If you’ve ever wanted to give your Pen some Leica style or are just interested in keeping your gear as compact as possible, you might want to take a look at the Industar collapsible lens family: Industar-10 (aka FED-10), Industar-22 and Industar-50. These Elmar look-alikes can be had for a tenth of the price of the Leitz originals and make great walking-around lenses. But which one to buy? A Little History (thanks to Princelle, Maizenberg and the magic of the Internet) The Industar-10 first appeared in 1934. The external design copied the Elmar but the optical design followed the Tessar. Jay Javier has a nice write-up of comparing the designs here: Elmar vs Industar. Industar-10 lenses were uncoated until about 1947; uncoated lenses can be identified by their non-standard aperture markings (3.5, 4.5, 6.3, 9, 12.5, 18), while coated lenses use standard aperture markings (3.5, 4, 5.6, 8, 11, 16). Production continued through the mid-1950s. The Industar-22 first appeared in 1948 as an uncoated lens. Coated lenses appeared within a year and are distinguished by the famous red "P" marked on the front ring (the Cyrillic character is “П”). Production continued into the 1960s, primarily by KMZ. The Industar-50 was produced from 1953 to 1971. Apparently, all versions of this lens were coated, whether they display the red "P" on the front ring or not. Production was farmed out to a number of factories and the markings on the front ring were simplified over time. Appearance As you can see, these lenses are very small, even when fully extended. This picture shows the Industar lenses compared to a Series II 14-42mm kit lens. The Industar lenses are shown with adapters to give you an “on the camera” comparison to the kit lens. Left to right: Industar-10, Industar-22, Industar-50, kit lens Collapsed, the lenses are tiny. Left to right: Industar-10, Industar-22, Industar-50, kit lens Here’s a front view, showing the difference in the aperture control between the Industar-10 and the Industar-22/50 “twins” – the Industar-10 uses a single “tab” while the Industar-22/50 have knurled rings. By the way, the diameter of the front ring on all three lenses is the same. I think they all look very cool mounted on a PEN body. Modification for use with a M39 – Micro 4/3 adapter Each of these lenses requires a simple but permanent modification to be used with a M39 – Micro 4/3 adapter.* The lens design incorporates an infinity lock in which a spring-loaded locking pin at the end of the focus lever is held between two tabs that project from the rim of the mounting plate. On the native mount, there was enough room between the back of the mounting plate and the face of the camera body to allow the bottom edge of the locking pin to be pushed clear of the locking tab, freeing the focus lever to be moved from the infinity position. However, because the M39 – Micro 4/3 adapter fits flush to the mounting plate and extends beyond its rim, there isn’t enough room for the locking pin to be pushed down far enough to clear of the locking tab. I’ve seen some users “solve” this problem by bending the focus lever up at a 30 – 45 degree angle so that locking pin doesn’t touch the locking tab. This approach makes me very nervous – you are stressing a 50 to 60 year old piece of brass that is only about one millimeter thick and was not aerospace quality to begin with. My preferred solution is to file off the locking tab, leaving the stop tab in place. Yes, the lens is no longer “original” and has lost some value as a collector’s item, but at least I’m not worried about anything breaking due to metal fatigue a couple of years down the road. *UPDATE: A couple of months after writing this article, I stumbled across a variant of the Industar-10 which has a different style of infinity lock that does not require any modification. Instead of the spring-loaded locking pin and tabs, this variant has a spring clip that rides over a boss set into the face of the mounting plate. Nothing projects below the back of the mounting plate. You can identify this variant by the low, beehive-shaped fixed knob at the end of the focus lever and the absence of locking tabs on the rim of the mounting plate. Comparison below: Handling If you’ve never used a lens with a focus lever, they can take a little getting used to. The focus lever moves through an arc which is slightly more than 180 degrees, so you will have to juggle the locking pin from fingertip to fingertip to focus. I find that the “clock” orientation of the lens makes a