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)

  • Lana

    Hello, can you tell me how to achieve sharpness at an open aperture? I use Canon 350D + Helios 44-2 with a chip adapter, but many frames are not clear ...

    • Lynx

      1. close the diaphragm.
      2. learn to fall into sharpness.
      3. buy a lens that is sharp on the open.

    • Gregor

      4. Buy a programmable adapter with the ability to adjust the front / back focus

    • Gregor

      5. Starting with the 500D, you can also advise to install the ML firmware, regarding focusing there is a function similar to pentax focus catch - simply called focus trap, this is when the camera itself makes a descent when an object gets into focus, and the function is similar to mirrorless cameras - it seems called focus strip, this is when in live mode the edges of the object in focus are marked with stripes.

  • Igor

    Hello, I purchased an M42-EOS adapter ring with an AF III chip, a CANON 650D camera, a HELIOS-44-2 lens. Having read the tips and seen a video on this topic, I realized that this camera has a ring with the 3rd version of the firmware, wrote it out and just in case, without a chip at all. It works without a chip, although in my opinion a large percentage of defects, and today a programmable adapter has come, and nothing comes of it at all, asks to update the lens firmware. What can be done?

    • Dmitry

      Starting with your model, you need newer versions of the chips. You have an old chip.

      • Igor

        I saw such in the online store, 200 rubles more expensive than mine, can this be?

  • Margot

    Hey. what helios can be bought for kenon 600 d and what adapter is needed. many opinions, but I can not understand

    • Igor

      Under the seller’s guarantee, we’ll fit mine, depending on where you live, you can measure

    • Alexey

      what's the point in buying helios for crop?
      crop cuts off all the prettiness and torsion :)

    • Oleg

      I think that the meaning of the purchase is still there. Geliki are not expensive and for ridiculous money you will have a fifty dollars, which on crop can serve as a portrait. I use the usual Helios-44-2. The adapter is not a chipovanny ordinary canon EOS-M42. Here are some examples of photos without processing

      • Margot

        I have fifty dollars. I want to try the manual) the colors are too good

    • Margot

      I live in Ukraine. If you, too, waiting for suggestions)))) thanks for the answer

    • BB

      Take the portrait-legend of Jupiter 37a (135mm / 3.5)

      Adapter - depending on the shank.

      • Margot

        Jupiter 37 And I found one. And where to get the adapter. ? and tell me its functionality in translation to modern lenses. It will be more clear to me) thanks

        • Oleg

          adapters you order in online stores. The lens is a large portraiture or short telephoto, as it is called. You can shoot portraits on the street, the room will be crowded. Arkady has his review. Here is an example from it:

        • Dmitry

          Jupiter37a needs an M42-EOS adapter, preferably with a chip.
          Jupiter has a focal length of 135mm, aperture ratio 1: 3.5.

          From the helios to Kenon, the best options are available - MC Helios 44m-6, MC Helios 77m-4.
          Worse, but with the ability to manually change the aperture (for example, when shooting a video), this is any of the Helios 44-2. M42-EOS adapter with a chip.

    • Nicholas

      I advise regular Helios 44-2, for me all sorts of mc (multi-enlightenment) is complete garbage, and in poor lighting on newer helios it only spoils the picture.

  • Oleg


  • Oleg


  • Margot

    Thank you so much)

  • Marina

    Hello, please tell me, I have a canon 650D, and Jupiter is 11
    Which adapter should I buy? And are there any such adapters at all.
    Thank you in advance!

  • Sergei

    And it’s generally strange for me. With a chip, it hangs without a chip at all writes err 01. I have a canon 1Ds markII.
    Moreover, everything is ok on the canon 600D.

  • Nina

    Please tell me which zenith to pick up for canon 1200d? Or is helios better? Need a lens for blurry photos. Thanks a lot)

    • BB

      You can put a huge number of Soviet lenses on your device through a simple adapter.

      The answer to your question is here: https://radojuva.com.ua/2012/01/dof-best-lens-photo/

      Anyway, read the section 'About photography' https://radojuva.com.ua/o-fotografii/, before asking questions, and 90% of the questions will disappear, because the answers are already there.

      And our people do not like to read, they immediately write, submit the answer on a silver platter, there are so many bukaffs ...

  • Pacman

    By the way, a list of optics with a N mount was already published previously. When installing such lenses on Nikon there will be no problems, but to install on Canon, you will need an adapter.

  • Alexander P.

    Please tell me which adapter M42 is suitable for Canon 7D Mark2? With or without a chip? I became interested in stores, they answer that it is only necessary without a chip. Helios 44M-7 lens. Thank you.

  • Lara

    consult, pzhl: on the Pentacon Prakticar 1.8 / 50 Bayonet B, you can find an adapter for the canon 5d (first step), screwed it up with the chip through the adapter, apparently not the one, there is confirmation of the focus, but slightly touched the mirror.

    • Gregor

      Are you sure the thing is the adapter?

  • Viktoriya

    Hello, tell me which adapter ring you need for the lens * JCPenney MC 80-200 mm f / 3.9 * on the Canon 600D. I would be grateful for any information. Thanks a lot!

