Old manual lenses for Canon (including Soviet lenses)

If you have a brand new Canon digital SLR camera, or just wanted to squeeze the maximum picture quality from your Canon DSLR and have no money for very expensive professional lenses, manual optics come to the rescue. In countries emerging from the former Soviet Union is very popular Soviet manual optics.

Manual lenses are manual focus lenses. Usually, manual lenses mean old lenses. In the old days, lenses and cameras did not have autofocus. note that Soviet lenses (all Soviet optics) is manual, i.e. cannot focus automatically. To work with a manual lens, you need to focus manually. This can be learned quickly.

Tessar 2,8 / 50 CZJena (GERMANY)

Tessar 2,8 / 50 CZJena (GERMANY). The lens is shown on a digital SLR camera. Canon EOS Digital Rebel XSi. Attaching the lens to the camera using M42-Canon EOS adapter with chip.

How to use old manual lenses on a Canon system? Very simple, to install an old manual lens on a Canon camera you need to find out what mount (bayonet) the lens is designed for. Basically, there are not so many types of fastening, this is the good old M42 thread, N mount and M39 thread.

M42 lenses need an adapter M42 - Canon EOS. This adapter is screwed onto the lens thread, and then the lens is mounted on the camera. All Canon cameras will automatically measure exposure. Moreover, it will be possible to shoot in any mode of the camera, even in automatic mode, although the aperture will need to be changed manually. It is very convenient to use the semi-automatic aperture priority mode (AV mode). When using an adapter M42 - Canon EOS will remain able to focus at infinity.

Conventional M42 adapter - Canon EOS without chip

Conventional adapter M42 - Canon EOS without chip

Attention 1. When using the usual adapter M42 - Canon EOS without a chip on the camera focus confirmation will not work. This means that you have to focus completely on the eye.

To solve this problem, you can buy an adapter with a chip. The chip usually allows focus confirmation and “tricks” the camera, after which the camera thinks that it has a native lens on it. The chip is also called dandelion, less often Lushnikov dandelion. In the dandelion, you can program the focal length of the lens and the aperture value (you can not do this). Because in EXIF all images of the lens will be indicated on the received images (possibly, except for the focusing distance). You can buy a dandelion separately and attach it to an adapter or buy an adapter with a dandelion right away.

Attention 2. The parameters set in the dandelion (the sewn focus and aperture values) practically do not affect the operation of focus confirmation, but affect the measurement exposure.

Where to buy?

An adapter for lenses with a M42 mounting thread can be mounted on Canon EOS digital cutting cameras buy from this link.

Super-Takumar 1: 1.4 / 50 Asahi Opt. Co. Lens made in japan

Super-Takumar 1: 1.4 / 50 Lens Asahi Opt. Co. Lens made in Japan. The lens is shown on a digital SLR camera. Canon EOS Digital Rebel XSi. Attaching the lens to the camera using M42-Canon EOS adapter without chip.

Lens with a thread mount can be attributed a very, very many lenses. For example, the Helios-44m-X family of lenses, some of the Jupiter lenses, some of the Industar lenses and others. A striking example is the Helios-44m-2 and Industar-50-2 lenses.


KALIMAR MC 50mm K-90 AUTO 1: 1.7 COATED. The lens is shown on a digital SLR camera. Canon EOS Digital Rebel XSi. Attaching the lens to the camera using adapter PENTAX K - CANON EOS.

For a lens with N mount, you will need to use an adapter Nikon mount F - Canon EOS. Yes, the N mount is the same as the Nikon system. Similarly, there is an adapter with and without dandelion. The most popular lenses with N mount: Helios-81N, MS Zenitar-N, MS Mir-47N, Mir-20N, MS Mir-24N, Kaleinar-5N, Tele-N, MS Granit-11N. Usually they have the letter “H” at the end of the name. You can read more about this adapter. here.

Soviet lens

Soviet Helios-44m-5 MS lens on a Canon EOS camera 350D Digital Attaching the lens to the camera using M42-Canon EOS adapter without chip.

For lenses with M39 thread, use the M39-EOS adapter or two M39-M42 and M42 adapters - Canon EOS (picture below).

Pay attentionthat lenses with M39 thread are available from two types of cameras - SLR and mirrorless. For normal operation on the Canon system, only lenses from SLR cameras with M39 thread are suitable, for example, such as Helios-44, white jupiter-9. Lenses from rangefinder cameras can only be used in macro mode, in more detail here.

