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Those old russian things/industar 50-2 3.5/50

Aenima 8 15 England
23 Jan 2013 8:13PM
Very new to any type of photography - up until now my canon didn't have a lens other than my 8inch reflector telescope, and this is the main reason for my interest in the subject.
On a impulsive whim, it happens a lot, I came by the russian Industar 50-2 3.5/50 lens - theyre all over ebay for not much money..

My question is about using it with my 300D body as a total novice and whether it will work for night sky shots or even any kind of natural photography?

Any advice welcomed,


KenTaylor 16 3.1k 2 United Kingdom
23 Jan 2013 8:30PM
It would depend on what mount it has. For a 300D it would have to be a Canon mount.
A 50 lens would not be of much use for night sky shots.
Aenima 8 15 England
23 Jan 2013 8:38PM
Yeah its got the right adapter, and as my canon is unable to use its autofocus mirror any lens would have to be manual focus. Also the really old style lenses appeal to me more than the usual modern plastic ones - until I learn more about the subject I kinda only want to try the less expensive lenses, hence my interest in the 1975 russian lens...

The older looking images are sometimes the ones I like, especially black n white.

Thanks for the reply Smile

joshwa Plus
10 927 1 United Kingdom
23 Jan 2013 8:52PM
I've used the Industar 50 on my Olympus OM-D E-M5 (2x crop factor) and the results weren't too bad, some example(s) here:
Aenima 8 15 England
23 Jan 2013 9:30PM
Thanks for the link.Smile

Can i ask what the problem was with an adapter not focusing to infinity?
I ask cos I believe its the way to go about taking images of the sky, or is that not right?

Am a total noob without my telescope i'm afraid!

23 Jan 2013 10:06PM
There might be a problem focusing to infinity, there certainly won't be autofocus and you will need to remember to close the aperture before pushing the button. As for me - with the necessity to buy an adaptor from M42X1 Pentax to EF mount and all the hassle using the lens- you would be much better off simply buying a brand new Canon 50mm 1.8 lens which is sold currently for just about 100$. It won't be worse (much better in fact) than ol' good film camera lens.
Aenima 8 15 England
23 Jan 2013 10:34PM
I will definitely be getting a decent lens one day, until then its mainly curiosity that made me want to try the old lens.

My camera cant do autofocus due to the mirror being disabled, so its limited in the lenses it will take. Its great however for tele-photos and likely to need replacing if I become serious about 'normal' photography - until then, the more stranger types of imaging are holding my attention.....


strawman 17 22.2k 16 United Kingdom
23 Jan 2013 11:02PM
I do not think you can use that lens unless your adapter also has a lens in it. If I understand you correctly you have bought an industar 50mm lens that was intended for the Leica copy cameras so M39 fitting, or is it one of the later M42 lenses. The problem usually with fitting some of these lenses is the lens may be designed for a completely different camera system so the distance between the lens and the sensor is wrong. If the lens is too far from the sensor then you loose the ability to focus at objects far away, though as a consequence you can focus closer to objects making macro photography a bit easier.

But to answer your will it work question then you need to be more specific on which version you have. This adapter claims to work ok. But your old lens is not very optically fast and is 50mm much use for astronomy? I would say just get a 2nd hand 50mm f1.8 Canon EF lens. It will work and manual focus. And you have a plastic camera so why not a plastic lens. They take good B&W photo's and are not that expensive.
Aenima 8 15 England
24 Jan 2013 8:50PM
INDUSTAR 50-2 3.5/50 Russian Soviet USSR Lens with adapter for Canon EOS EF

Comes with adapter M42 to Canon EOS and with front and M42 rear lens caps

These ^ are the details, am I right in assuming this will fit? Otherwise, my question is more about the general use of the lens - ie will it look like it was taken from behind a fishbowl or will it give roughly normal looking pictures (especially nature eg trees, my cat, sunset..etc)

Thank you


24 Jan 2013 10:09PM
Industar 50 when I used it last time on my Russian 35mm SLR Zenit film camera was able to produce very good images. I don't see why it would be technically not capable to do the same on EOS, especially in bright light. It will fit your camera in the setup as described. The trick with many film camera lens is that they produce softer image than dedicated digital optics would, but that could be fixed by closing the aperture to 5.6-11 - if you are willing to use this lens in full manual mode. But again, on EOS it may have a problem with focusing to infinity - so it's use for things like sunset is questionable. It's distance scale will be not true for sure.
Paul Morgan 19 19.5k 6 England
24 Jan 2013 10:18PM

