Jupiter 8 and jupiter 11 compared to the Sony NEX kit lens

How do 40 year old prime lenses compare to a modern Sony kit lens ? Well read on and I’ll provide some examples.

Yesterday I was out taking some test pictures with a Jupiter 11 telephoto lens along the bank of a small stream which runs close to our house in Stevenage. Whilst I was out I noticed several bunches of snowdrops and thought it would be interesting to go back and take some comparison pictures between the pictures I took yesterday, the kit lens supplied with the Sony NEX 6 I bought a few weeks back and the Jupiter 8 lens, which is normally fitted to a Zorki 4k my father gave me.

Because the lenses are quite different (ie slow kit zoom v fast primes) a direct comparison, although possible, was not really what I had in mind. It was more to take a set of pictures with the different lenses and get a feel for the images possible and also to get some sort of idea of the image quality obtainable from 40 year old manual lenses compared to a new zoom.

So I went back to the same area today and took some pictures with the jupiter 8 and the kit lens to see what I thought and the results of that, along with some of the pictures I took yesterday are shown in the gallery above.

Of course the kit lens will focus much closer than either of the jupiter lenses (which were made for a rangefinder camera) but the kit lens at 50mm is f/5.6 where as the Jupiter 8 is f/2.0 and the Jupiter 11 is f/4.0 so there are big differences in the amount of background de-focus possible. I think this has made a big difference to the feel of the images, and my favorite pictures of the series are the ones which show this effect.

Overall I don’t think there huge differences in image quality between any of the pictures, but for sharpness I think I would probably call the Jupiter 11 first, the Sony kit lens second and the Jupiter 8 third. Of course sharpness isn’t the only factor in taking pictures and each lens has it’s own use so I think this is really more of an interesting exercise than a scientific experiment.

What do you think ? As always click on any of the pictures above to get a better view.

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