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Question for the legacy lens gurus

Discussion in 'Adapted Lenses' started by teefin1, Feb 8, 2013.

  1. teefin1

    teefin1 TalkEmount Top Veteran

    618
    Sep 7, 2012
    I have a couPle of M42 lenses, and just got a tiny adapter ring for my a57, works beautifully, so now i can use them on both NEX and Alpha. Question is are there any faster M42 lenses than 1.7/8, such as 1.4?

    Cheers
    Tracy
     
  2. Mattithjah

    Mattithjah TalkEmount Veteran

    244
    Jan 17, 2013
    Czech Republic
    Matěj
  3. dixeyk

    dixeyk TalkEmount All-Pro

    Jun 18, 2012
    Bellingham . WA
    Kevin
    Tracy,

    I am pretty sure the adapter for the Alpha and the NEX are not the same. The m42 to NEX adapter is anything but a tiny ring. It's the largest adapter I have ever had for any of my legacy lenses. As to the question of faster than 1.7 or 1.8 lenses, there are a number of them...the Pentax Super Takumar 50/1.4 is the most common example of a fast m42 lens. It's a great lens and a favorite of some around here. I've had a couple and always found them sharp with excellent OOF backgrounds and a wonderful build quality. The Super Takumar comes in several varieties (mostly differences in the coatings) and can usually be found for under $100 in nice shape. The m42 mount was pretty widely used and there are a number of lenses with them.

    As I understand Pentacon and Zeiss also made a very nice fast m42 lens (perhaps even a few FSU lenses as well). I think Claire had a few m43 lenses. She could probably add considerably to this conversation.
     
  4. teefin1

    teefin1 TalkEmount Top Veteran

    618
    Sep 7, 2012
    Thanks Kevin. they are few and far between on EBay UK at mo. The adapter ring I got in the post today is for the a57, I already have one for the NEX and they are quite chunky! I like the idea of having lenses I can use on both bodies though.

    The Pentax SuPer Tak I did find is £200....quite expensive :(
     
  5. nianys

    nianys TalkEmount All-Pro

    Aug 23, 2012
    France
    I had a wonderful Prost Color Auto 55 1.2 in m42 mount. However, the Pentak PK mount of the same lens is better reputed, exactly as the Pentax Asahi 55/1.8 is more expensive and less easy to find in PK mount VS. m42 mount.
     
  6. teefin1

    teefin1 TalkEmount Top Veteran

    618
    Sep 7, 2012
    I'm specifically looking for m42, so good news that they might be more readily available than PK mount. Thanks :)
     
  7. nianys

    nianys TalkEmount All-Pro

    Aug 23, 2012
    France
    Yeah, this Porst was really special. I sold it and immediately regretted doing so !
     
  8. dixeyk

    dixeyk TalkEmount All-Pro

    Jun 18, 2012
    Bellingham . WA
    Kevin
    That sounds way too expensive to me. If you want to buy one in the US have it shipped to me and I could ship it to you. That would cost you less. Also there is the Pentax Marketplace...you could look there, or the Buy Sell sections at GetDPI and mu-43, also good places to find deals. An SMC Super Takumar in great condition shouldn't run you too much more than $100 USD.

    HERE is to an add (ships worldwide) with TWO Super tak 50/1.4's for sale.
     
  9. teefin1

    teefin1 TalkEmount Top Veteran

    618
    Sep 7, 2012
    Kevin, you're brilliant. Thanks so much for looking into that, I'll get right on it :)
     
  10. nianys

    nianys TalkEmount All-Pro

    Aug 23, 2012
    France
    Kevin has shipped me various stuff and he's a great packager :)
     
  11. kaptnkain

    kaptnkain TalkEmount Regular

    156
    Feb 4, 2013
    Ilya
    +1 for the Super Takumar 50 F/1.4. Even the cheaper 7 blade version is still really good. A little soft wide open, but great at F/2.
     
  12. Bugleone

    Bugleone TalkEmount Veteran

    210
    Aug 21, 2011
    M42 was first devised by East German Zeiss immediately after WWII and was used on cameras made by both German industries as well as numerous japanese, Russian and 'other' camera makers. In addition it was extensively used by independant lens makers including some niche market optics specialists such as Zunow (58mm f1.1) and kilfitt/Zoomar who made lenses for military/CIA use. So it's worth researching ALL makers form the 50's, 60's & 70's for m42 items.

    Register distance for m42 is 45.46mm.......NEX is 18mm so any m42/NEX adaptor needs to be 27+ mm thick to get infinity focus. .........Sony SLR's use a distance of about 48mm if I recall.

    The only thing is; there is not much advantage with f1.4 lenses for NEX as the low light ability is MUCH better than any film,...just increase iso and shoot with the much smaller, lighter and cheaper f2 (1.7,...1.8,...1.9) versions.
     
  13. Bimjo

    Bimjo Super Moderator

    Oct 28, 2011
    Washington State
    Jim
    Well, for exposure yes, but there's that pesky DOF stuff to consider also. Some people just have to have that razor thin DOF that a 1.4 lens can provide. ;)
     
  14. lattiboy

    lattiboy TalkEmount Regular

    38
    Jan 27, 2012
    Well, I'm a bit of a nutcase and have owned most the "big boy" M42 lenses.

    First off, I don't care for M42. The huge adapter is annoying, the screw-on action usually leads to infinity focus issues, and the lenses are pretty large. Konica Hexanon is the best, affordable legacy lens option in my opinion. The smallest SLR adapter by about 50%, excellent lenses, and generally low prices.

