Industar 61L/D Variants
In my recent research (and shopping) for a good mate for my new Canon P, I've noticed that there seem to be variations within certain lens models. For example, the unpainted, polished aluminum Jupiter-8 lens is older than the one finished in black (though I've seen examples that were all "chrome" and some that were chrome and black that were both supposedly from 1961.) I've also read that the build quality on the older lenses tends to be better and more consistent than on the newer ones.
I haven't been able to dig up any information about the variations within the Industar 61 line of lenses. When, exactly, did the Soviets begin producing the L/D version? I've seen some that are all black, and some that are black and chrome (referred to as "zebra" lenses, presumably after the Pentax lenses that were also called "zebra".) Are the chrome and black ones older, or were they simply cosmetically different from the black ones and produced around the same time?
How's your ukrainian?
The ones at the top are for SLRs, some are M42 some are M39, look for Рабочее расстояние: 45,2 мм means back-focus distance, 45mm is slr-sized.
Down the bottom there's a 61L in two variants, then an L/D (Индустар-61Л/Д) 3 from the bottom in black.
The particular version I have is second from the bottom (I'll check the serial number when I get home, I'm pretty sure it's a regular '61', I think it's from the 50s or 60s). The build quality may or may not have been very good on mine, I can't tell because it's been dropped a lot by the looks, focus gets really stiff around 2m then spins freely to MFD.
There's also an L/D at the very bottom, made for the Fed-6 TTL, says something about 1992 but I'm not sure what.
As is the case with most soviet stuff, the underlying designs were good but QC and workmanship varied wildly. It's more than likely that when they changed the designs, they didn't waste anything, maybe they had more bodies than elements at the time of switchover, so maybe there's new-glass in old-bodies or the other way around sometimes?
ps, I just ran it through google translate.
The 2nd and 3rd last both say just 'standard lens for FED', the last one says it was an 'experimental design for the FED-6 TTL in 1992'.
But yeah, no dates, sorry. based on the rest of this site (that i visit a fair bit), the lenses are generally in chronological order, although that's not guaranteed.
Be aware that the Industar rangefinder ring does not always give accurate focussing with Canon Rangefinder cams (And Leica Cameras too). If you get one it would be best to expose a roll of film at close and distant focussing points to check if all is OK, before parting with a lot of cash or a guarantee you will get your money back. I don't know if they can be adjusted for better accuracy but somehow I doubt it.
They can be adjusted by shimming the optical block, but on a properly functioning 50/2.8 like the I-61 you will not notice the deviation between the Leica and Soviet standards, even wide open and close up. It really only shows up in those conditions with fast lenses like the Jupiter-3.
Originally Posted by BMbikerider
FWIW, Fedka says late 70s for the I-61, but does not indicate when the style change occurred. I suspect they were not concurrent.
Ok you can adjust the focussing by shimming the optics but with an Industar lens would it really be cost effective.
BM, the cost is: unscrewing the optics capsule, putting the shim in place, screwing the capsule back in. Pretty cheap.
Originally Posted by BMbikerider
The root of this problem is this: Leica rangefinders were made to work directly - that is without a cam, the RF follower rests directly on the rear of the helicoid which holds the optics capsule - with a 51.6mm lens, while Zeiss Contax RFs used a 52. 4mm lens. (I'm going on memory here, but these #s are in the ballpark if not spot-on)
Putting the longer lens such as a J-3 or J-8 (copies of prewar Zeiss Sonnars) on a Leica-standard body means the lens will be focussed farther away than the rangefinder indicates. I've researched this only in the context of the two Jupiter lenses, I do not know if the Industars (Tessars) have the same affliction. Shimming the optics capsule is easy, but it only shifts the error from near to far, where DOF renders it much less of an issue. The calculated thickness of the shim for a J-8 is .00447".
I just recieved a J-8 which I plan to use on a Canon RF, I have yet to check how the lens matches up to the camera. But - the build quality is not bad at all, it is not a gorgeously made lens but it is far from junk; my main quibble (which I was aware of before I bought it) is that the aperture has no click stops, a lack which I intend to correct if at all possible. Mine was made in 1975 and is black, at least for now.
I wouldn't worry too much about variations in different lens models. As with all things Russian, your luck in getting a good sample is what it's all about. Having owned the earlier Zebra style lenses, and the later black lenses w/ the deep purple coatings, I'd say the key is condition. These are very good lenses if all is right w/ them. For what it's worth, I have never run into any lens registration problems when using Russian glass on Leica, Canon or Bessa RF's, even w/ the J-8's wide open at close distances. In my experience, people sometimes end up w/ lenses that have been inexpertly cleaned and reassembled. I've had a few of those, including lenses that would not focus correctly at any distances w/o a disassembly and correct reassembly. People like to start helical threads in the wrong place. You can usually spot this when the distance markings are in odd places. I once owned a J-9 that had the markings on the bottom!
You would be well advised to try and find a lens in the US. If there's a problem w/ one from overseas, the return shipping will surely be more than the cost of the lens.