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10-07-2008, 10:49 PM   #1
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M42 performance?

Hi,
I'm a noob obviously, and I came across this forum through research on DSLR's.
I'm a proud owner of 20 plus M42 lenses, everthing from Zeiss,Pentax,Fujinon,Chinon,Mamyia and a host of other glass. My problem is finding a good DSLR that handles M42 adapted lenses.

I undestand that the Canon DOS does a good job with the M42's, but I also heard that Pentax does a great job adapting the M42's. I was told to stay away from Nikon with these lenses.

What are your thoughts on the K10D or K20D handeling the M42 glass?

All comments will be GREATLY appreciated.

If anyone has any photos posted of images taken with M42 adapted lenses I would love to be linked to the area.

Thanks

10-07-2008, 11:06 PM   #2
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It's fantastic to use M42 lenses with Pentax. Metering with the green button in manual mode is super easy, and you can also use it in the other program modes as well.

Most importantly, on a Pentax you get shake reduction/image stabilization with ALL these old lenses. I recently shot handheld 1/5 sec with a 135mm f/3.5. You definitely can't do that with Canon or Nikon, none of which have in-body image stabilization. It's a huge plus.
10-07-2008, 11:24 PM   #3
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Image stabilized Jupiter 9.
10-08-2008, 12:10 AM   #4
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Pentax is probably your best option.

(1) The flange focal distance of the m42 mount and pentax K mount are identical. The Pentax Adapter K just provides a screw thread -- the m42 lens rests directly on the K mount flange, so there are no tolerance issues to worry about.

The adapter stays in the body while changing between m42 lenses.

Olympus OM and Nikon F have a greater flange focal distance, requiring an adaptor with optics to get infinity focus.

(2) You get focus confirmation. (AFAIK Canon EF-mount bodies require electronics in the adapter to provide this).

(3) Lenses with manual aperture or an auto/manual switch work fine in manual mode. K-mount bodies can't operate the actuator pin on the lens, so auto-only lenses are stuck wide open. (There are workarounds for this.)

(4) Manual and aperture priority modes work fine in most situations (lens is already stopped down).

(5) No matrix or P-TTL flash metering.

(6) In-body shake reduction really works!

10-08-2008, 12:16 AM   #5
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I only have two M42's, but they are so much fun to work with on my K20D.
Like krypticide said, just slam that green button
I use the pentax original M42 adaptor, and it works 100%
10-08-2008, 02:39 AM   #6
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In fact, the green button is not even needed with M42s...
Just use any mode except M, and the body will switch to Av mode, with constant metering, even when you stop the lens down (as the lens actually stops down when in manual mode). M mode is really useful for PK lenses only...

Two things to take into account when using m42s:
- metering becomes center-weighted (nearly a spot mode in my opinion), so look for bright patches just outside the central spot, or they will be washed out.
- the k10's focus screen is not really m42-friendly, as it does not handle wide-open and closed-down readings very well (you end up respectively with under and over exposure, but it's fairly constant, so not a real problem)... But at least with Pentax you can change focus screens really easily (either to a split-screen, or to the LL-60 *ist screen that supposedly make things better)...

One last thing : I installed my adapters on my lenses, and removed the tiny metal spring locking the adapter into the body, effectively converting my M42 lenses into PK lenses... This way, they become easier to mount...
10-08-2008, 04:18 AM   #7
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In my opinion, a Pentax is the best option for an M42 lens. As other have mentioned, you will have the built in shake reduction you will not find on a Canon as well as the green button usage which will calibrate the camera settings for the lens for each shot. What else could you ask for?

How did you get so many M42 lenses if you are a "noob"?

Jason
10-08-2008, 04:50 AM   #8
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I've got several m42 lenses that I use on my K10 body (one of the reasons I went with Pentax) and they work quite well. The biggest thing I miss from my film bodies is the lack of a split prism focusing screen, but they are available from several sources and I intend to pick one up eventually. Pentax's M42 adaptor works quite well and I find that it is easier to screw the adaptor onto a lens and then mount it than it is to screw lenses directly into the body.

The metering is a little odd because the camera doesn't know what aperture the lens is set at, but it is predictable. At around f3.5 metering is pretty good and I dial in over or under exposure to compensate for the camera's metering based on how many stops I'm shooting above or below f3.5.

