Forgot Password
Pentax Camera Forums Home

Third-Party Pentax Lenses - Reviews and Database » Russian and Zenitar Lenses » Prime Lenses
Industar-50 50mm F3.5 Review RSS Feed

Industar-50 50mm F3.5

Reviews Views Date of last review
17 58,466 Mon October 9, 2017
Recommended By Average Price Average User Rating
100% of reviewers $19.23 8.59
Industar-50 50mm F3.5

Industar-50 50mm F3.5
Industar-50 50mm F3.5

There are several versions of this lens: a silver and a black version, and both are available in M39 and M42 mount. It is a Russian copy of the famous Zeiss Tessar lens. It has 4 elements in 3 groups.
Mount Type:
Price History:

Add Review of Industar-50 50mm F3.5
Sort Reviews by: Date | Author | Rating | Recommendation | Likes (Descending) Showing Reviews 1-15 of 17
New Member

Registered: November, 2016
Posts: 7
Lens Review Date: October 9, 2017 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $10.00 | Rating: 9 

Pros: Size , sharpnes
Cons: none
Sharpness: 9    Aberrations: 9    Bokeh: 9    Handling: 9    Value: 10    Camera Used: Pentax K30   

I bought this litle fellow at Ebay 10 USD, I had to have it. First of all, the size. It fit in a jeans pocket, and if you have a large pocket it disapeare. It is amazingly sharp, even at f/3,5. The aperature adjustment is a bit unusual , but after 10min it is there in your fingers. I had a walk today , and it suprized me with exellent images. Colors are great, and so is the sharpnes.

All images are shoot at f/3,5, straigt from the camera, just converted to JPEG.

If you find one, buy it.
New Member

Registered: October, 2013
Posts: 6
Lens Review Date: July 7, 2017 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $15.49 | Rating: 9 

Pros: Tiny, good colour rendition and sharp lens
Cons: Slow and no infinity focus on M43 cameras (M39 version using M42 converter)
Sharpness: 9    Aberrations: 9    Bokeh: 7    Handling: 8    Value: 9    Camera Used: Olympus O-MD E-M5 Mark II   

Very sharp. Very small. Very reasonably priced. The colour that it gives is realistic. What not to like. I would have given it 10 if it focuses to infinity.

I bought it from a Ukranian seller from ebay. Love the lens so far. I wish it was faster but for this size and prize, I should be ashamed complaining....

Actually mine is a L39 version but I am using a converter M39 to M42 to use it on M42 adapter to Olympus O-MD E-M5 digital camera. I will try to use it on my Zenit 11 film camera too later on...

These are few of the sample photos, just resized in PS6 from 16MP to 5MP

New Member

Registered: June, 2017
Posts: 1
Lens Review Date: June 11, 2017 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $20.00 | Rating: 9 

Pros: Cheap, sharp, compact
Cons: Bokeh is not too hot
Sharpness: 9    Aberrations: 9    Bokeh: 7    Handling: 8    Value: 10    Camera Used: Nikon D5300   

This lens so cheap It wouldn't be fair to say anything bad about it. It gives nice sharp pictures. Color saturation is really nice, It's so small you can it to your pocket. It's easy to hack for your Nikon cameras, so it can be used on every camera.The positives outweight the negatives. The only (kinda) bad thing is the handling, It's a bit weird to handle the aperture ring. I can 100% recommend this lens.

New Member

Registered: December, 2016
Posts: 13
Lens Review Date: February 4, 2017 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $20.00 | Rating: 7 

Pros: Low cost, small, sharp at F8
Cons: Only F3.5
Sharpness: 8    Aberrations: 7    Bokeh: 6    Handling: 7    Value: 8    Camera Used: Fuji X-M1, Olympus E-PL5   

I used the M42 version Industar 50-2 with the Russian letters on it.

I have made some impressions for macro photo & video with extension tubes:

Very interesting little lens, probably a Tessar design? Images are sharp at F8 and good at F3.5 on a crop sensor. Bokeh is limited with this lens and can be somewhat untidy looking with background light. When it comes to value one may add a little bit more money an buy an overall better performing lens like the Helios 44 58mm F2.