Examples of M39 mount lenses

  1. Jupiter-9 85mm f2.0 (mirror version)
  2. Jupiter-11 135mm F4.0 (mirror version)
  3. Mir-1 37mm F2.8 (mirror version)
  4. Telemar-22 200mm F5.6 (mirror version)
  5. Industar-26m 50mm F2.8 P (rangefinder option)
  6. Jupiter-8 50mm F2.0 (m39, white, rangefinder)
  7. Jupiter-8 50mm F2.0 P (m39, white, rangefinder)
  8. Industar-26m 50mm F2.8 P rangefinder
  9. I-26m 52mm F2.8 rangefinder
  10. Industar-22 50mm F3,5 P rangefinder
Two adapters M39-M42 and M42 - Canon EOS without a chip

Two adapters M39-M42 and M42 - Canon EOS without chip

Lenses from Kiev-10, Kiev-15 "AUTOMAT"

Lenses marked “Automatic” from the Kiev-10 and Kiev-15 cameras cannot be used on modern central control centers, since the lenses have a very short focal distance. I have not met adapters, it will be difficult to re-sharpen, too.

Attention 3. When using lenses from rangefinder cameras under M39 on the Canon system, the ability to focus at infinity will be lost, and indeed, the focus limit will be in a few centimeters. This is due to the different working segments of the native optics and mirrorless. More details are written in the article. Soviet optics on Nikon.

For lenses with “B” mount, from medium format, you need an adapter Pentacon Six (Kiev-60) - Canon EOS. Bayonet B is exactly the same as the Pentacon Six, which is available in Kiev-60 medium format cameras. If the Pentacon Six - Canon EOS adapter is difficult to find, then you can use two adapters - Pentacon Six-M42 and M42-Canon EOS. B-mount lenses include Vega-12B, Jupiter-36B, Carl Zeiss Jena Sonnar 2.8 / 180 Pentacon Six.

For B-mount lenses, from medium format, you need to use two adapters Kiev 88 / Salute on Pentakon six + Pentacon Six (Kiev-60) - Canon EOS... Pentacon SIX also called P6 and Pentacon 6.

Attention 4. Mount C and B - two different mounts. People often confuse them. Be careful when choosing a lens.

Soviet lens

Soviet Mir-1 lens on a Canon EOS camera

And there are also very interesting interchangeable shank CCCP lenses. Typically, lenses are indicated with the letter “A” at the end of the name. This means that the back of the lens can be changed. You can install, for example, a shank with M42 thread, or with a fastener H, which one is needed. The shank is usually fastened with three locking screws, which are very easy to unscrew and then tighten back. Such lenses include, for example, the legendary Jupiter-37A. To use a Canon camera on a lens, you should install two KP-A \ 42 + M42 adapters - Canon EOS. Well, or absolutely with a perversion of KP-A \ H + Nikon mount F - Canon EOS.

Soviet lens

Soviet lens Industar-22 P

And so, we installed the old lens on the camera - what to do next? When using Soviet optics on Canon cameras, you should always rememberThat:

1. Auto focus will not on no Canon camera, even on the coolest Canon EOS 1DX. You will have to focus manually. Without a focus confirmation chip, it is very, very difficult to focus on sharpness, especially with open apertures. I advise you to immediately get a dandelion (chip).
2. A number of cameras have a mode live view - it will help to get into focus. Even if a dandelion is installed on the lens, the number of successful frames using focusing using Live View is much higher. It is very convenient to scale images on Live View for even more precise focusing.
3. Some lenses require refinement of the aperture control method. This usually comes down to blocking the blinking diaphragm mechanism so that the diaphragm can be controlled manually.

What is the penalty when using old lenses, new ones are much better, faster, etc. Here is a short answer:

1. Almost everything Soviet lenses suitable for full frame cameras. As you know, lenses for FF are much more expensive. So when changing crop to full frame, you will have a working lens and full frame. And you can also find medium format lenses that won't even give vignetting on the FF.
2. Lenses cheap. Of course, the issue is debatable, but the simple Helios-44m-2 is worth a mere penny, can be found for $ 10, and it gives a very good picture. For little money you can get a fast lens. But due to the boom in Soviet optics, for example, the price of Helios-40-2 reaches 1000 cu
3. Old lenses, when used properly, really give excellent picture resultGet accustomed to many useful photographic things. And for the sake of beautiful photography, all cameras and people work.

