Forgot Password
Pentax Camera Forums Home
 

Reply
Show Printable Version Search this Thread
04-04-2013, 07:36 PM   #1
Senior Member
dboeren's Avatar

Join Date: Feb 2013
Location: Marietta, GA
Photos: Albums
Posts: 148
Time to start looking for M42 lenses...

I was fortunate enough to grab an original Pentax brand M42 adapter off eBay for only $16 earlier tonight. There's just one problem... I don't have any M42 lenses yet.

So, that's going to be my next target and I wanted to see if you guys had some more good suggestions.

I'm fairly new to DSLR's, currently I have a Pentax K-30 with:
18-135mm WR
Pentax-A 50mm f/1.7
55-300mm (on the way)

I've also been thinking of something like a Pentax-A 28mm f/2.8 to have a wider prime.

The options I know about for M42 include:
1. Takumar lenses, lots of these including some wide angles, fast 50/55, and some cheap teles
2. Helios, I mainly know about the 44's
3. Jupiters, I almost bought a 9 recently

Beyond that, I don't really know too much about which brands/models are gems and which are poor quality.

I should say also that I'm not looking to spend that much since I haven't shot a fully manual lens yet. I'm happy to learn about some great stuff for later on but mainly I'm looking for great inexpensive lenses.

04-04-2013, 07:41 PM   #2
Veteran Member
Docrwm's Avatar

Join Date: Sep 2010
Location: Somewhere in the Southern US
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 11,275
I strongly encourage you to spend time wandering through the review section of M42 lenses. There are some real gems out there and once you learn the keys to using them on modern cameras they can be quite rewarding. A SuperTak 50/1.4 can be had relatively cheaply and can be a killer lens but there are LOTS of other brands that can be terrific too.
04-04-2013, 07:42 PM   #3
MSM
Veteran Member
MSM's Avatar

Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Alabama
Photos: Gallery
Posts: 994
M42 collecting is fun but addictive. You are in luck. You live 13 min from one of the more renown used lens dealers in the US. KEH of Smyna, GA is one if not the largest used lens dealers. Great to work with. I have no affiliation with them. Check their website out. I don't believe they have a store front , btw, just online.
04-04-2013, 07:45 PM   #4
Veteran Member
Docrwm's Avatar

Join Date: Sep 2010
Location: Somewhere in the Southern US
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 11,275
QuoteOriginally posted by MSM Quote
M42 collecting is fun but addictive. You are in luck. You live 13 min from one of the more renown used lens dealers in the US. KEH of Smyna, GA is one if not the largest used lens dealers. Great to work with. I have no affiliation with them. Check their website out. I don't believe they have a store front , btw, just online.
Unfortunately they also charge MORE if you want to pick up the equipment on-site (I live not too much further away myself and have asked).

04-04-2013, 07:56 PM   #5
MSM
Veteran Member
MSM's Avatar

Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Alabama
Photos: Gallery
Posts: 994
QuoteOriginally posted by Docrwm Quote
Unfortunately they also charge MORE if you want to pick up the equipment on-site (I live not too much further away myself and have asked).
Really, interesting. I live in Birmingham and UPS is like 2 day shipping for the price of general ground. I gave up the manual lenses and the hunt for lenses at garage sales. I enjoyed that time but now I am trying to stick with the AF lenses. I got to keep life simple.

mark
04-04-2013, 08:16 PM   #6
dms
Site Supporter




Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: New York, NY
Photos: Gallery
Posts: 1,620
Instead of the 28mm A f2.8 why not the takumar (super or SMC) 28mm f3.5. It is great handling in AV with zone focusing--likely the best all around combo for fats street shooting in good to moderate light. And get the 28mm square takumar hood--really great hood/great design.I find the quality to be excellent--probably only bettered by the 28mm f3.5 K and the 28mm FA (based on what I read--I have neither!)
04-04-2013, 08:17 PM   #7
Pentaxian




Join Date: Nov 2011
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 3,724
QuoteOriginally posted by dboeren Quote
Beyond that, I don't really know too much about which brands/models are gems and which are poor quality.
I'd recommend the MF lenses website:
Manual Focus Lenses
You can glean a lot of good information from there.
04-04-2013, 08:25 PM   #8
Veteran Member
VisualDarkness's Avatar

Join Date: Nov 2011
Location: Uppsala, Sweden
Photos: Gallery
Posts: 4,441
My Tokina 135/2.8 with a gazillion (I think it was 17) aperture blades is a nice performer and built as a rock. I really like the bokeh from it.

