Elmar 50/3.5 & Russian copy

Discussion in 'Leica and Rangefinders' started by diego_k., Apr 26, 2003.

  1. Hi there again

    Lately I’m much fascinated with this small lens, and am looking for
    one in good shape for when I’ll have the money. Thinking of this it
    occurred to me that maybe the Russian copy that comes with those
    funky replicas, or the clearly Russian marked one (don’t remember
    which fed is it), can be an interesting choice since the emlar unless
    it’s the collectors red scale one, is a 70 years old design, usually
    uncoated or single coated. The Russian one is a similar design if I’m
    not mistaken, and could even be multi coated?

    So what is the deal? Could the more modern Russian copy be equal or
    maybe a better shooter (no leitz glamour though) than a really old
    elmar? Or am I really off track?

    PS: wouldnt mind trading my 15cv for a minty RS.
  2. You are really off track.
  3. Industar -50 wide open at F3.5 <IMG SRC="http://www.ezshots.com/members/tripods/images/tripods-213.jpg"><IMG SRC="http://www.ezshots.com/members/tripods/images/tripods-210.jpg">
  4. Here is a a New one grand LTM Summicron 50mm F2 @F2 wide open. The Elmar clone is usually a great lens. It really is more of an ego problem than a performace issue.<IMG SRC="http://www.ezshots.com/members/tripods/images/tripods-209.jpg">
  5. Looking at the pics, I really think the industar has quite a nice resulting image versus the summicron, other than the warm color cast that is. My use will be BW anyway. Is the industar the same optic as the collapsible (since you mention it´s industar rigid).
    Thanks for the pics.
  6. The Russian collapsible 3.5 lenses come in at least three versions:

    1) The earliest lenses are just labelled "FED" - usually in Cryllic characters. These come in both coated and uncoated versions. It is the earliest lens in the group and some people believe it to be less sharp than the later collapsibles.

    2) The Industar-22; there may be some uncoated ones around but more commonly the lens is coated. This is quite a good lens. I cannot distinguish between the wide open performance of the Industar-22 and the screw mount f3.5 Elmar in testing similar to Kelly's posting nor in actual use.

    3) The Industar 50; this is most common as a rigid, rather ugly version, but there are plenty of the collapsible mounts around as well; these all seem to be coated. The I-50 optics, which I believe are identical in both mounts, are the most evolved of the Russian 3.5 lenses. I can't find a difference in performance between the I-50 and I-22 in my use of the lenses (which is all B&W).

    I do have an I-50 which has the f-stop labels screen printed, rather than engraved, and the numbers were worn when I bought the lens. Engraved labels seem more common so perhaps this was an end of production cost savings measure at the factory.

    All of the Russian lenses can have tight iris adjusting rings - you might want to check this if you can. I've managed to free the rings up by using a tiny drop of machine oil on the circumference of the adjusting ring and working the ring back and forth.

    All of these collapsible lenses are in mounts made of brass and steel rather than the less robust aluminum construction of the rigid Russian lenses.

    On a good day, you can find these lenses with a camera attached for $30 or less - look for it on a Zorki 2C which is not a popular camera due, evidently, to its ungainly appearance. Any of these three lenses is worth that amount of money.
  7. Amateur Photographer in the UK tested three Russian Leica copies with Elmar clones and found that the lenses were pretty dire. That's not to say that all Elmar copies will be junk, as Kelly's posting shows, some can be very good, but simply that it's a bit of a lottery with Russian lenses whether you get a decent one or not.

    For instance, I had a superb Jupiter 8 on a Kiev which I regret parting with but I know someone who got the same lens brand new which was not quite as sharp as the bottom of a milk bottle. The moral is either to buy very cheap or test before you pay.
  8. You could just buy the elmar. The last time I walked by Central Camera in Chicago they had a tray of them in the front window, mostly in fine shape, for around $150 each. I bought the best one, but there are still about five or six left. :)
  9. The batting average of my Russian Elmars is 3 for 3 or 1.00 ; this is for 2 collapsables; and one rigid version. For Jupiter-8's; I have about 4; all but one are well behaved; For jupiter-3's only 1 out of 3 focuses ok; for Jupiter-9's; only 1 out of 3.<BR><BR> Before 9/11; I got many of these lenses; most real cheap. Several of the Jupiter-8's , Camera, and shipping from Russia were less than 25 dollars!
  10. Getting an Elmar locally reduces the huge risk of getting a dud Russian lens. The Russian clone and the Real Elmar have different bayonet flange ears; that lock the lens in place; when extending the lens. The NOOKY device only works with the real Elmar; thus it can be used to detect fakes. Many Leica copies say "Elmar" and are really the Russian lens. If the camera body has Elvis type felt in wird colors; it probably is a fake!
  11. I have a very Rare unknown Russian Elmar 50mm F:3.5 COPY , called a Sonder-Objektiv 50mm. It's not a modern multi-coated lens as we know; as they reflect greenish in coating. This one has a Purple-reddish coating on all its elements (4) and you can see it! I tested it on a Sony Nex 7 on a m39> nex adapter at F:3.5, it's superb! The Bokeh is beautiful in the background DOF and its very sharp and contrasty, with rich colors that are accurate! Maybe it was a enlarging lens? Internet information is NON existent on this lens and I have never seen this name before? it is collapsible Elmar copy with a very good build quality and quality chrome body. I would never sell it.

  12. This is a Frankenpost" --original date 2003

    The best of the Soviet clones of Leica (and Zeiss) lenses are usually very good.

    Through a process not to be told here, I have ended up with a bunch of these Soviet lenses in LTM and Contax mounts The best of them are as good as my Summicron and Canon lenses, and the worst are serviceable.
    One of many posts by me on this general topic:
    Soviet LTM lenses and a Canon LTM on a Canon VL2
  13. Original engraving, or something added more recently to make it seem more exotic and marketable? Is the gold colour just the lighting? A Russian lens wouldn't usually be engraved in German ('Special Lens'). This name was apparently used for (e.g.) Zeiss Jena lenses corrected for IR and visible light, supposedly used by the East German Stasi for covert surveillance, but the examples online aren't collapsible Elmar copies. As for the coating, my real 5cm Elmar looks rather like that, and none of my Leica lenses have greenish coating (though some Nikkors do). But of course the important thing is the quality of the results, whatever the history - looks like a keeper!
  14. I've had the Industar-10, Industar-22, and Industar-50 all in collapsible mount. Nice, heavy feel to them. I adjusted the shim on the I-22 and I-50 for the Leica, with digital M bodies you can get an improvement even with F3.5 lenses. The Industar-50 is outstanding. I also have a post-war coated Elmar 5cm F3.5, the Industar-50 is a tad sharper.

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