Suggestions-Feedback on M42 mount lenses for SD14

sendhil76

Active Member
Hello,

My first proper post on this forum :) and so a 'warm hello' from India to begin with!

I recently took off from work and now have the time to indulge in photography and online discussions :) and in line with this intent...

I am looking forward to buying some M42 mount lenses for my SD14. Primarily i have short listed the Carl Zeiss Jena Flektogon 35mm F2.4 MC and the Asahi Pentax SMC Takumar 135mm F3.5. These two i shortlisted after doing considerable research online as i have NO experience with the M42 mount and its lenses. So i invested quite some time researching and reading about these technologies to educate myself. (The posts here on this forum by Klaus and by DaSigmaGuy on DPreview have been invaluable and very informative!)

I would very much appreciate if members of this forum can guide me with their personal insights (i observe that members have 'collections' of M42 lenses!) and references to online material in the form of words and pictures along with feedback for the lens choices that i have short listed AND ALSO other suitable quality lenses in the M42 mount which work with the SD14.

From what i read and see of photographic examples...these manufacturers, Zeiss and Asahi Pentax apparently built lenses to last a lifetime and so the optics and build quality is at par and many times excels the mass produced optics of today. Which excites and intrigues me to experiment on these lines! Somehow from experience, i feel that present day technology has made things convenient and fast...BUT lacks quality and precision workmanship which was more important over production numbers in the days gone by. (My opinion that is!)

I also got to know that i need to procure an M42 to SA adapter for using these lenses and that a 'Polish' adapter on Ebay is best?? I would appreciate it if members can share the seller's name who sells this quality adapter as i came across quite a few M42 to SA adapters...one very close to home from Singapore!

Thank you very much for your time and i look forward to your response!
Stay well.
Sendhil.
 

laurence2

Well-Known Member
Welcome Sendhil! The "world" of M42 lenses is huge and varied, which contributes to the fun!

I have had the SMC Pentax 100/4 Macro lens for about three weeks now. I honestly was SHOCKED at the clarity and the very nice out-of-focus backgrounds you can see with the lens, even though it stops down to "only" f:4. I have to use the old cliche' that it is sharp as a tack. I almost wish it wasn't quite so sharp :z04_smileys70:, as I think it is a good length for a portrait lens.

It is, overall, as good as any of the best lens I've had over the past 45 years. I am completely happy with it.

As for M42 in general, I've owned quite a few over the years. Just about any of the wide Flektogons are simply superb. The 35/2.4 is as good as it gets, and has the bonus of being able to focus VERY closely. Sharpness corner-to-corner is incredible. You'll certainly love it.

I am also partial to the Flek 20/4 and 25/4, and of course the Zeiss Sonnar 180/2.8 (a classic that will never lose it's ability to produce the best images possible in the moderate telephoto range.

The Pentax line (Takumars, Super Takumars, SMC Takumars, SMC Pentax, etc) seem to ALL have a build that is solid and smooth. The 135/3.5 is considered by more than a few photographers as very sharp and producing fantastic images. Another one that I won't let go of is my SMC Pentax 55/1.8, a superbly fine performer.

It's interesting, in that at one time maybe 20 years ago I had many dozens of lenses, and had tried many more than that. Now, in the final analysis, I've come down to just a few that seem to have stood up so very well all these years, at least for me.

Although I am looking for a "keeper" prime super telephoto lens AND a 10-20 Sigma to try out, I've been completely satisfied with the range delineated below. These are keepers that are always in my bag, for both my old Revueflex (Chinon clone) M42 film camera, my current Pentax K110D, and my current Sigma SD-14 with M42 adapter (Polish):

25/4 Flektogon
55/1.8 SMC Pentax
28-70/2.8-3.5 Tokina SD
100/4 SMC Pentax macro
180/2.8 Zeiss Sonnar

I also have kept an Industar 50/3.5 in M42, simply because for its astonishing low price and superb optics. :z04_5769:
 

sendhil76

Active Member
Thanks Laurence!

Laurence, thanks very much for the encouragement and very informative reply! Its much appreciated! I am now in the process of figuring out which M42 adapter is best and who the seller is!

Thanks once again!
 

laurence2

Well-Known Member
Laurence, thanks very much for the encouragement and very informative reply! Its much appreciated! I am now in the process of figuring out which M42 adapter is best and who the seller is!

Thanks once again!
Sendhil, here is the link to the "polish" adapter. It seems to be just fine for my SD-14, and I know of several others on another forum who feel it is the best available. There are some others, but they seem to tend to get jammed on the mount (which can be a huge problem).

link:
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Guest .