Site Supporter

Registered: November, 2015
Location: Connacht, Ireland
Posts: 64
Lens Review Date: August 13, 2016 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $20.00 | Rating: 8 

Pros: center sharpness from f3.5, size, cost, weight
Cons: aperture ring is easily moved, lens cap doesn't stay put
Sharpness: 8    Aberrations: 6    Bokeh: 6    Handling: 6    Value: 10    Camera Used: K-30, K-x, K-5, Z-70   

I purchased my Industar 50-2 from a re-seller in Poland. My copy was manufactured in 1974 and came to me in what I would call unused condition. It was physically perfect and looked like it had never seen a day of use.

Over the past three years, I have used this diminutive lens on all of my Pentax bodies (digital and film) with pretty good results. It's a bit fiddly with its very small aperture ring and very compact design, but these are parts of the charm of using this little beast. I frequently put it on my K-30 and slip the combo into a very small bag for carrying. It's frequently a conversation starter, too.

From a performance standpoint, I'm generally impressed with this lens. It's quite sharp in the center even from wide open and I would call it razor sharp across 3/4 of the frame at f8. However, my copy never achieves great corner sharpness on APS-C even above f5.6 and on film corners show obvious blur. On the other hand, this lens is consistent enough from f5.6 to f/8 to work around it if one is aware of these limitations.

Metering between f3.5 and f/8 on my K-30 is also excellent and very consistent. Not so much with K-x.

Flare and loss of contrast is a big issue, even with the tiny front element. However, one can easily shield it with one hand since the lens is so small.

I can definitely recommend this lens. It's very fun to use and the results will surprise most skeptics.
Site Supporter

Registered: April, 2011
Location: Lost in translation ...
Posts: 16,593
Lens Review Date: January 5, 2014 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $20.00 | Rating: 8 

Pros: Sharp, featherweight, performance/price ratio ...
Cons: Almost "too" small for my big fat fingers ...
Sharpness: 9    Aberrations: 7    Bokeh: 8    Handling: 7    Value: 10   


Just recently acquired this Soviet (in Cyrillic "Industar-50-2") and have not had to time to put it through its paces in more extensive use, ie outdoors & low light, etc. Mostly indoor tests and a few snaps here and there, but I like what I see ... well worth the acquisition.

No decent samples to add at the moment, thus a "p0rn shot" of it on my K-5 to give all an idea of how diminutive this Industar is ... mounted with an OEM Pentax M42 adapter ring.

Salut, John le Green Frog


Registered: September, 2013
Location: Toronto
Posts: 1,442

1 user found this helpful
Lens Review Date: October 9, 2013 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $18.00 | Rating: 7 

Pros: Light, cheap, good quality, difficult to make flare
Cons: Handling (particularly aperture ring), slow, CA in birght light at wider apertures
Handling: 4    Value: 10    Camera Used: K-30, K20D, Spotmatic   

A decent lens. Nice and tiny, both in size and weight. (If you've got this on a KA mount or later, then expect all the contacts to be completely uncovered.) Available cheaply due to the sheer number of them produced.

That size is also a downside though, as the aperture ring is tiny and a bit of a pain to turn. On the other hand, it does so continuously instead of stepwise. (On the other other hand, you will sometimes find that you're turning the focus ring at the same time.)

At smaller apertures expect to have issues with automatic metering, at least with my copy and the K-30, so dial in some exposure compensation. (I also found that, at smaller apertures, it tended to give photos an extremely cool tone.)

This may sound like it's all negatives, but it's not: I like the lens; the image quality is good; and it's nearly impossible to make flare in my experience. It's just also got some big caveats.

One final one: as with all Eastern Bloc lens, quality can vary a bit between individual lenses.

