Review of I50U 3.5 / 50 (NPO Optika)

I50U review

I50U review

I50U - a lens from photographic enlargers, the same as Vega-11U. Digital photography breathed new life into him. After being on my camera Industar-50-2 и Vega-11U and even reverse macro lens, I could not imagine that such a tiny lens as my camera I-50U.

View I50U from different sides. Aperture I50U

View I50U from different sides. Aperture I50U

Focal Length: 50mm
Diaphragm: F3.5-F11, without fixed values ​​with smooth change, designations are provided for F4, F5.6, F8, F11
Number of aperture blades: 6 pieces.
Focus distance: approximately 20 cm from the projection plane
Diagram: four lenses, anastigmat
Landing thread: M39

There is a modification of this lens with different frames. There are I50U with black and white colors, depending on the place of production - the frame itself is also different. There is a brother I50U-1, and his ancestor Industar-22U and several other similar lenses for photo enlargers. This review presents exactly the black version of the lens I50U 3,5 / 50, issued in the Scientific and Production Association "Optics", Moscow.

View I50U on a modern camera

View I50U on a modern camera

The I-50U is not quite a lens, since does not have a focus ring and the ability to focus in general. On SLR cameras, the lens is only suitable for macro photography, as it has a fixed focusing distance. How do you focus on it? In any way, you do not need to focus, but move the lens itself with the camera towards the subject of shooting, or in the opposite direction from the subject of shooting, trying to ensure that the subject is in focus. You can move the object itself until it comes into focus. For photographers working in macro photography, this is not a problem at all.

Photo on I50U. Bokeh lens.

Photo on I50U. Bokeh lens. Blur discs are dirty due to old lenses.

Features of the I-50U lens

1. The lens is very sharp, as it was used for enlargers and had to transmit the smallest details. Its sharpness is great for macro photography.

Photo on Industar-50U 3.5 50mm. Macro

Photo on Industar-50U 3.5 50mm. Macro

2. The diaphragm when closed gives "nuts" in the bokeh, since it has only 6 blades. The lens was not intended for artistic photography, so you shouldn't blame it. The lens cannot boast a huge aperture. The maximum aperture value is F / 3.5 like any whale lens.

Photo on Industar-50U 3.5 50mm. Macro

Photo on Industar-50U 3.5 50mm. Macro

3. I50U is very light, I personally really appreciate the lightness. For example, on a hike in addition to the universal lens, I will definitely take either reversible macro lens adapteror lens Vega-11U.

Photo on Industar-50-U 3.5 50mm. Macro

Photo on Industar-50-U 3.5 50mm. Macro

4. Has a coating, which only improves the optical properties of the lens. It would not be bad if Industar-50U had MS.

Photo on Industar-50U 3.5 50mm. Macro

Photo on Industar-50U 3.5 50mm. Macro

5. Works at full frame. An important moment. Unfortunately, I can’t indicate the exact magnification factor when using on the CZK.

Photos on I50U 3.5 50mm. Macro

Photos on I50U 3.5 50mm. Macro

Use with modern cameras

Lenses with an M39 mounting thread (for enlargers, M39 X 1 / 28.8), such as the lens from this review, are very easy to use on modern cameras, just select correct adapter. On lens reflex cameras can only work in macro mode (shoot small objects with a short focusing distance). On mirrorless cameras, it will be possible to achieve focus on infinity. The cheapest adapters can be found

For use on modern digital SLR cameras Canon EOS need M39-Canon EOS adapter, you can buy such an adapter (adapter) here. Also, an adapter M39-Canon EOS can be easily replaced with two adapters: M42-Canon EOS + M39-M42. In any case, the lens will always be focused at close distances.

An adapter is required for use on Nikon SLR cameras M39-Nikon F, you can buy such an adapter (adapter) without a lens and a chip here. Also, one adapter M39-Nikon F can be easily replaced with two adapters: M42-Nikon F + M39-M42. In any case, the lens will always be focused at close range.

For such a lens, I advise you to additionally buy macro rings with M42 thread, for example here.

How to use this lens with cameras of other systems (Pentax, Sony, Fujifilm, Olympus, Panasonic, Samsung, Sigma etc.) - ask in the comments and you will be prompted. If you have any questions on compatibility and adapters, ask in the comments (comments do not require any registration at all, any user can add a comment).

Sample Photos

Examples of photographs on the I-50U are shown without processing. Everything shot in RAW is converted to JPEG with 80% quality, a watermark with EXIF shooting data and reduced size to 1600 * 1200. Attention: the photo was imprinted with an error of aperture value of 2.8. Wherever F2.8 should be F3.5.

