The MC Zenitar-МЕ1 50 mm f/ 1.7 (Russian: "Зенитар") is a normal lens with multicoating for SLR cameras with the M42 screw mount.
It was produced by the KMZ. It was a kit lens for the Zenit-18 (ЗЕНИТ-18) camera and was offered as a kit lens for one of the variants of the Zenit-20 (ЗЕНИТ-20).
The feedback was realized - aperture settings input into the camera electronic control unit (hence the E index for "electronic").
The automated aperture drive of the MC Zenitar МЕ1 50 mm f/ 1.7 can be switched off, i.e. manual aperture control with the ring is possible.
The optical scheme was borrowed from the Leica Leitz's Summicron 50.
The lens has very good qualitative optical characteristics due to the use of high-quality glass (according to some sources, pure crystal was applied).
The distinctive feature of the lens is its 2-balde electronic diaphragm forming square aperture when stopping down.
Correspondingly, the image generated by the MC Zenitar-МЕ1 50 mm f/ 1.7 has a specific bokeh. Circles of confusion at f/1.7 are perfectly round; while stopping down, they take the form of squares with rounded corners of different degrees, and from f/8 onwards they take the form of a virtually perfect square.
The aperture is changed stepwise - from 1.7 to 16. There are 14 steps.
Such construction of the aperture enabled to make the lens resolution higher on one hand, and make the production cheaper on the other.
Picture 1. The scheme of the Zenitar-МЕ1 2-blade aperture construction
The version of the lens - the Zenitar M 50 1.7 with 6 aperture blades was also produced.
The lens handles well back and side light, nevertheless, the hood is recommended.
Some other characteristics of the MC Zenitar-МЕ1 50 mm f/ 1.7
The resolution according to the technical specifications (center/edge): 48/27 lpmm
Coefficient of transparency: not less than 0.90
Coefficient of light diffusion: not more than 0.02
The lens is sharp and contrasting from f/1.7 onwards. The image is rather flexible.
The MC Zenitar-МЕ1 50 mm f/ 1.7 lens is fit for shooting portraits and genre scenes as well as for any type of artistic photography where shallow depth of field and peculiar blurring are important. By means of adapters it can be used on modern SRL and mirrorless cameras.
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Posted by: Sergei Borodin Date of publication: 20.01.2011