04-04-2013, 08:30 PM   #9
Senior Member




Join Date: Dec 2012
Location: Vancouver Island, BC
Photos: Albums
Posts: 227
QuoteOriginally posted by dboeren Quote
I was fortunate enough to grab an original Pentax brand M42 adapter off eBay for only $16 earlier tonight. There's just one problem... I don't have any M42 lenses yet.



Beyond that, I don't really know too much about which brands/models are gems and which are poor quality.

I should say also that I'm not looking to spend that much since I haven't shot a fully manual lens yet. I'm happy to learn about some great stuff for later on but mainly I'm looking for great inexpensive lenses.
lol... I can sure identify... I picked up an adapter a couple of months ago for $10 (is was paired with some extension tubes so I don't think anyone noticed that there was a genuine m42 pentax adapter included)
My first purchase - a 500mm takumar f4.5 - I couldn't dream of buying one of the newer really long lenses... but I found the m42 version for a song.

What else am I looking at? a 50/1.4 super tak 8 element (the earliest version) - also considering a 85mm 1.8 in m42 (something like this http://www.ebay.ca/itm/300883651936?ssPageName=STRK:MEWAX:IT&_trksid=p3984.m1423.l2649 ). lots of really cool lenses and as another poster mentioned - keep an eye on the reviews - they have quite a few little gems mentioned there.
sure take LBA to a whole new dimension.
04-04-2013, 08:31 PM   #10
Pentaxian
Just1MoreDave's Avatar

Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: Aurora, CO
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 4,846
I really like any of the Takumar 55mm lenses, which are often cheap while everyone chases the 50/1.4s. The 55mm f2 models are even cheaper. A good portrait focal length for me on APS-C.

The Takumar 135/3.5 is common enough to be inexpensive. The hood is useful on a lot of other 49mm filter thread lenses down to 50mm on APS-C, and the 135s often have the complete package - hood, caps and case.

Complete the classic set of film lenses and get a Takumar 28/3.5, not too expensive either.

Vivitar 135/2.8 and 200/3.5 lenses are pretty good also. Look for serial numbers starting with 28, some green lettering and rubber focus grips - these are later models with better coatings.

Those should be less than $50. For over $50:

Vivitar has a 55mm f2.8 macro, serial number starting with 28, a really great 1:1 lens.

The Takumar 150/4 is uncommon enough so you might see one selling for $25 or $75. I think it's better than the 135/3.5.

I really like my Takumar 85/1.9 but would have a hard time paying today's prices. The same goes for the Super-Multi-Coated 135mm f2.5 #43812, the part number for the better version.
04-04-2013, 08:41 PM   #11
MSL
Pentaxian
MSL's Avatar

Join Date: Feb 2012
Location: Greater Toronto Area
Photos: Albums
Posts: 3,389
QuoteOriginally posted by Just1MoreDave Quote
The Takumar 150/4 is uncommon enough so you might see one selling for $25 or $75. I think it's better than the 135/3.5.
Interesting you should say that. I had a chance to buy one pretty cheap not too long ago, but wondered why I would want a 150 if I already have a 135 that I don't use that much.
First thing I would say is take it slow as there are a lot of lenses out there. You can pick up 55/2 or 55/1.8 really cheap - usually attached to a camera. I got lucky and got a 50/1.4 recently which I think is fantastic. I also developed a passion for Helios 44 lenses. You could spend months trying to research all the variations, and even then you wouldn't necessarily be sure of what you are buying as from what I've read every batch was unique. I'm on a low level quest for a 28/3.5 or 35/3.5 but only if it is really cheap.

