Industar-50 50mm f / 3.5 M39 (1962)

Miniature Soviet lens, made according to the Tessar scheme.

The name of the lens from the era of industrialization of the USSR. Lenses “Industar” were recommended for reproduction, photography with a high level of sharpness. Zenit-V, Zenit-E and Industar-50 are often found in combination, as they were most common in the USSR.

Review of the Soviet photo lens
Industar-50 (50mm f / 3.5) M39

The standard lens for cameras of the Zorkiy, ZENIT, and Crystal types, which replaced Industar-22. Four-lens enlightened Tessar type anastigmat in a threaded frame with retractable or non-retractable sheath. Equipped with an iris diaphragm. For its time, it had a high resolution with well-corrected chromatic aberration. It was also produced in Lytkarino (LZOS) and Kazan (KOMZ). Options for photographic enlargers (the lenses were marked with the index “U”) were produced by LZOS and FOZ (Theodosia Optical Plant).

The smallest of all Soviet SLR lenses manufactured in the Soviet Union. Despite its miniature size and years of production, Industar-50 is able to provide a high-quality picture on modern digital cameras.

Industrial-50 scheme

Made according to the “Tessar” scheme. High sharpness, minimal aberration.

Lenses “Industar” on the portal

  1. History. Lenses of the “Industar” series
  2. Industar-22 M39 50mm f / 3.5
  3. Industar-50 M39 50mm f / 3.5
  4. Industar-50-2 M42 50mm f / 3.5
  5. Industar-61 M42 50mm f / 2.8 L / Z MS
  6. Industar-61 M39 53mm f / 2.8 L / D

Industar-50 (50mm f / 3.5)

Focal length: 52 mm (52.48 mm)
Relative aperture: 1: 3.5
Field of view: 45 °
Frame size: 24 × 36 mm
Front vertex focal length: -41.68 mm
Rear vertex focal length: 43.62 mm
Distance from first to last surface: 18.55 mm
Number of lenses / groups: 4/3

Focal distance: 45.2 mm
Number of aperture blades: 7
Aperture scale range: 1: 3.5–1: 16
Close focusing limit: 0.65 m

lens to camera: M39 × 1
for screw-in attachments: SPM33 × 0.5
for slip -on attachments: ∅36 mm
Location of the filter mount: front

Resolution (0/10/20 mm): 43/27/25 lines / mm
Resolution according to technical specifications (center / edge): 38/22 lines / mm
Light transmittance coefficient: 0.80 Color
formula: 7-0-0
Type enlightenment: no data

length of lens at infinity with caps: 30 mm;
largest frame diameter: ∅50 mm

option for SLR cameras – 126 g

End of development: 1953
Years of production (KMZ): from 1953 (Industar-50) to 1986 (Industar-50-2)

Lenses similar to
Industar-50 (50mm f / 3.5)

  • Industar-22 for rangefinder cameras “Zorkiy”, FED (M39)
  • Industar-22 for Zenit SLR cameras in fixed frame (M39)
  • Industar-22 for rangefinder cameras “Zorkiy”, FED, “Mir”, in a fixed frame (M39)
  • Industar-50 for rangefinder cameras (M39)
  • Industar-50 for SLR cameras (M39)
  • Industar-50 for SLR cameras (M42)
  • Industar-50 1960s, black frame (М42)
  • Industar-50S for medical cameras
  • Industar-50 tube production LZOS (M39) (standard for the Zorky camera, Zenit-S)

The first releases of the Industar 50 50mm f / 3.5 with an 8-blade aperture are known. Rangefinder Industar-50 can be installed without alteration only on mirrorless cameras. Industar-50 3.5 / 50 for SLR cameras with M39 thread has a slightly smaller flange distance, and its installation is possible on M42 through an adapter ring from M39 thread to M42. The late rangefinder version of the Industar-50 could easily be rearranged to the early Zenit cameras with M39 threads by removing the rear part and the rangefinder pusher. Also, Industar-50 is known in versions for photographic enlargers. No multi-coated lenses (MC) were produced.

