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).
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.
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.
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.
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 😉
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!
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