I don't have many m42 shots online right now, but here are a couple:

105mm Telesar Anastigmat on bellows:
Glass Turtle Macro on Flickr - Photo Sharing!

400mm f6.3 Soligor:
Cardinals on Flickr - Photo Sharing!
Rabbit on Flickr - Photo Sharing!

Seimar 135mm f2.8:
Seimar 135mm F2.8 at F2.8 on Flickr - Photo Sharing!
IMGP3730 on Flickr - Photo Sharing!
IMGP3640 on Flickr - Photo Sharing!

10-08-2008, 05:23 AM   #9
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Hello and welcome 'noob' ?
QuoteQuote:
I'm a proud owner of 20 plus M42 lenses, everthing from Zeiss,Pentax,Fujinon,Chinon,Mamyia and a host of other glass.
Go for it, you won't get anything better than a Pentax DSLR for these fine lenses. Get the 'small-ring' type adapter, not the one with a flange (no inf.).

Klick what you like, M42-lens is tagged, Flickr: geobeo's stuff tagged with m42 ... and another pile of M42, both on K100D.

Looking forward to see your lenses (err pictures),
Georg (the other)
10-08-2008, 10:09 AM   #10
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I have two M42 lens that are on sale in Marketplace with pictures posted.

1. Prakticar 28-70 f/3.5-4.8 (M42)

A rare and cutest zoom not owned by many. You can't search in internet and all usually point to my own blog pages.

Marketplace thread for Prakticar 28-70 f/3.5-4.8 (M42) with K100D test pictures:


2. Schneider 135mm f/3.5 (M42)

An antique M42 lens made by Germany, my oldest M42 lens probably in the 60's. It is charming to use

Marketplace thread for schneider 135mm f/3.5 with K100D test pictures

And I am keeping my last M42 lens with Jupiter 9 85mm f/2.0 (M42) in my gear with Pentax K10D. And before, I have tried various M42 lens with Helios, SuperTakumar, Pentacon, Soligor. The one that stands out are the SuperTakumar.

In Canon dSLR, which model would you be considering to use with your M42 lenses?

Thanks,
Hin
10-08-2008, 10:22 AM   #11
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Original Poster
QuoteQuote:
How did you get so many M42 lenses if you are a "noob"?

Jason

Jason,
I'm not a noob to photography, I've been shooting since my teens, I'm in my 40's now. I'm a noob to this forum and digital photography.

I own tons of manual gear but ony a single ps digital Kodak.

Thanks for all the comments. I think I'll start this digital experiment with the K20D (the price is nice) and see how things go. I orginally had my heart set on Nikons D90 but I was told my Zeiss glass wouldn't perform well with this camera, even with my Nereus adapter which has a glass element.

George,
Thanks for the links to the great pics.

Last edited by spiralcity; 10-08-2008 at 10:44 AM.
10-08-2008, 10:37 AM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by hinman Quote
In Canon dSLR, which model would you be considering to use with your M42 lenses?

Thanks,
Hin
Hin,
I would be shooting in manual, but I dont plan on buying the Canon.
10-08-2008, 11:13 AM   #13
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Welcome!

There are plenty of us here who switched to Pentax for its value, quality, features, and compatibility, as you can see.

I personally switched to an LI-60 focusing screen which is darker than the stock LL-80, helping with contrast and making focusing easier. I'm not much one for split screens (took it out of my MX, even), but there are possibilities out there if you like em
10-08-2008, 12:51 PM   #14
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Damn nice images posted by you chaps.
Why does my Hanimar 135mm produce such soft and low contrast images
10-08-2008, 02:24 PM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by marlon Quote
Damn nice images posted by you chaps.
Why does my Hanimar 135mm produce such soft and low contrast images
The Hanimar is a "store" brand. It may not come up to the quality of the Pentax/Takumar M 42 lenses, even those without multi coating. Soft and low contrast images are often the result of uncoated lens elements in the less expensive lenses.

It is also possible that you have a cheap filter on the front of the Hanimar for "protection". Take it off and try again. The problem is the same, lower contrast and a soft focus effect due to light bouncing around between the filter and the lens elements.
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