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Industar-61 L/D 55mm 1:2.8 - NEX-5N

Dioptrick

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I got my Industar 61 all the way from the Ukraine. There seems to be an abundant supply of these "arsenal factory" lenses, so after shopping carefully I found a used-minty at a very good price. Available in black or silver, I was undecided but in the end I'm glad I chose black. The delivery time took longer than usual due to a Russian post-office hiccup, but it was worth the wait. There's plenty of info about this lens which I didn't care to dig up too much, but there seems to be 50mm and 52mm variants available as well. If I'm not mistaken they are all 4 element, 3 group Zeiss Tessar clones, likely a direct consequence of German reparations to Russia after WWII.


DSC-W120    ---    9mm    f/3.5    1/60s    ISO 125



I believe the 55mm is the L/D version (L for Lanthanium coating - only sightly radio-active apparently :eek: ) and is supposedly the better version. At only 128 grams, this Russian Industar-61 L/D is a beautiful vintage-style lens that looks 'just right' size-wise on the Sony NEX. With an M39 screw mount, the corresponding NEX adapter is also very slim (unlike the long-barrel M42 adapters) which helps give the impression that the lens was made for the NEX body - and isn't adapted. It has 6 aperture blades and a 40.5mm filter screw up front which will take a slotted style Leica-esque lens hood (cheap Chinese clones are a-plenty)... which to me just looks gorgeous. I think the Industar-61s were first produced in the early 1970s but they sure look much much older, aesthetically. According to its serial number, my one was made in 1986 (first two digits).

NEX-5N    ---    50mm    f/8.0    1/80s    ISO 125


I've also read that some used lenses are prone to focusing barrel problems, and mine does have a slight 'slap' during a change in direction of rotation but it wasn't an issue out in the field. On closer inspection, it's actually not the focusing ring that has the slap but possibly an internal key-slot that prevents the front portion of the lens from rotating along when focusing (ideal when using polarizing filters). The barrel-feel itself is lively, possibly as buttery-smooth if not smoother than a Takumar - it just glides effortlessly, a real joy to use. I just love this lens, and the Russian writing is so cool!

NEX-5N    ---    52mm    f/8.0    1/80s    ISO 160


Hmmmmm... funny how that Lanthanium coating looks like some sort of fission is happening! Just joking, it's only a morning sky reflection :p or is it? :eek::eek:



Sample pics later...
 

Adwers

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I'm happy of seeing like this stuff gives You joy and fun. :)

In Poland some people find these stuff reminding them times of being under Soviet communist goverments, when nothing else wasn't available. It was immposible to buy something better from Japan or other country, only the "chosen" (party members) people would get it. Of course many young people are using this stuff and enjoying it, but older people (who remembert those times, for exapmple my father) are suprised of that and tell me "Why are You using this bad russian stuf with new Sony camera, when now You can get much better japanese products ;)
 

Bimjo

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Uhhh, thanks Dioptrick, now I need to get one of these. Like I really need another 55mm lens… ;)
 

Dioptrick

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Bokeh - Contrast - Flare

The 'Russian bokeh' on this Industar has a character of it's own and doesn't seem to swirl like the Helios does.

NEX-5N    ---    0mm    f/1.0    1/640s    ISO 100

Industar-61 55mm f/2.8, 1/60 sec, Auto ISO



I got a mixed bag with regards to contrast (which is very good in most cases). Sometimes it is quite good even with backlit subjects (below). I had to lighten this one because it was underexposed, but the contrast was already spot-on.

NEX-5N    ---    0mm    f/1.0    1/1250s    ISO 100

Industar-61 55mm f/5.6, 1/1250 sec, Auto ISO



Shooting large shaded areas tends to produce low contrast images though (which isn't necessarily a bad thing if you need to capture critical detail). Over-exposure will definitely exacerbate this trait as you can see below. But with plenty of detail in there (even under the ramp shadows, wow), it can be easily optimized in post-processing. I'd sooner work on something like this rather than trying to decrease contrast from a 'fried' original.

NEX-5N    ---    0mm    f/1.0    1/160s    ISO 100

Industar-61 55mm f/5.6, 1/160 sec, Auto ISO



I tried to induce some aperture flares to appear (both wide open f2.8 and stopped down f16) but it won't do it. Spot flaring seems to be well and truly under control with this baby (maybe the leaves stopped it, I'm not sure). Unlike film photography, I'm iffy about shooting straight into the sun with digital (in case a focused-sunbeam damages the sensor's sensitivity) - which is why I shot through some leaves. I still cringe when I do it though.

