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Pentacon / Meyer Optik Lydith 30mm f/3.5

Reviews Views Date of last review
17 97,259 Wed April 3, 2019
Recommended By Average Price Average User Rating
94% of reviewers $30.43 8.25
Pentacon / Meyer Optik Lydith 30mm f/3.5

Pentacon / Meyer Optik Lydith 30mm f/3.5
Pentacon / Meyer Optik Lydith 30mm f/3.5

M42 Mount manual lens, with continuous aperture setting ring.

Aperture values: f/3.5 to f/22 (step-less)

Minimum focusing distance: approx. 0.3m (1.1ft)

Filter thread: 49mm

Dimensions (with front cap and m42->K + PK rear cap):
Length: 62 [mm]
Diameter: 58 [mm]

Review of "zebra" version (pic 2) here.
Mount Type: M42 Screwmount
Price History:

Add Review of Pentacon / Meyer Optik Lydith 30mm f/3.5
Sort Reviews by: Date | Author | Rating | Recommendation | Likes (Descending) Showing Reviews 1-15 of 17
Lens Review Date: April 3, 2019 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $8.00 | Rating: 9 

Pros: Cheap and cheerful, good sharpness and lovely to use.
Cons: Not found one yet.
Sharpness: 9    Bokeh: 8    Handling: 10    Value: 10    Camera Used: Sony Nex-7   

Just arrived in the post today with a bag of camera stuff bought off eBay. Didn't notice it when buying but when I unwrapped it thought this worth checking out.

Mine appears to be older in that it has a metal knurled focus ring like the old Helios and Jupiter lenses. Lovely ten bladed aperture iris and just love the smooth no stop aperture ring.

I think this has just paid for the rest of the kit I got!

Have been using and find it very easy. Noticed good sharpness and handling. Not noticed aberrations yet but haven't really been looking so far. Well worth buying if you can get at a good price.
New Member

Registered: February, 2019
Posts: 12

1 user found this helpful
Lens Review Date: March 22, 2019 I can recommend this lens: No | Price: $25.00 | Rating: 7 

Pros: Small and easy to use. Tiny focus turn.
Cons: Seriously over-inflated secondhand prices. Sometimes ruins mirror function (see review)
Sharpness: 7    Aberrations: 7    Bokeh: 7    Handling: 6    Value: 7    Camera Used: Film   

I used this on film cameras when I had one.

Beware - Because it protrudes so far back into the camera at infinity, some versions tend to slightly snag the mirror of some SLR's including the ME Super and the earlier Pentax SP500 and SP1000 and some in the even earlier non-metering S range, but it does suit some films SLRs and some digital-SLRs. For the same reason it bangs against some conversion/adaptor rings. I'm surprised how little people mention this when so many people go on alarmingly about how fine it is. Do they all actually use it that much?

I had the f3.5-f22 30mm Meyer-Optik Zebra version that I bought cheaply. It wasn't worth the cheapness, to be honest. I loved the silent movement of the magnificent manual aperture ring. Great for filming as there is no clicking. There is no auto setting on the M42 screw mount; which is no problem at all as all you do is turn the aperture open to focus and then down to the f-stop you take the picture at. Simple. Focus has a lovely small turning circle to help faster focal adaptation for varying images. Small, neat and tidy. Age, use and abuse will obviously affect smoothness of aperture and focal adjustment, so live with it and enjoy. Some folks moan about the "zebra" metal exterior not being well made, but it's fine. Some photographers are so fussy about pointless things.

Not all the glass seems to have significant multicoating so there will be some ghosting and flare in some images. You may wish to pop on a multicoated skylight to help reduce that, even though some folks genuinely think a good multicoated filter increases reflection and ghosting. There is no scientific basis for this assumption if a quality multicoated filter is used. Or use a hood. Or use both. The age of some versions will show some swirly cleaning scratches on the front and rear element if previous owners used the lens for many years. Easy to take apart and clean out dust and muck (which does get in over the years due to the rather unusual build design) and to treat fungus growth if previous owners kept it badly.

