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)

  • Victoria

    Hello, can you please tell me the adapter ring MC Volna-3 2.8 / 80 on Canon?

  • Sergei

    Good day! Can I use a standard m-550 adapter with a chip on the Canon 42D? Or do I need a similar adapter like on the 650D?

    • Gregor

      But what does standard mean?
      standard chinese
      usually the manufacturer indicates compatibility with cameras
      I recommend taking new Chinese adapters with an EMF chip - they allow you to enter back / front focus correction.
      Good luck.

  • Vyacheslav

    Good afternoon ! Help solve the problem. The Tokina lens for the Olympus camera has been preserved for a long time. Lens without automation. I bought an adapter for this lens from “K&F Concept” for the Canon M10 camera at Aliexpress. Everything fit well. But the camera refuses to shoot, the aperture value F00 is displayed. Changing shooting modes did not work. Maybe someone knows how to solve the problem?

    • Toha

      Have you decided the question? I want to take an adapter on this camera myself, but there’s not enough information

      • B. R. P.

        Quote from a review of Canon eos m:

        “If you enable the release of the shutter without a lens in the menu, then any manual optics can be used with the camera, for which there is an adapter for the Canon EOS-M mount. You can magnify a selected area of ​​the image for precise focusing. Exposure metering and shooting in aperture priority mode are available with manual lenses. ”

  • Natalia

    Good day Arkady! My question is simple: will the helios -44m 2/58 lens cling to the canon 6D for infinity? Thank you in advance for your response

    • Vyacheslav

      I use Helios 44-3 on the six, nothing clings

  • Natalia

    I will add to the message above: there is an adapter with a chip!

  • Novel

    I'm trying to fasten Helios 44 to the Canon 5D (not Mark)
    I bought an M39-M42 adapter, on top of an M42-canon eos adapter.

    And I can’t screw in the lens !!! I combine the points, insert the lens, and then it does not scroll!
    Tell me why so ???

  • Lexaovo

    Thanks for a very useful article!

  • Anna

    Good day! Please tell me which adapters are needed for the Carl Zeiss Flektogon 4/50 lens on a Canon EF / EF-S camera

    • Arkady Shapoval

      Most likely Flektogon for M42 thread, then you need a perkheodnik M42-Canon EOS this.

    • B. R. P.

      Most likely, this Flektogon is medium format, with Pentacon Six. Broad-shouldered electric racers, as far as I know.

  • Irina

    Hello, Helios 44k-4 fell into my hands, which adapter to use for the camera Canon 1100D. You can find it in China, on the same. Aliexpress, for example. Thanks.

    • B. R. P.

      Pentax K to Canon adapter.

      • Irina

        Thank you!

    • Arkady Shapoval

      Good afternoon. Adapter Pentax K - Canon EOS, for example, this.

      • Irina

        Thank you!

      • Alexander

        Having bought a cheap Chinese adapter m42-Canon eos, I ran into a problem that no one talks about or comments on - the Helios 44M lens (others are similar) with the adapter becomes an information panel on Canon for “9 o'clock”, but should for “12 hours”, which is very it is inconvenient, especially setting the aperture manually ... I bought a used expensive brass chip adapter - the lens got up perfectly at “12 o'clock.” Sellers of cheap adapters try to get away from this topic - “.. what difference does it make how the lens got up…”. by the way, in the photo review one of the lenses also stands crookedly at “1 o'clock” with an information panel ... Having delved into the topic of adapters, I found that 80% -90% of adapters are “crooked”, set the lens at “3 o'clock,” at 4 o'clock. " , at “1 o'clock”, but not at “12 o'clock” ... Are the hands of the Chinese wrong?

  • Ani

    Hello. I want to buy a Soviet lens for the Canon EOS 50D. Does anyone have any experience using Soviet lenses on this camera? Which lens would you recommend? Thanks in advance.

    • Oleg

      Well, try the most common and inexpensive Helios-44-2. Jupiter-37a is not bad. In general, if you get a helicopter for inexpensive try it at the same time if you need it at all. Focusing is better through Live View with zoom enabled.

    • Oleg

      Well, in general, do not rush to chase some rare models and do not rush to overpay for them. Try a simple one, you will like the manual, it means yours, no means no.