  • Igor

    He was engaged in photography back in Soviet times. There are 4 lenses left: Helios 44-4, Volna-9 (macro), Jupiter-9 and a standard lens from Praktika. For quite a long time I shot with a well-cropped Olympus, now on the occasion I bought a 550 Canon with two good lenses. I also tried lenses with M42. I liked the drawings. The caught “dandelion” lies godlessly. At an aperture of 8, normal images are obtained when sighting through the viewfinder. And so you have to use Live View, but it's not always convenient. Therefore, I made a conclusion for myself: old lenses are good for leisurely work, when there is an opportunity to duplicate a frame: portrait, landscape, still life. It is difficult to use them in reportage photography.

  • Evgenij

    m42-nikon adapter (or canon) can be bought here http://olx.ua/list/user/Bewr/

  • Michael

    Hello, Arkady.
    First of all, thanks for such a lot of work. A few days ago I discovered your site, I read it with enthusiasm.
    And now the actual question. Since Soviet times, I still have such lenses as Industar 22, Industar 50-2 and Helios 81 N. There is an idea to buy a Canon 100D camera (compact and not very expensive) to use with these lenses. Mechanically, I understand how to install them, but I still haven't figured out the problem of chips on adapters (I read all the cross-references). In general, I thought to use purely mechanical adapters without any obtrusive chips, and naively believed that in the aperture priority mode the carcass does not care what aperture is set on the lens, because, according to my Soviet logic, it should simply measure the incoming light flux ... But as I understood from the articles, this is not entirely true, and in addition to measuring what has flown into it, the carcass also applies some coefficients, as far as I understood due to the fact that I naively believes that it measures on an open hole, and at the moment shooting will command the lens to close to the desired value. This is true? In other words, I would like to better formulate what kind of rake I get by buying the specified camera for the specified lenses and installing them through chipless adapters. Thank you in advance

    • Oleg

      If industrial-22 is from a rangefinder camera, then it’s better not to risk there is a chance to hit the mirror. With industrial
      50-2 and there will be no problems. Personally, I don’t bother with chip adapters, I focus through Love View plus the magnifying glass function. Exposure can also be set manually in manual mode. Shoot yourself. I think the canon 100d is for today the best camera from kenon in the ratio of price and quality. In general, kenon is very convenient if you want to indulge in old Soviet optics.

  • anonym

    Tell me a canon 600d - I bought a helios44m - and when shooting a video it constantly flashes on the screen - check if the lens is installed - press the video activation button. - is this how it should be? or something is wrong? thanks

    • Oleg

      I think there’s nothing wrong, I used it more than once. There are simply no contacts on the lenses and the camera will not recognize them. Press activation and shoot in manual mode. But Nikon has problems with this.

  • UOL

    I’m talking about the photo “Soviet lens Industar-22P”. :) Do you feel sorry for the mirror at the carcass? I don’t know how to measure the permissible “entrance” of the lens shank inside the camera, but I would not risk it by trial.

  • Ilya

    Good day to all
    I have such a problem, I bought Vivitar telephoto 135 / 3.5 No. from ebay 19xxxx m42.
    The canon system, by twisting the adapter with the Skirt, further than one and a half turns on the thread The adapter does not go, I tried without the skirt The adapter is the same nonsense. And I want infinity) Please tell me solutions to this problem)
    Used the cheapest, siluminovye adapters

    • Jury

      looks like a different thread pitch

      • Ilya

        Maybe you are right
        Possible option with a bad adapter? Maybe order an aluminum?))
        I have not reached the zenith yet - I assume that I can develop it using the twist-twist method

        • Jury

          I haven’t come across such adapters, I won’t tell you which one to buy, just the symptoms are similar to inconsistencies in the thread pitch, drive into Google “thread pitch in the adapter ... ..” and read, maybe someone has already described this problem

    • Rodion

      Oh, got it. The fact is that there, most likely, a T-2 thread.

  • Igor

    Who knows, why when installing Helios with an adapter without a chip on the Kenon 600d, in all modes the aperture is 0, and does not change with the wheel, what’s wrong? The camera does not recognize it.

    • Oleg

      And you only install the diaphragm with the handles. This is a manual lens. The camera can only guess the shutter speed in aperture priority mode.

    • Oleg

      Well, and in general manual mode M. I do not remember how the camera behaves in the priority of the aperture

    • Gregor

      The diaphragm does not change with the wheel because the adapter without a chip

  • Igor

    the camera is in M ​​mode, the shutter speed changes, and the aperture shows 0.00 and does not change, while the shutter does not work

  • Jury

    Hello ! Tell me please . There are two Mir-1 2.8 / 37 and Jupiter-9 2/85 lenses, in this state. Is it possible to reanimate them? Regards, Yuri .

  • Valentine

    Good afternoon! Is it possible to install the Soviet Industar 10 lens on a Canon EOS M61 hybrid? And what adapter is needed? thanks

  • Ivan

    Please tell me if anyone came across ..
    Is it possible to send old Soviet lenses (older than 50 years) abroad?
    Does this fall under the ban on the export of cultural property, etc.? ?
    For example, some Jupiter in 1962, it is older than 50 years
    Thank you!

    • Yarkiya

      Rather, you will be fined for transporting trash abroad. :)

      • Gregor


    • Alexander

      Ivan, special thanks for the “cultural values”! I haven't laughed like that for a long time ...

  • Michael Piora

    VERY INTERESTING! Very useful! It is necessary right now. We will definitely use it!

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