Industar-37 300mm View Camera

Industar 37



Like the much smaller Industar-51, I acquired this giant objective to serve my ancient Conley 5×7. I bought it on impulse for a bargain $19 plus shipping, thinking it would make a nice tele portrait lens, and what a price eh! How could I resist…

Originally meant for the FK 18x24cm cameras, this large format lens is a real chunk of glass. It’s the papa bear to the comparatively small 210mm Industar-51… it weighs over two and a half pounds! Still it’s very similar in design and construction to the I-51. Again no shutter here, just a lens cap, and no mounting ring so I’ve had to use the friction method again (see below). Same optical formula as the Industar-51, 4 elements in 3 groups, verified by flashlight method. Nice single coating, purple on the outside, amber on the inside. It’s quite a lens.


I thought there were some scratches on the interior glass but it turned out to be grease that just wiped right off. The rear group unscrews as a unit after loosening the single set screw on the side near the back ring. No spanner needed, just some strong hands. A bit of lighter fluid helped unstick the aperture blades once they were exposed; they also had some grease on them which caused the iris to move stiffly.


No shutter, this lens is meant to be mounted in a lensboard with a retaining nut that in my case is missing. I instead drilled my hole just slightly large and lined it with self-stick felt, and screwed the lens into the felt. I suppose if you could find a shutter you could get the SK Grimes company to mount one of these in it, I’m cool with the low tech method.

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