Industar-50 (50mm f / 3.5) review on work


The Industar-50 3.5 / 50 m39 focusing ring is located immediately behind the diaphragm setting ring. With this design, it becomes difficult to control the lens, and if the lubricant near the focusing ring is dry, it becomes completely impossible. The aperture ring guides the focusing ring behind it. The minimum focusing distance is 65 centimeters, the focusing ring rotates almost 360 degrees around the axis, and thanks to this allows you to more accurately adjust the focus. Very sharp from f5.6, and wide open allows for portraits with swirling backgrounds.


The lens aperture is controlled by a ring located on the front of the body. The diaphragm consists of 7 blades, and at narrow values, in the out-of-focus area, “nuts” will be noticeable. The maximum aperture of Industar-50 is f / 3.5. At the same time, shooting Helios-44 at a similar aperture, the picture turned out to be brighter and more juicy. Industar-50 is dark. With this lens, the camera electronics will have to introduce exposure compensation, or shoot images in RAW. Perhaps using a hood saves the day, but I didn’t have a hood at hand. Why hoods? Because the lens draws reflections on the matrix, even in the light of a flashlight. They are noticeable when you rotate the focusing ring.

Depth of field control

Despite the large DOF, focusing on cameras with a small viewfinder can lead to hitting problems. You have to use LiveView mode much more often than with autofocus lenses. As an alternative to LiveView, you can use the distance scale and depth of field of the lens itself, or adapter rings with a focus confirmation chip (more expensive).

Industar-50 can be set to hyperfocal distance using the depth of field calculator applied to the body, and shoot without touching the viewfinder eyepiece. This is useful in street photography, for example.


In Industar-50, such aberrations as astigmatism, spherical and spherochromatic aberrations have been corrected or minimized. The Tessar design itself implies high sharpness and minimization of various aberrations. On the open aperture of the Industar-50, I noticed a slight green bloom on the borders with contrasting transitions. So easy that it can be neglected.


At the widest aperture this glass has strong vignetting in the corners of the frame. Disappears already by f / 4. On a cropped camera, it will not be noticeable at all.

Sharpness, contrast, color

When the lens is open, there is an insignificant drop in sharpness to the edge of the image, which is eliminated by deflecting the aperture ring by half a stop towards the narrowing of the aperture. Glass does not like bright backgrounds, local light sources in the frame. It is impossible to raise the contrast of the Industar-50 lens, since the lens itself is dark, has no enlightenment and is afraid of light exposure. In post-processing, if only.

Body and build quality
Industar-50 (50mm f / 3.5)

A complaint is the location of the diaphragm ring. In view of the small dimensions of Industar-50, the location of the diaphragm ring causes great inconvenience in work. A similar arrangement of small rings one after the other, as on the Industar-50, makes you distract from the viewfinder to set the correct aperture values. All lenses that came across, one way or another, suffered from the troubles associated with the miniaturism of the controls.

Use both fingers to handle lenses that require maintenance. You have to hold the focusing ring with one hand, and the aperture with the other. In general, 70% of the area of ​​the lens barrel is occupied by the focusing ring. 15% each is accounted for by the Industar-50 base and the diaphragm ring. In general, it’s worth getting used to.

The build quality has some complaints. The play of the rings is felt, because of the play of the rings, interesting things happen:

  • The aperture ring (ALWAYS!) Pulls out the focusing ring.
  • The focusing ring, when rotating on a serviceable, serviced lens, takes away the aperture ring.

To be honest, although the Industar-50 is built on the same principle as the tubular Industar-50 or Industar-22, it is more convenient to work with the latter.

Disassembling Industar-50 is quite simple, does not require special skills other than attention. To lubricate the threads along which the helicoid moves, you just need to loosen the 3 screws on the ring at the base of the lens. Repair of Industar-50 will also not be difficult, since the number of elements in the lens is minimal, to the point of disgrace. The only special tool that comes in handy for a complete disassembly is a special screwdriver for the lens barrel (in fact, a double flathead screwdriver on a rigid frame).

The inscriptions on the case are engraved and filled with black paint.

