Clarification on M mount threads - Zenit

Started 2 months ago | Discussions thread
ZilverHaylide Senior Member • Posts: 1,159
Re: Clarification on M mount threads - Zenit

Kristoff2034 wrote:


I need help. I recently bought a few Zenit bodies for fun (5 for $30!!!). I am having a hard time understanding the M mount system so that I can buy some lenses.

A few places online say 42M and for another camera (the 3M) it takes a ZM 39.

So are ALL M lenses interchangeable and the numbers (42, 44, 50, etc) have something to do with focal distance? Or do the numbers represent something with the threads and therefore have to fit a particular M system?

An example would be a Zenit 12SD saying online that it would have sold new with a 44M lens...but some forums users had talked about a 42M lens. This is where I am getting confused.

These are my first experiences with 35mm cameras. Any help is greatly appreciated!

(Note that at the allphotolenses site, you can sort by brand and sort by mount. (Option on left sidebar on my mobile device, not sure if on the left when viewed on a PC)

You are justified in being confused.

1) There was a 42mm diameter thread mount, used on most old Pentax, Praktica, and many others, including many Zenit cameras, usually called "m42", "M42", "universal thread mount", "Pentax screw mount", or "Pentax thread mount".

There was a 39mm diameter thread mount, used mostly on old Leicas (but I'm not sure what else; some Zenits have a 39mm mount), usually called "Leica thread mount" or "LTM".

There was a 37mm diameter thread mount used on early Pentax cameras, before they switched to 42mm mount.

2) THEN, of course, each lens has a focal length, most commonly expressed in millimeters (mm), and for 35mm film cameras, the range for a "normal" field of view was about 50-58mm, but could be anything, with longer being telephoto and shorter being wide angle.

3) THEN, additionally, some lens manufacturers (usually the Soviet Union and other East Block countries) used a numerical reference for models of lenses, and this has nothing to do with either focal length or mount size, it's just a model number. For instance, "Helios 44M".

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