NEX-5N    ---    0mm    f/1.0    1/640s    ISO 100

Industar-61 55mm f/2.8, 1/640 sec, Auto ISO . . . . . Industar-61 55mm f/16, 1/60 sec, Auto ISO
 

fotomachi

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Congratulations for your new acquisition :) I have several copies of this lens and I really love it. It has IMHO two drawbacks: it is relatively slow (f/2.8) and has a large minimum focussing distance (~1m). But the image quality is really neat and can hardly be beaten for the buck.

This lens goes for €10-15 on ebay if you go for buy-it-now. For €15-25, you have the same lens including a camera (usually a FED-5).

The history of the Industar-61 is quite extensive... It began with the I-61 with silver finishing (a continuation of the Industar-26M), followed by the I-61 panda and zebra, and eventually by the I-61 L/D. The I-61 series was the default kit lens for the FED, starting from the FED-3 (I think, not completely sure). There are millions of it...
 

Dioptrick

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Aperture f2.8 and Chromatic Aberration

I went wandering around the city near the waterfront and chanced upon this rather modest water-fountain. It was noon and the sun was bright... perfect for motion freeze-frame shots. I wanted to acquire the fastest shutter speed possible, so I opened-up "IndyBoy" all the way to f2.8 (yes, I've given my Industar a name :eek: ... as you do). Acquiring 1/4000 sec has it's downside because f2.8 delivers the shallowest DOF - so focusing on a rushing jet of water is critical. Thank goodness for Magnification Factor assist on the 5N! You guys should try watching a stream of water running past your LCD screen at MF x 9.5... it's mesmerizing! Focus Peaking can't register quick enough, lol. Anyway, the sharpness IndyBoy delivered at f2.8 really surprised me when I studied the images at home. Bokeh looks quite nice too.

NEX-5N    ---    0mm    f/1.0    1/4000s    ISO 100

Industar-61 55mm f/2.8, 1/4000 sec, Auto ISO100



From previous tests, chromatic aberration with this Industar-61 seems to be only present at f2.8 - but even then, I don't think it's objectionable (as these photos show). Once stopped down to f5.6 onwards, CA is practically non-existent (on my other photos, not these ones).

NEX-5N    ---    0mm    f/1.0    1/4000s    ISO 100

Industar-61 55mm f/2.8, 1/4000 sec, Auto ISO100



A little bit of CA can actually be a good thing and can add interest (a hint of iridescence) as seen below in this 66.7% crop from the pic above. It reminded me of an artist I met years ago who painted surfing scenes where he would deliberately paint red and blue outlines around white gleams in the water to make people subconsciously squint when they viewed his work inside gallery exhibitions.

NEX-5N    ---    0mm    f/1.0    1/4000s    ISO 100


The CA fringe colour is different on either side of dead centre (Red fringes on the right and Cyan on the left).
 

Bolampau

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Unlike film photography, I'm iffy about shooting straight into the sun with digital (in case a focused-sunbeam damages the sensor's sensitivity) - which is why I shot through some leaves. I still cringe when I do it though.
I'd not realised that this was a risk to the sensor!? I'll bear this in mind in the future.
LOL, but in England we're getting nothing but rain right now so the chances of shooting the sun are slim!

Cheers,
Paul
 

Dioptrick

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I'd not realised that this was a risk to the sensor!? I'll bear this in mind in the future.
Ah, the internet is filled with debates about this subject and I really don't care much about reading those endless contradicting squabbles. I don't have any qualms about shooting sunrises and sunsets, but I do try to avoid shooting directly into the midday sun because part of it kinda makes sense to me - especially with a mirror-less camera like the NEX with "live" sensor view. In saying that, I WILL take the shot with no hesitation if something good is happening. I am naturally drawn to the art of "contre jour."

LOL, but in England we're getting nothing but rain right now so the chances of shooting the sun are slim!
True, true... but it looks like the biggest risk you have to avoid at the moment is a short-circuit! ;)
 

Dioptrick

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Walk-about with the Industar-61

Strolling around on a Sunday afternoon with no theme in mind... just shot what came into view.

