Jupiter-37A 3.5 / 135 is the twin brother of Carl Zeiss Sonnar 135mm f3.5, which has an excellent price-quality ratio. Massively produced in the USSR and after the collapse of the Union, from 1978 to 2009, at the Kazan plant (KOMZ).

Lens for SLR cameras with M42 screw connection. This lens is installed on modern SLR and mirrorless cameras through the appropriate adapter. Read the article about adapters.

Jupiter-37A 3.5 / 135 - one of the Soviet lenses that left a pleasant impression on itself. The article contains a photo of several lenses:

  • Lens Jupiter 37A, s/n 862053. The frame was in very poor condition, but not the lenses. There were defects in the coloring and damage after impacts. Didn't have a factory set. The lenses were in good condition. KOMZ production, 1986. Markings are made with yellow and green paint (photo examples on Canon 1DS)
  • Jupiter 37A, s / n 8129379... In close to perfect condition, with a factory kit (wardrobe trunk, hood, instructions). Production of KOMZ, 1981, white and yellow paint was used in the markings (examples of photos on canon 60D)
  • Jupiter 37A, s / n 8224838. Production KOMZ, 1982. It has a worn focusing ring, otherwise it has no complaints. Coloring is identical to Jupiter-37A with number 8129379 (photo examples on Sony A7)
  • Jupiter-37AM s/n 937207. Production KOMZ, 1993. (sample photos on Sony A7).

Scheme Jupiter-37

jupiter 37a scheme liveviewer.com

Lenses with a similar design:

Lens Jupiter-37A

Factory delivery set

The factory delivery set of Jupiter-37A includes a hard plastic case, hood, instruction manual lens and lids. Hood with thread for a seat on the frame of the front lens, plastic, painted. It has matting inside. In the stowed position, the hood covers the focusing and diaphragm rings.

Jupiter-37A 3.5 / 135 | review with examples of photos


In use

Jupiter-37A body has the shape of an elongated tube, painted metal. The lens itself is small in size. At the far end of the body lens there is a thread for the hood, after which a diaphragm ring with a preset is found on the body. The aperture ring is followed by the focusing ring.

Jupiter-37A 3.5 / 135 | review with examples of photos

Focus ring lens Jupiter-37A has edges throughout the entire area, which, however, does not add to the convenience in handling it. Due to the small diameter of the lens and the wide travel of the focusing ring, it was inconvenient for me to rotate it. Matter of habit. Further along the lens barrel there is a distance scale, a depth-of-field scale and a shank.

Jupiter-37A 3.5 / 135 | review with examples of photosJupiter-37A

The scales are engraved on the case and filled with paint. On some early versions of the lens, blackening of the body (both inside and outside) falls off - engraving was a good solution.

Jupiter-37A 3.5 / 135 | review with examples of photos

Jupiters come across both with M42 thread, and with a connector for Nikon, Pentax. The only differences are in the lens shanks, which regulate the distance from the rear lens to the focal plane of the camera. The letter "A" stands for multisystem, and some lens models included interchangeable tails for various systems. Also, if you unscrew the screws at the base of the lens, you will find that these screws are just what attaches the shank to the main body.


Focus ring lens ribbed, rotates smoothly and almost 360 degrees for precise focusing. If the lens has not been serviced for a long time, the factory grease thickens and the rings become tan in the cold. Fresh lubrication restores the smoothness of the rings and prevents them from becoming tight in the cold. The front edge of the lens barrel comes out at the maximum focusing distance - about 2 cm.

Jupiter-37A 3.5 135 Jupiter 37A photo examples


Jupiter-37A has a 12-blade diaphragm, with its help in hips draws even circles from light sources at any f / value. Jumping diaphragm versions  lens Jupiter-37A does not exist, when, like the alleged "dad" (CZJ Sonnar 135mm), only it is.

Jupiter-37A 3.5 135 Jupiter 37A photo examples

The relative aperture of Jupiter 37A is adjustable from 1: 3.5 at open diaphragm and up to 1:22 at fully closed diaphragm. For correct use of the lens on modern cameras, you must use the exposure lock function, or adjust the exposure later, during post-processing. If you shoot in Aperture Priority Auto, the exposure in the series will be uneven.

Aperture presetting mechanism

To activate the presetting mechanism, pull the lens aperture ring towards you, and then, without releasing it, set the required aperture value. Aperture presetting mechanism, as in Helios 44-2 or Industar-61 LZ. It has a similar principle of operation, and is combined with the diaphragm ring (blocks its movement).

Often, users are unaware of the existence of this ring. Pre-setting the aperture with a lock is necessary in order to correctly focus and set its depth, without focusing on a closed aperture. On some cameras, focusing at a closed aperture was not possible (viewfinder was dark).