Banned
Hi Sendhil,
welcone to the forum! ENJOY! :)

Laurence said everything. I can only agree on his opinions!

Really go for the above mentioned Polish adapter ... it is really preecision made. Anything else from China is not worth the money and your efforts.

See you with nice pictures

Klaus
 

sendhil76

Active Member
Hello Klaus,

Thanks for the assistance! I have done my homework and looked up the Polish and Chinese adapters on Ebay. One gentleman on the Dpreview forums 'xthfloor' said that some person 'Alex (hk300)' at the mflenses.com forum is offering a better engineered M42 adapter for the SA mount. Here is the link:

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From what i read and see...it is a better engineering solution than what is currently available from the Polish or Chinese sellers, because it does not compress the pin on auto lenses.

'xthfloor' will post a review of the adapter as he has ordered some from Alex. So i look forward to his feedback and accordingly will make the purchase!

Please also have a look at the Dpreview forums for the same thread that i posted here for some really amazing feedback from the same gentleman about lenses and also examples of each lens!

Thanks very much!
Sendhil.
 

sendhil76

Active Member
Sendhil, here is the link to the "polish" adapter. It seems to be just fine for my SD-14, and I know of several others on another forum who feel it is the best available. There are some others, but they seem to tend to get jammed on the mount (which can be a huge problem).


Thanks a ton Laurence! I have already looked this person up and am actually waiting for the feedback from 'xthfloor' for the adapters he has ordered from Alex on the mflenses.com forum. Will make my purchase once i get feedback on these adapters as they seem to me to be a better solution.

Thanks once again!
 

netzuser

Banned
I dont see any reason why those adaptors without the collarring are any better.
If you have a M42 lens which does not have the M-A (automatic - manuell)
switch,you must lock the aperature-pin somehow.Otherwise you can not close
the aperature.
Regards
Uwe
 

sendhil76

Active Member
I dont see any reason why those adaptors without the collarring are any better.
If you have a M42 lens which does not have the M-A (automatic - manuell)
switch,you must lock the aperature-pin somehow.Otherwise you can not close
the aperature.
Regards
Uwe
Thanks for the pointer Uwe! I guess i will wait and play this game slow. The actual feedback from the user of both these adapters will allow me to understand the situation better and then decide which one is appropriate!

At this moment i am relying purely on feedback from people like you an others who have experience with M42 lenses...as i have none :)

So your feedback is very much appreciated! Thanks once again!
 

jasonh

Well-Known Member
does anyone have an opinion on the Vivitar 28mm f/2.8 lens? I found one at an antique shop for $20 the other day, I'm considering going back to get it. It was in a glass case so I haven't been able to check it out closely, but from the outside it looks to be in good condition (looks almost new actually). The tag says "screw mount" so I surely hope it's M42.

I don't have an adapter yet, but getting the lens would give me a reason to get one :)
 

netzuser

Banned
Hi jasohn,
the Vivitar 28mm f/2.8 was made for different mounts.
It was reported to be fairly good open, and pretty sharp at f4 .
Try Google
But before you buy it,make shure it is M42.:)
Good luck
Uwe
 

jasonh

Well-Known Member
Thanks Uwe.

Once I have it in my hands, is there any sure-fire way to verify it is M42 and not some other screw mount?
 

netzuser

Banned
Hi Jason,
Specs for M42 are : Outer diameter is 42mm and the thread pitch is 1mm.
Not to be mixed up with the T2 which also is 42mm BUT the thread pitch
is .75mm.
Best thing would be to check with a caliper if on hand.
Or get a M42 adaptor first.:)
May be you find a camera known to have a M42 mount or even take a rear cap from a M42 lens.
Besides the mechanical function you also should look at the glas very carefully
and check for fungus.
Regards
Uwe
 

jasonh

Well-Known Member
M42 is much more common than T2, isn't it? I didn't have a caliper, so I just verified that it was 42mm with a plain old ruler. Even if it ends up being T2, I'm sure I can sell it for what I paid, it was only $20.

The glass looks great. No fungus, not even a spec of dust as far as I can tell. Mechanically it feels like a brand new lens. Very smooth aperture and focusing. I love how the focus ring takes nearly 1 full rotation to go through the full range, compared to the 1/4 turn my 18-200 takes. Should allow for much more precise focusing. Oh, turns out it's a 28/2.5, not 2.8 like I thought.

It's nice to see this lens will focus under a foot. Might be a good macro lens, especially if I get some M42 extension tubes.

I'm no expert obviously, but it feels like I got a good deal.

Now I just have to figure out which adapter to get and order one....

There were some other lenses there I was willing to buy, but unfortunately they turned out to be Canon mount :(

Thanks for the advice.
 
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