M42 35mm lens recommendation?

Discussion in 'Classic Manual Cameras' started by k5083, May 24, 2009.

  1. I find myself wanting a 35mm lens in M42 mount and am considering the available options. The two that occurred to me right away are a Super/SMC Takumar or a CZ Jena Flektogon. If anyone has both of these lenses and would like to offer a comparative assessment, I'd love to hear it. Also, are there any "sleeper" favorites that people have in a 35mm M42 lens? TIA.
     
  2. Both of those are pretty nice and hard to top from what I've heard from others here who've used them. My only M42 lens (at least the only one I have worth mentioning-I've also got a relatively cheap Soligor 35/2.8 and a Spiratone 135/2.8) is the Yashinon DX 50mm f/1.4. It's mighty impressive in its performance and has received high praise on this forum. It's a solid, heavy lens that even looks and feels like a top-quality lens.
     
  3. Try Meyer Primagon 35mm; it is very sharp. Meyer Lydith 30mm and Meyer Orestagon 29mm are also excellent lenses. You can view sample phots in MFLenses website under German lenses. Regards, sp.
     
  4. If you are willing to pay the higher price, the 35/2 Takumar SMC will undoubtedly be one of the best 35mm lenses in M42 mount. I don't have one of these. I have two versions of the 35/3.5 Takumar, a 35/1.9 Vivitar, a 35/3.5 Noflexar, a 35/2.8 Rikenon, the 30mm Meyer Lydith, the 35/2.8 Vivitar T4, the 35/2.5 Vivitar TX and the 35/2.8 Vivitar TX compact. The Noflexar is not an auto diaphragm lens but is very sharp and has a unique close-up feature where the front of the lens pulls forward in several click stops. I wrote about this lens for CameraShopper a few years ago. The 35/1.9 Vivitar is an old favorite of mine. I have it in many mounts. I nearly had a 35/2 Super Takumar once but it did not have correct infinity focus so I returned it. The 30mm Lydith is also not an auto diaphragm lens - at least my copy isn't. I didn't know about this lens until I read Ivor matanle's SLR book. It's also very sharp.
     
  5. There are some all-time classic 35mm lenses available in the M42x1 mount. Not the least of these is the Angénieux f/2.5 Retrofocus Type R1, although it is rare in the M42 mount. The Flektogon is well regarded, and the other lenses mentioned above are all decent. (Check out a nearly exhaustive list of M42 lenses at link ). Enna and Westagon are other lens makers who produced 28 and 35mm lenses in this mount, for example.
     
  6. Thanks guys for the great suggestions so far. I'm going to be following up on a lot of these possibilities. Jeff, non-auto diaphragms are fine for me, as my main applications will be to adapt to various Contax-Yashica and Minolta bodies so will have to use manual anyway. SP, the Primagon sounds terrific although since one of my intentions is to use the lens as a long-normal on a Yashica 230AF body with a 1.6x AF adapter that is going to cost me an f-stop, I think f4.5 may be a bit slow. Might be cool to have one for my Exakta though.
    Another possibility is the Mir-1 Russian clone of the Flektogon, anyone used those?
     
  7. Another possibility is the Mir-1 Russian clone of the Flektogon, anyone used those?​
    There are conflicting reports regarding Mir-1. Some people suggests that it is catastrofically looses contrast in the "against the sun" situation. Some people insists that it is as good as Flektogon. Everybody egreed that it suppose to have "Grand Prix Brussels" inscription on the rim. The most advance users insists that the bestest one is M39 version.
     
  8. August,
    What do you want to use the lenses for? Landscape, portraits...? Take that into consideration. I only ask because you can get some very good lenses for little money. I have eleven Pentax Takumar M42 lenses. My latest addition, is a 20mm f4.5, which cost 4 times what I paid for the next expensive lens. If you want a Pentax Super Takumar or SMC lenses look at the standard 55mm f1.8 or wide 28mm f3.5. Why? They are inexpensive, widely available and good performers. They won"t break the bank and you will find out if you really might like start collecting them.
    I would love to collect the Yashinons, but don"t because the rear flange extends too and causes problems mounting to my Pentax cameras.
    Also, look into Fujinons. I only have one. It performs ok, but others rave about the other lenses.
    Finally, I have to say the Pentax M42 lenses are well-built. The focus on all of mine are smooth. They are small and light-weight. I can jam a lot of lenses into my shoulder bag.
    Anyway, good luck lens hunting .
    Mike
     
  9. I am generally a fan of the Soviet lenses, but my Mir was so soft for my P6 camera that I spent a rather large pile of rubles to get the Flektogon itself.
    I should also mention that there are a bunch of Spiratone wide angles in M42 and T-mount, many of which seem to have been made for them by Sigma, or so I have heard (Tamron also made lenses for them at one point). Some of these are astonishingly good and they sell for very low prices on eBay.
     