Modern digital cameras estimate the exposure level in the frame at an open aperture lens (in fact, old films too). The final calculation of the exposure should take place at the moment of closing the electronically controlled diaphragm, just before opening shutter.

Jupiter-37A 3.5 135 Jupiter 37A photo examples

When using Jupiter data at an aperture other than open, you will have to introduce exposure compensation. Shoot in RAW and Aperture Priority mode with AE lock. Especially if you are working with Jupiter for the first time.


At an open aperture, there are color aberrations in contrasting transitions. Aberrations are stifled without problems in the simplest photo editors.

Sharpness, contrast, color

The lens has a simple enlightenment, the picture quality drops in backlight or side light, sometimes so much that it is impossible to extract the file even from RAW. Versions with multi-layer coating have the letter "MC" on the frame and not much better picture. Jupiter-37A does not like shooting objects against a bright background, or the presence of multiple sources of illumination in the frame, although it tolerates their presence quite steadily.

Jupiter-37A 3.5 135 Jupiter 37A photo examples

Depth of field control

Due to the shallow depth of field, focusing on cameras with a small viewfinder size can cause hitting problems. You have to use the focus mode on the display much more often than with autofocus lenses.

Jupiter-37A 3.5 135 Jupiter 37A photo examples


The lens, thanks to the focal length and optical scheme, both perfectly separates the subject from the background, and perfectly draws the out-of-focus area. Round highlights in hips provide artistic images due to the large number of aperture blades.

Case and build quality

Jupiter-37A does not suffer from build quality. However, on many of the examples one could notice the backlash of the diaphragm rings and its presets. Overall, the build quality is decent. Even when compared with its imported contemporaries, the production of Carl Zeiss and Pentacon, the Jupiters-37A produced in the USSR do not seem clumsy and heavy. You can often find non-blackened edges of the lenses inside the frame, as well as blackening of the case collapsing. Time makes itself felt.

MS Jupiter-37AM 3.5 / 135

Jupiter-37AM is an updated version of the Jupiter-37A lens. The "M" in the name means modernized. Jupiter-37AM has a body identical to the older version. Lens differs from the old version in the changed color of the engraving font and the presence of multi-enlightenment. According to the scheme, this is still Zeiss Sonnar, adapted to Soviet realities. It would seem that in the presence of multi-enlightenment, something should radically change in the picture and image quality, but in practice, even comparing both versions nose to nose, the differences will be little noticeable in normal operation. So, for example, work in backlight, with bright sources in the frame, has been slightly improved. Otherwise, Jupiter-37A is not inferior to the updated Jupiter-37AM.

Jupiter-37AM 3.5 135 Jupiter 37AM sample photos

In addition, the basic set of characteristics remained the same:

  • Good image quality and sharpness from open apertures
  • Metal construction
  • The presence of a hood in the kit, which cannot be installed in the transport position
  • 135mm focal length
  • 12 preset aperture blades
  • Manual focus
  • Control of the depth of field is possible on the applied sharpness scale on the body

The most striking thing is that they even focus in one place, when setting the same values ​​on the focus scale. The wide focusing ring has a significant distance from the aperture setting ring, so they differ even when wearing gloves. The rings spin smoothly, without jamming, even in cold weather. It is rare to find lenses that behave the same in both warm and cold conditions. Most require maintenance and replacement of the thread lubricant. Jupiter-37AM from the same series, which have the index "A", and this means the ability to install the lens using interchangeable adapters on other SLR cameras. Therefore, the lens has an overshoot for infinity and MDF.

Jupiter-37AM 3.5 135 Jupiter 37AM sample photos

The deep green color of enlightenment is mesmerizing. Beautiful colour. I would buy it myself only because of the beautiful color of the lens enlightenment. Jupiter-37A and Jupiter-37AM, in principle, is steeper than the Germans of the same period in the picture. For example, the Pentacon 2.8 / 135 will be faster, but worse in image quality, especially at crop and open aperture. Jupiter works great on both crop and full frame.

Jupiters-37AM produced in the USSR do not seem clumsy and heavy.

Focal length alternatives

135mm - universal focal length:

  • Enough magnification to shoot birds and animals in the city (on the crop).
  • Excellent background blur, which is good for portraits.
  • Huge park of optics for this focal length

Carl Zeiss Jena Sonnar 135mm f / 3.5

The main plus in favor of Jupiter, when choosing between Jupiter 37A and, for example, Carl Zeiss Jena Sonnar 135mm, is a 12-petal diaphragm Jupiter-37A versus 6 Zeiss, ergonomics, price. With the same optical scheme, the lenses of the German are slightly better, although this fact has little effect on the final result as a whole, because computer processing methods neutralize the optical disadvantages of modern, and not so, lenses.

