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06-28-2011, 02:00 PM   #1
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m42 lens adapter

I don't understand.. I have an AUTHENTIC Asahi Pentax M42 to K adapter (that came in an OLD Asahi Pentax paper box), and it goes in and twists into my K-X, but it has about 1mm play or so. It doesn't have this play when I put the adapter in my Asahi Pentax K2. So is my DSLR hosed, was it designed not as well as the older pentax bodies, or is my adapter bad?

UPDATE: correction, it does have a little play in my K2 but not as much.. almost as much though.

So perhaps it is a bad adapter?

06-28-2011, 02:30 PM   #2
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Sounds like a bad (worn?) adapter to me, they should hardly move at all when mounted.

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06-28-2011, 02:48 PM   #3
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What kind of play is it? Lateral (can you shake it inside the mount) or just circular (you can rotate it a tiny bit from the locked position)? My adapter has a bit of the latter play too - I wouldn't worry if that's it.
06-28-2011, 04:17 PM   #4
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My main problem is the circular movement (1 to 2mm?). It is annoying because when I focus the helios 44-2 back and forth, it constantly shifts. There is also a tiny bit of lateral movement (wobble?) but it is less significant.

Feeling kinda down today cause of this adapter problem combined with the fact that the helios 44-2 I received today--USPS from the Ukraine--came with heavily oiled aperture blades (he said they wouldnt' have oil on them), no caps and not packaged well (tiny broken pieces of styrofoam wedged in the front of the lens and inside the back of the lens. At least the lens has no fungus, haze, scratches or chips--and low dust.

I took some pictures with the lens and so far I am not impressed with the quality.. Seems a lot less contrasty than the many pics I have seen taken with it.

06-28-2011, 05:28 PM   #5
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the genuine pentax rings do exhibit the movement you describe when used with the Helios 44-2 because the base of the lens is too narrow to snug against the camera. There are a few threads about dealing with "helios wobble". I personally tried several of the sub $10 knockoff rings untill i found some that do not have any wobble at all...but i had to kiss a few frogs on the way.
good luck!

and regarding the oily blades, if the seller said no oil and now you have such an issue, i'd return it and find another seller.

Last edited by mikeSF; 06-28-2011 at 06:43 PM.
06-28-2011, 06:27 PM   #6
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Like Mike said, most lenses will press against the body or mount rim when screwed on the adapter, so the circular play won't matter anymore for most purposes. I know it is annoying to have that play with a lens, but I think the idea is that if the adapter would be tighter, you wouldn't be able to remove it as easily. So it's a tradeoff. The play should be small anyway and you should get used to it after a while.

About the Helios lens oil, Russian preset lenses have the aperture blades greased by design. Oil is only an issue with automatic aperture lenses, not with preset ones like the 44-2 is. I wouldn't worry about that oil, unless you see it dripping on lens elements.

The Helios and all other Russian lenses don't have great coatings and as a result are not great performers when they are pointed at light sources. I suggest always using a hood and avoiding strong frontal lights. I like the Helios a lot. If you still have trouble with it, start another thread and post some samples to get advice - maybe your copy has some issues.
06-28-2011, 06:44 PM   #7
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ps-... and dont forget to have fun shooting with this dynamite little russian gem!

Last edited by mikeSF; 06-29-2011 at 08:06 AM.
06-28-2011, 10:36 PM   #8
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Yes, the problem is really with the Helios design rather than the adapter. The genuine Pentax adapter is actually designed to be a somewhat loose fit, simply because it makes it much easier to remove (it won't get jammed, unlike some others). Most M42 lenses will cause the adapter to be "locked" into the camera's mount when the lens is tightened onto the camera, but the Helios won't because it has a little lip which prevents this.

For my Helios I made up a shim, to take the lens's base to the same level as the aforementioned lip, and this fixes the problem. The shim was made from the stiff transparent plastic which formed the lid of a box of greeting cards, and which measured to be about 230 microns thick, if I remember correctly. It was a simple matter to cut it, using scissors, into a circular shape of the right dimensions.

