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Legacy Lenses Discuss the use of older lenses, using adapters, from the Olympus OM system, Leica M and R-series, and the millions of others too.

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  #1  
Old 12th February 2014
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M42 thread lenses

I have just ordered an M42 to m43rds adapter from eBay to try out a couple of old Helios lenses that came into my possession. Does anyone know of any lenses with this fitting that are reasonably good performers on m43rds that it would be worth looking out for? I would guess that car boot sales could be a good place for M42 glass.
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Old 12th February 2014
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Re: M42 thread lenses

I'd go for name brand glass rather than the Dixon's specials of this world. If you fall across a super takumar for example... Avoid zooms if possible..

BTW, I have a Vivitar 200mm f3.5 you can have for the cost of the postage if you want to try an old long prime.
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Old 12th February 2014
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Re: M42 thread lenses

I would never use film era zooms on my Olys anyway. Thanks for the offer but I have my eye on a 200mm Zuiko. Had one a few years ago with my E500 and fancy one again. M42 glass should be relatively cheap, even cheaper at car boots!
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Old 12th February 2014
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Re: M42 thread lenses

I have found the Helios lens to be hit or miss i have two 55mm 2.8's 1 is soft and the other is super sharp. As for lenses i would recommend then at the top of the list of lenses i own, it has to be the Carl Zeiss 135mm f3.5 i was lucky i got it given to me. They seem to go for +/- £80 ish for good ones but knowing how good it is i would spend that without hesitation. The Pentacon lenses can also be good. The problem can be is you have to try them after buying them to know whether you have a good lens or a nice paper weight.......... You have to remember they are often 30+ years old......... if you have a peek at my Flickr link below all the pics there were taken with either M42 or OM lenses.......... Be care full though it can become adictive buying this old glass, you have been warned.

Steve
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Old 13th February 2014
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Re: M42 thread lenses

I have a fantastic M42 Helios-44M (58mm f2) from the KMZ factory. I got it for nowt as it was filthy but just 20mins of cleaning and it now looks brand new. Helios from the other Russian factories had inferior quality control but may be cheaper. The images from this one have a nice feel being sharp with nice bokeh.

I'm impatiently waiting for a good manufacturer to make an M42 focal reducer (i have a few M42s). Pls hurry up Metabones.
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Old 13th February 2014
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Re: M42 thread lenses

Quote:
Originally Posted by bredman View Post
I have a fantastic M42 Helios-44M (58mm f2) from the KMZ factory. I got it for nowt as it was filthy but just 20mins of cleaning and it now looks brand new. Helios from the other Russian factories had inferior quality control but may be cheaper. The images from this one have a nice feel being sharp with nice bokeh.

I'm impatiently waiting for a good manufacturer to make an M42 focal reducer (i have a few M42s). Pls hurry up Metabones.
I have a 58mm f2 Helios. How can I fond out where it was made?
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Old 13th February 2014
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Re: M42 thread lenses

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Originally Posted by benvendetta View Post
I have a 58mm f2 Helios. How can I fond out where it was made?
You will notice a logo on the lens front. KMZ factory logo looks like -





KMZ made lenses primarily for export so are generally better than others. MMZ, Valdai, Vologda, and others made Helios lenses for the home market and had dubious quality control. Of course, as the decades pass it won't be quite that simple, it's pot luck, but interesting anyway.

The Valdai logo is on the bottom-right, and MMZ is top row second from right. Vologda is the middle bottom logo.




There is some info here, but not comprehensive as the records are incomplete.

http://camerapedia.wikia.com/wiki/Soviet_Factory_Logos
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OM-D E-M1. Still have an E-M5 too. Oly 45, 60, 75, 12-40/2.8, 40-150/2.8, 300/4. Plus some old glass.


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Old 7th January 2017
scrote scrote is offline
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Re: M42 thread lenses

Quote:
Originally Posted by bredman View Post

I'm impatiently waiting for a good manufacturer to make an M42 focal reducer (i have a few M42s). Pls hurry up Metabones.
Are the Chinese ones from eBay @60ish not any good? I was about to buy one as that was all I could find..... Cheers
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Old 13th February 2014
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Re: M42 thread lenses

I would guess that the longer the focal length the better the corner to corner consistency (sharpness and vignetting).

There are lots of inexpensive primes out there; 135mm f/2.8 and 105mm f/2.8, especially. I wouldn't expect any of these to be sharp wide open, but by f/5.6 they could be quite good.

Ian
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Re: M42 thread lenses

Looks like I have one of the KMZ versions Looking forward to trying the 58mm and the 135mm f2.8 that I have too. Just need the adapter to arrive.
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Re: M42 thread lenses

Can you count the bubbles in the glass?

Zenits and Praktica LTLs were everywhere when I was a teenager at school and we used to have fun finding bubbles in the Helios lenses!

Prakticas were much better quaility.

Ian
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Old 13th February 2014
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Re: M42 thread lenses

No bubbles in this baby. Glass is perfect, no dust or fungus.
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Old 13th February 2014
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Re: M42 thread lenses

Helios 58/2 are a mixed bag for certain . Iirc the 8 blade versions are more sought after too, the early versions have 6 blades. I struck lucky with mine, it's mint -- no bubbles.

I also have a Carl Zeiss Jena Flektogon 35/2.8 in M42 i would recommend. They can still be found for ok prices if you shop around and be patient. The glass in mine is in good nick however the mechanical side has a few minor quirks -- but great images with that Jena feel.
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Old 13th February 2014
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Re: M42 thread lenses

Quote:
Originally Posted by bredman View Post
Helios 58/2 are a mixed bag for certain . Iirc the 8 blade versions are more sought after too, the early versions have 6 blades. I struck lucky with mine, it's mint -- no bubbles.

I also have a Carl Zeiss Jena Flektogon 35/2.8 in M42 i would recommend. They can still be found for ok prices if you shop around and be patient. The glass in mine is in good nick however the mechanical side has a few minor quirks -- but great images with that Jena feel.
Mine is the 8 blade version
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Old 22nd October 2014
Harold Gough Harold Gough is offline
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Re: M42 thread lenses

It's easy to adapt M39 to M42, widening your scope.

Harold
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