Lenses for Zenit (M42) - what to do?
So I am going to be lazy and ask here before spending hours browsing the internet.
Feel free to ignore me if you think I should do my own research, which I will, but if you have mercy and some time on your hands any help will be appreciated.
Soo.. I grew up shooting Zenit E with some or another version of 44mm lens and that's all I had. I learned a lot using just one camera and one lens, but nothing about other lenses available in the mount. Later I switched to Nikon and that's where I've been since.
Suddenly I find myself with a brand spanking new Zenit TTL and following lenses (all in like new, likely never used, condition):
1. Carl Zeiss Jena 25mm f/4 Flektogon
2. Berogon 35mm f/3.5
3. Helios 44M 58mm f/2
3a. Gelios 44-3 58mm f/2 MC
4. Revuenon-Special 135mm f/2.8
5. Iopiter-37A 135mm f/3.5 MC
6. Jupiter-6-2 180mm f/2.8
7. 3M-5A 500mm f/8 Reflex
8. MTO-1000A 1100mm f/10.5 Reflex
Apart from the two Helios', which are standard and actually not as bad as one might expect, and the abominations in the shape of two mirror lenses weighing about one ton each, how are the others? Anything respectable here? I couldn't find any info on the Berogon 35/3.5 (says "Lens made in W-Germany", the lens is quite small) and not much on the Flektogon either. The 180/2.8 is I believe heavier than all my Nikons combined... What is this Revuenon-Special thingy, it doesn't look half bad?
Finally, while Zenit TTL looks better than my old E in about every possible way, plus it's "new", I have doubts. Its finder is... well... not exactly bright, though not many prisms will win that contest against F3, and ffs it's Zenit which I grew to not exactly like to put it mildly (my E fell apart) so I would like to try some of these lenses on some other body. I looked at the other active M42 thread, and Pentax seems to win the "popularity" contest. Any advice? Anyone using the TTL and thinks I should give it a chance?
I have various Nikkors and two F3HP, two FM, an F100, and I definitely don't intend to stop using them (I'd rather shoot myself in both knees) but these lenses are making me curious so I need to do something about it.
Sorry for the long winded post, and thanks. I will get my web shovel now and start digging for info.
I don't know about the longer lenses but the carl zeiss jena 25mm is a classic.
The jupiter 6-2 180mm f2.8 is a copy of the 180mm carl zeiss jena f2.8 lens. This one is quite rare. If the copy is anything like the original it should be stellar.
The MTO-1000a is also quite rare and should be worth a penny or two.
I would just shoot with the kit, but get another body, like a spotmatic. The Zenit ttl has the worst viewfinder of all the zenits I've tried.
The Flektogon 25mm is very good, just sensitive to flare.
The Jupiter 135 & 180 have excellent reputations, though I've never used them.
Also the MTOs are supposed to be way above-average mirror lenses, if you like mirror lenses.
Keep in mind that you can get a Pentax Spotmatic for almost nothing now and that is a very sweet M42 camera...
M6, SL, SL2, R5, P6x7, SL3003, SL35-E, F, F2, FM, FE-2, Varex IIa
All M42 son good, but get the supertakumars. I agee; get a spotmatic. I have 6
" A loving and caring heart is the beginning of all knowledge " ~ Thomas Carlyle ~
A couple of weeks ago, I bought a book from a charity shop. The title is 'Discovering Rewarding Photography - The Manual of Russian Equipment' and it is written by Ron Spillman.
Produced in 1971, it is a combination of photography tips and a catalogue of a company called Technical and Optical Equipment (London) Ltd.
Technical and Optical were the UK importer of Zenith cameras and accessories along with products from Fed, Zorki and Kiev.
I was going to give this book away anyway so if it is of any use to you, send me a message with your address and I will post it to you.
"People who say things won't work are a dime a dozen. People who figure out how to make things work are worth a fortune" - Dave Rat.
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My 2-hour dive through internet gutters looking for info on Berogon 35/3.5 and Revuenon-Special 128/3.5 resulted in almost nothing, and what was there was in Japanese. That fact does say something about them, right? Or maybe it doesn't. I'll give them a workout and draw my own conclusions, but I won't expect much.
So, Flektogon, Jupiter-37A and Jupiter-6 should be good. That's great as I get a good combo of wide, normal (Helios) and telephoto that can be handheld. The Jupiter-6-2 is a heavy beast - much, much heavier than my 180/2.8ED AI-S - and it doesn't feel handhold-able at all. It's almost a shame that it's a good lens, because now I have to try it instead of leave it aside or use it to crack walnuts. Or coconuts, in case of MTOs. Who in their right mind would ever lug these beasts around?! The 1000a weighs almost 4kg!
I guess I'll be on the lookout for a Spotmatic then. One question, possibly of the dumb kind: These lenses have a pin next to the rear element that stops down the lens. Do all M42 cameras use the same principle or do I have to pay special attention to that area? I am not necessarily opposed to testing these lenses only wide open, but would like to know that in advance. EDIT: Now I see that not all lenses have the pin... more reading on M42 mount is in order.
Thanks again. If anyone has something to add, please do.
P.S. - Steve, you've got a message.
Last edited by OldBodyOldSoul; 02-04-2012 at 08:21 AM. Click to view previous post history.
Cool set. Spend $10 and get an M42 to Nikon adapter and use these on your Nikon bodies.
There is an M42 adapter for Nikon? I thought Nikkors could be adapted to everything and nothing to Nikon. I guess I was wrong?
That 1000a would look sweet on one of my FMs, perfect for stealth street work
Yup, eBay search "M42 Nikon adapter", $10 for cheap ones direct from China or HK. $35 or so for "better" ones. Will have to meter using "stop down" mode so keep that in mind.
Originally Posted by OldBodyOldSoul
There is an adapter, but it needs a lens (that can degrade the optical quality) to be able to focus to infinity.
Originally Posted by OldBodyOldSoul