very good tool here! I'm going to investigate the links posted, and I did think of the Jupiter 12, but thought I'd read about how the rears of the lens strikes the shutter curtain. Now, on to the links......
 

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The Jupiter 35/2.8 is a really nice lens. But it has a large rear element that might get in the way of the light meter. There is probably info about this on the web. If it is no problem they are about $50 (US) and are better than the Leica Summaron 3.5.
 

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Russian Jupiter 12 compatibility with the Voigtlander R and R2

geraldatwork said:
The Jupiter 35/2.8 is a really nice lens. But it has a large rear element that might get in the way of the light meter. There is probably info about this on the web. If it is no problem they are about $50 (US) and are better than the Leica Summaron 3.5.

I asked Stephen Gandy (Voigtlander Dealer) Stephen Gandy <leicanikon@earthlink.net about Jupiter 12 2.8/35mm compatibility with the Voigtlander R and R2:

"Is it possible to use the Russian Jupiter 12 f2.8 35mm lens on either the Voighlander R or the R2? The Jupiter 12 is a Russian copy of the old Zeiss Biogon and has a large rear element. It was made with a 39mm screw thread mount for Leica-like cameras and with a Contax bayonet mount."

Stephen Gandy's reply:

"Most will not fit. those that do, will block the metering cell."
 
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Tom Hoskinson said:
I asked Stephen Gandy (Voigtlander Dealer) Stephen Gandy <leicanikon@earthlink.net about Jupiter 12 2.8/35mm compatibility with the Voigtlander R and R2:

"Is it possible to use the Russian Jupiter 12 f2.8 35mm lens on either the Voighlander R or the R2? The Jupiter 12 is a Russian copy of the old Zeiss Biogon and has a large rear element. It was made with a 39mm screw thread mount for Leica-like cameras and with a Contax bayonet mount."

Stephen Gandy's reply:

"Most will not fit. those that do, will block the metering cell."

Don't ya love Soviet Era quality control....
 

rjr

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titrisol said:
The soviets copied the 39mm screw mount, but at the beginning it had adifferent thread number than the german mount. If your NIR lens is old enough you may have a tough problem there.

The Mir has been presented to the Public in about 1958 and it has the correct size and thread pitch to qualify for M39... just the wrong lens/film flange distance. Basically that Zenit is a Zorkii with a mirror added to the front... then they realized that 39mm aren´t wide enough for many non-Retrofocus lens designs and widened it to Start bajonet mount and M42 (which was already in use by Praktica - but on Soviet pressure. Rumours are that they had an order on SLRs from the Soviets and worked hard to fulfill the schedule... there wasn´t enough time to implement a bayonet mount, so the M42 design was chosen).

To use it with the Bessa or any other RF you´d need a step up ring of 45,46mm minus 28,8mm... and machine it in tolerances of +/- 0.02mm.

Certainly not impossible, but a major hassle. You´ll loose RF coupling, you´ll get an ealy non-retrofocus design... a J12 in M39 is better.. ;-)

Roman
 

rjr

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Robert,

Robert Kennedy said:
Don't ya love Soviet Era quality control....

What does a german design (Biogon 2,8/35) and soviet QC (which actually did exist at LZOS) to do with a japanese camera maker taking off-the-shelves modules like a basic SLR housing less the mirror box plus a standard shutter adding up to a camera... and that particular shutter is just a bit to close to the lens flange since it never has been designed to be used on a RF camera.

I have never heard of a J12 rear element actually hitting the shutter of a "Bessa" - it just protudes deep enough to block the light from reflecting towards the meter cell.

Roman
 

Tom Hoskinson

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Roman, please check the other responses in this thread.

I asked Stephen Gandy (Bessa/Voightlander Dealer):

"Is it possible to use the Russian Jupiter 12 f2.8 35mm lens on either the Voightlander R or the R2? The Jupiter 12 is a Russian copy of the old Zeiss Biogon and has a large rear element. It was made with a 39mm screw thread mount for Leica-like cameras and with a Contax bayonet mount."

Stephen Gandy's reply:

"Most will not fit. those that do, will block the metering cell."
 

rjr

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Tom Hoskinson said:
Roman, please check the other responses in this thread.

I did. But that doesn´t prevent me from judging my own experience and talk about it. ;-)

I can´t see any variability on side of the J12 lenses - but on the side of the Cosina bodies. Mine fits my Bessa L with a comfortable margin and others come close with their shutter curtains. But it never came in contact with the shutter and I never heard of such a case in "Real life" - and I keep tracking the topic for a few years now (owning and using sovkams of all shades and tastes).

LZOS (the source of most J12s in M39) hasn´t changed them that much - not optically, just a bit on the mount side (shifting from "White" aluminium and alloys to black enameled aluminium). But not on the dimensions - it would have required a recalculation of the design. Which hasn´t occured in the 40 years of production of Jupiter12.

I don´t know for sure since I never disassembled a Cosina "Bessa" body and I don´t think I will ever own another than the "L" stored somewhere around here - but could it be that they used different shutters in production?

Best,
Roman
 

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Guess I'll have to pull out my J12 collection and my micrometers.
 

rjr

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Tom Hoskinson said:
Guess I'll have to pull out my J12 collection and my micrometers.

LOL. Please. :smile:

Really, that made my day. <g>

Roman
 
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