Need your experience with M42 adapter

Started Feb 22, 2013 | Questions
eddie
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Need your experience with M42 adapter
Feb 22, 2013

I'm new here and user of Pentax film cameras since 1966.
Have some Pentax primes from the old days and considering experimenting with them on my K30 DSLR. There is lots of info here on the subject but to fish out specific answer I found difficult.
Here is my question: M42 conversion adapter rings come from wide range of places and prices. What is the best value vs quality experience you have and from where can I get them?
So far, my impression is that level of experience in this forum I can trust.

I do appreciate for your feedback and thanks upfront.

Eddie

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Pentax K-30
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Flex M
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Re: Need your experience with M42 adapter
In reply to eddie, Feb 22, 2013

Eddie, the authentic (Asahi) Pentax ring is the best one and has the best machining. It's also the most expensive option.

In real life I find it easiest to just buy the cheapest metal ring (about $6 - 8 on eBay). Then just remove the little spring clip & screw it on to your m42 lens. Now it mouns just like a k mount lens (but will not lock in place). Works good as long as there's some friction on mounting! Also a lot easier than fiddling with the spring..

Optional is to file or drill a small hole in the lens flange so lens will lock in place (careful here!)

Have fun with your m42 glass!

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eddie
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Re: Need your experience with M42 adapter
In reply to Flex M, Feb 22, 2013

Thanks Flex.

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Nhelnhel
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Re: Need your experience with M42 adapter
In reply to eddie, Feb 22, 2013

eddie wrote:

I'm new here and user of Pentax film cameras since 1966.
Have some Pentax primes from the old days and considering experimenting with them on my K30 DSLR. There is lots of info here on the subject but to fish out specific answer I found difficult.
Here is my question: M42 conversion adapter rings come from wide range of places and prices. What is the best value vs quality experience you have and from where can I get them?
So far, my impression is that level of experience in this forum I can trust.

I do appreciate for your feedback and thanks upfront.

Eddie

Hello Eddie

I have also some M42 lens and have the Original M42 Adapter for Pentax which i received also from buying a set of M42 lenses.

I can only comment on the original pentax m42 adapter and i can say is, it fits really good on the K-5, K-7 and K100D.

If you can find a cheaper Original Pentax adapter then buy and enjoy the M42 lenses that you have.

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Rod Herdman
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Re: Need your experience with M42 adapter
In reply to eddie, Feb 22, 2013

I just got a cheap one, non-Pentax branded.

But -  make sure it says it can achieve infinity focus. If the flange is too deep you will not focus to infinity.

Cheers, and have fun with your old lenses.

Rod

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il_alexk
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Re: Need your experience with M42 adapter
In reply to eddie, Feb 22, 2013

It really depends on how you are going to use it and what your your lenses are.

While the Pentax adapter is unarguably the best one, I'd rather prefer to use cheap Chinese made ones instead.

Original is probably the best for landscape, sport and birding photography, where the focus to infinity is essential. Disadvantage - does not allow to use Catch In Focus (CIF) with my glass, which has a black painted thread and does not shorten the pins on the body of my camera.

Cheap Chinese adapters - provide their own metal base for contact pins, so the CIF works fine. Unfortunately, this adds a 0.5-1 mm of the space between the lens and the camera body. As a result, the infinity focus is lost. Since I use my manual glass for Portrait work only, I prefer these models over the original one. The CIF is essential for me when since I found it to be  more accurate than a good focusing screen (Katzeye).

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Cheers,
Alex

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liviutza
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Re: Need your experience with M42 adapter
In reply to il_alexk, Feb 22, 2013

I had quite an extreme experience with such an adapter I believe is worth mentioning - the focus was really screwed up - the maximum focus distance achievable with a Helios 44 was 5-7 meters, maybe. I would not accept that because it makes the camera unusable in 'normal' usage, even if CIF can be quite useful. So I switched to a more expensive adapter - bad part is indeed that it leaves the body contacts open and the camera looks almost dismantled :).

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il_alexk
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Re: Need your experience with M42 adapter
In reply to liviutza, Feb 22, 2013

liviutza wrote:

I had quite an extreme experience with such an adapter I believe is worth mentioning - the focus was really screwed up - the maximum focus distance achievable with a Helios 44 was 5-7 meters

7 meters is more than enough for the portrait work which represents 100% of my manual glass usage

, maybe. I would not accept that because it makes the camera unusable in 'normal' usage, even if CIF can be quite useful. So I switched to a more expensive adapter - bad part is indeed that it leaves the body contacts open and the camera looks almost dismantled :).

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Cheers,
Alex

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brandrx
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Re: Need your experience with M42 adapter
In reply to il_alexk, Feb 22, 2013

I remember reading a few years ago about somebody grinding down the thickness (to paper thin) one of those M42-K adapters that has the flange. It did increase the focusing distance quite a bit.

Cheers.

Ron

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Col K10d
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Re: Need your experience with M42 adapter
In reply to eddie, Feb 22, 2013

I chose the cheaper Fotodiox adapters (you can still buy 6½ for the cost of the Pentax).  I decided that it was best to remove the locking catch on the camera side of the ring and fix an adapter on each M42 lens.  As it happens I've still got 2 more adapters than lenses!

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Cane
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Re: Need your experience with M42 adapter
In reply to eddie, Feb 22, 2013

The real deal Pentax one is like $30. Just get it.