Personal impressions:

The lens is very sharp, it was very easy for me to shoot with it. For a macro, it will be just right. If you are looking for a similar lens, you can look towards the usual Industar-50-2, which costs a penny. If you need a good macro, then I50U has two brothers - too, lenses for a photo enlarger, Industar-22U and Vega-11U. I-50U will give a strong increase when using macro ringthat allows you to shoot super-macro.

Photo on I50U. Macro.

Photo on I50U. Macro.

Other lenses from photo enlargers (U)


  1. INDUSTRAR 22U-1 1: 3,5 F = 50mm П | LZOS | 8 petals
  2. I-22U 1: 3,5 F = 50mm П | KOMZ | 10 petals
  3. I23U 4,5 / 110 | LZOS | medium format | 6 petals
  4. I-26m-U 2,8 / 52 | FED | 10 petals
  5. I50U-3,5 / 50 | FOZ | 6 petals
  6. I50U 3,5 / 50 | LZOS | 6 petals
  7. I50U 3,5 / 50 | NGO 'Optics' | 6 petals
  8. I50U-1 3,5 / 50 | LZOS | 6 petals
  9. И50У-1 1:3,5 F=50мм П | LZOS | 8 petals
  10. INDUSTRAR-55U 140 / 4.5 | MMZ | medium format | 9 petals | reader review
  11. INDUSTRAR-58 3,5 / 75 | MMZ | medium format | 9 petals | reader review
  12. I-90U 4/75 | LZOS | medium format | 10 petals
  13. I96U-3.5 / 50 | FOZ | 6 petals
  14. I96U 3,5 / 50 H-22 | NGO 'Optics' | 6 petals
  15. I96U-H-22-3,5/50 | FOZ | 6 petals
  16. I96U-1 3,5 / 50 | FOZ | 6 petals
  17. I-100U 4/110 | LZOS | medium format | 10 petals | reader note


  1. VEGA-11U 2.8/50 | AOMZ | zebra | 12 petals
  2. VEGA-11U 2,8/50 | LZOS | black | 12 petals
  3. VEGA-11U 3/54 | MMZ | black | 12 petals
  4. VEGA-5U 4/105 | AOMZ | medium format | 6 petals
  5. VEGA-5U 4/105 | MMZ | medium format | 6 petals
  6. VEGA-22CA 5,6/103 | MMZ | medium format | 6 petals | reader's review


  1. Mikar / s 4,5 / 55 | PZO WARSZAWA | Made in Poland | 5 petals
  2. Emitar / s 4,5 / 80 | PZO WARSZAWA | Made in Poland | 5 petals
  3. Amar 4,5 / 105 | PZO WARSZAWA | Made in Poland | 6 petals


  1. LZOS - Lytkarino Optical Glass Plant, Lytkarino
  2. KOMZ - Kazan Optical and Mechanical Plant, Kazan
  3. MMZ - Minsk Mechanical Plant named after S.I. Vavilova
  4. FOZ - Theodosia Optical Plant
  5. AOMZ - Azov Optical and Mechanical Plant, Azov
  6. NPO Optika - Optics Research and Production Association, Moscow
  7. FED - Kharkov Engineering Plant 'FED' (F. E. Dzerzhinsky)

The names of the lenses are clearly indicated according to the marks on the case.

Comments on this post do not require registration. Anyone can leave a comment.


Industar-50-U is currently one of the cheapest lenses with macro shooting capabilities. The lens has a very light weight. I50U 3.5 / 50 excellent sharpness, enlightened, but does not have a focus ring. I recommend I50U for macro.

Material prepared Arkady Shapoval. Please, if this material was useful to you, help my project. And don't forget that everyone can write your review for one or another photographic equipment.

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Comments: 55, on the topic: Review of I50U 3.5 / 50 (NPO 'Optics')

  • Petro

    Industar 96U has a higher resolution. Is it possible to take his lenses and put Industar 50 in the lens instead of relatives? Then it would be possible to focus when used in micro 4/3 cameras, for example.

  • Dmitriy

    I bought one as a props for shooting, now I decided to try to shoot it :)

    • Alexander

      What is your impression? :) This photo was taken with an Industar-50U 3.5 / 50 lens with an aperture open:

      • Dmitriy

        Not yet. I haven’t taken it yet. I think the best way to use it. I want to shoot something interesting

  • Benjamin

    I bought today I-50U but with 10 petals and in bronze performance. He also has F3,5-16 (usually F3,5-11).