    • Wdad

      You can always advise. No need to go far and spend money on adapters and optics separately. Our optics adapted to world brands are already sold to us. Here, for example: Zenith Zenith-C 85mm f / 1.4 lens https://market.yandex.ru/product–obektiv-zenit-zenitar-c-85mm-f-1-4/13047794?show-uid=15420126644172746456216002&nid=56195&track=product_card_also-viewed

  • anonym

    https://812photo.ru/katalog/dlya-vsekh-brendov/rings/koltsa-na-bajonet/ Here is a good selection of adapters

  • Julia

    Good day! Tell me, please, what are the necessary adapters? Canon D60 camera lenses:
    1. Carl Zeiss 180/2
    2. Jupiter9
    3. Vega 12b

  • Borja

    Today on the Internet market there are a lot of used lenses, very often at a “bad” price. Example - " https://www.olx.ua/uk/obyavlenie/obektiv-canon-ef-s-18-135mm-IDxtAig.html?sd=1#af29d14f83 ”How to determine if the objects are not broken when buying? What are the obvious damage to lenses? How can a non-professional check a lens?

    • Valery A.

      How can a non-professional check a lens? - Borya, you have not tried to google your question, incl. here? A broken lens is probably hard to miss, but the possible presence of front-back focus on your camera is worth checking out. To do this, it is enough to take a picture on an inclined plane, for example. a piece of paper on the ground in several. meters, on medium and long FR, on an open aperture. And on the screen, with a magnification (or better at home on the monitor), see if the depth of field has hit the given object, i.e. whether he is in the sharpness zone.

  • Mantrid

    Hello! Please tell me on 5D Mark3 an adapter for the Mir-3 3.5 / 65 lens which one is needed? I would be very grateful if you give a link to aliexpress !!!
    Thanks to everyone! Peace be with you!

  • Anatoly

    Good afternoon! I fell into the hands of Jupiter 36B, tell me how to put it on the Canon 1100D.?

    • Michael

      salute-m42 + m42-canon

  • Leonid

    Good afternoon. Tell me, if it's not a secret, on which website in China you can buy an adapter with a chip for a Helios-44 lens, with an M39 thread, on a Canon-7D. Thank you.

  • Andrei

    good evening! I want to try a manual wide-angle lens on the Canon 1Ds Mark III, please tell me interesting options!

  • anonym

    Hello. Tell me, a fix of 50mm 1: 1,5 Jupiter -3 from old Kiev can be installed on Kenon (crop 40D)? there are such adapters

    • Michael

      No, just a collective farm. And still, there will be no infinity, as with any rangefinder lens

  • Vladimir

    Good afternoon. Please tell me in this case: I purchased a used Canon 400d with an M42 adapter and a Helios 44m-4 2/58 lens. The adapter is not chip-based, as I learned from its operation and according to data from the Internet (the appearance of the chip contacts), but the question is this: the number of apertures does not change in any mode (with the Av button pressed and the rotation of the function wheel) - this is how it should be? The function wheel itself without pressing the Av button works normally in all modes, according to its functions. In exif, the photo writes f 1.4 50 mm, on the screen also f 1.4. As I understand it, for greater confidence in the operation of the device, you need to test it with a lens from canon and make sure that the carcass itself is working properly?

    • Arkady Shapoval

      It should be so. The chip is a certain trick that makes you think that the camera has a native 50 / 1,4. And all lens control is done manually, including the setting of the aperture.

      • Vladimir

        Thank you, Arkady.

  • Eugene

    Good afternoon, tell me which of the Soviet manual lenses are worth a try? Genre: portrait, landscape, macro, photography. Canon 750d 18-55 is stm camera If you can have 1-2 objects for each genre, so that it is easier to find on various kinds of flea markets. About modern budget glasses, please do not write.

    • Michael

      Jupiter -9 -37

      • Eugene

        Michael please explain what for what, given the fact that the camera is crop.

        • Michael

          Jupiters are portrait painters.
          The 3M-5SA is a super telephoto lens, theoretically you can try it or Rubinar for photography. If a large increase is not necessary, it is easier to take some thread 70-300 instead

    • B. R. P.

      For macro: Volna-9, Industar 61. For a portrait you can also Kaleinar-5N, Tair-11 (A).

  • Sergei

    Tell me adapter m42 with a chip on a Canon 6D works or not? I heard that it is with this model that there are problems.

  • Vadim

    Tell me, which of the Soviet lenses can be taken to replace the Canon 24-105 mm? In countries with high humidity, he periodically refuses to work (in his homeland, however, he quickly regains consciousness), but Soviet manuals without chips remove at least something. I didn’t see something similar from the review: they were entirely portraiturers or televisions. Can you tell me?

    • B. R. P.

      Among Soviet zooms - a rarity. From domestic Vario zenitar 25-45mm, perhaps.

      • Vadim

        Something about him not very reviews and the price is not sickly ... There are no other options?

        • B. R. P.

