Monday, July 9, 2012

Industar-50-2 50mm f/3.5

Mounted using an M42 adapter.
4 elements in 3 groups
Weight: 65g
Produced: By KMZ from 1968 to 1991.
The Industar 50-2 was produced in large numbers in the old USSR.  The lens is a Tessar design.  

When I heard about the new Canon 40mm pancake lens  I was reminded of the Industar 50-2 pancake lens that I have.  While the Canon lens is considered a deal at around $200, the Industar 50-2 can usually be had for between $15 and $30. Of course the Industar 50-2 doesn't have auto focus and you do have to buy a M42 adapter for use with a digital camera.  From the reviews of the Canon pancake it seems that it is a surprisingly good performer.  I think the same can be said of the Industar 50-2.  On a full frame camera the Industar is very sharp at the center falling off toward the corners.  With a camera with a smaller sensor you will be leaving out a lot of the less sharp parts in return for a reduced focal range.  So for example on the XSi above the lens becomes 80mm instead of 50mm.  

I do have to say that a lens this small makes my slr seem much less visible.  And the reduced weight is a pleasure.  Still this is a lens where you do have to pay attention.  There are no click stops on the aperture ring so it is necessary to look at the front of the lens when you are changing the aperture.  Also since the aperture ring turns freely it is not hard to grab it and think I am turning the focusing ring.  So like I said with this lens you do need to pay attention. And if you don't mind that then the Industar 50-2 can be a rewarding lens. 

I am the sort of photographer who has taken a lot of pictures of sunflowers.  That I took my favorite sunflower picture with the Industar 50-2 adds to my favorable view of the lens. 

Here is the full image from which the crop below comes. 

A crop from the image above when at 100%.

Some more images in the Industar 50-2 Gallery