Pluses of
Industar-50 (50mm f / 3.5)

  • Any serviceable Industar-50 gives a picture in sharpness and contrast at a level bordering on modern plastic autofocus competitors of the lower price segment.
  • The lack of autofocus should not be embarrassing, because, for example, in portrait and macro photography it can be omitted.
  • The depth of field calculator and distance scale are missing in the vast majority of modern lenses. Industar-50 can be set according to the marks on the lens itself and shoot without looking through the viewfinder.
  • Indestructible construction. The lens is not afraid of frost, temperature and humidity changes, falls. The metal case will not crack in case of an accidental impact, and the absence of electronics will not let you down at the right time. The lens is easy to disassemble and maintain.
  • The ability to use with almost any digital cameras , through the appropriate adapter. About adapters below.
  • Small weight and dimensions make it easy to carry with you on long trips, and simply, “on the light”. You can find a miniature hood under the lens (suitable for the Industar-22 lens).
  • High maintainability. Repair of Industar-50 and its disassembly is available right on the knee, without special service centers.

The main trump card of the lens, nevertheless, is its miniature size and scanty weight. The lens weighs only 126 grams.

Use on modern cameras

On modern digital SLR cameras, Industar-50 50mm f / 3.5 can be used through an adapter from an m39 to an m42 thread, and then, already on the system of your camera (for example, from an M42 to a Canon EF). Adapters from M42 to Canon EF, without focus confirmation chips on Canon, are very cheap.

By ordering adapters using the links below, you are helping the Photo Amateur project to cover the costs of site maintenance and development. List of adapters, systems and mounts (direct links for ordering):

When ordering, it should be borne in mind that cheap adapters of poor quality with a lens on the Nikon F mount significantly spoil the picture. Adapters without a lens reduce the maximum focusing range (due to the difference in focal lengths). Adapters with chips come across of poor quality, exposure metering and confirmation of focus on some models of cameras may suffer from this.

Industar-50 (50mm f / 3.5) on a full-frame camera

Has a 45 degree field of view, standard lens. Vignetting will be observed around the edges of the frame at wide apertures.

Industar-50 (50mm f / 3.5) at 1.6 crop

Will have an angle of view equal to a 73mm lens for a full frame. The Industar-50 vignetting will not be noticeable, the depth of field will slightly increase, the background blur will decrease. All other lens parameters will not get worse. Permissible to use for portraits and reproductions.

Industar-50 (50mm f / 3.5)

The main probable application of Industar 50 is bust portraits, shooting on a hike. The lens is not suitable for video shooting. management is far from the best. You can read reviews about the work of Industar-50, if you don’t believe me. For many, this lens seemed inconvenient to operate. The alternatives presented below are the same legacy of yesteryear that is still in use today.

Helios 44 series

Helios of any modification will have better artistic characteristics due to the working wide aperture of f / 2, and older models of Helios are more resistant to backlight.

Carl Zeiss Jena Tessar 50mm f / 2.8 T m42

Rare, true German quality from the 60s-80s. With a perfectly circular 13-blade diaphragm and sleek design.

Carl Zeiss Jena Pancolar 50mm f / 1.8 m42

It is a good choice for leisurely shooting portraits with shallow depth of field and artistic background blur.

Meyer Optik Domiplan 50mm f / 2.8

It is made according to the “Tessar” scheme, has a sharp and clean picture, good sharpness, easy to handle, lightweight. Widespread and cheap.


Not a bad, of course, “first easy fix” for a novice amateur photographer, if you close your eyes to the shortcomings of the controls and the darkness of the image. Industar-50 is easy to repair, disassemble, and has a minimum weight. The most important thing is that the price of the Industar-50 lens is fully consistent with its quality (even understated), despite all the inconveniences in handling, which I focused my attention on in this review.

Sample videos Industar-50 (50mm f / 3.5)

Sample video. Canon 6D

Sample video. Canon 60D

Sample photos of Industar-50 (50mm f / 3.5)

Shot with Canon 6D

Shot with Canon 60D

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