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Laskadog
28-Jan-2016, 04:14
Hi all,

I just bought an Industar-37 for my DIY 5x7. Mine is brand new, but most that are for sale are seriously worn. I'm a Photojournalist and my gear goes through the ringer but isn't as worn as most of these lenses. Most modern LF gear is almost always in excellent shape so why are these lenses so beat up? What are they actually used for? They all say that they are used for aerial photography. Are these things pulled off of old spy planes or something? Just curious if anyone knows where most these lenses come from. They almost never come with a mounting ring either.

I guess while I'm at it, any other comments (sharpness, built quality etc) or advice about this lens?

Dan Fromm
28-Jan-2016, 04:38
Use Google first, then ask if necessary.

Laskadog
28-Jan-2016, 08:24
Use Google first, then ask if necessary.

What is this Google you speak of Dan? ...Of course I googled the topic. I was on page 5 before I gave up. Lots of chatter about sharpness and shutters and mounting and Tessar design etc, but nothing on their common use in Russia. Next time I'lll specify that I have already Googled, thanks for your input.

goamules
28-Jan-2016, 08:30
Try Bing then.

But seriously, if you can't find anything about it on the world wide web, with millions of users, I doubt you'll learn anything novel here. Other than what someone who is good at Google regurgitates.

Here, 8 seconds later, 3rd link: http://ussrphoto.com/wiki/default.asp?WikiCatID=25&ParentID=2&ContentID=1527

"...used with 18 x 24cm FK and FKD [large format] cameras as the lens does not have a focusing mount."

And now my personal answer. They are probably so beat up because the USSR was a closed society for 72 years. No outside goods came into the country, and the Russians had to use what their Communist enterprises could make. Also, they had very little income. So if you could afford a LF camera and lens, you used it for the rest of your life. Then the next generation would start using it. If you owned one of these cameras, you were probably a professional, and used it daily. That's why they are worn.

Dan Fromm
28-Jan-2016, 08:33
What is this Google you speak of Dan? ...Of course I googled the topic. I was on page 5 before I gave up. Lots of chatter about sharpness and shutters and mounting and Tessar design etc, but nothing on their common use in Russia. Next time I'lll specify that I have already Googled, thanks for your input.

https://www.google.com/advanced_search?hl=en

https://www.google.com/search?hl=en&as_q=&as_epq=industar-37&as_oq=&as_eq=&as_nlo=&as_nhi=&lr=&cr=&as_qdr=all&as_sitesearch=&as_occt=any&safe=images&as_filetype=&as_rights=

https://www.google.com/search?hl=en&as_q=&as_epq=fkd&as_oq=soviet+camera&as_eq=&as_nlo=&as_nhi=&lr=&cr=&as_qdr=all&as_sitesearch=&as_occt=any&safe=images&as_filetype=&as_rights=

Laskadog
28-Jan-2016, 08:58
I've already read all the above links, thanks, but they do not answer my specific questions. Is there a reason why are they so worn? Are they used only on FKD cameras? Does anyone know of any other specific applications of this lens? Some of them are so worn and brassed that they seemed to have been used on a daily basis for many years. I don't know that many LF photographers that put that much mileage on a process lens.

I realize that no one may have these answers, but I've been surprised by the pool of knowledge on the LF forums, so I figured I'd ask.

Dan Fromm
28-Jan-2016, 09:15
They're plain vanilla f/4.5 tessar types, not process lenses. Why do you think they're process lenses?

What you haven't found probably isn't there.

Why did you buy one without knowing what you were buying?

Laskadog
28-Jan-2016, 09:42
@Dan Fromm. Sorry my bad. Wrong use of Process. I needed a 300mm fast lens for my 5x7 for Wet plate head shots in studio. I don't need a shutter but need it to be 4.5 or faster since I am using ALL my available flash power just to get an image (tested and proven with a borrowed lens. f5.6 doesn't do it). 300mm because I want to limit the bellows extension for the same reason. Not many lenses fit that description, keeping in mind I'm making my own camera to save money (and have fun). For 100$ I'll give it a try. The comments I've read all seem to say the optics are good enough for my needs. Am I wrong?

goamules
28-Jan-2016, 10:08
I've already read all the above links, thanks, but they do not answer my specific questions. Is there a reason why are they so worn? Are they used only on FKD cameras? Does anyone know of any other specific applications of this lens? Some of them are so worn and brassed that they seemed to have been used on a daily basis for many years. I don't know that many LF photographers that put that much mileage on a process lens.

I realize that no one may have these answers, but I've been surprised by the pool of knowledge on the LF forums, so I figured I'd ask.

What part of my link i posted, "...used with 18 x 24cm FK and FKD [large format] cameras as the lens does not have a focusing mount." doesn't answer your question "what were they used for?" Oh, now you know "what else were they used for?" Nothing.

What part of my reply on why they are worn don't you understand? I said why. You don't know many LF photographers that put that much mileage, because today LF is a special, niche market for amateurs. When the I-37 was made, LF was a common industrial and commercial format. What would a LF photographer have done in 1960 Russia? Lots, and probably moved his camera around a lot. What do YOU think causes wear on an item that shows a lot of wear? The lens didn't go to space on a Soyouz, it probably wasn't used in the battle of Stalingrad. But anything else, like factory or school portraits, yes.