Two Soviet lenses

Two Soviet lenses shot from a Zenith camera

What can you start with from old lenses?

I am often asked what can be taken from the old Soviet optics on Canon, there is no definite answer, since each lens has its own purpose. Coming from the price / quality parameters, I recommend the following lenses:

  1. Helios-44 or any other modification of it. On APS-C cameras, Canon will work like a great portrait. The lens has excellent sharpness, high aperture and the legendary twisted bokeh. I recommend Helios-44 or any Helios-44M-X as the first Soviet lens on the Canon central shuttle.
  2. Industar-50 - just a good sharp fifty, probably the cheapest and most accessible Soviet lens and at the same time interesting to use.
  3. Jupiter 9 (any version of it). Wonderful portraiture and full frame and crop.
  4. Jupiter-37A. Wonderful portraiture. Easy to find. Canon’s APS-C is not very handy.
  5. Jupiter-21A or his brother Jupiter-21M. Great TV. Allows you to reach the deleted items.
  6. Vega-12B. Great portraiture.
  7. Granite-11N (Zoom Arsat 80-200). Zoom telephoto. Comfortable in using. Easy to find.
  8. Kaleinar-5N. Very sharp short telephoto.
  9. Industar-61 LZ. Very sharp fifty dollars, convenient for shooting small objects when using macro rings can provide excellent macro. One of the best lenses of the Soviet Union.
  10. Zenitar-M 50mm F1.7good sharp fifty dollars
  11. MS Helios-77m-4 or his brother MS Helios-77m
  12. Wave-3 80mm F2.8 MS great portrait


On modern Canon digital SLR cameras, you can easily use the old Soviet lenses, as well as any other old manual lenses. More often than not, one adapter is enough to mount the lens on a Canon camera.

Thank you for attention. Arkady Shapoval.

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Comments: 680, on the topic: Old manual lenses for Canon (including Soviet lenses)

  • The

    Take note, thanks for the info!

  • Vladimir

    Tell me. I fell into the hands of the Tair 3 fs lens. I would like to use it with Canon. But it’s kind of weird. M 42 is not suitable. I have three owl lenses, I had no problems before. What kind of tricky adapter is needed, or do it yourself?

    • Arkady Shapoval

      Most likely this is a variant of the Tair-3A lens with a KP-A \ N shank. The adapter needs Nikon \ Canon EOS

  • Vladimir

    Thank you. For a quick and informative answer. I looked and there is KP-A / N. I will look for an adapter.

  • SONY

    “Bayonet with M42 bore” and “bayonet with M39 bore” are like “LED with filament”. Bayonet and thread are different types of detachable connections.

    • Arkady Shapoval

      I would be grateful if you write as correct.

      • SONY

        It is very simple, to install an old Soviet lens on a Canon camera, you need to find out what mount the lens is designed for. Basically, there are not so many types of fastenings, these are the good old M42 thread, N mount and M39 thread.

        • Arkady Shapoval

          Thank you, I made changes to the article, now everything is more correct.

        • Oleg

          you will laugh, but in the old photo literature there are the concepts of “threaded bayonet” - m39 and m42, respectively, and “bayonet mount” - what today is actually called a bayonet ... who knows what is right from the start?
          but I did, I went for a walk ... and not argue about concepts. :)))
          Thanks to the author, the article is excellent.

          • Alex6

            Bayonet - for viznachennyam - nerіzbove z'єdnannya.

  • Sergei

    Hello Arkady, I bought MIR-10A and TAIR 11A photo lenses in excellent condition for the occasion. While I use them on Zenith-ET film. I want to buy a digital SLR. Which model is better to get so that you can use the above lenses?

    • Arkady Shapoval

      Very few initial requirements for good advice. Personally, I could use on any DSLR from Kenon or Nikon.

  • Dmitriy

    Arkady, this article says why autofocus does not depend on the aperture value sewn into a dandelion.

    and here is a brief summary of what it takes to focus without Liveview and for sure.

    I hope the information will be useful.

    I’m waiting and reading your articles. But this article would not be complete without this information ..

    • Arkady Shapoval

      Thanks for the information. I did not use the focusing screen, and therefore I can not write.