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Col K10d
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Re: Need your experience with M42 adapter
In reply to Cane, Feb 22, 2013

Cane wrote:

The real deal Pentax one is like $30. Just get it.

Well that would make a difference! In the UK they're £64.99 so some $99 which I think you'll agree tends to our favouring a third party option. 

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eddie
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Re: Need your experience with M42 adapter
In reply to Cane, Feb 23, 2013

Thanks to you all, ordered both version: with and without flange. In some cases having no focus in infinity will not be missed as one of you mentioned. Number of people responding gave me wide cross section of experiences. Now waiting delivery of the M42 flanges. Thanks again.

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Rod McD
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Re: Why remove the spring clip??
In reply to eddie, Feb 23, 2013

Hi,

I've often wondered about the possibility of using M42 mount lenses, though I've tended to stay with nothing earlier than A series bayonet to get the AE.  But what is the difficulty with the spring clip that holds the adapted lens in place?  There are several references above to removing it.  Surely the manufacturers have got this right?  And what about the Pentax OEM adapter - does the retaining pin and spring clipwork on that one, or is the recommendation to remove that too?

Thx Rod

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brandrx
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Re: Why remove the spring clip??
In reply to Rod McD, Feb 24, 2013

Rod McD wrote:

Hi,

I've often wondered about the possibility of using M42 mount lenses, though I've tended to stay with nothing earlier than A series bayonet to get the AE. But what is the difficulty with the spring clip that holds the adapted lens in place? There are several references above to removing it. Surely the manufacturers have got this right? And what about the Pentax OEM adapter - does the retaining pin and spring clipwork on that one, or is the recommendation to remove that too?

Hi Rod,

(1) The original Pentax M42-K adapter can be removed from the camera with just a fingernail.

(2) The cheap knockoffs require a tool to remove them properly. Some folks don't know how to use this tool properly. The way to do it is to insert the tool in the slots which releases the spring lock. Turn CCW until you hit a stop. Then lift the tool slightly until the tip of the tool clears the stop so you can finish turning CCW until the M42-K adapter can be removed completely. However, some of the knockoff M42-K adapters are so poorly made that they get stuck on the camera and become very hard to remove. By removing the screw that holds the spring lock in place, you no longer need a tool to remove them. They will now act just like any K mount lens except they will not lock onto the camera. However, you can now install and remove the lens very easily. If the lens does not have a very stiff focusing ring then it works like a charm. If the lens has a stiff focusing ring then you need to be very carful that you don't twist the lens out of its mounting and have it fall off. You can also drill a mounting hole into the lens and then it will lock onto the camera just like any K-mount lens.

(3) Another type of M42-K adapter is the kind that has a flange. It is built in such a way that it has a slot so that it can lock onto the camera just like any K-mount lens. However, the addition of the flange is the same as adding a very, very short extension tube and you can no longer focus to infinity. You can grind down the flange to very thin and it will still work like a regular K-mount and you can increase it's focusing distance but you still will not be able to reach infinity. If you know how to adjust the infinity focus point on your lens then the flange type is the best IMO.

One of the problems with (1) and (2) above is that sometimes the pins on the camera are not shorted on the camera like a regular K or M lens or like (3) above) and you won't be able to do catch-in-focusing or use a Pentax-F 1.7X AF Adapter unless you short the pins with the use of aluminum foil.

For many folks the use of M42 lenses are not worth the effort.

Cheers.

Ron

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Jim King
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Just to add...
In reply to brandrx, Feb 24, 2013

With certain M42 lenses there is no Auto/Manual switch on the lens body to depress the stop-down pin, so they will remain fully open when used on an original Pentax M42 to K adapter ring (or a clone) no matter what aperture you set on the ring.  While you can sometimes jury-rig a way to jam the pin in so that such lenses can be stopped down, an easier (although more expensive) method is to buy a Kipon brand M42 to K adapter ring on eBay. The Kipon adapter has an internal circumferential flange to depress the stopdown pin, so when you mount the lens the pin is pressed in automatically and the aperture ring will function properly.

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liviutza
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Re: Just to add...
In reply to Jim King, Feb 24, 2013

I just happened to have a bit of an unpleasant experience with an adapter this morning - the flange-less type. I took some pics in LV mode and then put the cap on but forgot to turn the camera off. As it turns out, there is a bit of stray light coming to the sensor (on my K30 at least) via the mounting holes of the adapter. Not much, but I thought I'd mention it; it also gets a really weird color cast.

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liviutza
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Re: Just to add...
In reply to liviutza, Feb 24, 2013

Sorry, forgot to attach sample.

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il_alexk
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Re: Just to add...
In reply to liviutza, Feb 24, 2013

This doesn't look good, but do you see this light interfering with the images when you remove the cap? I'd expect it to be completely unnoticeable in real photos.

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Cheers,
Alex

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liviutza
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Re: Just to add...
In reply to il_alexk, Feb 24, 2013

I would say, extremely unscientific, that this is 3-4 stops below scene light and I believe it would only affect the pictures in extremely specific conditions; Still worth mentioning, as it supports my slight disappointment in using m42 glass on Pentax bodiest - it is a lot more finicky compared to using it on Canon or short-flange mirrorless cameras.  All factors combined I will try to get older K-mount lenses for my K-30 in the future - no adapters, safer contacts and overall better match.

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