Industar-50-2 50mm f / 3.5 m42 (1975)

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. A bundle of the Zenit-V, Zenit-E camera and the Industar 50-2 lens can often be found on sale, since they were common in the USSR.

Review of the lens Industar-50-2 (50mm f / 3.5)

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 a retractable or non-retractable tube. Equipped with an iris diaphragm. For its time, it had a high resolution with well corrected chromatic aberration. Recommended for all types of photography, including shooting on color film and for reproductions. It was also produced in Lytkarino (LZOS) and Kazan (KOMZ). Options for photo enlargers (lenses were marked with the index “U”) were produced by LZOS and FOZ (Feodosia Optical Plant).

The smallest of all Soviet SLR lenses manufactured in the Soviet Union. Despite its miniature size and years of production, Industar-50-2 is able to provide a high-quality picture on modern digital cameras.

On later versions of lenses made in the USSR, the year of manufacture of the lens can be found based on the first two digits of the serial number stamped on the bottom of the focus ring frame.

Scheme Industar-50-2

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-50-2 (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 Flange distance: 45.5 mm Number of aperture blades: Aperture scale limits: 1: 3.5–1: 16 Near focusing limit: 0 , 65 m

lens to camera: M42 × 1
for screw
 caps : M35.5 × 0.5
 snap -on caps : ∅37 mm Filter
mount location:
Resolution (0/10/20 mm):
 43/27/25 lines / mm
Resolution according to TU (center / edge):
 38/22 lines / mm
Light transmittance coefficient:
 0.80 Color
 7—0—0 Coverage
 no data

Overall dimensions: length of the lens, set at infinity, with covers: 30 mm, largest diameter of the frame: ∅50 mm Weight: option for SLR cameras – 126 g Completion of development: 1953 Years of production (KMZ): since 1953 (Industar- 50) to 1986 (Industar-50-2)

Lenses similar to Industar-50-2 (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 issues of Industar-50 with an 8-blade diaphragm are known. Rangefinder Industar-50 can be installed without alteration only on mirrorless cameras. Industar-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 to M42 threads.

The rangefinder version of the Industar-50-2 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.

Feedback on the work of Industar-50-2 (50mm f / 3.5)


The Industar-50-2 focusing ring is located immediately behind the diaphragm setting ring. With this design, it becomes difficult to control the lens, and if the lubricant at the focusing ring is dry, the aperture ring pulls the focusing ring away.

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-50-2 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. The lens darkens. 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-50-2 can be set to the 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-50-2, aberrations such 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, the Industar-50-2 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

On the open one at Industar-50-2 there is an insignificant drop in sharpness to the edge of the image, which is eliminated by deviating the aperture ring by half a stop towards the narrowing of the aperture. Industar-50-2 does not like bright backgrounds, local light sources in the frame.

Case and build quality

A complaint is the location of the diaphragm ring. Due to its small size, the location of the diaphragm ring is very inconvenient in operation.

A similar arrangement of small rings one after another, as in the Industar-50-2, makes you distracted to set the aperture values. All lenses that came across, one way or another, suffered from problems associated with the miniaturism of the controls. To work with unmaintained lenses, both hands must be used.

You have to hold the focusing ring with one hand, and the aperture with the other. 70% of the lens area is occupied by the focusing ring. 15% each – on the base and the diaphragm ring. It is worth some patience and getting used to in order to achieve more or less precise control of the lens “on the fly”.

The build quality has some complaints. The gaps of the rings are felt, because of them interesting things happen:

  • The aperture ring (ALWAYS!) Pulls the focusing ring away.
  • The focusing ring when rotating on a working one, Industar drags the aperture ring when rotating.

To be honest, although Industar-50-2 is built on the same principle as the tubular Industar-50 or Industar-22, it is more convenient to work with the latter.

Industar-50-2 is easy to disassemble, does not require special skills other than care. When disassembling, pay attention to the blackening of the case. The slightest wrong movement with a screwdriver, and the paint peels off.

The inscriptions on the frame are engraved and painted over. Colors may vary. I came across both yellow, green and white font colors of the inscriptions.

Lens advantages

  • Any serviceable Industar-50-2 gives a sharp and contrasting image on a level bordering with modern opponents from the cheap segment.
  • The lack of autofocus does not bother me – in portraits and macro, it can be omitted.
  • The DOF calculator and distance scale are not represented by anything in most modern lenses. Industar-50-2 can be set according to the lens marks and filmed without looking through the viewfinder eyepiece.
  • Sturdy construction. The lens is not afraid of changes in temperature, altitude and humidity, drops. The metal body will not crack on impact, the absence of electronics and tolerances for rough assembly allows you to handle the lens without sparing it.
  • Can be used with any digital cameras through an adapter with M42x1.
  • The miniature size allows you to easily carry it with you on long hikes, and simply, “on the light”. Under the lens you can find a miniature hood from the Industar-22 lens, and shoot in bright light.
  • High maintainability . The lens can be repaired on the knee.

The main trump card of the lens is its small dimensions and scanty weight. The Industar 50-2 lens weighs only 112 grams.

Use on modern cameras

On modern SLR cameras Industar-50-2 50mm f / 3.5 can be used through an adapter with an m42 thread. It is most easily installed on Canon EOS with EF (-s) mount, due to the insignificant difference in focal lengths. Adapters without focus confirmation chips on Canon have a small price.

By ordering adapters using the links below, you help the project 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-50-2 (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-50-2 (50mm f / 3.5) at 1.6 crop

Will have an angle of view equal to a 73mm lens for a full frame. The vignetting of Industar-50-2 will not be noticeable, the depth of field will increase slightly, the blur of the background will decrease. All other lens parameters will not get worse. Permissible to use for portraits and reproductions.

Alternatives Industar-50-2 (50mm f / 3.5)

The main probable application of Industar 50-2 is for shooting bust portraits, shooting on a hike (when weight matters). The lens is not suitable for video shooting. management is far from the best. The alternatives presented below are a 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.

Zenitar-M 50mm f / 1.7

Not a bad option for portrait photography with even background blur, slightly better contrast and color. Bright, maximum working aperture – f / 1.7.


Not a bad, “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. Its shortcomings in ergonomics do not diminish its merits in the least – the lens perfectly performs its direct functions. Considering the low cost on Internet sites, it regularly finds its owners for a long time.

Sample video Industar-50-2

Shot with Canon 6D

Industar-50-2 (Canon 60D)

Sample photos of Industar-50-2

Shot with Canon 6D

Industar-50-2 (Canon 60D)

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