Industar 26m 5cm 2.8

Industar 26m lens

Focal Lenght: 5cm
Max Apeture: 2.8
Lens Mount: m39 (LTM)
Min. Focus: 1 m
Filter Size: 40.5 mm
Weight: 100g
Coated: Yes П 
Preset Aperture

LENS STORY

I once stumbled upon and bought a Leitz Elmar 5cm 3.5. At the time I didn’t have an m39 body, so after some research, decided to get a Fed 2 for a test run. I didn’t end up doing that, but the Fed came with the Industar 5cm 2.8 lens. It’s one of those lenses I’ve read about and then put out of my mind (to be honest a tad dismissively), but I decided to give it a go, before gifting the camera and lens to my father. (He had used one like that when younger)

HANDLING

I rarely use the word hate, so I will not start using it now. I heavily dislike how this lens handles. My version is the older one with the focusing tab. 

The small focusing ring and tab isn’t a problem at all. Neither is the present aperture. I can live with both. 

What really irks me is how wobbly the lens is and how shoddy it feels. It’s not massive movement, but the focus ring, the aperture ring and the lens mount have some “play” in them and make a noise when you move/shake the lens. Like an annoying robot, clicking it’s mechanical tongue at you.

It could be the age of the lens, or that infamous quality control of the age, but this is now the second time I’ve gotten a lens like this, the first one’s mount was so wobbly it wasnt usable.

OPTICAL PERFORMANCE

I believe I’ve said similar things about other lenses – this isn’t one you seek out. 

I’ve read it uses the Tessar’s formula, but it doesn’t seem ot have the same qualities going for it. I remember I loved shooting and reviewing the Carl Zeiss Tessar, while with the Industar it felt like a “try” to get a good image. To be fair I have a few I really adore, but most of the work I have from the several months I used the lens is sub-par at best. And I’m not just saying I suck at takin photos, I can always improve, but the colors the Industar produced never stood out. 

On the neutral side, albeit a bit washed out half the time, flared out the other half, I ended up editing them heavily. (Which isn’t something I usually do)

Sharpness was good in the centre, with the corners on my copy catching up near f5.6-f8. Contrast was on the weak side.

I’ve read a few reviews where colors were said to be good, corner sharpness abysmall and contrast good, but it’s a gamble and a surprise on what you’ll get!

 

FINAL THOUGHTS

I’d avoid this lens unless gifted / bought with a camera. It proves you can take photos with any lens, but you might not want to. 

If you’re looking for a FSU (Former Soviet Union) lens in the m39 lens mount, you can always opt in for a Jupiter-8, which is faster and offers a more distinct character (and bokeh). You’d trade in the Tessar optical scheme for the Sonnar, but you get that bubbly bokeh and those lovely colors!