  10. Somewhere I have a 35/3.5 Enna Lithagon. Mine is somewhat cloudy but it's nice to look at. Years ago I saw a drawing of a 35/1.8 Tamron lens. I don't know whether this lens really existed. In the standard lens category the 55/1.8 Takumar SMC is hard to beat. Its cousin, the 55/1.8 SMC Pentax is my favorite K mount standard lens. I have two 50/1.7 lenses which are marked Alpa and were made by Chinon. They focus down to 1:3. I had one overhauled and it's a very decent performer. It was sold with the Chinon-made Alpa Si2000. Both of my lenses came without a camera. The one area of incompatibility I have experienced is using S-M-C-T or SMC Takumar lenses on the Mamiya 500DTL. The screw holes for the Mamiya lensmount can interfere with the tab on the back of these lenses. The mamiya was my first M42 camera so this caused me to get some lenses as Super Takumars rather than the later S-M-C-T or SMC models.
     
  11. Kozma and JDM, thanks for the skinny on the Mir. The prices for those, especially counting the postage for most to be shipped from E. Europe, are not very tempting considering the great bargains closer to home.
    Michael, you ask a good question about what I will use it for. The answer is, mostly aviation, nature, and architecture, and some travel and landscape. Most subjects will be at 30 feet or farther; bokeh is rarely an issue for me. I just want sharp, contrasty and reasonably fast. Hence the Takumars and Fleks are the frontrunners. A Tokina-made Vivitar or a Sigma-made Spiratone might do fine, however. I already have a some great normal-length glass (don't we all), some good 28s, and a 25mm Flek. This lens is really to fill that gap between wide and normal on my manual focus bodies, and give me a solid normal-length prime on my AF at 1.6x.
     
  12. hy

    hy

    CZJ MC Flektogon 35mm f/2.4 is an excellent performer. It has a nice color rendering, and even for macro work a min. focussing distance of 20cm. Wide open very good, at f/5.6 outstanding.
     
  13. Chinon made good 28mm/2.8 and 35mm/2.8 M42 lenses in Japan
    See: http://forum.manualfocus.org/viewtopic.php?id=5
     
  14. My Pentax Super Takumar 35mm f3.5 has proven to be freakishly sharp adapted on my Canon dslr - I haven't taken enough pics with it on a film camera to comment on its corners, though. I can e-mail you a full-size jpeg (or raw file) if you would like.
     
  15. So much good advice here! Thanks guys.
    I've taken the plunge on two 35s since my original post, although I'm not sure that one of them really is an M42 mount. The one that I am sure of is a Beck 35/2.8. There is not much info out there on Beck lenses for 35mm SLRs, but what there is is reasonably encouraging. I'll post some impressions when it get it.
    The second lens is a Vivitar 35/2.8 whose seller doesn't know what mount it is. The listing photo is below, let's see what you guys think. Obviously it's threaded, and it has the little pin for the diaphragm in the right place for an auto M42, but the mount has what appears to be "C8" on it instead of "PX" that I've seen on other M42 Vivitars, and there's a strange Frankenstein screw jutting out at the 8 o'clock position in the photo. I'm hoping that it is some generic M42 mount. If not, I got it for little enough to waste.
    00TTyn-138323684.jpg
     
  16. I believe that is Vivitar T-mount lens with an m42 adapter. I have a Tokina Vivitar 28mm like that. The O and L switch are used to remove/lock the mount to the lens
     
  17. The second lens is a Vivitar 35/2.8 whose seller doesn't know what mount it is. The listing photo is below, let's see what you guys think. Obviously it's threaded, and it has the little pin for the diaphragm in the right place for an auto M42, but the mount has what appears to be "C8" on it instead of "PX" that I've seen on other M42 Vivitars, and there's a strange Frankenstein screw jutting out at the 8 o'clock position in the photo. I'm hoping that it is some generic M42 mount. If not, I got it for little enough to waste.​
    I have one of these, it is a M42 lens - I used to use it all the time on my old Spotmatic F. My copy is OK in the center but soft in the corners until you get past f8.
     
  18. My favorite 35mm in M42:
    1- Flektogon 2,4/35
    2- W.Komura 2,5/35
    3- Super takumar (older fat) 2/35
    4- Steihneil macro 2,8/35 (perhaps the best)
     

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