          Of the zooms, perhaps imported. From the Soviet - fixes-widths, but by 24mm. in my opinion no.

          • Vadim

            Well, you can and something instead of canon 18-135 mm or something else. Interested in some kind of universal zoom. Maybe you can advise something from imported manuals, but as usual at a reasonable price, it’s simple and reliable as a Kalashnikov assault rifle

          • Vadim


            • B. R. P.

              You will not find any Soviet or imported manual zooms under the crop. They were all calculated on film, that is, fullframe. There are old manuals like Soligor, Phoenix, Vivitar, etc. with focal lengths 18, 19 - 28, 35. Arkady has a review of Cosina 19-35 here, only it is autofocus, but there were manual analogues, for example, Soligor is the same (one the company made them under different names).

  • Anna

    Please tell me, on the carcass of a Canon EOS M10 system camera with a Canon EF-M mount, is it possible to fasten Helios 44 M optics (2.58)? what adapter is needed?
    Or maybe there are some other inexpensive options for lenses for macro or (micro?) Portrait shooting?
    thank you

    • B. R. P.

      Adapter М-42 - Canon EF-M. For macro: Wave-9, Industar 61 or the same Helios + macro rings. For a portrait, the most inexpensive Soviet ones are Jupiter-37A, Jupiter-9, Jupiter-11 and other Helios 44, 77th.

  • Vladimir

    Hello. Please tell me, from Soviet lenses, or from those produced in foreign countries up to the 90s, are there cheap manual wide-angle lenses for up to $ 20? I use canon EOS 400D with crop 1.6.

    • Novel

      Wide-angle optics have always been expensive, because of the retrofocusing scheme, you have to use a lot of glass, and in the USSR this was especially sad. Of the available ones since then, there have remained, perhaps, Mir-1V - 37 / 2.8 (but this is generally not a wide angle, especially on the crop) and Mir-20 - 20 / 3.5. I had a copy, I did not like it, even the 18 mm whale looked better. There were many different worlds, but nothing went into the series.

      Perhaps, only Mir-1V in not the best condition will fit into your sum. There were also Zenitars - fisheye for 16mm and 28 / 2.8, but there the prices are even higher. Actually, that's all. Dear Zeiss flectogons. Dear Tamrons. A wide angle is always an expensive pleasure, only high-aperture TVs are more expensive.

      • Vladimir

        Roman, thank you for the detailed answer. I have canon 18-55 is stm; after some shootings in wonderful conditions, I was convinced that all the same, whale optics is good for everyday photos of the home archive of non-selective users. In comparison with Helios 44 m 4 2/58, the whale from kenon loses noticeably in sharpness. This is in confirmation of all the reviews and tests that were carried out a lot of time before my attempts))

        • Novel

          Well I do not know. I would not say that whale glass is so inferior in sharpness and convenience. In any case, at a wide angle, you are unlikely to find an inexpensive equivalent to it. Hole 8, polar, tripod and some post-processing - and you will get very, very good landscapes. At 55mm, even at 5.6 aperture, you can get pretty decent blur if you take it right.

          I started with 18-55 DC III. Then there was a period when I did not use this range of focal lengths, 10-18 and 55-250 were enough for me to travel. 17-55 / 2.8 forced to return to them again, and the main advantage was the presence of a stabilizer and a faster focus. And the lion's share of the increase in the quality of photographs is provided by a lot of experience, and not by technology. 18-55 IS STM lacks many of the drawbacks of its predecessor. This is a good lens for shooting videos, a good landscape, compact (my wife on the 200D has the latest version, with an aperture of 4-5.6, but even smaller in size). https://im.ezgif.com/tmp/ezgif-1-b1f68441fee0.jpg - that's just filmed on her lens, it's a sin to complain about the sharpness. With Helios, I would get bored, to be honest, focusing takes a very long time, which is better spent on the composition of the frame or the light.

    • zengarden

      It makes sense to use Soviet wide-angle only on full-frame optics.
      As Roman already mentioned, this is Mir 20M / N or Mir-1, only NOT "B" (it is very mediocre), but simply Mir-1 or Mir-1A (but it is extremely rare and expensive).
      On a crop, whale optics for a wide angle are better. And good widths are many times more expensive ...

  • Mtway

    Is there any chance that I will break my camera if I put the adapter bought by reference (China)? Canon EOS 750D camera, I want to attach a Helios 44-2 lens to it.

    • anonym

      No problem there can be with a full-frame camera there, a mirror can cling to the rear lens on some older lenses. Crop has no such problem, the mirror is smaller in size. And the adapter will still be Chinese even if you buy it in Russia

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

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