Some sample images on digital:
Evening Commute by Andrew, on Flickr

Watching the Pedestrians by Andrew, on Flickr

Untitled by Andrew, on Flickr

On extension tubes:
Helios-103 by Andrew, on Flickr

And one on film:
Lovezilla by Andrew, on Flickr
New Member

Registered: June, 2011
Location: Kaliningrad region
Posts: 7
Lens Review Date: June 1, 2013 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $10.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: Sharpness, weight, price
Cons: Handling
Sharpness: 10    Aberrations: 10    Bokeh: 8    Handling: 6    Value: 7   

Pentax K30 + Industar-50-2 (black)

Veteran Member

Registered: February, 2007
Location: Phoenix
Posts: 1,056
Lens Review Date: January 11, 2013 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $20.00 | Rating: 9 

Pros: Tiny, image quality, it's a conversation starter
Cons: Speed (the flip side of positive aspect #1), aperture ring

Amazing value lens. Image quality is terrific and since it is M42 you can use it in Av mode on a dslr. Very, very small -- I actually stash it in a small outside pocket on my bag. The only downside is the continuous aperture adjustment. I find that I sometimes turn it along with the (very long throw) focus ring when focusing, which is kind of irritating.

With the number that show up on eBay and the PF marketplace, there is little reason not to buy one, even as a novelty.
Forum Member

Registered: May, 2012
Location: New York
Posts: 52
Lens Review Date: October 12, 2012 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $30.00 | Rating: 9 

Pros: Sharp, Cheap, Small Good IQ
Cons: Aperture Adjustment, Flare
Sharpness: 10    Aberrations: 9    Bokeh: 8    Handling: 7    Value: 10   

Definitely underrated, odd looking little fellow. Sharp at F3.5, razor sharp stepped down. Adjusting aperture is pain, especially post focus. Flare prone. Other than that - very impressive results.
New Member

Registered: June, 2011
Location: Brooklyn, NY
Posts: 10
Lens Review Date: May 15, 2012 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: None indicated | Rating: 10 

Pros: IQ is very good, sharp, nice colors
Cons: aperture adjustment is pain in the ass
Sharpness: 10    Handling: 6   

I like this lens very much, but after 'conveniences' of modern photography, it is so difficult to go back to the click-less diaphragm. Maybe I need to be more patient.

Also, this lens is not that inexpensive these days.

I used this on Zenit 3M with black and white film and it was great. My version is from 1967.

On K7 I use it with M39-M42 adapter attached to M42-PK adapter without flange, so infinity focusing is possible. Here is some more information
Veteran Member

Registered: February, 2012
Location: Fredericton, New Brunswick
Posts: 631
Lens Review Date: April 24, 2012 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $15.00 | Rating: 9 

Pros: Sharp, Light, Strange Looking, Pleasant Bokeh
Cons: Seems flare prone.
Sharpness: 9    Aberrations: 8    Bokeh: 9    Handling: 10    Value: 10   

Got this in the mail finally(Actually forgot I ordered it) today, went out for a sample run and I must say, quite a good lens - Looks interesting for sure...went to find a front lens cap for mine at the local camera shop, and the shop owner *swore* it was an enlarger lens.

Well worth it if you can land one for under 30$(Not too hard, there's hundreds up for sale on ebay) - Fairly sharp wide open, will cut you at F5+, Bokeh is just...well, blurry? Sort of natural - See the pictures others have uploaded for reference. As mentioned though, a hood might be a good idea, seems like flaring will be an issue near any astonishingly bright lights.

Registered: January, 2011
Location: Skåne, Sweden
Posts: 422

1 user found this helpful
Lens Review Date: April 29, 2011 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $40.00 | Rating: 9 

Pros: Cheap, very small, lightweight, sharp, pleasant bokeh
Cons: None at this price

This is a very fun and cheap lens!

I have the M42 version, black and with documents and casing. Made in 1981.

Here is some information from the manual (I have the original box and papers):

Made for: 36x24mm film
Focal length: 50 mm
Focus distance: 65 cm to infinity
Aperture: 1:3.5 to 1:16
Fit: M42x1
Filter size: M35,5x0,5
Size: 50mm diameter x 28mm length
Weight: 75 g (although my copy weights in at 67 g without front & rear caps)
Aperture blades: 7 (counted, not specified in manual)

The small size was its selling point for me, and to get such a great performance from that small size and simple construction makes it very fun to use. Weighs only 120g, but has a good build quality, glass and metal! Aperture-setting a bit strange, but since it is sharp at 3.5 just use it wide open It looks a bit small on the K-x, so I guess that makes it look tiny on the larger Pentax cameras, not even thinking about if you are using a battery grip.