    The older LTM lenses (Nikkor, Leica, and Canon) are the best options IMO. They have the smallest mount and are usually quite small themselves. Downside is the price.

    In my experience the Yashica Yashinon (DX and DS) 1.4s are the best "bang for your buck" on the M42 side. Usually grab them for $60-100 on ebay. Built like TANKS. Lovely action. Great sharpness and bokeh and a nice color rendition.

    I never cared for the Takumar 50mm. I owned the vaunted 8-element 1.4 and found it to be a little too "dreamy" for my tastes. The size is nice though. Quite compact for a fast, old lens.

    Pretty much all 50mm lenses are good. It's a matter of taste. I like the ones that have a wild, crazy look. I'm currently shooting with a Nikkor H.C. 50mm f/2 LTM and love it. Big, weird, swirly bokeh and tons of character.

    If you want a sharp 50mm, the Konica Hexanon 50mm f/1.7 is it. I mean that seriously. I've owned the 50mm f/1.2 Konica, the 55mm f/1.2 Canon FD, the Zeiss 50mm f/1.7 contax, the 58mm f/1.2 Minolta Rokkor, and the Nikkor 50mm f/1.4 AI-s. At f/1.7, none of them perform as well as that Konica across the frame. Did I mention it's about $30? Yeah, get that one.

    For 85mms, the Konica Hexanon f/1.8 is my personal favorite, followed closely by the Nikkor 85mm f/2 Contax R/F mount. Stay away from any Russian garbage in this range. It's tempting for the price, but it's cheap for a reason. Also, I don't care for the Minolta Rokkor-X 85mm f/1.7 everybody drools over. I've owned two copies and find the colors cloying and it's simply not sharp wide-open.

    For 100mm the Minolta MD 100mm f/2.5 is my favorite. Tiny lens, built-in hood, lovely bokeh. It runs around $75-130. Hard to find, but worth it.

    I don't bother going over 100mm because it's kind of silly on a NEX-body unless you have IS. For my purposes. Astro guys and birders obviously find use for it.
     
  15. teefin1

    teefin1 TalkEmount Top Veteran

    618
    Sep 7, 2012
    Lots of info Bugleone and Lattiboy, thank you very much. I do already have the Konica 50 1.7, 1.4 and 40 1.8 (my favourite on the NEX) and enjoy them all. I'm looking for M42 purely because I can use it on the NEX and the A57. As Bim says, it's primarily about shallow DOF for me. And now Nianys has reminded me.....I want a Porst Reflex 1.2 too!
     
  16. nianys

    nianys TalkEmount All-Pro

    Aug 23, 2012
    France
    AH ah, I know you are right, however the Hex 50/1.7 was I had was soft as molasses... Lemon. My favorite legacy lens by far is my PEN F 38/1.8, followed by PK 55/1.8, then Rokkor MC 50/1.4.
     
  17. Bimjo

    Bimjo Super Moderator

    Oct 28, 2011
    Washington State
    Jim
    Well, nothing like jumping in with both feet upon entrance to a forum. ;) Welcome aboard. :)
     
  18. dixeyk

    dixeyk TalkEmount All-Pro

    Jun 18, 2012
    Bellingham . WA
    Kevin
    I agree with most of what lattiboy says (except I rather like the Super Takumar 50's but it really is up to personal preference). I do have few additions to the canon.

    Since the OP was asking specifically about m42 I think Pentacon, Super Takumar and Yashica are all great options. There is one Russian lens that can be spectacular if you get a good example of it...the Helios 44. It's a Russian clone of the pre-WW2 Zeiss Biotar and capable of amazing images. It's also big and heavy and Russian lenses re not known for their constancy.

    I know the OP has a Konica adapter because I sold her my Konica 50/1.4. The Konica 50/1.7 is indeed a crazy sharp lens although like the well loved 40/1.8 it is subject to a good deal of variability between samples. I went through a Konica phase and have had quite a few of those lenses. The good ones were amazingly sharp and there were of course some that were less than impressive. My favorite legacy lenses are MC Rokkors (I prefer the build over the MD Rokkors and quite frankly I don't notice much difference in the IQ) and the Pen-F 38/1.8 (just bought pne from lattiboy in fact) The Rokkors because they all produce remarkably similar color, I love the build quality and the Rokkor 50/1.4, 24/2.8, 35-70/3.5 macro and 100/2.5 are all among my favorite lenses ever. Now everyone has that particular thing they look for in a lens. For folks that favor sharpness the Konicas are a great choice, for those that like creamy bokeh and rendering the Takumars might be more appealing.

    Kevin
     
  19. nianys

    nianys TalkEmount All-Pro

    Aug 23, 2012
    France
    lattiboy has been a long time regular on some other Amin forum I think. Was it m4/3 ??
     
  20. dixeyk

    dixeyk TalkEmount All-Pro

    Jun 18, 2012
    Bellingham . WA
    Kevin
    Teenfin1,

    If you want shallow DOF at a bargain price what about canon FL 50/1.2? The Canon Fl and Fd lenses are really quite good. Since Canon made a sh*t-ton of them they are easy to find and pretty reasonably priced. I saw an FL 50/1.2 on mu-43 a while back (from a great board member) going for around $275 USD. Also the FD 50/1.4 is a nice lens, sharp wide open and also easy to find. My only issue with the FD and FL lenses is the adapter. I find the FL/FD mount finicky so I would just leave it mounted on the adapter all the time.

    Kevin