Converting a Helios 44 lens to Nikon F Mount

Discussion in 'Camera Building, Repairs & Modification' started by Steve Smith, Feb 20, 2013.

  1. Steve Smith

    Steve Smith Subscriber

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    A few days ago on another forum, there was a discussion about using a Helios 44 lens on a Nikon. You can buy adaptors to fit M42 lenses to Nikons but as the Nikon register distance is 1.04mm longer than M42, it is not possible to get infinity focus (unless you use an adaptor with a lens element).

    As I have three of these lenses, I decided to see if I could convert one to Nikon F mount.

    I removed the existing mount/back plate and measured its thickness at 6.6mm. Then I took a Nikon F mount off of an old, broken, third party Nikon fit lens. After filing down a ridge on the back, this measured 4mm thick so I would now be 2.6mm closer than before. To get to the correct distance, I needed a spacer 1.56mm thick. I had some 1.5mm black plastic which was close enough so I made a spacer which was a bit larger diameter than the mount in order for it to act in its other capacity as a flange to stop the aperture ring from falling off.

    Anyway, I proved to myself that it can be done.

    DSCN0163.jpg

    And then today I read that these were made in Nikon F and Pentax K mounts so I needn't have bothered!


    Steve.
     
  2. Denis P.

    Denis P. Member

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    Kudos for the effort, then :smile:
     
  3. Daire Quinlan

    Daire Quinlan Member

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    Hmm. I know some were made in K mount, I've never seen any in an F-mount though, other than surgical jobs like yours, so good job :-D I had an M42 Helios 44 I used to like shooting with no infinity focus on various F bodies. I eventually bought a spotmatic specifically to shoot it with. Then picked up some takumar lenses, then a couple more spotmatics and then ... well you get the picture. I could have saved myself an entire extra camera system had I done this modification originally to my 44 :smile:
     
  4. Richard S. (rich815)

    Richard S. (rich815) Subscriber

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    Don't be too hard on yourself. Takumar lenses are awesome!
     
  5. Steve Smith

    Steve Smith Subscriber

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    Neither have I. I just read it on the internet so it must be true!!


    As I had three of these lenses and a spare mount off of a broken lens, It made sense to do it. I haven't tried it with film yet but it seems o.k. on one of those new fangled electric cameras which seem to bee all the fashion these days.


    Steve.