NEX-5N    ---    0mm    f/1.0    1/1000s    ISO 100

Industar-61 55mm f/8, 1/1000 sec, Auto ISO



NEX-5N    ---    0mm    f/1.0    1/100s    ISO 100

Industar-61 55mm f/5.6, 1/100 sec, Auto ISO



NEX-5N    ---    0mm    f/1.0    1/800s    ISO 100

Industar-61 55mm f/5.6, 1/800 sec, Auto ISO



NEX-5N    ---    0mm    f/1.0    1/640s    ISO 100

Industar-61 55mm f/5.6, 1/640 sec, Auto ISO



NEX-5N    ---    0mm    f/1.0    1/200s    ISO 100

Industar-61 55mm f/5.6, 1/200 sec, Auto ISO



NEX-5N    ---    0mm    f/1.0    1/320s    ISO 100

Industar-61 55mm f/5.6, 1/320 sec, Auto ISO



NEX-5N    ---    0mm    f/1.0    1/320s    ISO 100

Industar-61 55mm f/5.6, 1/320 sec, Auto ISO



NEX-5N    ---    0mm    f/1.0    1/400s    ISO 100

Industar-61 55mm f/5.6, 1/400 sec, Auto ISO
 

Bolampau

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Hey Dioptrick,
those shots look really good with this lens! Although I haven't seen a 100% crop there seems to be plenty of detail in the photos and they look tack sharp.

I must get some legacy glass asap!
Cheers,
Paul
 

pictogramax

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Thanks for such a detailed report, Dioptrick!

Your IndiBoy shines on your camera -your results are more "modern" looking than my examples with Jupiter 8 (that gives me more dreamy and even less contrasty images). But me too, I find it to be good for overall DR and easily fixed in PP. And my second (this time sleek black) copy is better than my silvery first.

Being from Serbia, once under communist Russia's influence, I can testify for accuracy of what Adwers said. On the other hand, it keeps the prices of said lenses very low here, and there's plenty of them:)

I would be tempted to get me a my proper IndiBoy if my Minolta MD adapter had't arrived in the meantime:eek: I'm having a blast with my Rokkor F2.0 45mm and the other lenses are resting in the drawer:rolleyes:
 

Dioptrick

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Hey Dioptrick,
those shots look really good with this lens! Although I haven't seen a 100% crop there seems to be plenty of detail in the photos and they look tack sharp.

I must get some legacy glass asap!
Not bad for an 18 dollar lens, aye! (USD)
I actually ended up paying more for the postage than the price of the lens... seeing as I live at the other side of the globe. :(

Anyway, here's a SOOC 100% crop of the second to last pic (Boat & Anchor)... detail is pretty good. You can read the logo on the red valve handle, and the blue & white label on the anchor winch! :)

NEX-5N    ---    0mm    f/1.0    1/640s    ISO 100
 

fotomachi

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Not bad for an 18 dollar lens, aye! (USD)
I actually ended up paying more for the postage than the price of the lens... seeing as I live at the other side of the globe. :(

That is why I usually end up buying a few lenses from the same seller...
 

Bolampau

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Not bad for an 18 dollar lens, aye! (USD)
I actually ended up paying more for the postage than the price of the lens... seeing as I live at the other side of the globe. :(

Anyway, here's a SOOC 100% crop of the second to last pic (Boat & Anchor)... detail is pretty good. You can read the logo on the red valve handle, and the blue & white label on the anchor winch! :)
Wow, that's incredible value and great sharpness - good bang for the buck!

I wanna get some legacy glass but can't make up my mind which to buy, either cheap ones or highly recommended!
Cheers,
Paul
 

Bolampau

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Also, I forgot to say that I wonder whether the NEX 5 is better with legacy glass as I keep reading the reviews that the NEX 7 sensor is very unforgiving/awkward with many lenses including Sony's own e.g. Photozone's verdict on the 50mm F1.8

Sony E 50mm f/1.8 OSS (SEL-50F18) - Review / Lens Test - Sample Images & Verdict

all to do with edge sharpness at large apertures it seems. However, in the real world, I'm loving the photos I'm getting with the NEX 7 and it is a great camera!
Cheers,
Paul
 

Adwers

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(...) I'm having a blast with my Rokkor F2.0 45mm and the other lenses are resting in the drawer:rolleyes:
Good choice! ;) In my opinion MD 45/2 is probably the best cheap MD lens (in Poland about 30-40 US $). Of course there are better MD/Rokkor lenses, but they are much more expensive (100-150 US $ and more).
 

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