On the more costly front a few good macro lenses have been mentioned. I picked up a Vivitar 90/2.8 macro lens which does 1:1, and was sold under a wide range of names. If you are interested in macro photography you can also pick up good quality m42 extension tubes quite cheaply.

One thing you will need to explore is how to meter the lenses. You can use the green button method, or you can try Av mode. For the latter, I find I need to overexpose by up to a full stop to get things right, and it can very a lot from lens to lens and across the aperture range. On one of my Helios 44, if I stop down fully, I probably need to go more like +2 or more.
04-04-2013, 10:17 PM   #12
Site Supporter
stevebrot's Avatar

Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: Vancouver (USA)
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 27,297
QuoteOriginally posted by dms Quote
It is great handling in AV with zone focusing
Except with the OP's K-30, M mode will give much more accurate metering. As noted above and in the camera's manual, Av mode is not recommended and will yield the quality of metering that I currently "enjoy" on my K10D.

All that being said, shooting with vintage screw mount lenses is definitely worth the effort. I have done some of my best work with my KMZ Helios 44M 58/2 (Russian version of the Zeiss Biotar) and one of my favorite lenses is a Auto-Rikenon 50/1.8 from the late 1960s. The Vivitars tend to be quite good, though unlike Dave (above), I am partial to the ribbed metal grips found on the early 70s versions!


Steve
04-05-2013, 04:17 AM   #13
Pentaxian
Lowell Goudge's Avatar

Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Toronto
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 15,399
Welcome to the M42 club. Which membership you get free membership in the LBA club too!

It can be addictive, I figure I am about $1200 into M42 lenses since I got my first 5 years ago, but here is what $1200 got me

MC Zenitar 16mm/2.8 fisheye, tamron adaptal II 24/2.5, vivitar 28/2.5, SMC Tak 35/2, super tak 50/1.4, SMC Tak 50/4 macro, Helios 58/2, super tak85/1.9, tamron adaptall II 90/2.5 macro, Vernon edonar 105/2.8 preset, tele lentar 135/2.8 preset, SMC tak 135/3.5, tele tokina 180/3.5, preset tak 200/3.5, SMC tak 200/4, tele coligon 200/4.5 preset, Nikkor-H 300/4.5 (modified to m42 mount). Add to this 2 2x teleconverters( soligor and MC tamron) a set of extension tubes, and a 15-30 mm focusing helix and my kit has just about everything you would want with 17 lenses

The two most expensive lenses were the zenitar fisheye which you can (and I did) purchase new, and the super tak 85/1.9. Both around 200. Nothing else cost over 100and 5 of them cost $15 or less

My logic was at the onset to only get lenses faster than my main AF zoom kit which is F2.8 from 28mm though 200mm and to fill in gaps in my KMount prime kit. I started with the SMC tak 35/2, but after adding the 28/2.5 , the 24/2.5 and the 58/2 for a grand total of $40 I figured, that I may just as well start a screw mount kit. As I have a bunch of SMC Pentax k mount lenses in my real prime kit I decided that I didn't want all takumars in the screw mount kit because they would be too similar.

My first preset was the takumar 200/3.5 and in liking not only the optical qualities I liked the preset control and preferred this over either stopping down manually with the aperture ring or using the auto manual switch. I have since added the other presets, and find the presets are great for portrait not just from the aspect of round aperture and blurry bokeh, but the fact that they seem to have a real 3D effect. There seems to be more foreground to background separation. I tried with my 135 for example side by side shots with the SMC Tak135/3.5, and at any aperture while the DOF of each lens was the same, the background just seems to separate more with a preset. I don't know if this is just due to the difference in bokeh with a round aperture or something else, but presets are unique due to this.

