Industar-51 210mm View Camera

Industar 51 View



I wanted an old world style wooden view camera, and thought an FKD would be a really cool throwback model, it’s so low tech it doesn’t even have a shutter. Fairly recent production but technologically not much past the ancient wet-plate develop-in-camera portrait cameras. Well, even if you get a good price, the shipping from the Former Soviet Union for one of those wooden beasts is pretty prohibitive. I ended up buying a Conley instead, which needed a lens and I was lucky enough to find one of these FKD lenses, the Industar-51, on ebay for $15 plus shipping.

Actually I began looking after my friend Ken Smith bought a beautiful I-51 to go on his Burke & James 5×7 restoration project, I saw the pic of the lens and thought, now that’s a lens that you build a camera around. The FKD is a 13cm x 18cm view camera, which is very close to 5×7, and this is essentially a normal lens for that format.


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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