The Man Behind the Lens: Mikhail Rusinov


The New Russar+ Lens is a reinvention of the legendary 1958 Russar MR-2. As we usher in our latest offering, we take a step back and peek into the origins of its valiant predecessor, and into the lifeof the man who made it all possible: Mikhail Mikhailovich Rusinov.

Mikhail Rusinov. Image via

Apart from being a gifted optical technician, Rusinov (also sometimes spelt Roosinov or in Russian Русинов) was also a piano player and composer who compared the manufacture of optical systems with musical composition, and said that music is created from notes in the same manner that optical inventions are created from elements.

Rusinov certainly hit the high notes when he developed the Russar’s optical scheme in 1935. Wide angle lenses at the time rendered poor illumination on the edges of photos. Rusinov’s technology addressed the issue by providing twice the illumination of previously manufactured lenses.

Rusinov’s design was a significant breakthrough in optics, specifically in the development of wide-angle lenses. Succeeding designs from other manufacturers were inspired by Rusinov’s optical scheme. It was only in 1946, however, that he was able to secure a patent for his invention. In 1958, the original Russar Lens was presented as part of a collection of Zenit lenses at the Brussels World Expo. It stood out and won the Grand Prix, the most coveted prize at the event.

The original Russar’s 1946 patent. Images via Google

As Zenit’s Deputy Chief Chief Engineer, Rusinov’s brilliance was further recognized with the launch of the Zenit Russar MR-2 in 1958. Many years saw the Russar MR-2 as the only screw-mount 20mm lens in in production. Entirely based on Rusinov’s innovative optical scheme, it remains as one of the most lauded innovations in wide-angle lens history. It comes as no surprise to hear claims that the ‘MR’ in the Russar’s name actually stands for the name of its inventor – Mikhail Rusinov.

The New Russar+ Lens

The New Russar+ is a stunning brass-bodied wide-angle lens. It is a pioneering update on the 1958 Russar. Thanks to its modified lens tube construction, the New Russar+ is compatible with L39 and M mount analogue cameras, digital mirrorless cameras and loads of other cameras using adaptor mounts. Visit the New Russar+ microsite for exciting information and stunning wide-angle photos.

written by Jill Tan Radovan on 2014-04-10 #people #lifestyle #mikhail-mikhailovich-rusinov #mikhail-rusinov #russar #rusar #russar-history

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