Quote:There might be a problem focusing to infinity

Some adapters are better than others.
Aenima 8 15 England
25 Jan 2013 11:49AM

Quote:I do not think you can use that lens unless your adapter also has a lens in it.*

I have to say I didn't know this, are you meaning that these lenses are only used as an addition to another lens? My canon is just the body, (with the T2 ring seperate which is used to attach to telescope)

-----*.... you have a plastic camera so why not a plastic lens. They take good B&W photo's and are not that expensive*

Tongue Thats actually a good point! I really shouldnt be worried what its made of, and thanks also for the suggestion - my plan is to get hold of an 'ordinary' lens to use piggy-back on the scope which tracks the sky - allowing me to take multiple minutes exposure of constellations/starfields and other widefield night stuff. and ideally this new lens would allow me to take natural/macro or general nature pictures too. Though I wont be expecting the old russian one to do that, it just happened to interest me at the time and as an experimental first lens I hoped it wouldnt be too difficult to get it working. :/

Thanks michaelMelb-au for the input, I think I mentioned that the autofocus is disabled - the little mirror doesnt move and its tucked away inside the bigger mirror to keep it from blocking the sensor - I will not be using anything but manual which for astrophotography is fine. I believe that for night sky the focus is slightly 'past infinity'? though not sure what that actually means. Either way, Im not expecting too much from this industar.

Many thanks to all who posted above,


25 Jan 2013 12:29PM
When I wrote about full manual mode I did not mean autofocus only - usually the camera controls aperture as well. I worked with old film M42 lenses on EOS with proper adaptor - not forgetting to control the aperture is difficult. And to manual focus successfully the aperture needs to be fully open. So you open the aperture, focus the camera, then close the aperture taking care not to shift the focus, after that half-press the shutter and check if exposure is Ok. If all good - snap the photo. That is long and tedious business as compared to straight image taking with DSLR. And it's where astrophotography skills come handy - basically the same procedure as on telescope with T2 adaptor sans aperture and exposure check. And it looks to me like infinity focusing should be fine so, if you buy the lens cheaply - get a play. Old Russian lenses are not to be sniggered at - they are jolly good remakes of many famous lens optical schemes. The other lens worth attention can be Helios 44. It is faster lens and is best suited for low light applications - but it is also less sharp at full aperture. It is so good actually that some of them were made by license in Japan - but Russians are considered to be better.
GDO 10 23 Czech Republic
16 Apr 2013 10:56AM
On Eos 300D, as i use only M42 on my Eos, i can provide you some answers...

1st of all, adapter :

M42 to EOS with chip. With the Chip you can use it with Aperture priority ( take care to select the focus point you want to use, not the full cross) or 2nd solution to use the Manual mode. With bit of habit you will see that you will switch very quickly to the manual mode without even noticing it..
NB : don't take T2 for M42 lenses, absolutely no link.

For lenses, i have the 3 50mm Helios (industar) including the pancake, the 3 ones have different results, to test. I use a lot my Pentacon electric 50mm/f1.8 for general purpose, i like the tint and the sharpness.

Tips on old russian lenses (and not only) : some of them have aperture preset ring : that mean that you must pull to front the aperture ring to define the limit of aperture range (you will see, there a point on the ring to align with the upper limit you want.
For example, you want or plan to use from 1.8 to 5.6, not more. you search for this small point, pull the ring and turn it till the point is aligned with 5.6 and put it back in place. Try to turn over and you will notice that you are blocked. Pull it and align to 1.8 or 3.5 and you see that you can turn your aperture ring only between those 2 values.. this avoid to modify your aperture by mistake.

Adapter warning :
take care to the aperture priority mode, most of adapter rings with chip are set on 50mm f2
when you have other kind of lense mounted you must first make some test, the automatic calculation will not be right.
When i use my tair 21 or my Pentacon 500mm, i can rely on chip or i will burn my shoots, can be surprising but with the 500mm i must step down between -1 and -2.

I take so much pleasure to use them that i don't plan other ones actually..
Aenima 8 15 England
16 Apr 2013 2:12PM
Thank you for the extra information,
Being new to general photography i'm not sure I fully understand the apertures and settings, and usually I just take a shot and check the preview to see if its close to the right kind of image i'm hoping to get.

Another issue is my canon is suffering the problem where that little clip and spring that moves the small auto-focus mirror is broken and I fixed it into the back of the main big mirror so it doesnt block the sensor. This means that it only works with manual focusing. So without auto-focus I'm not learning enough about the modes and settings as I should be, because i'm only using manual lenses and focusing by hand and eye.

Maybe one day I can get the mirror clip fixed and use electronic focus and aperture.

Thank you also because its good to learn more about using my camera for other types of photography. Smile



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