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RichardCFrost

Cheapo Russian lens, Industar 69

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RichardCFrost

I bought this for a song, after trying it in the store. I had no idea what the branding said on the lens, but having got it home and googled it I can now say it's an Industar 69, which came with a half frame camera built in the USSR between 1968 and 1972 I think.

So why do I love it?

It is really tiny, even on my M39 adapter, it has massive focal depth and is quite sharp in the centre. But it is also really characterful, going blurry at the edges with loads of chromatic aberration, which I don't care about, because it will mostly be used in black and white on the streets.

It makes architecture shots look like antique photos, partly through a reduction in contrast I think. In a way it reminds me of the toy-like Holga lenses I have on my M4/3 system.

Focus was from around one metre to infinity, however, from reading around, I think it was already modified for infinity by a previous owner. I tried another copy in the store and that would not focus at all, so I suspect it needed modification.

Having read up on how easy it is to modify this lens, I had a go myself and within 5 minutes I have got it focussing down to 16cm. This was simply by unscrewing and removing an internal metal post inside the focus ring. This post moved between two other posts, which are on the main body of the lens, and define the close and infinity focus points. The proper way to modify the lens is to file these posts down until you get stops at your desired nearest focus point and infinity. Perhaps later I will do the mod properly, but for now, my quick and easy mod will suffice.

Below are two shots of the lens to give you an idea of the size and appearance of the lens. I will post some shots taken with the lens soon and add them in to this thread for anyone who is interested in this kind of thing.

All in all, for £30 for a lens and £10 for the M39 adapter, it makes a great alternative to a body cap lens and a cheaper option than the XF27mm.

Edited by RichardCFrost
Rewritten following a little research.

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RichardCFrost

I put a few examples in the gallery from this lens.

The Yoda shot shows just how close you can 'focus' this lens (yeah, I know it's soft), the guy having a cig break was me just experimenting taking a shot from the hip without even looking at the camera as I walked along, and the shot of the brooms was just to check the lens sharpness on the bristles. I think they work quite well.

This is definitely a lens for interpretation of a scene though, rather than strict reportage.


 

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