Sharp already wide open, pretty nice felling when focusing. Bokeh is not fantastic, but very pleasant. Handles CA pretty well, which sometimes are an issue on older lenses. Contrast is a bit on the low-side compared to new lenses, but not that bad. Personally I want that look from an older lens, that is a bit of the feeling.

All in all a fun, small, useful and sharp lens. Perfect if you want to travel light!

Pentax K-x ISO200 F3.5 12mm extension tube
Senior Member

Registered: May, 2010
Location: Coloroado
Posts: 253
Lens Review Date: December 10, 2010 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $9.99 | Rating: 9 

Pros: small, inexpensive, fun to experiment with
Cons: stop down metering on smaller apertures not very accurate.

As many already know, these lenses were produced for Zenit SLRs in the Soviet Union from the late 50s through the late 70s, possibly even into the 80s. They are screw mount, and can be found - some in new condition - by the score on ebay. They were also mounted to rangefinders such as the Zorkii, but those variants have an extension tube attached and cannot be used on SLRs.

I feel I have to justify the rating I gave this lens - the quality of these can vary dramatically. Especially with the older units, you will find that they can have somewhat of a flawed image... but you use it because you LIKE it that way! You will definitely achieve a unique "look" in your photos with the Industar 50, and that's what makes them so much fun to use.

I bought two of these from Ukraine (okay, I have three, but one of them is seized and sits on the shelf mounted to my Zorkii rangefinder...). Of the two usable units, one is from 1964 (an M39 mount) and the other from 1979 (an Industar 50-2 with an M42 mount). The '64 seems to either be uncoated or single coated. It is not very contrasty, but the highlights positively GLOW! It definitely produces a vintage looking image - gorgeous. The '79 was NIB when I got it. It is definitely coated, if not multi-coated. It has a nice contrasty image, and is sharper than the '64, but it still delivers some of the vintage look I like.

I have had strange problems using stop down metering on these. Wide open, it meters fine, but the images always seem to come out dark when I stop down. Not sure why, and I don't think I care. This lens is best used (for me) wide open all the time - that way you get the funky bokeh that these lenses produce. It's a clockwise swirl that is very unique. I've read that the resolution at the edges is half of that at the center, and I would say that's probably accurate (that's a good thing).

You have to be careful shooting these in the sun, as they are very susceptible to flare - unless that's what you're looking for, and you won't be disappointed! I have mounted the '64 to a Canon 5D to check the vignetting it produces full frame, and it was extreme! it was like I was looking at a negative from a camera with a lot of light leaks.

These are great lenses for those shooters who like to experiment. The resulting images can be magical - moody and vintage - especially when the images have been converted to black and white.
New Member

Registered: January, 2010
Location: Paris
Lens Review Date: June 29, 2010 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: None indicated | Rating: 8 

Pros: Small, Sharp, Light,
Cons: Contrast, Prone to flare

I own the black version Industar 50-2 , after a long research on the net i found out that there are hoods compatible with this lense.
2 ways of doing it :
Either a step up ring 40.5 to a more standard 49
or a hood from the Leica Elmarit M series .
In both cases it is not very expensive.
In my opinion it is one of the most underestimated 50 mm lense , as it could be found for nearly nothing and the quality is good. I honestly prefer the Helios 44 but nevertheless it is amazing what this little thing can do.
Add Review of Industar-50 50mm F3.5

All times are GMT -7. The time now is 09:51 AM. | See also:, part of our network of photo forums!
  • Red (Default)
  • Green
  • Gray
  • Dark
  • Dark Yellow
  • Dark Blue
  • Old Red
  • Old Green
  • Old Gray
  • Dial-Up Style
Hello! It's great to see you back on the forum! Have you considered joining the community?
Creating a FREE ACCOUNT takes under a minute, removes ads, and lets you post! [Dismiss]