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FORUMS Cameras, Lenses & Accessories Canon Lenses 
Thread started 28 Sep 2008 (Sunday) 10:03
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M42 Lenses - Your Recommendations?

JPM ­ Photography
Senior Member
603 posts
Joined Apr 2008
Sep 28, 2008 17:14 |  #16

anybody have any experience with the Pentax 300mm f/4 as seen here? …CC=6&CCC=2&BCL=​&GBC=&GCC= (external link)

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2,637 posts
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Joined Jan 2006
Location: Melbourne, Australia
Sep 28, 2008 18:11 as a reply to  @ post 6397726 |  #17

Hey Martin. Any reason why you only want M42 lenses? Do bear in mind that lenses in other mounts such as CY, Nikon, Leica (and even Hasselblad I think) can be adapted to fit a Canon camera with a standard screw-on adapter. This varies on a case by case basis however. Read carefully to see if a particular lens will fit, especially on cameras with big mirrors like the 5D.

The only M42 lens I have is a Carl Zeiss Jena Pancolar 50mm f/2 which is probably the precursor to the acclaimed 50mm f/1.8 that others have mentioned here. I haven't tried both and cannot comment which is better. If you can get your hands on either, and cheap, just pick it up and give it a go.

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Cream of the Crop
6,983 posts
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Sep 28, 2008 18:28 |  #18

Another nice 135 is the SMC Takumar 135 F/3.5.

Kind regards, Wim

Senior Member
327 posts
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Joined Sep 2005
Location: Northern NJ
Sep 28, 2008 19:13 |  #19

JPM Photography wrote in post #6397949 (external link)
anybody have any experience with the Pentax 300mm f/4 as seen here? …CC=6&CCC=2&BCL=​&GBC=&GCC= (external link)

I have this lens. I like it and think it's pretty nice. The only problem I have is trying to make sure I am always in focus when using the small viewfinder on the XT. With the larger viewfinders on the non-compact SLRs and with a focus screen, you'd have a much easier time. For $250, you can't get a much better 300mm f/4 lens in my opinion.

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Joined Nov 2006
Location: NC
Sep 29, 2008 08:49 as a reply to  @ mavericksupersonic's post |  #20

Super Tak 300mm

JPM, I've got a Super Tak 500mm f4.5 with the M42 mount. I use it on both a 20D and 5D. You shouldn't have any mounting or metering issues. The biggest issue is CA with digital sensors. It's a factor for many of us on the 500mm lens (we've had several discussions on this problem on one or more sites). You may want to investigate further and see if the 300mm Super Tak also has this issue.

While I use this lens, I learned that some older lenses that were exceptional for film sometimes don't work as well with digital cameras.

Compensating for his small ... sensor
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Location: Hannover Germany
Sep 29, 2008 10:00 |  #21

Have little experience, but definitely the 135/3.5 CZJ Sonnar is much preferable to the 85/2 Jupiter. Focusing is much easier on the Sonnar (not just because the Jupiter is a 'preset' lens), and the Jupiter is only somehow close to sharp in the f/2.8-4 range ( you can not really tell, because of the stopping down mechanism).

HAve not used it, but am surprised that nobody has mentioned the CZJ Sonnar 180/2.8 and 300/4 so far in Pentacon 6 format ... the classical medium format lenses. Use with a Pentacon-M42 adapter (simple tube, sometimes included in the auction as it was an accessory to the lens). There was also a CZJ Sonnar 200/2.8 directly in M42 mount.

In general, prepare to take 5 pictures for every sharp one (my experience). Not what you might want in a hectic photo session.

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115 posts
Joined Jan 2007
Location: Vancouver, BC
Sep 30, 2008 08:47 |  #22

I can recommend a few lenses.

MC Jupiter-9 (85/2) - a lens with a history. Designed by the Germans in 1939 as a Sonnar, it is still in production in Russia pretty much unchanged optically. Available new from many Internet sellers (e.g. and from eBay. I highly recommend getting a brand new one instead of a used copy as the coating really improves the IQ of this lens. Soft at full aperture (not unsharp, just gives that spherical-aberration soft effect), it's sharp at 2.8 and onwards. Can be had new for about $120.

Helios-44-(4,5,6,7), can be had for just a few dollars. Lenses with higher indexes (e.g. Helios-44-7) are generally newer and sharper than the lower ones (e.g. Helios-44-4). Helios-44-3 can have problems attaching to a digital body, while Helios-44-2 is way too old and lacks any sort of coating (flare resistance is abysmal). Anyways, this 58mm/2.0 lens is quite sharp in the center of the frame, and gives a twisted, high-contrast bokeh. Can be had for $10-20 depending on the condition of the lens.

Super-Takumar, SMC Takumar 50(55)/1.8, 2.0 and 1.4 - I bought my 55/2.0 for $10. Very sharp and surprisingly good!

Jupiter-37AMC - 135/3.5, available new (make sure to get the MC version with multi-coating for better flare resistance), can be had for around $50-70 brand new. I paid $35 for mine. A bit too long for portraits on a crop body, but surprisingly sharp for a 1939 Sonnar design.

Tair-11A - 135/2.8, a rarely available lens with creamy bokeh. Flare resistance is its weak spot, though.

Helios-40-2 - 85/1.4, a great lens for portraits with unique bokeh.

I posted a couple of samples in another thread: ….php?t=576089#p​ost6390483

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M42 Lenses - Your Recommendations?
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