Zenit Industar 61 L/Z M42 joy!

My latest lens acquisition – the Zenit Industar 61 L/Z 50mm F2.8 Macro for M42 screw mount! It is one of the most highly regarded Ukranian Leica copies, and the L in its name means that it contains Lanthanum.

Its M42 mount means I can use it on my Sony Alpha 700 and Minolta Dynax 7, using the M42 to Minolta AF-adapter.

Unfortunately, it is not truly macro; it does not achieve life-size magnification. Instead it has a 1:3 magnification, which is still amazing for a short-focal-length prime lens.

A most interesting function of this lens is that its six aperture blades are shaped such that the aperture changes shape as you stop it down – from a full circle, to a jagged star, to a star (at F5.6-8), to a hexagon (F11) and then to a circle. This is the one main reason I bought it off a second-hand shop. Plus it was amazingly sharp!

…not that I’d use the lens to make many sharp in-focus pictures. I’d rather use the impressionistic qualities of the bokeh. Surprisingly free of chromatic aberration, and gives liquid colors. Not overly contrasty out-of-focus areas, but still contrasty and colorful. This goes well with the Leica/Minolta look… which I happen to like, considering my love for Minolta lenses.

Here, the double-line bokeh can be used to draw shapes out of out-of-focus areas.

Or, make starry highlights!

I think KJ might’ve took this.

…or this. I’m not sure.

There are two variables in making star bokeh – focusing distance and aperture. Turn the focusing ring to change the size of out-of-focus elements, and turn the aperture to change the size and shape of out-of-focus elements.

A third variable, much more challenging, is to put a subject in the frame, with it being in focus!

Ah Wai and the Industar bokeh.

KJ and the Industar bokeh.

1/5th of a second, ISO1600, F2.8. I love how, despite the cat being slightly out-of-focus, it seems to float in the shadow.

Ampang-mari cat. 1/40s ISO6400.

1/20s ISO6400. Punch up the sharpening for some gritty grain.

More night scene testing. 1/10s ISO1600. Whoa shit is that Lydia? It was a random chick-stalking to show a friend I bumped into, the lens. Taken the night I got the lens – 5th January 2008. Go figure out if you were there that night!

Okay I might’ve not been very honest with the size of the lens in the first few pictures. Here it is next to a lens that shares a striking resemblance – the Sony Carl Zeiss 135mm F1.8 (which I lust for.) Note the similiar grooved focus ring.

Doubled my Russians. The Industar next to my Peleng 8mm F3.5 circular fisheye, also a M42 lens.

And surprise, next to my Minolta 50mm F1.4 lens! It’s just a wee longer, but much slimmer and lighter.

So slim, in fact, that it is dwarfed by the A700’s lens mount.

Another angle might show just how cute it looks on the A700. Kinda like a pancake lens, but tall and skinny instead.

14 thoughts on “Zenit Industar 61 L/Z M42 joy!

  1. Albert Ng Post author

    Lydia: The sublime force that dictates that Petrina and I will always bump into people wherever we go and thus be called "walking Friendsters". In fact, I wasn’t even supposed to be sitting in Asia Cafe that night – I bumped into a friend, who then went to sit with his friends.

    Did you like, sense a familiar face?

  2. Stim Girl Post author

    Oh, AlbertOOO, you are such a stalker!

    You should switch the term to Walking Facebook.
    Friendster is soooo 2005, man. hehehehe…

  3. Lydia Post author

    WHY IS PETRINA "STIM GIRL"?!! Dear lord!

    And yes again Mr Albert, I did notice. Heh! I thought I was damn perasan at that time actually.

  4. Albert Ng Post author

    With a 2x and 1.4x TC it becomes 1:1. 🙂 Though I rarely get there.

    Eh, you mean 1:2 on the Tamron and Sigma 70-300mm F4-5.6. 😛 I have a Cosina 70-210mm F2.8-4.0 that does 1:2.5.

    Sony/Minolta/Sigma also have a 50mm F2.8 1:1 Macro but the shortest 1:1 magnifier I know is the Pentax/Tokina 35mm F2.8 Macro.

  5. Albert Ng Post author

    Also, a reversed 50mm is pretty damn hi-quality for me so I might work with that and my 70-210mm for a 4.2:1 macro. Don’t have the time to, though. 🙁


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