  • Irina

    From my father I got the Zenit-E camera, the industar-50-2 3.5 / 50 lens and additionally the lens that you are writing about here - I 50U 3.5 / 50. More extension rings - (the manual inside - type 1,2,3 ... the price is 2 rubles - Soviet) ... So I decided to sell all this - I can't even imagine how much ... They offer within 4 dollars for everything .. (I'm from Uzbekistan) - this is normal? (About 270 rubles) Or not to sell?

    • Pastor

      Well, if you plan to use it yourself, then you should not sell it. And if it just so lies, it is better to sell. If you sell everything straight for 270 rubles, that is, zenith, industrial, this lens and rings, then it’s cheap, you can sell rubles for 500-600. But such things are not often bought. Either spread in a large city and wait for a connoisseur, or sell for as much as they offer. I’ll say from myself that I would take such a set for 300 rubles.

  • Oleg 1

    Good afternoon, photo lovers. I agree with all Arkady's conclusions about this lens, for macro it is very good, much sharper than I61l.d but inferior to I96u-1 (having unscrewed the extension
    the ring can be focused on a meter and a half, and shoot not only macro but also subject).

  • Oleg

    If there are no rings for attaching to the camera, you can shoot by simply holding the smartphone camera to the eye, you get good photos, especially if the smartphone has a camera that is good by the standards of its segment. It is clear that a smartphone is not a DSLR camera, and these are different topics, but the lens will not lie idle. PS When shooting through a smartphone, to remove vignetting, you need to add a little digital zoom. The same (add digital zoom to remove vignetting) when shooting with a smartphone through a monocular, a telescope ...

  • Sergei

    And I came across some strange specimen)) without the macro rings, sharpness does not give, as I did not move the camera (back and forth) ...

  • Novel

    There are a couple of such lenses, whole lenses, but a lot of debris between them. I want to disassemble and try to clean. Does anyone have a similar experience?

  • Daniel

    Greetings to connoisseurs of photography! Please tell me which lens to choose for a more attractive macro? Industar 26m or Industar 50u-1? (There is another option to take the macro rings for Helios 44-2). Thank you in advance!

  • 111

    Magnification factor. If I remember correctly, 1: 1 is when a full frame can be photographed an object equal in scale to the camera sensor. The full-frame matrix is ​​3,6 cm on the long side, respectively 1: 1 is obtained if we can photograph a similar part of the ruler (3,6 cm).

    And in principle, if you have a lens with a known magnification factor at hand, you need to remove the ruler on it as much as possible, and then remove it to another lens and compare. For example, Jupiter 37-A on Nikon's crop made it possible to shoot about 14,5 cm, it did not focus closer any more, and Industar 50U - about 4,5 cm (with an adapter 2x - 3,2 cm).

  • Timur

    I once had an UPA-5M enlarger with an Industar-50U projection lens. Gave a very sharp picture on the projection table. I used it as a projection microscope as a child. On the pressure glass he laid the onion peel and looked at a white sheet of paper. I saw here that it is used on a modern digital camera and was very pleasantly surprised at what sharp and clear picture it produces. It's a pity I didn't have this lens, but now if I see it somewhere, I will certainly buy it

  • Victor

    Hello. A question. I bought this lens, but my Nikon d 80 sees the photo not macro, but rather micro. Essentially the same as normal. At the same time, when I look with my eye through the removed lens, the image is macro. Maybe the matter is in the macro rings, do you need to buy them in addition?

    • B. R. P.

      This is a lens for a photo enlarger (printing from film to photo paper). It does not have a focus mechanism. Macro rings will make the image even more “micro”. Learn the basics so you don't buy crap and ask weird questions.

      • Victor

        My question is not about focusing a drop. anyway

        • B. R. P.

          And about what? Do you even understand this yourself?

    • Rodion

      The eye and the camera generally work differently with the lens. On the matrix, for example, an inverted image is formed. If you apply to the eye and look - it will remain straight. Try attaching a lens to a camera with a 35 mm type lens on it - you will get the same thing that you see with the eye (and you will also get a vignette), because the eye is not the equivalent of a camera, but the equivalent of a camera with a lens.
      The options for using a lens on a camera are either what you call "micro" - and the more macro rings there are, the stronger the "micro" will be. Or attach it to a dark telephoto like Jupiter-11 in front - it will work as a close-up lens, perhaps even with a better result compared to macro rings.

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