Overview of the I96U-3.5 / 50 lens

I bought this lens for less than $ 1 (to be precise, for 20 UAH, which at the time of purchase was 74 cents). It is very easy to use as a macro lens with any modern digital cameras with interchangeable lenses. Due to the fact that the lens has a high resolution, it can be a really good tool for amateur macro. Many pass by this lens, but its potential is many times greater than its cost.

I96U-3.5 / 50

View I96U-3.5 / 50. Enlarge Image. The lens is shown on a mirrorless camera. Sony a6300 (ILCE-6300). The lens is mounted on the camera using an adapter. M39 - Sony NEX (L39 - Nex). Thanks to the Sony representative in Ukraine for the provided camera.

In short

I96U-3.5 / 50 (named Industar-96U in the passport) is a lens for Soviet photographic enlargers. The lens does not have a focusing ring, which makes it difficult to use it as a photo lens. I96U-3.5 / 50 can be easily turned into a macro lens, which, in fact, is interesting.

Important: I96U-3.5 / 50 does not have a focusing ring. It is impossible to focus with this lens in the usual sense of the word. The lens is always focused at a certain distance, for the Nikon / Canon flange and setting using a conventional adapter, the focusing distance is 20-30 cm (distance from the focal plane to the subject). Due to the fact that the lens is most often used for macro, the problem of focusing is not so important - it is very convenient to focus by moving the camera towards or away from the subject. It is very convenient to use I96U-3.5 / 50 s macro rings.

Sizes of Canon Compact-Macro Lens EF 50mm 1: 2.5 and Industar-96 Lenses

Lens sizes Canon Compact-Macro Lens EF 50mm 1: 2.5 and Industar-96

Main technical characteristics of I96U-3.5 / 50:

Review Instance Name I96U-3.5 / 50 No8910 with the logo of the Feodosia Optical Plant
Basic properties
  • У - lens for photoУmagnifiers.
  • M39 X 1 / 28.8 - common landing thread 'M39'
  • aperture control ring
  • enlightened optics
  • metal casecompact size
  • lack of a focus ring and a thread for filters
  • compact size, light weight
  • very low cost
Front Filter Diameter the lens cannot use classic filters that are screwed into the thread near the front lens
Focal length 50 mm (exact focal length 53.4 + - 0.5)
Zoom ratio 1 x
Designed by For photo enlargers with negatives 24 X 36 mm
Number of aperture blades 6 petals, petals not blackened, shine in the sun. A fairly regular 6-angle hole is formed.
Tags only a scale with aperture values ​​of F / 3.5, 4, 5.6, 8, 11.
Diaphragm from F / 3.5 to F / 11. The aperture control ring does not have intermediate fixed values, rotates smoothly, which allows you to set any value of the number F from the specified range.
MDF no exact data, approximately 30 cm
The weight 65 g (approximately)
Optical design 4 elements in 3 groups, Industar / Tessar scheme.

The lens does not use special optical elements in its optical design. The same optical scheme is used by many other lenses.

Lens hood The lens does not use a lens hood
Manufacturer country USSR, Feodosia Optical Plant
Instructions See
Period From 1980 to 1985, later replaced by a similar model model I96U-1 3,5 / 50
Price About 1 cu for used option. A copy from the review was purchased for 74 cents.

You can see the prices of modern macro lenses here.

There are many modifications of this lens with a different spelling of its name. Basically, there are three versions: I-96, AND-96-1, I-96-2.

When working with the lens, it’s exactly the feeling when a very cheap adapter M39 - Sony NEX (Aka L39 - Nex) is several times more expensive than the lens. And at the cost of the camera Sony a6300 (ILCE-6300), which at that time cost about 1400 US dollars according to the documents for creating the review, you can buy almost 2000 such Industars.

Sample Photos

On camera Canon EOS Digital Rebel XSi I used a lens with two adapters: M42-Canon EOS + M39-M42. Some photos were taken using macro ring M42 different thickness. Some photos were taken using flash Nikon Speedlight SB-900 (served as an arsonist for other flashes), two cartridge 'bum flashes' Godox s45ttwo studio racks Falcon и light cube 40 * 40.

I always shoot with flash at F / 11. To do this, I focus on the F / 3.5 value, with one movement of the hand I close the aperture to F / 11 (the aperture ring is simply brought to the extreme position, which eliminates the error of setting a different F number) and press the shutter button. Flash settings I immediately configure to work with F / 11. Nikon Flash work wonderfully with Canon EOS cameras (details here).

Download source files in format JPEG can at this link (27 files in the '.JPG' format, 416 MB).

On the mirrorless camera Sony a6300 (ILCE-6300) I used a lens with an adapter M39 - Sony NEX, which allowed you to take pictures with focus at infinity. If you slightly unscrew the lens from the adapter, you can shoot a close-up. For macro I used Sony a6300 (Sony ILCE-6300) with adapter M42-Sony NEX + M39-M42 и macro rings M42 different thickness. In the gallery, photos are shown without processing, the usual on-camera JPEG. Despite the simple enlightenment, the lens copes well with direct backlight (example), but with side light everything is much worse. I was pleased that on the covered diaphragms the I-96 copes well with the 24 MP sensor Sony a6300 (ILCE-6300).

Download source files in format JPEG can at this link (32 files in the '.JPG' format, 151 MB).

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 aliexpress.com

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).

Comments on this post do not require registration. Anyone can leave a comment. Many different photographic equipment can be found on AliExpress.

