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12-01-2019, 04:43 PM   #1
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Conversion of the new Helios 85mm 1.5 Nikon f mount to M42 or K mount.

Has anybody done this? Is it worth doing? Thanks in advance.

12-01-2019, 05:19 PM   #2
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Not easily doable. Likely challenging to do even by someone who has lots of knowledge and experience adapting lenses..
12-01-2019, 08:22 PM   #3
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The master himself. Hi Dave! My thought was/is since it has the mount held on by 5 screws drill out the same spots on the big flanged m42 adapter and use shims or spacers to get 46mm flange distance? I see those thick flanges on Leitax lenses seem to work. Also with these Helios don't have to bother with aperture pins or arms to modify so I reckon it should be easy.
I can't wait to see the converted Noct 58mm.
12-01-2019, 08:47 PM   #4
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...I can't wait to see the converted Noct 58mm.
With the right step down rings and a reverse adapter, one heck of an f0.95 macro lens

12-01-2019, 08:48 PM - 1 Like   #5
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The new f0.95 Noct 58mm is not going to be something you could really convert to k-mount without serious engineering and machine work. The new lens is on the Z mount which has a much shorter flange distance than Nikon's storied F mount. I guess the optics themselves could be removed from the lens, distances from groups played with to allow for a longer flange distance, and then placed in a modified housing. This would also be a good time to add a mechanical aperture ring.


Which all seems a lot harder than saving up for a Nikon Z camera and using the lens natively. I imagine focusing such a lens would be a lot nicer on the Z's as well unless you want to use this on a camera with a focusing screen with aids like a split prism and such. Would probably be quite fun to use something this fast with a film camera aside from having to hold the thing.
12-01-2019, 09:06 PM   #6
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Oh all those poor Nikon shooters. Beginning of the end of the F mount. I really thought the Noct was for the F mount since it was manual. Thanks.
But returning back to my thought experiment, don't you think there are plenty of machinists on this forum who would be able to fabricobble a flange for the Helios?
12-01-2019, 11:03 PM - 4 Likes   #7
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If you don't already own this lens, you can readily purchase a new Helios 85mm 1.5 on Ebay for $300 that already comes in the M42 mount.

If you already own this lens in the Nikon mount, it probably would be easier (and cheaper) just to sell it and then purchase the same lens in M42 mount.

But if you're like me and you like a challenge and enjoy Frankensteining a lens, go for it - give it a try. It's not like it's an expensive lens. While you might destroy the lens in the process (I typically destroy at least one lens each month with my mad experiments), you will likely learn much about experimental lens adapting that will likely serve you well on future adapting challenges. Besides, if you end up destroying and parting out the lens you will likely find good uses for the parts in the future (provided you keep on adapting lenses). A large parts inventory from parted out lenses is very valuable to those who like to tinker with lenses.

In the last few weeks I've adapted 3 old Leica projector lenses to Pentax K mount, Nikon F mount and Fuji X mount. These projector lenses are a Walter Mandler design. The projector lenses cost me about $75 USD each. They have the exact same optics as a Leica R lens that costs around $400. However, each of these lenses required a couple of parts from my "lens parts bin" to complete the conversion. You just never know when old lens parts will come in handy.


Dave

Last edited by Fenwoodian; 12-01-2019 at 11:22 PM.
12-02-2019, 07:13 AM - 1 Like   #8
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The new lens is the same as the older version, just looks a lil different. It remains a preset manual aperture with no contacts or any pins or levers to deal with.
I would rate this as one of the simplest conversions, just need to find a good brass M42 -> K flanged adapter or suitable donor lens. The hardest part looks to be drilling the 5 holes precisely. There's no reason to alter the lens, just take off the F mount flange and replace.
Look at the pics in this review ..
Zenit MC Helios 40-2 85mm f/1.5 (2015 version) review Review By Richard

12-02-2019, 07:16 AM - 1 Like   #9
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It would be interesting to get a back to back comparison of the "new Helios 85" vs. the existing Samyang 85 f1.4. Seems like cost is about the same. I don't see the point in messing with a mount swap from an M42 lens to k when decent k/m42 mount adaption rings are available everywhere. That's the work, it's done, spend the $10 to $50 on a ring and you're set in a minute. Functionally they're identical at that point as nobody is swapping a fully functional k-mount flange onto an F mount lens.
12-02-2019, 12:06 PM   #10
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I guess I'm vain, the new body looks cooler than the pre 1995 body (looks like a grenade to me). I also thought they upgraded the coating for both canon and nikon mount lenses? Any truth behind this?

