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M42 lens on a Nikon body

Taha Idris , Oct 26, 2009; 08:15 a.m.

I would like to try some Carl Zeiss and Pentax M42 lenses on my D200. Has anyone ever try a Kood M42 lens to Nikon F adapter which claims to have an optical element to compensate for the flange difference. It costs around £30 in the UK but is it worth it just for fun?


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Oskar Ojala , Oct 26, 2009; 08:52 a.m.

The adapter with the optical element will not give good quality. An adapter without an element will be good, but it will make infinity focus impossible.

Anders Vretenäs , Oct 26, 2009; 09:10 a.m.

I've got both one with and one without the extra lens and my experience is that it differs between both lensbrands and between different focal lengths. Myself I've got Zeiss Jena, Industar, Meyer, Yashinon, Pentax etc. M42-lenses, all around 50mm and a Takumar 135, and for me the Pentaxes has been the worst performer while the Industar 58/2 is the one I've used most. I'll say it's worth it especially since the lenses themselves, except maybe Pentax, are really cheap (I've never paid more than eq. of £15 here in Sweden, except for the Pentax 50/1,4). I also recommend you to get the adapter w/o the extra lens to use for close-up work (macro, portraits etc.) which is cheaper than the one with. The extra lens is there so you can focus to infinity, since Nikons flangedistance is longer than other brands, but it might also induce more flaring inside the camera under the wrong circumstances. But unfortunately it seems that Canon is the best choice if one wants to really explore this option.


Michael Bradtke , Oct 26, 2009; 09:37 a.m.

I have one for M42 and one for LTM. The M42 mount has the lens in it for infinity focus. I use them with a old Canon 135 mm f/3.5 in LTM mount and a 135 mm f/3.5 Super Takumar in M42 mount.
Shooting them on my D300 I find both of these lenses to be wonderful performers. And if there is any loss of quality with the adapter with the filter I am very hard pressed to find it in prints.

135mm f//3.5 Super Takumar on a D300

Edward Ingold , Oct 26, 2009; 10:32 a.m.

The kitty is unsharp even at web resolution. It's a cute picture, though.

M42 lenses must be mounted much closer to the film than a Nikon flange (and mirror) will allow. You need a negative optical element to provide extra clearance, which will negate any supposed superiority of the Zeiss lens. (I have Leica, Zeiss and Nikon lenses, and am hard pressed to see any difference).

Wayne Cornell , Oct 26, 2009; 10:36 a.m.

Years ago I used at 16mm Takumar M42 lens on my Nikon with an adapter without a secondary lens. It worked fine but of course the 16mm had outstanding depth of field. I have an M42 adapter (with secondary lens) that fits my D300 but I haven't used it enough to say what sort of quality it will produce.

Taha Idris , Oct 26, 2009; 11:02 a.m.

Thanks for all the responses. I wanted to try out a comparatively cheaper M42 400-500mm lens for wildlife and also use the Zeiss/Myer-Optic/Takumar lenses (that I laready own) for close-ups. The difference in price for with/without rear lens on the adaptor is phenomenal, the lens variety being around £30 and without-lens for about £5. I was particularly interested in Edward's response of the negative impact that the additional lens will have. I guess I will try the macro first and see how the lenses perform - just for fun, as I already have sufficient Nikon glass upto 300mm for other uses.

Michael Bradtke , Oct 26, 2009; 03:36 p.m.

Edward the kitty is unsharp because of jpg compression. I have no interest in posting higher resolution images on a uncontrolled web site.
Drop by some time and I will be happy to show you the print

Sampson Law , Oct 26, 2009; 07:07 p.m.

Seems focus was a wee bit off also (not to pick nits) - look at the right paw, plenty sharp!

William Saywell , Oct 27, 2009; 05:14 a.m.

I have the opposite question: Having unearthed my old film SLR [Practica LLC, bought in 1969] I'm thinking of trying to fit Nikon lenses to it. Has anyone ever come across an adaptor that allows Nikon F-mount lenses to be fitted to a 42mm body? William

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