Colour rendition is good but nothing special at most apertures. Make the image one stop darker than normal and things get better. Contrast is good, but not very good. Again, one stop darker and it's a better image. Across the range of f.4 to 11 images will have a sharpish centre and an "OK" periphery. The extreme edges are all right, but nothing brilliant. At f3.5 and f16-22 things are not dazzling, but definitely acceptable if you like a bit of fuzzy blur around the periphery. Very good for up close, Good for middle-distance, not very good for infinity or landscape images. As with many old used lens lovers there is a falsely inflated quality opinion around online that many people who paid a small fortune for one like to perpetuate. Most of these folks don't realise that with a digital camera the image is not only dependant upon - or solely related to - just the lens. sensor, processor and software plays a huge role, too. This lens is nice, but don't get sucked into paying more than $40 for one. Upwards of that and you are being taken for a ride, or you are gleefully jumping the ride.
New Member

Registered: November, 2013
Posts: 9
Lens Review Date: December 8, 2018 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $45.00 | Rating: 9 

Pros: very sharp lens without CA's
Cons: a few weak and not so sharp in the extreme corners
Sharpness: 9    Aberrations: 10    Bokeh: 10    Handling: 8    Value: 9    Camera Used: k-5, k200d k-5 fuji x-t100 + x-e1   

++ very sharp lens in the center

++ CA's not remarkable

++ very nice bokeh

++ nice color rendition

+ high contrast stopped down a few to 5.6-8

O/+a few weak and not so extreme sharp in the extreme corners /stopped down to f 11 sharp, too

optimal for portraits, street shootings, flowers etc. and video clips


((extreme fine details with fuji systhem))


new by MEYER GÖRLITZ, GERMANY, extremely expensive !!!

Registered: May, 2015
Location: Hampshire
Posts: 892
Lens Review Date: May 27, 2017 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $12.00 | Rating: 9 

Pros: Cheap but rather good.
Cons: None really.
Sharpness: 8    Aberrations: 10    Bokeh: 9    Handling: 8    Value: 10    Camera Used: K-5   

My copy was bought in 1968 making it approximately 49 years old.
In better condition than I am but I am a lot older.
To be honest I've only had the lens a couple of days but the original owner stated that he bought it new in 1968. He had it fitted to his Zenit EM that he bought in 1986 that I also bought. Nice to have a good memory.
I have problems with wide lenses, just cannot appreciate them. I bought this because the Pentacon 29mm I had previously was a bit of a disappointment and from the reviews on the forum it seemed to be good.
It is quite good. Far better than the Pentacon 29mm I had. F3.5 is very usable.
No apparent aberrations, nice Bokeh, easy to use pre-selected aperture, quite close focussing with a flanged adapter and of course a depth of field that can mean the flanged adapter will get quite some distance in focus with narrow apertures.
This copy has some tiny black stuff on the front element, doesn't seem to affect the images until F16.. A quick attempt to remove it using lens cleaning fluid was unsuccessful, it does not seem to want to budge. The tiny screw on the front bezel is discoloured too, otherwise is in fair condition as described.
My best wide angle is probably my Pentax-M 28mm F3.5 and this is close. Well worth the small outlay.
New Member

Registered: February, 2015
Posts: 7
Lens Review Date: October 30, 2016 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: None indicated | Rating: 9 

Pros: Sharpness, great macro lens with rings
Cons: none for the price
Sharpness: 8    Aberrations: 10    Bokeh: 7    Handling: 9    Value: 10    Camera Used: Pentax K5   

Great focal length for APSC and useful for many styles on Full frame also! Very underrated lens, renders beautifully and is as sharp as you'd ever need. I slapped some extension rings on it and was totally blown away by the performance as a macro lens. See the examples below for an idea. All taken with natural light only. These are full frame examples not cropped and the post processing was minimal. (Raw conversion and a slight boost to contrast.)

New Member

Registered: January, 2016
Location: between Toulouse and Pyrenees Mountains
Posts: 2
Lens Review Date: January 3, 2016 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $50.00 | Rating: 8 

Pros: compact and quite sharp at F8- F11, nice bokeh
Cons: old and need a cleaning
Sharpness: 8    Aberrations: 7    Bokeh: 8    Handling: 8    Value: 8    Camera Used: K200D and K_5   

My version is not the same as the one featured for this article. My version is nearly the same as the zebra but black.

Mine is very old, dirty and used, which make it look older as it really is.
I will test it again when It will be cleaned.
no fungus but a lot af dust on it and sticky blades.

I like this lens quite much it's not my favourited but it's a great walkaround lens and not bad to make some landscape or details pictures.
Even if wide open it don't go faster than F3.5 Bokeh is smooth and very progressive (maybe the 10 blades effect)

So I recommend this lens.