06-29-2011, 03:30 AM   #9
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I'll go ahead and try to make that shim. It focuses past infinity anyways and I bet it will bring it closer to infinity.
06-29-2011, 04:37 AM   #10
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A flanged type adapter will fix the problem for you: M42 Lens to PK Adapter for Pentax K2000 K20D K-5 KR K-7 | eBay

Get a metallic looking one rather than a black one for the camera contacts.
06-29-2011, 08:19 AM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by newarts Quote
A flanged type adapter will fix the problem for you: M42 Lens to PK Adapter for Pentax K2000 K20D K-5 KR K-7 | eBay

Get a metallic looking one rather than a black one for the camera contacts.
Depending on how much vodka the Helios assembly line workers had consumed (ie how carefully the lens was assembled) the flanged adapter might or might not cause loss of infinity focus. If using the Helios for portraits, closeups, other shots where infinity doesn't matter, that's no big deal. And I've read that infinity is easily adjusted on the Helios.

Yes, the flanged adapter *does* provide a much tighter, more secure mount. The unpainted (metallic) ones will (safely) short the mount contacts for CIF use. But if only painted (black) ones are available, scraping off the paint at the appropriate location is no big deal either. I probably have a dozen scraped-paint adapters (M39, M42, macro) in my kit. I use the file blade on my Leatherman tool for that.

One thing NOT to do: It's common with PK-M and M42 mount lenses, to stick a bit of metal tape on the lens base, to short those contacts. DO NOT PUT METAL TAPE ON A WIDE-FLANGE ADAPTER like a flanged M42-PK adapter. The tape's thickness WILL cause the adapter to jam on the camera mount.
06-29-2011, 08:52 AM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by RioRico Quote
Depending on how much vodka the Helios assembly line workers had consumed (ie how carefully the lens was assembled) the flanged adapter might or might not cause loss of infinity focus. If using the Helios for portraits, closeups, other shots where infinity doesn't matter, that's no big deal. And I've read that infinity is easily adjusted on the Helios. ...
Culpa mea! I should have hedged more (but OP did say her lens focuses beyond infinity.)

Last edited by newarts; 06-29-2011 at 09:03 AM.
06-29-2011, 10:17 PM   #13
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Note that the shim isn't meant to change the registration distance - it's only there to bring the lens base to the same level as the aforementioned "lip". Of course, it's quite likely that the shim will be a little oversize (in thickness terms), in which case there'll be a small increase in registration distance, but this shouldn't make much difference to infinity focus if the oversize is small. Mind you, all this assumes that the registration distance is meant to be measured to the lip, rather than the lens base.

As you may tell from my vagueness, I haven't used this lens for a long while, but I do feel that I would have checked for infinity focus when I first tried the shim. (Same goes for a couple of Pentacon lenses, which need the same treatment.)
06-29-2011, 11:01 PM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by RioRico Quote
Depending on how much vodka the Helios assembly line workers had consumed (ie how carefully the lens was assembled) the flanged adapter might or might not cause loss of infinity focus. If using the Helios for portraits, closeups, other shots where infinity doesn't matter, that's no big deal. And I've read that infinity is easily adjusted on the Helios.

Yes, the flanged adapter *does* provide a much tighter, more secure mount. The unpainted (metallic) ones will (safely) short the mount contacts for CIF use. But if only painted (black) ones are available, scraping off the paint at the appropriate location is no big deal either. I probably have a dozen scraped-paint adapters (M39, M42, macro) in my kit. I use the file blade on my Leatherman tool for that.

One thing NOT to do: It's common with PK-M and M42 mount lenses, to stick a bit of metal tape on the lens base, to short those contacts. DO NOT PUT METAL TAPE ON A WIDE-FLANGE ADAPTER like a flanged M42-PK adapter. The tape's thickness WILL cause the adapter to jam on the camera mount.
What is "CIF" use? I don't know this acronym.

Thanks you all for the advice btw.
06-29-2011, 11:09 PM   #15
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