M42 lenses any good?

Discussion in 'Adapted Lenses' started by yourguitarhero, Jul 29, 2011.

  1. yourguitarhero

    yourguitarhero Mu-43 Regular

    Jul 29, 2011
    I have loads of M42 lenses from an old Praktica camera
    I'm tempted to get an adaptor so I can use my telephoto etc

    However I've heard the results aren't good due to the quality of the optics?
  2. yourguitarhero

    yourguitarhero Mu-43 Regular

    Jul 29, 2011
    Also.. if it is a 300mm lens, what does that give me on the micro 4/3rds system?
  3. yourguitarhero

    yourguitarhero Mu-43 Regular

    Jul 29, 2011
  4. Markb

    Markb Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Jun 9, 2011
    Kent, UK
    Real Name:
    M42 lenses were made by a huge range of companies. There are some gems. Praktika/Zeiss Jena lenses are nice. The Zenit Helios 44 is a very good lens too, it's a copy of the 58mm Zeiss Biotar done (usually) well. Sample variation is high in FSU and DDR lenses.

    A lot of lenses made in M42 were pretty average by the standards of the day, so really poor by modern standards. They were often marketed as cheaper alternatives to Pentax lenses. Even "high quality" names of today like Sigma or Tamron made mediocre lenses in the 70s and 80s (and still do).
  5. avidone

    avidone Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Jun 24, 2011
    Rome, Italy
    I have just started experimenting with legacy lenses but most of what I have so far are m42 since in Europe a lot of ex Soviet and DDR lenses are available in m42 and there seem to be some very good or at least interesting results from some people with them.... Anyway a relatively inexpensive way to experiment. I have some Helios, Industar, Jupiter, and Practicon lenses so far... i understand some of the Pentax Takumar lenses are also quite good if a bit more expensive.

    Anyway do some further looking at posts in the legacy lens section here ansd also search for Russian/ Soviet lenses either generally or specifically on Flikr and you will find lots of info and examples.

    Sent from my iPad using Mu-43 App
  6. sLorenzi

    sLorenzi Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Sep 15, 2010
    Real Name:
    There is huge variety of m42 lens makers, and they go from horrible to superb. But I believe, in general it worth getting an adapter and try it. I like my lenses a lot, even some that there are not pin like sharp, but have interesting character.
  7. theunartist

    theunartist Mu-43 Regular

    Jul 5, 2011
    Baltimore, MD
    It would not give you the same reach as a 600mm lens. Because dSLR's and :43: 's sensors are smaller than normal 35mm or "Full Frame" sensors, they are considered cropped; in this case the Field of View is cropped: Crop factor - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia - good explanation here.

    300mm = 600mm in Field of View, not reach

    re: m42 lenses, lots and lots. Some good cheap ones can be found by hunting for Sears, JC Penney and Kmart brands. Also plain old Pentax Takumars and Vivitars, etc. etc etc..
  8. Danny_Two

    Danny_Two Mu-43 Regular

    Oct 30, 2010
    You'll probably find even your Praktica stuff isn't as good as a basic mft lens, but you can get an adaptor very cheap so give it a go. Avoid any Prinzflez M42 lenses, they are awful.
  9. Ned

    Ned Mu-43 Legend

    Jul 18, 2010
    Alberta, Canada
    Reach is not a technical term and can be interpreted in many ways. There's no reason you can't interpret "reach" in terms of Field of View. ;) Focal Length on the other hand, is different.
  10. penfan2010

    penfan2010 Mu-43 All-Pro

    Nov 12, 2010
    NJ, USA
    Depends on the make. The Pentax SMC Takumar M42s are generally great lenses, very sharp and good color. The only downside I have seen is that the adapter is among the bulkiest (I guess because the focus point is further than lenses for rangefinders and other brands).

    I own a 105mm F2.8 SMC Pentax Takumar M42. See sample photos below:




  11. UkrainianOne

    UkrainianOne Mu-43 Regular

    Jul 29, 2011
    Long Island, New York
    The majority of the lenses i have are M42 mounts. They are mostly Soligor and are the cheapest ( price wise ) lenses one could get that are worth using, that being said your not going to get the super sharp quality of modern lenses and will not take the same crisp pictures as you see on this forum *(unless you wanna shell out big bucks for the right lens)* The good side of all this is that even though im running with all soligors, the lenses themselfs have a different "character" per say. You can get about 3-4 lenses like i did on Ebay for the price you would pay for the adapter which would run you about 45 bucks for 4 lenses and a adapter to start off. However they are all manual focus I know people dont want to bother with that these day especially people my age but it makes me feel like i actually put in effort and my own touch into the photo instead of just clicking a button.
  12. Adubo

    Adubo SithLord

    Nov 4, 2010
    Real Name:
    taken with a zenit 44m-4 58mm f2.0 hand held

    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/aduu/6058151667/" title="Untitled by adubo., on Flickr">[​IMG]"500" height="375" alt=""></a>
  13. ivoire

    ivoire Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Aug 6, 2011
    Naperville, IL
    Real Name: