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Russian MIR M42 Lenses
  • I keep seeing MIR lenses locally for next to nothing, anyone use these or have any thoughts regarding there quality and or usefulness for film? Any special gems to watch out for?

  • 13 Replies sorted by
  • I have the Mir1-B 37mm f2.8, and I really like it for certain things. It gives the impression of a cinema lens, because it has a high number of perfectly rounded aperture blades, stepless aperture, and it is a flektagon copy, (and therefore is quite rectilinear). I like it especially on the GH2 for closeups, and for use with my Kowa 16-H anamorphic, as any curvilinear lens effects are amplified by the anamorphic. I'm dying to try it on a full frame camera, though.

  • B3Guy , You had me at step-less aperture. I have been finding Japanese tele lenses with step-less aperture lately like Kohi Sanko and Takumar (I'm in love with my Takumar 200mm f5.6), but nothing below 100mm. Do you know if their 20mm is step-less as well?

  • Not sure.

  • Does the front barrel rotate when focusing the Mir 1-B?

  • Nope. Hence why it is my favorite to use with my Kowa. Makes it flare like a LOMO.

  • There is the newer Mir-1b which is the black version. I guess this is what @B3Guy has. Then there is the older silver Mir 1. Anyone have the older silver version? My black 1b is a solid piece of work but seems quite soft. It could just be the one I have (a la Soviet quality control). I'll need to do more tests with it.

  • @B3Guy Ah, I should have caught that.

  • I'd really like to see some GH2 footage using this lens if anyone wants to share.

  • Well . . . this whole film is with the 1b except the interior night scene in the tent. It has my Kowa on front, obviously.

  • Thanks for the heads up on the mir 1b... I just got a mint copy and I have a feeling it will be one of those go-to "wide" lenses in my m42 set. Looks really, really great.

    Curiously somebody seems to have taken it apart and put it back together backwards, as the indication marks on the aperture are reversed... :)

    The only downside IMO is the not-so-good close focus.. Maybe a macro ring would do it good. (though, another component to carry around)

  • @B3Guy, I resisted, and I fought it, but I loved the movie. Though I need to strap and watch the whole thing when I can devote full attention later... perhaps with a pipe and some long bottom leaf.

    Anyways, the lens looked great at times, definitely would like to see some raw ungraded shots though ;)

  • That film is hands down the best thing I've done, not necessarily in terms of end-result, but in terms of what I learned along the way, especially in post production. I had hours of footage to deal with, not to mention there was little to no story. Compound that with the fact that some people are offended by things that my friends do in the film, and it wasn't easy to make at all. But I've done two films with these guys now, and as an artist, I see the films as both portraits of my two friends and as narrative fiction. They walk that line, which is delightfully unnerving. But technically, I learned so much by making The Ballad of Dick Johnson. All my work since has been much improved. I now tell everyone to just go make something longer, even if that means squeezing out a steaming pile of footage over the weekend with a couple high school buddies. It pays off if you stick with it.

  • Password B3guy?