Industar 61 L/Z - An old lens with a few secrets
Ah decided tae do a photo feature on this old, small, manual lens. Industar lenses were common on Russian rangefinder cameras, typically supplied with Zorkis and evolved from those roots tae SLRs like the (in)famous ZENIT series.
Its spec looks like many other 50mm lenses but it has a couple of features which make it stand out, more later...
- Spec : Industar 61 L/Z (Lzos factory)
- 50mm focal length f2.8-f16 M42 screw
- Stepless diaphragm - no clicks or indents
- 4 elements in three groups, 6 blade, Tessar type, 49mm thread
- closest focus 20-30cm, depending on model
An interesting fact is that some of the lens elements are integrated with Lanthanum (or lanthane). A radioactive, rare earth element which when used in lenses, produces high refraction/ low dispersion. The lens designer's "Grail". This probably explains why my beard and hands glow in the dark!
The lens is small and light and very sharp, even wide open
Ah paid $20 + $10 p+p, from Russia, when ah bought it. They're selling for $75-$100 in the US and around £50 here. Bargains can still be found.
The close focusing is one characteristic of this lens which sets it apart. Mine's focuses tae around 22cm (9"). Folk call it a macro lens but it's not even 1:2, mebbe 1:3.
A couple of close-up shots, Taken in desklamp light.
This lens's best feature comes out at night .It has a unique ( in my experience) star-shaped iris, which changes shape continuously as ye turn the aperture ring. There is no separate aperture ring/ f-stop, the diaphragm closes as the ring is set tae the desired f-stop. examples below...
This lens is excellent for many applications and ah'd thoroughly recommend it tae anyone looking tae get into manual lenses. It's great fun at the festive period, social events and special occasions.
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