I posted a quick review on my blog (reedited form my first blog in 2010)
New Member

Registered: May, 2013
Location: Jakarta
Posts: 2
Lens Review Date: September 24, 2015 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $50.00 | Rating: 8 

Pros: perfect for APSC, bokeh, price
Cons: fair sharpness wide open on full frame
Sharpness: 8    Aberrations: 9    Bokeh: 9    Handling: 8    Value: 9    Camera Used: K5, A7   

i have both Pentacon and MOG Lydith, they are identically, for me the lens is perfect in APSC sensor, it has proportional bokeh and good sharpness in crop factor
in full frame sensor the sharpness become reducing related to more wide capture, but still ok, lens hood possibly good for any full frame capture
I am not sure this lens has a single or multi-coated, i try shoot test the Pentacon (not Lydith) against the sun and it's flare resistance is very good

here they are the samples shots:

Registered: April, 2011
Location: Lost in translation ...
Posts: 18,039
Lens Review Date: August 10, 2015 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: None indicated | Rating: 9 

Pros: Pre-set, sharp enough, MFD bokeh, nice build
Cons: Corners, not sharp enough wide open ...
Sharpness: 8    Aberrations: 7    Bokeh: 9    Handling: 9    Value: 9    Camera Used: K-3, K-5, K-r   


Well, I picked up a Pentacon pre-set version of this lens for 12€ delivered and could not be happier. I had seen some images and had put this lens on my "radar list" ... below are some sample images at or near MFD and f4.5 ... still learning this lens.

A "9" rating for this focus distance and its bokeh ... at longer distances its just "OK" in my books ... so a 7.5 score there.

Veteran Member

Registered: January, 2012
Posts: 1,972
Lens Review Date: June 18, 2015 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $60.00 | Rating: 9 

Pros: Sharp (if not decentered !!) , vivid and truthfull coolours, no CA, bokeh, preset aperture, 10 blades, superb for video !
Cons: Slow-ish (f3.5), prone to decentering issues ( my first copy was)
Sharpness: 9    Aberrations: 10    Bokeh: 10    Handling: 9    Value: 9    Camera Used: K-01   

My experience with this lens started when I got into Meyer Optik lenses. Sadly, my first copy was badly decentered - and from what I see on-line *many* copies of this excellent lens are decentered. So I returned it and got myself a mint copy of Pentacon branded version. Sure I paid more, but buying from a reputable UK seller paid off ! My second copy is pristine, perfectly centered, sharp and contrasty.
I mainly use it for video, where it excels on my K-01. Thanks to lack of CA and other nasty aberrations, I can enjoy clean and pleasant footage. Also sharpness is excellent - I am confident to use it from wide open in either low light or bright conditions, but it does benefit from stopping down on sides and corners. By F8-11 it is perfectly sharp everywhere , but I rarely use it like this. Most pleasant quality it shows is in its bokeh , which truly is excellent and in itself makes the lens a worthy purchase.

But not only that! As other have pointed, lens will give you vivid and truthful colours, good contrast and pleasant rendering. Note however, that it is an old , vintage lens, so the field curvature will need you to think about your shot, to plan and position properly. Stopping down for landscapes is necessary to bring corners to the order. But for video you can easilly get away with wide open shooting.

All written above is not valid for de-centered lens, which will give you fuzzy sides, one side sharper than the other, and one side always somehow blurried. Ifg you get a lens like this - know it has been tampered with and was decentered.

To sum up : in VIDEO use , it is 10 out of 10 , for STILS, I would rate it 8 or 9 out of 10 - depends on the application. So overall it is a strong 9 for me.

Finally photos - here are some I got with this lens, nothing fancy, just some snaps - as I said earlier I mainly use it for video not stills.
You can click to see bigger version on flickr

F5.6 or F8


F8 ?

F3.5 ( wide open)

F8 ?

F3.5 wide open


F3.5 or F4 ?

Registered: September, 2013
Location: Toronto
Posts: 2,056

1 user found this helpful
Lens Review Date: March 10, 2014 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $60.00 | Rating: 7 

Pros: Inexpensive wide-angle, lovely starbursts, preset (if you like that sort of thing)
Cons: Soft on edges, small range of apertures for sharpness
Sharpness: 6    Aberrations: 8    Bokeh: 7    Handling: 7    Value: 8   

Pros: an inexpensive wide-angle (though on an APS-C it's more of a normal lens). The 10 aperture blades give some wonderful starbursts, and the bokeh (if you can get it working) can be quite smooth and lovely looking. Once you have it stopped down enough, the image is nice and sharp, but...

Cons:'ve got to stop it down quite a bit before it gets sharp. (On my copy, f5.6 gives you a sharp right edge, but the left edge doesn't become sharp until f8.) It also has a fairly small range of sharpness, diffraction quickly setting in somewhere shortly after f11.

(Supposedly there is much variation among copies of this lens, so yours may vary.)


