23 Apr 2016

Russian White A Semi-Wide Angle Lens Mir-1 37mm F2.8 Is the Exceptional Among Copy Lenses, Especially Its User-Friendliness

When we talk about Russian lenses, you often hear about Mir-1, though not to the extent of Helios which is famous for Russian lenses. Mir-1 is a copy model of Zeiss lenses and has 37mm semi-wide angle lens. I think this Mir-1 can not be used for close-photography, but would be interesting for street photo shooting.

Lenses and manufacturer

Mir-1 is a copy lens of the Russian lens Zeiss. Dating from World War II Zeiss often comes up in conversation when discussing the history of lenses. The historic background of Russian lenses is a bit complicated, but each lens has its benefits. Additionally, we can try to use these lenses at low cost in these modern days, which create a new value.

Mir-1 ZOMZ 37mm F2.8 70cm M42 1968
DSC03929
“Mir-1″ that I introduce this time is the copy lens of “Carl Zeiss Jena / Flektogon 35mm” and its shape and the number of component lenses are surely similar to Flektogon described above. But usability is never the same. As a result, I think this is the lens that turn out another taste of performance.
( Please refer to previous review for Flektogon)

Colors and halation


If the conditions are right, Mir-1 will certainly have a similar performance to Flektogon. But most importantly of all, Since Mir-1 can not be used for close-photography, we do not really use both lenses in the same way. Of course, atmosphere of the photographs will be different.


In general, do not have the main subject large in the frame and other elements arranged in the composition like the photograph above.


Color expression is Russian lens-like whitish fluffy taste. It is different from stronger contrast of the source lens Flektogon.
By the way, personally I call this kind of fluffy atmosphere “Russian white”. It can be seen with other Russian copy lenses such as Helilos 44-2 or Jupiter-9.

Helios44-2

Jupiter-9

Line weight and sharpness


Be that as it may, I think they have surely similar parts.
In terms of the focus, I feel line sharpness is similar to Flektogon.


It depends on the composition, but the lines are finer and more delicate than Flektogon. If I speak unfavorably, I feel the whole image is feeble. But when you take photographs with higher exposure, it would be easy to create a pale atmosphere.

Boke-aji (blur)

Since the shortest photographing distance of Mir-1 is short, it is difficult to enhance bokeh.
But today, we have a convenient item “Mount adapter with helicoid” which is a welcome tool that enable us to get extremely closed to the subject.

[shortCordSingle something=”micro42″]
Please refer below to attach M42 mount to SONY a7


The mount allows you to get really closed to the subject like this.
The initial photograph is also taken with same macro mount.


Photographing at close range and a wider angle of view create unique whitish and softy images.


You may notice blocky bokeh according the distance, but you can think it is the taste of this lens.

For more information to purchase Mir-1


The mount of this Mir-1 silver housing is a little complicating M39 screw type.
Thus, you need attach “M39 → M42 step up ring” to use it with general M42 mounts.

Still, you can not focus to infinity with general mounts. So I recommend you to purchase black housing version of Mir-1 as a low risk option.
The all version of Mir-1 released after silver Mir-1 is black, so it is relatively easy to distinguish.

Where I walked around


This time, I walked around a milk run, the near the west exit of Yoyogi Park and Inokashira street from the intersection of Tomigaya to Omotesando.


Additionally I wanted to take photographs in good weather too, so I went to another photo shot on a different day, while popping in the new kosher Starbucks in Hatsudai.

Inspired by STARBUCKS Hatsudai
DSC03926

Review and analysis well taken photographs


The white flowers are hard to see due to overexposure, but I think this is fine as it is.
I like that the flowers are not photographed too clearly in a good way.


We can make this photograph clearer by using modern lenses. But photographing clearly is not everything. I think that what’s interesting with photography is that you can translate an atmosphere, a feeling of that time. I think old lenses are as interesting as the end expression given.

Photographing information

BL6A1471

Camera : SONY α7ii
Image quality : Raw uncompressed
Contrast, saturation and etc. without any adjustment, no adjustment, no filter, only a few pieces of brightness adjustment.
This time Aperture : F2.0~F5.4
Shutter speed : Almost photos 1/1000, when too bright ,1/400
White Balance : Auto

About Mount

I use a mount similar to this.