Pentacon 135mm f / 2.8

Pentacon is a series of lenses from Pentacon. Issued in the German Democratic Republic, it is a facelift of the Meyer-Oreston 135 / 3.5

Meyer-Optik Orestor 135 / 3.5

Nicknamed by the monster hips behind an aperture that produces flare in even circles at any aperture value. The ancestor of all the lenses presented above.

Advantages of Jupiter-37A

  • Any serviceable Jupiter-37A even now it is able to compete for quality with modern plastic autofocus competitors.
  • The cheapest lens 135mm focal length, with adequate image quality.
  • Background blur and round highlights in hipsare provided with a round aperture opening at any of its values.
  • Lack of autofocus It should not be embarrassing, because, for example, in portrait photography, you can not use it.
  • DOF calculator and distance scale is absent in the vast majority of modern lenses. Jupiter-37A can be set according to the marks on the lens itself and shoot without looking through the viewfinder.
  • Reliability. The lens is not afraid of frost, temperature and humidity changes, drops. The metal case will not crack upon an accidental impact, and the absence of electronics will not fail at the right time. The lens is easy to disassemble and maintain.
  • Can be used with almost any digital camera, through the appropriate adapter. About adapters below.
  • High artistry. Even in the absence of special skills in processing, you can get a warm tube photo. Branded blur in bokeh, good color rendition.
  • Focal length universally - Jupiter-37A is suitable for photo hunting for not shy birds, and for shooting portraits.

Nuances in working with Jupiter-37a

  • Due to the small depth of field, when working with the viewfinder of a digital camera, there is a very high probability of not hitting the target. It is advisable to use the lens with a focusing screen with a micro-raster and wedges, or with a focusing mode on the display.
  • Jupiter-37A on 1.6 crop (Canon EOS Ef-s) has the same angle of view that a 216mm lens would have on a full-frame camera.
  • When using these manual "glasses" at aperture other than open, you will have to enter exposure compensation.

Photo examples

Jupiter-37A and Canon 60D

Photographs were taken primarily with aperture priority and focus on the camera monitor. Shooting through the viewfinder on the 60D is very difficult.

Jupiter-37A and Canon 1DS

Photographing was carried out in manual exposure and aperture priority modes, focusing was performed through the viewfinder. The camera's viewfinder is large, and sharpness is noticeable in it when aiming at an object.

Jupiter 37A on Sony A7

Photographing was carried out with focusing according to the viewfinder and enlarging the picture. Processing photos in Capture One.

Sample photos on Jupiter-37AM

Shot on Sony A7, post-processed in Capture One. It is easiest to shoot in the mode Aperture Priority (Av)when the camera adjusts the required shutter speed based on the current aperture value and the light in the frame. To work on digital cameras, you need an adapter from the M42x1 threaded connection to your camera.


The lens is sharp from open aperture, drawing round flares in hips due to 12 petals. Recommended for beginners. Versions of Jupiter 37A with multi-layer coating (multicoating, MC) have few differences in terms of pictures, so you shouldn't chase them. The average price of a lens on the secondary market for versions with and without MS is 2000 rubles.

Operating instructions Jupiter-37A

Use on modern cameras

To work on digital cameras, you will need an adapter from the M42x1. The easiest way is to put this lens on Canon EOS with EF-s mount, especially considering that adapters without chips on Canon cost mere pennies. You can put on Nikon with an adapter without a lens, since the lens has an infinity overrun.

By ordering things from the links below, you help the project cover the costs of site maintenance and development. List of adapters, systems and mounts (direct links for ordering)

When ordering, it should be borne in mind that cheap adapters of poor quality with a lens on bayonetf Nikon F spoil the picture significantly. Adapters without a lens reduce the maximum focusing range (due to the difference in focal lengths). Adapters with chips come across poor quality, exposure metering and focus confirmation on some Canon EOS models may suffer from this.

Technical characteristics of Jupiter-37A

Focal length, mm 135
Relative aperture 1:3,5
Angle of the field of view, degrees 18 ° 13 ′
Minimum focusing distance (MDF), m 1,2
Maximum aperture f / 3,5
Minimum Aperture f / 22
Resolution according to TU (center / edge), lines / mm 45/30
Aperture blades 12
Working distance, mm 45,5
External thread M52x0,75
Connecting thread for the camera M42x1, Nikon F, Pentax K
Lens length without caps (at ∞), mm 92
Maximum frame diameter, mm 57
Weight (without hood and covers), g 410

Adapters for cameras and lenses

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