---------- Post added 12-02-19 at 13:07 ----------

Dave do you have a CNC / lathe aiding you in this hobby?

---------- Post added 12-02-19 at 13:12 ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by kayakfari Quote
The new lens is the same as the older version, just looks a lil different. It remains a preset manual aperture with no contacts or any pins or levers to deal with.
I would rate this as one of the simplest conversions, just need to find a good brass M42 -> K flanged adapter or suitable donor lens. The hardest part looks to be drilling the 5 holes precisely. There's no reason to alter the lens, just take off the F mount flange and replace.
Look at the pics in this review ..
Zenit MC Helios 40-2 85mm f/1.5 (2015 version) review – Review By Richard
My plan of attack was to take the F flange off rotate it so the tabs will align w/ K mount (possible dremeling to get the tabs to fit) then drill new holes (hopefully some may fall in line) get shims or spacers to add the 1mm to get infinity focus.

Why brass? Wouldn't steel or some other alloy be stronger?

Last edited by funkythiru; 12-02-2019 at 12:14 PM. Reason: Brass
12-04-2019, 07:30 AM - 1 Like   #11
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I would not alter the original mount so lens can be returned to original condition if needed. The brass flanged adapters tend to be thicker and stronger than the typical cheap aluminum versions, but you'll have to experiment with the thickness.
If you don't already own it, you'd be much better off getting the M42 version and adding a PK ring to it!
12-04-2019, 07:37 AM - 1 Like   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by kayakfari Quote
I would not alter the original mount so lens can be returned to original condition if needed. The brass flanged adapters tend to be thicker and stronger than the typical cheap aluminum versions, but you'll have to experiment with the thickness.
If you don't already own it, you'd be much better off getting the M42 version and adding a PK ring to it!
Good advice! Or do like I did - buy a minty used Nikon full frame D600 (with new shutter mech in it to solve oil on sensor problem) for $400 and then use this F mount lens on a Nikon body as it's designed to do. While the Pentax K-1 is a MUCH Better body than the D600, having a Nikon body enables one to try out many inexpensive F mount lenses. Then, if you absolutely love how they perform on the D600, you can then adapt it to the Pentax K-1, knowing that it will be an even better performer on the Pentax body.
12-04-2019, 09:26 AM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by funkythiru Quote
I guess I'm vain, the new body looks cooler than the pre 1995 body (looks like a grenade to me). I also thought they upgraded the coating for both canon and nikon mount lenses? Any truth behind this?

---------- Post added 12-02-19 at 13:07 ----------

Dave do you have a CNC / lathe aiding you in this hobby?

---------- Post added 12-02-19 at 13:12 ----------


My plan of attack was to take the F flange off rotate it so the tabs will align w/ K mount (possible dremeling to get the tabs to fit) then drill new holes (hopefully some may fall in line) get shims or spacers to add the 1mm to get infinity focus.

Why brass? Wouldn't steel or some other alloy be stronger?
You are a wild man G! Don't you get enough broken stuff at work?
12-04-2019, 09:42 AM - 1 Like   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by SSGGeezer Quote
You are a wild man G! Don't you get enough broken stuff at work?
I work at a pharmacy only thing I could use is the clean room. Or discarded desiccant packs. Fluvoxamine for OCD but nothing for LBA. Hope you guys in Maine are keeping well, we are expecting our polar vortexes in time.
12-04-2019, 09:44 AM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by funkythiru Quote
I work at a pharmacy only thing I could use is the clean room. Or discarded desiccant packs. Fluvoxamine for OCD but nothing for LBA. Hope you guys in Maine are keeping well, we are expecting our polar vortexes in time.
Only about 8 inches yesterday, so my back said I am too old to shovel that stuff anymore!
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