DIY M42 adapter vs factory one

Discussion in 'Adapted Lenses' started by gnarlydog australia, Nov 1, 2015.

  1. gnarlydog australia

    gnarlydog australia Mu-43 Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    Feb 23, 2015
    Brisbane, Australia
    Damiano Visocnik
    Prompted by this comment I decided to try my hand at a better looking, less bulky adapter for some of my lenses in M42 thread mount.
    My experience with the Fotga M42 adapter made me think that these factory adapters I am buying from China are not that precise; hey, after all they are cheap (as inexpensive) but they are also cheap (as, you know, the other cheap... nasty)

    I had an old camera that was broken, the mount was M42 and I could salvage/unscrew the threaded mount from the body of the camera.
    Then I had a C-mount to M43 lens adapter that I bought on eBay, very slim but that fits very snugly on the body of my E-P5.


    I also had some extension rings that a friend of mine gave me so I could use them with my M42 thread lenses. I could buy those on eBay for not much money, set of 3 extension rings.
    I took the middle 20mm ring and placed them in line. I could not believe it: they stacked up to exactly 26.2mm. That is the magic number for an adapter thickness for M42 lens to fit nicely on Micro Four Thirds.
    I tried my Takumar 50mm (in M42 mount) and took some photos with the lens and adapters loosely held together in my hand. Images revealed I could get infinity! and exactly where it was showing on my lens markings too, not somewhere arbitrary.

    DIY on left, a bit taller than the factory one on the right; infinity focusing is perfectly aligned on DIY

    Again I used JB weld (epoxy glue with metal filler) to bond the M42 camera mount to the C-mount. The second bit, the 20mm macro extension ring would be simply threaded into in, no gluing.


    Once the epoxy cured I checked again and the fit was superb, really.
    My lenses could simply be focused to infinity (lens barrel markings) and I would get infinity, no need to check, even wide open.
    Here is a comparison of different lenses on the factory adapter (from eBay/China) vs my DIY adapter.

    Helios 44-2 on DIY adapter

    Helios 44-2 on factory adapter. The "white ring" is my addition to the lens: PVC to reduce the recess on the lens

    My version is slimmer and I find it easier to use.
    Mounting a lens makes no difference to the factory one, but using a lens does, indeed.
    I now can reach the aperture ring on my vintage lenses by tactile feel alone, no need to look on the lens if I am aimlessly trying to "turn" the textured part of the fixed adapter or the recessed (in some cases) ring on the lens. On the Helios 44-2 I can feel the focus ring (the aperture one is right up front) and kind of sticks out: easier to reach, no need to look.

    Takumar 50mm on factory adapter

    Takumar 50mm on DIY adapter
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