The 8 Best M42 Lenses in 2019 For Your Cameras

There is always something good about vintage especially if you want to capture some image with an elusive quality or character. Old lenses are also good when you want to express uniqueness in every image you take.

Choosing the best M42 Camera lenses enables one to create his personal styles, character, resolutions numbers, and sharpness through image corners. In essence, buying an M42 is more or less going through the crucial details a person looking for a lens would be looking for.

The popularity of using vintage lenses on digital cameras has led to the creation of adapters that allow for easy lens mounting. Here are our top eight favorite lenses that you can use on digital cameras

The best m42 lenses of 2019

Picture
EDITOR'S CHOICE
7artisans 50mm F1.1 Fixed Lens for Leica M-Mount...
Helios 44-2 58mm Russian Lens for M42 Mount...
Jupiter 9 85mm F2 Russian Portrait Lens M42 Mount
MC Helios 44M-4 58mm F2 Russian Lens M42 mount
PENTAX Super Takumar 55mm F1.8 F/1.8 M42 Screw...
!!NEW!! HELIOS 44m-6 2/58 Russian USSR Lens M42...
Product Name
7artisans 50mm F1.1 Fixed Lens for Leica M-Mount...
Helios 44-2 58mm Russian Lens for M42 Mount...
Jupiter 9 85mm F2 Russian Portrait Lens M42 Mount
MC Helios 44M-4 58mm F2 Russian Lens M42 mount
PENTAX Super Takumar 55mm F1.8 F/1.8 M42 Screw...
!!NEW!! HELIOS 44m-6 2/58 Russian USSR Lens M42...
Dimensions
7.1 x 6.7 x 3.7 inches
3.5 x 6 x 4.4 inches
5.1 x 3.7 x 3.2 inches
9.4 x 6.7 x 3.9 inches
10.9 x 5.9 x 3 inches
5.9 x 5.9 x 5.9 inches
Weight
14.1 ounces
8.2 ounces
14.1 ounces
11.7 ounces
8 ounces
8.8 ounces
Prime Status
-
-
-
-
-
EDITOR'S CHOICE
Picture
7artisans 50mm F1.1 Fixed Lens for Leica M-Mount...
Product Name
7artisans 50mm F1.1 Fixed Lens for Leica M-Mount...
Dimensions
7.1 x 6.7 x 3.7 inches
Weight
14.1 ounces
Prime Status
Check Latest Price
Picture
Helios 44-2 58mm Russian Lens for M42 Mount...
Product Name
Helios 44-2 58mm Russian Lens for M42 Mount...
Dimensions
3.5 x 6 x 4.4 inches
Weight
8.2 ounces
Prime Status
-
Check Latest Price
Picture
Jupiter 9 85mm F2 Russian Portrait Lens M42 Mount
Product Name
Jupiter 9 85mm F2 Russian Portrait Lens M42 Mount
Dimensions
5.1 x 3.7 x 3.2 inches
Weight
14.1 ounces
Prime Status
-
Check Latest Price
Picture
MC Helios 44M-4 58mm F2 Russian Lens M42 mount
Product Name
MC Helios 44M-4 58mm F2 Russian Lens M42 mount
Dimensions
9.4 x 6.7 x 3.9 inches
Weight
11.7 ounces
Prime Status
-
Check Latest Price
Picture
PENTAX Super Takumar 55mm F1.8 F/1.8 M42 Screw...
Product Name
PENTAX Super Takumar 55mm F1.8 F/1.8 M42 Screw...
Dimensions
10.9 x 5.9 x 3 inches
Weight
8 ounces
Prime Status
-
Check Latest Price
Picture
!!NEW!! HELIOS 44m-6 2/58 Russian USSR Lens M42...
Product Name
!!NEW!! HELIOS 44m-6 2/58 Russian USSR Lens M42...
Dimensions
5.9 x 5.9 x 5.9 inches
Weight
8.8 ounces
Prime Status
-
Check Latest Price

1. 7artisans Fixed Lens

The lens is compatible with Leica M4 Cameras. It is a full frame model with a focal length of about 50mm and an angular range field view of 45 degrees. The product is made up of 7 elements in 6 groups all held within an aluminum body and copper core which is light and compact. The lens is optimized to work on full aperture giving sharpness and contrast in an image.

Pros

  • Light and compact with a sonar structure
  • Can be on autofocus when used with a Sony E-mount adapter
  • Superior optical quality
  • Low chromatic aberration

Cons

  • Quality control is very poor

2. Helios 44-2 Russian Lens

The Helios 44-2 Russian Lens comes out as a well-constructed compared to the recent plastic ones. You need to get used to its manual focus by training to be quick on getting a focus. A picture coming from the lens comes out as unique and beautiful. The angle of viewing can be reduced and convert the lens into an aperture portrait lens.

Pros

  • They are sturdy and well constructed
  • Ideal for portraits, landscapes, and macro shooting
  • Produces artistic pictures from color reproduction and smooth background color
  • You can smooth out minor blemishes and make transition softer

Cons

  • No lens cap or covers

3. Jupiter Russian Portrait Lens

The Jupiter Russian Portrait Lens offers good quality and a soft focus with an excellent out of focus rendition. It has a focal length of 85mm and a wider viewing angle of the range of 28 degrees. The lens is aluminum made that adds to the low weight of the entire lens. The lens does not produce onion rings because of the rounded blades that maintain the circular shape.