big difference in handling. I personally prefer to have the infinity stop pin at the 10 o’clock position and the near focus stop pin at the 2 o’clock position. I recommend getting an adapter which allows you to rotate the lens within the adapter body so that you can find the orientation that works best for you (I happen to use Rainbow Imaging adapters and have been very happy with them). Before I bought the Industar-10, I was worried that the single aperture control tab was going to be a challenge to use. I had read forum posts complaining about the “terrible” ergonomics and noticed that a number of sales listings for this lens made a point of saying that the aperture control was “stiff”, “hard to turn” or “small”. In use, I actually prefer the Industar-10’s tab to the Industar-22/50’s ring. With all three lenses, you have to tip the lens up to see the aperture markings on the face and I find that the Industar-10’s tab is easier to see than the small mark cut into the Industar-22/50’s ring. When making adjustments, I find the tab easier to push than the nearly-flush ring. But that’s just me; this is going to come down to your personal preference. As an aside, all of these lenses really need a well-lubricated aperture mechanism, due to the small size of the aperture controls. These are fingertip controls and they need to move easily. Performance Maizenberg states that the Industar-10’s resolution is 35 lines/mm at center and 19 lines/mm at the edges, that the Industar-22’s resolution is 32 lines/mm at center and 20 lines/mm at the edges and that the Industar-50’s resolution is 38 lines/mm at center and 22 lines/mm at the edges. I couldn’t tell you if the small differences in these resolution numbers are meaningful - I certainly don’t see any difference between the images I get from these lenses (each of which is in excellent condition), even at 100%. Sample images are below, taken under as controlled conditions as I can manage. The first image for each lens was taken at f3.5, the second at f5.6. The focus point in each image is the right side of the ceramic piece sitting on the plate. Each image was taken with an E-PL2 using the “Natural” setting, Contrast 0, Sharpness +1, Saturation 0 and Gradation Normal. No post-processing was done other than downsizing to the maximum image size allowed for uploading to this forum. Industar-10 f3.5 Industar-10 f5.6 Industar-22 f3.5 Industar-22 f5.6 Industar-50 f3.5 Industar-50 f5.6 Black and white images have nice, strong contrasts, and flare is better controlled than you might expect with the front lens element being so exposed. Both contrast and flare control are much better, in my experience, than the successor Industar-26m, Industar-61 and Industar-61 L/D lenses, all of which I found disappointing. YMMV. Minimum focus distance is, as advertised, about 1 meter. My Industar-10 and Industar-50 focus slightly past infinity when mounted on a Rainbow Imaging M39 to Micro 4/3 adapter; my Industar-22 focused short of infinity and needed some modification of the adapter to reach infinity focus. I put this down to sample variation. Maintenance The aperture mechanism of the Industar-10 is slightly more complicated to service than the Industar-50 (I haven’t taken the Industar-22 apart yet, so I don’t know which of its siblings it takes after). You can read my walkthroughs of servicing the Industar-10 here and the Industar-50 here. As mentioned above, I think keeping the aperture mechanisms well-lubricated is essential to enjoying any of these lenses, so you might want to factor that into your decision. Servicing the simple, exposed focus helix is the same for all three lenses. Conclusions So, which is the right lens for you? I can tell you which I prefer (at least for the moment). Since the performance of all three lenses is identical, I like the Industar-10 for its looks (that old FED script is wonderfully exotic), the undoubted “cool” factor of it being the oldest of the three lenses, the ease of use of the aperture tab and the size advantage when collapsed. Combined with an Industar-69 that has been hacked for infinity focus, this is my preferred walking-around combo. Each lens is only about an inch and a half thick, including adapter (that’s roughly 40mm for our metric-speaking friends) which makes them truly pocketable. But you’ll notice that my preference for the Industar-10 hasn’t stopped me from buying and enjoying all three – and I suspect that some of you will come to the same conclusion. Whichever lens you buy, have fun!