Gooderham by Andrew, on Flickr

f5.6 (SOOC, check the upper left for an example of the pronounced softness):

SOOC by g026r, on Flickr

Unknown aperture:
Together by Andrew, on Flickr

Bokeh example:
Bouquet by Andrew, on Flickr
Senior Member

Registered: May, 2012
Posts: 139
Lens Review Date: October 17, 2013 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $10.00 | Rating: 9 

Pros: Good color, sharp, cheap
Cons: None (so far)
Sharpness: 9    Aberrations: 9    Bokeh: 9    Handling: 8    Value: 10   

Just bought it recently but didn't use it for a while. Now that i have, I like it. It is really sharp, and produces nice colors. I have not used it in a full range of scenes yet, so I will update my review when i do, but for now, I like it alot. It defintely doesn't feel as good as a Takumar, and the pull-out aperture ring took a little getting used, but when i viewed the images on my computer, i was very pleasantly surprised. And for the price, how can you go wrong (or should i say, where do i get another?)?
New Member

Registered: March, 2012
Posts: 22
Lens Review Date: February 10, 2013 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $40.00 | Rating: 8 

Pros: rendition, vintage look, small
Cons: flare
Sharpness: 8    Aberrations: 8    Bokeh: 8    Handling: 8    Value: 10   

Nice small lens. A lens that never disappoints. I have the first 10 blade's version of this lens and I like the colours and that special vintage look a lot. This lens is compact, light weight, cheap and quite sharp. Flares a lot if you try to shoot a strong light source.
Site Supporter

Registered: March, 2010
Location: Frankfurt am Main
Posts: 1,240
Lens Review Date: November 2, 2012 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $11.00 | Rating: N/A 

Pros: sharpness, bokeh
Cons: no multi-coating

I don't presently own this lens (used it for a short while on an Exakta back in the seventies), but I feel I should add some missing information.

This lens, right from the start, had a VERY good reputation as the "Meyer Görlitz Lydith 3.5/30mm". In East Germany it had the reputation to match or even outmatch the Zeiss lenses (Zeiss and Meyer had been competitors since their beginnings).

It specially was said to be very sharp, offering nice colours and extreme centre sharpness even fully open, and to be a "bokeh monster" with its 10(!) aperture blades.

When the East German Government melted all the small optical companies to one big one ("Pentacon"), the lens was renamed to "PENTACON 3.5/30mm". Some say the lens was improved as a Pentacon, but many (including me) are doubting this. They even never gave it a proper multi-coating. The plan had been to replace it by the newer "PENTACON 2.8/29mm" (probably based on the former Meyer Orestegon 2.8/29), which now got multi-coating, but was cheaper to manufacture (6 blades only). However, as a rare case of listening to customers, they went on producing both lenses in parallel.

The market for this lens (and most Pentacons) was the (Eastern European) Comecon bloc, and in Western Europe mainly the UK. It was offered with M42 or Exa/Exakta bayonet, but also with multiple other bayonets for East German cameras as Pentina, Practina, etc. The Exakta versions sometimes sell a bit cheaper than the M42 ones. However, RioRico described a way to fit Exakta mounts to K bayonet bodies (the information is somewhere in this forum).

Edited Nov 13th,2012: I had written this from memory, but later found 2 errors which I now corrected.

Edited Dec 2nd,2012: Inspired by this review, I now purchased a M42 one (eBay, EUR 8.50), cheap because looking quite dirty and battered. After cleaning, looking fine and not battered at all. First tests show optics and mechanics are ok. If I have some more time (and the weather is better), I may make some more tests. I could compare with my SMC-A 2.8/28, Tokina 2.8/35, Revue special 2.8/35, and half a dozen zoom lenses covering 30mm. Unfortunately, my Mitake 2.0/28 needs repair.
New Member

Registered: August, 2010
Posts: 24
Lens Review Date: November 1, 2012 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: None indicated | Rating: 8 

Pros: sharp, color rending, light, unexpensive
Cons: in fact, f3.5 is not negative.
Sharpness: 9    Bokeh: 7    Handling: 9    Value: 9   

A light, good using lens...

New Member

Registered: July, 2012
Posts: 20
Lens Review Date: July 24, 2012 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $10.00 | Rating: 8 

Pros: Easy to set aperture and focus, reasonably sharp
Cons: Limited to f/3.5, M42 fit
Sharpness: 7    Aberrations: 7    Bokeh: 7    Handling: 9    Value: 9   

I got this lens off ebay UK for £6. Came complete with end caps and original box.

Unlike another reviewer I like the sprung pull out aperture pre-setting ring which makes focussing at full aperture very easy with no danger of aperture changing when you stop down to shoot.

I've only used it a couple of times so far so not had a chance to give it a full workout, however, I'm fairly happy with it.

I think it is sharper than the DAL 18-55 kit lens that came with my K-r so is well worth having in the lens collection - especially at the low price. It did need some adjustment of EV settings to get bright exposures though. However, this seems to be a common feature of old M42 lenses ?

If you can get one for less than $10 what have you got to lose ? At least it forces you to practice using AV and manual focussing, and all experience it worth it !

Add Review of Pentacon / Meyer Optik Lydith 30mm f/3.5

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