My advise to the OP is to get a few quality M42 lenses but then venture into the world of the obscure, and play. There are still a lot of good bargains to be found. My last 2 lenses, which I didn't really even need were the tele coligon 200/4.5 preset and the tele tokina 180/3.5 preset. I got the pair for $25 about a month ago from a local pawn shop.
04-05-2013, 05:35 AM   #14
Senior Member
dboeren's Avatar

Join Date: Feb 2013
Location: Marietta, GA
Photos: Albums
Posts: 148
Original Poster
Thanks for all the suggestions so far. I have been reading through the Takumar lens reviews here on pentaxforums, but the other brands are harder to find since they're grouped my manufacturer and not mount type (unless there's a feature/link I don't know about).

I knew about KEH being close by, but haven't visited yet - they seem to discourage going there in person a bit. Not sure what to expect when I do, what I'd like is to be able to ask them to bring out several lenses to look at and handle but it sounds like more of a warehouse so there may not be much of a sales counter.

500mm sounds interesting, I'll certainly never get that sort of length any other way without winning the lottery. I'm leaning towards the Jupiter-9 for 85mm and to serve as a portrait lens from time to time. I'm also fine with getting the Takumar 28mm instead of the Pentax-A. Hopefully the extra stop-down exposure step won't add too much time, it shouldn't after a little practice.

Thanks for the pointer to MF Lenses, I'll have plenty of reading to do there.

My in-laws say there's a small camera shop where they live and they'll take me there next time we visit, maybe they've got some nice old stuff lying around gathering dust...
04-05-2013, 06:01 AM   #15
MSL
Pentaxian
MSL's Avatar

Join Date: Feb 2012
Location: Greater Toronto Area
Photos: Albums
Posts: 3,389
QuoteOriginally posted by stevebrot Quote
Except with the OP's K-30, M mode will give much more accurate metering. As noted above and in the camera's manual, Av mode is not recommended and will yield the quality of metering that I currently "enjoy" on my K10D.
Glad you pointed this out. As I noted, even on the K-5, the metering can be a bit hit and miss.

QuoteOriginally posted by Lowell Goudge Quote
My first preset was the takumar 200/3.5 and in liking not only the optical qualities I liked the preset control and preferred this over either stopping down manually with the aperture ring or using the auto manual switch. I have since added the other presets, and find the presets are great for portrait not just from the aspect of round aperture and blurry bokeh, but the fact that they seem to have a real 3D effect. There seems to be more foreground to background separation. I tried with my 135 for example side by side shots with the SMC Tak135/3.5, and at any aperture while the DOF of each lens was the same, the background just seems to separate more with a preset. I don't know if this is just due to the difference in bokeh with a round aperture or something else, but presets are unique due to this.
I only have one pre-set - a Helios 44, and I ended up buying a second a 44M because I wasn't that keen on using the preset aspect. Given what you have noted here, and the wildly varying bokeh the Helios produces in comparing one copy to the next, I may have to do some more testing.
Reply

Bookmarks
  • Submit Thread to Facebook Facebook
  • Submit Thread to Twitter Twitter
  • Submit Thread to Digg Digg
Tags - Make this thread easier to find by adding keywords to it!
k-mount, lenses, m42, pentax, pentax lens, pentax-a, slr lens
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Looking to start a photo website? Adam General Talk 5 08-17-2011 02:04 PM
Time to START rounding! mattdm Pentax News and Rumors 16 09-22-2010 10:51 PM
Looking to build a small aresenal for K100D, is this a good start? Shogo Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 27 04-14-2008 11:18 AM



All times are GMT -7. The time now is 01:07 PM. | See also: NikonForums.com, CanonForums.com part of our network of photo forums!
  • Red (Default)
  • Green
  • Gray
  • Dark
  • Dark Yellow
  • Dark Blue
  • Old Red
  • Old Green
  • Old Gray
  • Dial-Up Style
Hello! It's great to see you back on the forum! Have you considered joining the community?
register
Creating a FREE ACCOUNT takes under a minute, removes ads, and lets you post! [Dismiss]
Top