Favorite M42 Lens?

Discussion in 'Adapted Lenses' started by klee, Jun 10, 2013.

  1. klee

    klee Mu-43 Veteran

    Mar 20, 2013
    Houston, TX
    My M42 to M4/3 adapter just showed up and I'm not excited about any of the M42 lenses I've acquired.

    -Tamron 28mm f2.8: Image quality seems pleasing, but the focus ring sticks a little. Aperture ring is a pleasure.
    -Sigma 28-80mm f3.5 zoom: control rings feel cheap and cumbersome to use. Seems reasonably sharp and not a lot of glow wide open.
    -Panagor 85-205mm f3.8 zoon: with the long flanged adapter, this thing is a monster to handle. But the image quality has potential to be better than my Hexanon 80-200 f4. But the Hexanon is so much easier to handle.

    I left the SMC 50/1.8 at my parent's place on the Pentax body because I preferred the Hexanon 50/1.8. I don't regret that.

    What other M42 lenses should I consider acquiring?

    Attached Files:

  2. dougjgreen

    dougjgreen Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jun 5, 2013
    San Diego
    Doug Green
    55mm f1.8 SMCT - My favorite nifty fifty, even if a bit longer
    135mm f2.5 SMCT - fast and compact tele
    85mm f1.8 SMCT - A cult lens, costs LOTS of money compared to Nikon, Canon, etc.
    17mm f4 fisheye SMCT -
    500mm f4.5 SMCT - I had one of these, but I sold it when I picked up a Nikkor 300mm f2.8, because it's better and lighter with a teleconverter on it - but this Pentax is a tank
  3. edmsnap

    edmsnap Mu-43 Veteran

    Dec 20, 2011
    Edmonton, Alberta
    Helios 44-2 or 44-3 :) Cheap, plentiful, and dripping with character.
  4. Artorius

    Artorius Mu-43 Regular

    SMC Takumar 55 f2, definitely my favorite lens.
  5. darosk

    darosk Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Apr 17, 2013
    Kota Kinabalu, Malaysia
    The smct and even the super-taks are great. I remember the days you could get them for dirt cheap (I once got a MINT 50 1.4 smct for $10).
  6. veereshai

    veereshai Mu-43 Top Veteran

    May 12, 2011
    Arlington, VA
    carl zeiss 35mm f2.4 flektogon MC. Does macro and colors are beautiful.
  7. burdickjp

    burdickjp Mu-43 Veteran

    Feb 25, 2013
    The only lenses I use are M42.

    My favorites list:

    28mm Vivitar f/2.5 - AWESOME lens. The more I shoot with it, the more I like it. It's also for sale.

    58mm Helios 44-3 - great lens. great character. I'm not happy with the one I got, so I'm looking for another one.

    135mm Takumar 3.5 - AWESOME little lens. Great controls. Mine is MINT. Also for sale!

    135mm Pentacon - Replaced my Takumar. I LOVE it. Couldn't be happier. It's a TANK as well.

    If I had to choose, the Pentacon would be my favorite, followed by the Helios, then the Vivitar, then the Takumar. Everything else I've shot isn't worth mentioning.
  8. klee

    klee Mu-43 Veteran

    Mar 20, 2013
    Houston, TX
    Which ones are are the best in terms of handling? Like control rings, distance scale....
  9. burdickjp

    burdickjp Mu-43 Veteran

    Feb 25, 2013
    I apologize. I did not read the original post very thoroughly.

    I prefer two-ring presets. Of those the Takumar is probably my favorite. The Vivitar's aperture ring is a bit looser than I'd like. The Helios' aperture ring is loose enough it rattles. It surprises me that it doesn't move on its own.

    The Pentacon has a single aperture ring. You can push it away from the camera body, to change the aperture stop. I do not like that this is spring loaded. It'd be nice if you push it forward and it stayed there until you pulled it back, but I tend to put the aperture stop all the way down anyway, so it doesn't really detract from the usability of the lens for me. Everything else about the Pentacon is awesome.

    Strangely enough a lens I didn't mention before should be mentioned now. I have a Soligor 25mm which is a two-ring preset. A big advantage of it is the focus ring has a very short travel, making focusing quick. Surprisingly I haven't had trouble with focusing it. I'd have expected it to be very finecky because of it's short travel. Not so. Unfortunately my specific lens is too hazy for my use.
  10. super8man

    super8man Mu-43 Regular

    Jun 17, 2013
    I am biased by the Tessar 2.8 having learned photography on a Zeiss Contaflex Super B. Here's the example of my Jena 50mm f.28 Tessar on my E-PL3.

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