I96U-3.5 / 50, the lens is shown on the Canon EOS DIGITAL Rebel XSi camera. Installed using adapters M42-Canon EOS and M39-M42.

I96U-3.5 / 50, the lens is shown on the camera Canon EOS Digital Rebel XSi. Installed using adapters M42-Canon EOS и M39-M42.

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.

Material prepared Arkady Shapoval. Training/Consultations | Youtube | Facebook | Instagram | Twitter | Telegram

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Comments: 27, on the topic: I96U-3.5 / 50 lens review

  • Andrey Vyunenko

    Now I looked. 100 rubles, the minimum price for such a lens on Avito.

    • Arkady Shapoval

      Well, about 1.5 dollars, not much :)

    • Sergei

      If you count the cost of adapters, then not a very cheap lens ... Ark thanks for the review, I'm waiting for the video review. PS as always on top ...

      • Arkady Shapoval

        Well, I personally had adapters a long time ago. Anyone who deals with manuals for anyone has an M42-own camera. and m39-m42 penny stit.

      • Andrei

        I took the M42-EF adapter without a chip for $ 2
        Yesterday I took a macro ring of variable length (50-90mm) for $ 2,5
        In total, we get $ 5 and a scale of 2 to 1.
        Only I preferred the Vega 11 U lens for $ 5))

        • Arkady Shapoval

          Vega is good :)

    • anonym

      He also looked. The price is from 50 rubles. An average of one hundred. It’s just its price. (I took one for another 50 for myself and an average of 100 rubles for 75, the rest gave it to me! :-)) It is interesting to experiment at your leisure. In addition to experiments, they are of little use. Although they give an acceptable picture. Maybe it’s because everyone laughs when they see ETO on the device!? :-)

  • Sergei

    we have 500 rubles. offer

    • Rodion


    • Andrei

      You can offer anything. Does anyone buy?
      We supposedly offer new cameras at the store price, and if compared with the right stores, then it’s more expensive)))

      • anonym

        we also have Zeniths with Industar - 50 - 2 "SELL" for 15 rubles! ! ! No one buys them! :-) (Everything according to the proverb: "Eat that he eat! But who will give him!") :-)

  • Gene jb

    I have such an I-50. Interestingly, is it better or worse? Prior to that, I69 used I28 2.8 / XNUMX for a macro. But it’s a very small distance on Kenon.

    • Rodion

      To tell the truth, this is all about ... The only difference for the better will be Vega-11U.

      • Arkady Shapoval

        Yes, about the same, and even there is a spread. Vega-11 is really good, I marked it in the list as “Recommend”.

    • Rodion

      Well, as an interesting makrushnik and at the same time a telephoto, I can recommend Vega-5. The latest versions from the 80s are pretty good.

  • atypical Kiev

    I did not even suspect that in Feodosia there was (or rather was) an optical plant.
    Ha, the plant turns out to be alive, at least they have a website. And they offer new micro-lenses ...

  • Alexander

    the photo of the lens shows a lilac tint on the front glass, and mine is just the same called only yellow "cast" ... is that bad ?!

    • Arkady Shapoval

      No, not bad, another enlightenment + it could fade

      • Alexander

        Thanks for the answer, Arkady. So the lens will still serve. For example. Photograph taken with the I96U-3.5 / 50 Nikon D3300 lens

  • Anton

    Thank you.

  • Vyacheslav

    Hello, Arkady! I always read you with interest) Simple and understandable language with illustrative examples - what else is needed ?!
    The other day I got such a lens. So he, contrary to all reviews, has only five aperture blades!
    ps I wanted to attach a photo, but I did not figure it out with these image hosting: ((

    • Arkady Shapoval

      Thank you, we will know for this option :)

  • Anna

    I tried this lens with adapters from aliexpress, very curious. It gives a really good picture, albeit a bit dark - it's hard to shoot without a tripod (or on a bright sunny day). As a result, it is ideal for macro studio photography. By the way, in the open (3,5) it lathers, it is better to squeeze to 4-4,5

    Photo in raw:

  • Iskander

    I will express my vision of this type of lens (I have two of them). 1 - The optical scheme of all Industars is asymmetrical, therefore, when mounted on a camera with a bell-mouth to the matrix, the light goes in a direction unnatural for this optical scheme. It would be more logical and more correct to install this lens with the bell outward, then the light path is correct, and the bell will play the role of a hood.
    2 - the use of these lenses as macro lenses is unjustified, since the focusing distance of 20-30mm is at the level of kit lenses 18-55 at the same focal length, and buying an adapter specially for it - a bayonet - 39mm + an adapter for 42mm + macro rings is more expensive, than to buy just a macro adapter for a whale.
    3 - This lens is much more promising as a projection eyepiece (!) For a telescope or a telescope with an eyepiece camera (only an achromat lens is taken from the telescope, and Industar is used as a projection eyepiece), as a result, you can get a powerful telephoto lens for ridiculous money ... For details, see Sikoruk's book "Amateur Astrophotography".

    • Edward

      I now have Nikon in my hands with an APS-C matrix, with three macro rings, I50U on it, and I calmly focus this lens 9 cm from the front lens with a 1: 1 magnification, in my opinion this is quite normal for a convenient macro

  • Vladislav

    Good day to you, Arkady!
    I wanted to clarify about using the lens on the bzok, I read on another resource that the hyperfocal starts from 8 meters, by twisting the Industar from the adapter, how much does the focal length shift and what will be the closest plan in this case?

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English-version of this article https://radojuva.com/en/2016/12/obzor-i96u-3-5-50/

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