  • Catherine

    I want to screw Helios 44-M-4 to the Canon 350d! I realized that an M-42 adapter with a chip is needed, but many people write that the adapter must be with a lens, because without a lens, focusing at long distances is impossible ... is that so? thanks in advance))

    • Arkady Shapoval

      On Kenon, you can use an adapter without a lens, for Nikon you need a lens.

  • Catherine

    thanks)) now I’ll look around the city)) by the way, don’t you tell me, is it better to use an adapter from metal or plastic? certainly does not inspire much confidence ((

    • Arkady Shapoval

      It so happened to me that there have always been metal adapters, there has never been a failure when using them.

  • Catherine

    thank you very much))

  • Rostislav

    Good day! Please tell me how to correctly determine the correction value for the focus confirmation system, which is entered in the EMF chip? (When focusing on an object, a focus confirmation signal is given with a slight defocus, i.e. a small correction is needed). As I understand it, this should be performed at the maximum aperture, but at what optimal distance? Does anyone have experience with this system alignment? (I have a bunch of EOS 550D + adapter EMF + lens Tair 11). Thanks in advance for your attention and answers.

  • Igor

    Tell me how to connect lenses Jupiter 36B, ms Vega28B and Canon EOS1100d

    • Arkady Shapoval

      Through adapter Pentacon SIX - Canon EOS



    • Arkady Shapoval

      Using an adapter Pentacon SIX - CANON EOS, if it is difficult to find one, you can use two adapters Pentacon SIX / M42 + M42-Canon EOS

  • anonym

    in the hands of the world-1 2.8 / 37 machine whether it can be put on canon 60d

    • Arkady Shapoval

      You can if you find the adapter from Kiev-15.

  • alex

    that is not quite real?

    • Arkady Shapoval

      Pretty hard.

  • anonym

    tell me how to put MIR 3 on the canon 1100d

  • ????????

    tell me how to put MIR 3 on the canon 1100D

    • Arkady Shapoval

      Pay attention to the section “For B-mount Lenses”, everything is written there.

  • Patzyk

    help please: how to fasten jupiter 8 to the canon

    • Arkady Shapoval

      Jupiter-8 from the rangefinder camera. It will not work normally for Kenon. Install using two adapters M39-M42 + M42-Kenon EOS.

  • Patzyk

    why won't it work fine? Explain please.

    • Arkady Shapoval

      Because it is a lens from rangefinder cameras for M39 landing thread. Everything else is written in the article.

  • R'RёS,R ° F "RёR№

    Here is the link on a lens mount Soligor or Vivitar 85-200.
    Please tell me which adapter is needed to put it on the Canon 350D? And what good or bad can you say about this lens?
    Thank you in advance.

    • Arkady Shapoval

      As far as you can see, this is a Nikon F mount, for installation on a Canon you need a regular Nikon mount F adapter - Canon EOS

  • R'RёS,R ° F "RёR№

    Thanks for the quick reply)) It just hit me that the photo shows letters on the M / MD mount and I thought maybe this is Minolta?

    • Arkady Shapoval

      In fact - maybe, I can't say for sure.

  • R'RёS,R ° F "RёR№

    I am now looking at the Nikon F adapter on the canon and I can’t understand what it means? (This is an adapter with a dandelion)
    EXIF is fixed 50mm f1.4

  • R'RёS,R ° F "RёR№

    Oyy ... Well, can you tell me where or how to find out exactly?

    • Arkady Shapoval

      Check with the owner. Just take a close look at the mounts - that's all.

  • R'RёS,R ° F "RёR№

    It's just that now there is no way to inspect, and I don’t know the difference how to understand where which mount is ...

  • Maria

    Guys, tell me, please, which adapter do I need? (I’m not very good at all this) Canon eos 1100 D camera, and Helios 81 lens.

    • Arkady Shapoval

      Need Nikon F - Canon EOS. It is best to take an adapter called Nikon - Canon (AF)

  • Beyond

    lenses such as
    Jupiter 9
    Jupiter 11
    Jupiter 12
    please tell me what adapters are needed to install them on canon 1100D

    • Arkady Shapoval

      Please just read the article, everything is written there. I can’t say anything, since lenses can have different mounting threads, etc., since they were available in different versions. Basically, they all need the M42-Canon EOS.

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Copyright © Radojuva.com. Blog author - Photographer in Kiev Arkady Shapoval. 2009-2023

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