Soviet lenses have proved their quality and have become popular across the world. Mir-1 37mm F/2.8 is a vintage lens that also deserves such attention. You can find plenty of different reviews and tests on the internet, but if you want to save your time, then you will be interested in this review. It contains the most important facts about this lens.
If to go back to Soviet Era, you will find various wonderful lenses. In 1958, the KMZ factory has produced the first Mir-1b. Many optical formulas originate from Germany, and the same goes for this lens. It is based on Carl Zeiss blueprints of Jena Flektogon 35mm 2.8. During that time, many manufacturers have started to produce Mir lenses and Zeiss formula has become a standard of high quality. Therefore, many variations and modifications have been made.
The 1958 year has become a turning moment for Mir-1. This lens has won the Grand Prix in Brussels at the international World Fair. After such success, their production and development have increased even more. As a result, you have the possibility to hold Mir-1 37mm F/2.8 in your hands nowadays.
While holding it you will notice that the housing of the lens is made of solid metal. The mounting is also done with metal what improves its durability. That is why it’s a little bit heavy at 250g. Even if it looks very protected and sturdy lens it is not recommended to drop it to check whether Mir will survive or not. The early version of this lens was silver, however, you will generally find it in black color. This lens lacks dust sealing, therefore you need to try to protect it from dusty conditions and wipe the dust off when possible.
Capturing images of some bright spots is always not so easy. Depending on the number of aperture blades, you achieve different patterns of sunrays. Mir-1 37mm F/2.8 has 10 blades that results in a round bokeh at any f-stop. Often when you stop the lens down you may lose the quality of bokeh. With Mir lens, your bokeh will remain more round and wonderful.
Every lens has different aperture settings. The stepless means that aperture does not have half and full stops. It means that you can capture images with precise exposure when the lighting changes very quickly. The aperture range is f/2.8 – f/16.
Focus Ring Ratio
Another feature that you will use all the time is the Focus Ring. Mir-1 37mm F/2.8 grants you 270 degrees for rotation. It means that you can adjust the focus very precisely. When the object is moving, you may slowly rotate the ring to follow the object. When lenses have fewer degrees for focus rotation, you may easily go out of the focus with inaccurate movement. Therefore, Mir is very suitable for capturing videos as it allows easily to change the focus by very tiny steps. On another side, the Mir focusing at very close distances is not very good. The minimum focusing distance is 0.7 m.
Flares are produced by the light, which scatters and reflects within multiple internal glass components of the lens. While capturing images with Mir you will get various wonderful flares. You achieve them due to not ordinary multi-coating. However, while filming in poor lighting you might receive only flares on the image. In addition, Depending on your project and scene, they can obstruct the objects and ruin the composition.
Overall Mir-1 37mm F/2.8 is a good soviet lens that can provide you with wonderful pictures. However, it also has its drawbacks, which you need to keep in mind to avoid some unexpected results.