Lens Review: Jupiter 200mm f2.8

Lens Review: Jupiter 200mm f2.8

The 200m f4 Jupiter-21M is a Soviet medium telephoto lens mostly used for landscape, wildlife or portrait photography. Within the Jupiter class, this lens has the biggest focal length at 200mm. Other lenses in the line-up are the 85mm f2 Jupiter-9 and the 135mm f4 Jupiter-11A.

As the majority of the Soviet lenses, the Jupiter-21 initially had the M39 mount, later being fit with the M42 mount. Several versions of the lens were made: the Jupiter-21, then the Jupiter-21A and finally the Jupiter-21M. A great feature of these lenses is that they were always made of very solid materials: chrome, metal, glass, and ebonite. Only later, during the 1980s and during the final production years in the 1990s some lenses were partially or even entirely made of plastic.

Many Soviet lenses were renowned for their sharpness and a large number of aperture blades. The Jupiter-21M is no exception as the lens is sharp indeed. It has only 8 aperture blades, more than the class average of six, but less than other Soviet telephoto lenses, such as the Tair-11A, for example.

The lens is quite heavy so for optimal use a tripod is highly recommended. The glass is single coated, while some versions made after the 1990s may feature a multi-coating layer.

The logo displayed on the body of our lens is of the VOMZ factory which nowadays is the Vologda optical and mechanical plant.