Pros

  • Easy to operate the aperture
  • Lightweight based on its aluminum construction
  • Favorable for portraits, landscape, and architecture

Cons

  • Stiff focusing rings
  • The aperture ring has no click stops

4. MC Helios F2 Russian Lens

Despite its longevity in the market, the MC Helios F2 is still far from being forgotten. If you are a student of fine art or portrait photographer, this is the lens you should have. There is a distinctive effect known as the swirly broken effect that draws many photographers towards the lens. The internal design is based on the popular Zeiss Biota lens.

Pros

  • The outer body is made of thick durable metal
  • Good for portraits, nature, and street photography
  • Produces sharp images

Cons

  • Does not have a zoom feature
  • You need the right conditions to get the swirl effect

5. PENTAX Takumar Lens

PENTAX Takumar is an old-time classic and promises to offer the best vintage lenses commonly available in the market. They have a nice length for portrait photography, and it may not perform so well in street photography.

Pros

  • Produces good images through color rendition
  • Photos can easily get an almost 3D effect
  • Has a smooth focus ring that always looks new even after prolonged use
  • Easy to use and master using the lens

Cons

  • You may need an adapter for some cameras
  • Has a heavy construction

​6. HELIOS 44mm USSR Lens

HELIOS is an excellent tool that comes with its adapter and with front and rear lens cap. It lacks a ROM connection on the ring of the adapter, so diaphragm control has to be set manually. When using an adapter, the “stop-down mode” needs to be activated when calibrating the lens because the camera body cannot control the lens. You are free to shoot in manual or aperture priority mode.

Pros

  • xCompact design
  • Captive bokeh
  • Affordable
  • Easy to find in the market

Cons

  • Prone to flare
  • Heavy considering its size
  • Chromatic aberration

7. Industar Digital Camera Lens

If you are looking for an image that will come out as sharp and full of contrast. The lens frame has seven aperture blades and four elements. The coating is done for the front element while the rear ones have an anti-reflective coat. The focus is set to manual as the design of the entire lens is based on the Zeiss Jenna Tessar Design.

Pros

  • The center of the image remains sharp
  • Has a good contrast and micro-contrast
  • Good color rendition
  • The image produced has a lot of character
  • Compact

Cons

  • Has a lot of flaring
  • Difficult to adjust aperture
  • Does not fit on most adapters

8. Mir 1 V (B) Wide Angle Lens

The Mir 1 Wide Angle Lens has a beautiful design that spots a tank like full metal solid construction. The aperture adjustments do not require complex procedures to set them up. Therefore, this helps when handling videos during recording. The aperture blades give a round circle within the armature range. The focus ring rotation has a wide range of 270 degrees.

Pros

  • Does not break easily due to its solid construction
  • The aperture and focusing ring are easy to adjust
  • Creates unique flares
  • Has a smooth bokeh
  • Has very sharp imaging

Cons

  • Not suitable for taking close portraits
  • Not suitable for event shoots, films, and fashion videos
  • You need to learn how to create aperture and focus settings

Buying Guide

The technical details surrounding the M42 camera lenses may confuse you if you are unsure of what to get for your specific camera mount. You do not need to worry because we also lined up a simple process to give you the kind of peace you need when looking for the best M42 Camera lens.

Think About the Subject

First, when picking on the lens to use, make considerations on the type of scenery you like to photograph. A person who admires landscapes or travel photographs should think of owning a lens with a wider view; sports enthusiast should buy one that facilitates zooming, the portrait lover will, of course, go for the normal camera lens.

Decide on the Aperture

Every lens has an aperture, which in plain terms means a “hole.” The aperture should be adjustable to let in more or less light. Bigger apertures work better in the dark; an aperture is unit of measurement is the f-stops. When you hit the shelves, every lens is known by its largest aperture. When working indoors or at night, look for lenses with low f-stops.

Look at all Possible Camera Options

Look around the internet or your manual and note the specific type of lens that can work with your device. Explore different mounting options that can work with your camera but remember there are always specific lenses that will work with particular cameras.

User Reviews

Once you select your options, get to a page with user reviews, and get an honest insight from legitimate users. In this case, most of our reviews came from Amazon; however, other sites that offer similarity to what we may be having on such review pages.

Reviews should more details on an in-depth review of how the lens in a different light environment, image sharpness, speeds of lens focus, and the weight of the lens. You can look for lenses with consistent problems to ascertain that the present error is not due to lens defects.

Conclusion

Now that you know what you need to buy, testing the lens before you purchase your selection. In our review, we go with the Jupiter Russian Portrait Lens because of its focal length and its ability to capture scenes within a particular range. The lens is also durable and light in weight owing to its aluminum construction. The PENTAX Takumar Lens may need an adapter to fit in on your camera, but it is also a good option if you want to carry out color rendition and get to know how to leave your images with an impressive 3D-like appearance.

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