Laskadog
28-Jan-2016, 10:33
@Goamules. Yes I know they were used for FKD cameras. What I was trying to ask was what OTHER uses did they have, which is why I tried to be more specific in my follow-up post. Many russian sellers mention "But is also used aerial photography". I was curious to know more about this usage or other applications. If my lens was on a Mig-25 that would be interesting :)

Thank you for your explanation on why they are worn. That makes lots of sense. The one I bought was sold as new, but I'm starting to regret not buying an older worn lens. I love to imagine all the things the lens has seen over the years, especially a cold war Russian lens.

goamules
28-Jan-2016, 11:24
I'm with you there, I have a lot of cool old lenses with a history. One of my FED cameras, made in the NKVD (KGB) commune for orphan boys, was awarded to the civil engineer that rushed the completion of the Karkov railroad station, in front of the Nazis in WWII. It's engraved such on the bottom! I like that kind of history too.

On aero recon use, I doubt it.

Laskadog
28-Jan-2016, 11:46
Found my answer!

145701

145705

Dan Fromm
28-Jan-2016, 12:22
That's probably an FKD, the lens could also be an I-51.

goamules
28-Jan-2016, 12:26
Well, now we know! But that dog must have had a hard time pulling the darkslide, without opposable thumbs.

Dan Fromm
28-Jan-2016, 14:10
Well, now we know! But that dog must have had a hard time pulling the darkslide, without opposable thumbs.

LaIka was just along for the ride.

R.K
28-Jan-2016, 17:32
The Soviet Union really was a closed country for a long time. But it doesn’t mean that no goods at al was coming from outside. A lot of things was from other countries. But those goods not always was distributed equally o sold in the stores because of corruption and limited supply. It would be a long story and hard for me to explain here how the society was organized and lived in Soviet time. But just a little. All companies and factories used to belong to government. The managers was appointed and selected by the government to. So basically it was no owners. Everybody was working and used some equipment or machines at work, but not everybody really care about those equipment. If it broke the company will fix it or provide the new one. For example the photo shops was usually under local government jurisdiction. It was almost no officially working private photographers. Every photographers used to work in the publishing companies or in the local Photo Shops and equipment they use was given to them by the company. It is not like say in US, when you coming to work you very often must bring you own tools, at list hand tools. The main purpose of those Photo Shops was to provide photographic service to the public. So if I want to make a professional portrait I must go in the one of those photo shops. Government provide them with equipment and materials. Of course it was a lot of hobbyist like me, but I’m here talking about professionals and industry. If you are hobbyist you go in the photo store and buy staff you need. A lot of things was widely available for the hobbyist. I never had problems say with b&w film, paper o chemicals. Cameras was available to, but not all. For example It was hard to find a Zenith and Kiev. But FED, Zorykiy and some other rangefinders was often on the store shelves and not very expensive. Paper , chemicals enlargers was not expensive at all. Probably the most expensive enlarger for up to 6 x 9 mm. format cost about 40 ruble’s. My last enlarger was Crocus. This one never was in the store, but the official price wasn’t so big, only 100 ruble’s. I got it only with help from some people worked in the industry. In 70ties most of the cameras produced by Soviet industry was 35mm. For medium format 6x6 only two models was in production Kiev and Salut. Even this cameras I remember was in the stores. They used to be considered as a professional and not often used by hobbyists because of the high price. But in 70ties they was citing on the store shelves. Later in the 80ties things changed, still I don’t remember problems with b&w photo materials. To find materials for color work yes was more problematical but not for b&w. The large format cameras probably last time was in production in Soviet Union in 50ties and 60ties. Only one model was produced for the public Photocor. I never even see that camera. But I clear remember when I just started to play with photography in 70ties, I see in the store a glass plates for that camera. Nobody bye them usually because was no cameras available. What about Industar-37 and FKD. This is a kind of specific equipment which made in limited number for official Photo Shops. Every Photo Shop in the country was equipped with those kind of equipment and after that the production of this cameras and lenses stopped. That’s because they usually today very old and beaten. They was in hard use every day for many, many years and usually belongs to nobody except government. After collapse of the country, somebody probably saved them, and now when most of the things digital nobody need them and we can see them on line for sale from time to time. So if somebody find the new one it is probably just because it was stored and saved by some old Photo Shop worker for the future witch never come. And very possible that this old photographer already in the other world and new generation photographer find this lens and don’t have any use for it except to make some money.

Laskadog
28-Jan-2016, 18:50
WOW!! Thanks R.K. for the detailed explanation, or should I say Russian photo history lesson. Truly fascinating. I guess a new one is particularly rare. The seller says it comes with all the caps, case and passport (whatever that is). Looking even more forward to mounting it on my camera. Hopefully it won't rip the front off it ;)

P.S.: Here's an example of what I meant.

145717

goamules
28-Jan-2016, 19:18
Good to hear a first hand perspective. Instead of us just guessing!