Using M42 lenses on PL cameras | Comparability List

Using M42 lenses on PL cameras | Comparability List



Once in awhile, I get asked about vintage lenses adaptable to PL mount cameras like Red Epic or Blackmagic URSA Mini (which can be bought with a native PL mount).

Unfortunately, the options are limited to Arri Standard/Bayonet and LOMO OCT18 mount lenses with not much else to choose from, at least not without a professional conversion.

If we look at the cheap vintage photo lenses, then there is even less to choose from.

RAFcamera makes the M42 to PL mount/adapter which looks more or less like the ARRI B/S to PL ones, so in theory M42 lenses can be used with it, but unfortunately, the options are limited to the lenses with the rear part no wider than 51mm, in particular the last the 8.54mm of it (see below).

June 2016 update: RAF camera has released an improved version of the adapter with the 53mm opening allowing, adding 2mm that can make a massive difference to some lenses that previously were close to being compatible, but didn’t quite screw all the way in. After testing the lenses that were close to being compatible with the old adapter again, this time using the new one, I’m glad to say I was able to add 2 more lenses to the comparability list below.

What’s more, the improved version of the adapter now has a set screw in the m42 flange. It allows one to secure the lens inside the PL mount, ensuring no there is accidental unscrewing of the whole lens, which is common with M42 mount lenses, especially those with tighter focus rings.

Screen Shot 2016-06-07 at 18.07.46

I’ve been testing this adapter will all my M42 lenses (compatibility list at the bottom). I should say right away, that there aren’t many M42 lenses compatible with this adapter, because most lenses are wider than 53mm at the back (it’s very easy to tell when lenses will not be compatible). The lenses that have a chance are the ones that have a long mounting section like the Helios 44-2, have a cone-shaped back as found on MIR-1 and Pentacon 135mm (15 blade version) lenses, unfortunately the size and positioning of the focusing ring on MIR-1 means that it falls short of being compatible, but some sort of modification might be possible.

Helios (left) has a perfect shape, while MIR (right) isn’t quite perfect

I was glad to find out that Helios 44-2 58mm F2.0 works with this adapter because it’s not only my favourite lens, but also one of those lenses that even high-end users are happy to play with; however positioning of the focus ring on this lens makes focusing pretty difficult unless you add a follow focus gear, as I did below.

Helios 44-2 with Coolux Focus Gear and RAFcamera M42 to PL adapter
Screen Shot 2016-02-10 at 15.43.28
Alternatively, you can get one of these rehoused babies, but it will cost you much more than building one 🙂

Another lens that worked with this adapter is the Industar 50-2 50mm F3.5 (below), which is a tiny, fun lens (my review) and I must say I love how it looks inside a PL mount! Smallest PL mount lens anyone? 😀 You can use it as camera port cap with an added benefit of lens functionality 😉

Industar 50-2 with Ciecio7 PL to MFT adapter attached to BMPCC


And finally, we come to the Comparability List.

Below you will find the (rolling) list of lenses that are compatible, might work with so sort modifications or not compatible at all. If you have such adapter, feel free to contribute to this list by stating which lenses work for you and which don’t in the comments section below.

  • YES in green
  • NO in red
  • NO in black (might be possible to mod)

Industar 50-2 50mm (KMZ) – YES

Helios 44-2 58mm (KMZ & Valdai) – YES

Helios 44m-1 58mm (M39 mount) – YES

Carl Zeiss Jena 35mm F2.8 (ALU/silver version) – YES (unconfirmed)

Meyer Görlitz Primotar 180 F3.8 – YES

Pentacon 135mm F2.8 (15 blade version) YES (with improved adapter)

Pentacon 300mm F4.5 – YES (with improved adapter)

MIR-1 37mm (ZOMZ) – NO (focuses to about 10m away with improved adapter, but focus ring becomes jammed in)

Mayer-Optic Gorlitz 30mm – NO (Starts to screw in)

MIR-20M 20mm (KMZ) – NO

Helios 44-3 58mm (MMZ) – NO

Helios 44m / 44m-4 58mm (Valdai) – NO

TAIR-11A 135mm (KMZ) – NO

Jupiter-9 85mm – NO

Jupiter 11A 135mm (KOMZ) – NO

Tair-3A 300mm (ZOMZ) – NO

E.Ludwig Meritar 50mm F2.9 – NO

Carl Zeiss Jena (MC) 20mm, 29mm, 35mm, 50mm (F2.8), 50mm (1.8), 135mm – NO

A big thanks to everyone on VintageLensesForVideo Facebook group for your input into my research!

I try my best to make this website a great resource for people interested in vintage lenses for video use, so I hope you’ve enjoyed this & other posts. I sure hope they will help you save some money on your future lens investments too. I’ve joined the ebay affiliate program to help me run this website, fund my tests & lens giveaways, so if you find this content useful and would like to help me produce more similar content, please use the links in this post if you’re planning to buy one of these lenses or bookmark and/or use this link if you want to buy anything else on or this link if you shop on You will not be spending a penny more using these links, while still helping as eBay will pay out a small percentage from any purchase or successful bid, which in turn will support new content on Thank you.

21 Responses to Using M42 lenses on PL cameras | Comparability List

  1. I bought two M42 lens and come very researching about it, like the content, but it’s a shame I did not use PL mount, currently use Nikon F and also find little information about it.
    The M42 lenses seem to have full compatibility with the sensor and the majority operate at greater focal length than 2 meters.

    sorry my english do not have much experience in grammar.

  2. I bought a Aicoset P F3.5/35mm Wide Angle Preset Lens from ebay for the princely sum of £21. I noticed it had an M42 extension tube on it. I replaced this for a 5.5mm extension and the lens now fits perfectly into a PL mount. The aperture is a little close to the mount, but not impossible to adjust.

  3. hi there, does anybody has an idea if the ‘Carl Zeiss Jena Flektogon MC 2.8/20mm Lens M42 Mount’ can be fittedt to pl with an adapter?
    i know its been asked before but only for the f4 and thought there might be a difference!?
    please let me know if you guys know of anything that would work.


    • and i did see that this lens is on the list and noted as not compatible.
      but wasn’t sure if this is in regard to a certain adapter or if its generally not compatible!?

  4. HI, what about the TWIN Industar 28mm small Pancake , like i have the INDUSTAR 50mm perfect fit inside the adapter to PL , do you think the 28mm wide angle similar look will fit inside ?

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