M42-Nikon Correction Lens Adapter

Due to the different working lengths that are used for optics with M42 and M39 mounting threads (SLR) and for optics with Nikon F mount, there is a difficulty in using M42 / M39 optics when mounted on Nikon cameras. The difficulty is that with such lenses it is impossible to achieve infinity focus on Nikon cameras.

War for infinity

War for infinity

If you use the usual M42-Nikon adapter (also called KP-42 \ N) mounted on the M42 lens, you won’t be able to focus on distant objects using Nikon cameras. For example, using an M42-Nikon adapter without a lens with a lens Helios-40-2 1.5/85, you can focus a maximum of 1.5 meters from the camera. To overcome this incompatibility and make working with old optics more convenient on Nikon cameras, there is a special corrective lens adapter. The diopter power of the lens allows you to focus on infinity.

Differences between the two adapters. On the left - without a lens, on the right - with a lens

Differences between the two adapters. Left - without lens, right - with lens

Every lens in the optical design, even the ND filter on the front lens, can adversely affect the very image quality that the lens creates. The question 'how much does a lens affect image quality' is an important one.

An adapter with a lens was provided to me by Andrey Kuryanov. My adapter not only has a corrective lens, but also Dandelion Lushnikova.

The adapter I used for this article

The adapter I used for this article

I used this adapter for testing on 3 lenses:

  1. Helios-44-2 58 mm F2.0 M42
  2. Industar-50-2 50 mm F3.5 M42
  3. Industar-50 50 mm F3,5 P M39 rangefinder

This is how the adapter with a lens on the Helios-44-2 2/58 lens looks like:

Adapter with lens and chip on Helios-44-2

Adapter with lens and chip on Helios-44-2

I conducted a test for the deterioration in image quality that lenses give when using an adapter with a lens. During the test, I used a tripod, a camera Nikon D700trigger cable Nikon MC-30. Pictures were taken in manual camera control at the same shutter speeds, aperture values, and at the same ISO sensitivity. Focusing was carried out using Live View in the central region with maximum magnification. Three shots were taken, the best result was selected. Filmed in JPEG L, Fine, SD mode.

Crop, 1 to 1 (720 * 480), adapter with lens:

Helios-44-2 with a lens

Helios-44-2 with a lens

Without a lens:

Helios-44-2 without a lens

Helios-44-2 without a lens

It can be seen that the picture with the lens is less sharp than the picture without the lens.

Industar-50-2 using a lens adapter

Industar-50-2 with lens adapter

The same with the Industar-50-2 lens:

Industar-50-2 with a lens

Industar-50-2 with a lens

Without a lens:

Industar-50-2 without lens

Industar-50-2 without lens

In the case of Industar-5-2, the difference is less noticeable. From this we can draw some conclusions:

  • The larger the lens aperture - the more the lens will affect the image quality.
  • On closed apertures, or when using low-aperture lenses, it is difficult to distinguish loss in quality by eye
  • Using a lens reduces the viewing angle of the lens, roughly speaking, slightly changes the real effective focal length.
  • A corrective lens is completely useless when used with rangefinder optics. By and large, it does not change anything, and you can still focus on the rangefinder lens only in macro mode, this was confirmed by the use of such a lens on the Industar-50 P. lens

By the way, buy any adapters with Lushnikov Dandelion for Nikon, Canon, Olympus 4/3 and Dandelions without adapters, buy from the only official representative of the inventor of Dandelion, Viktor Lushnikov in Ukraine - Andrey Kuryanov. Andrey’s page on Lushnikov’s website: http://filmprocess.ru/oduvanchik/ukr.htm write that you came from Radozhiva. You can also buy manual lenses for Canon, Nikon, Olympus cameras from Andrey. In addition to all of the above, Andrey refines lenses for Nikon cameras (with Nikon F mount) and installs Dandelion on them, you get a lens completely ready for use. Andrey is also making the finalization of the adapter so that the lens can be screwed up to infinity and programs Dandelion immediately for any focal parameters and the entire range of required aperture values, the adapters he sells are always of the same quality, since they are taken from the same manufacturer. By the way, there is no locking screw in these adapters either, he drills the hole himself and glues the locking screw

Personal experience

I don't like lens adapters. Of course, lenses are of different production, different enlightenment. How to distinguish a cheap Chinese lens from a better quality one - I don't know. Also, it is difficult for me to say how much the lens enlightenment will help correct the situation with the loss of quality. Many lens adapters have very strong flaw - when they are mounted on certain lenses, the rear lens of the objective rests against the corrective lens and does not allow focusing to infinity. My copy of the adapter made it possible to focus to infinity without any problems using such a 'problem' lens as the Helios-44-2.

If you really want to use old optics with M42 threads, enjoy its vintage quality and other advantages, then the best way would be to use it on another system, for example, Canon, Pentax, Sony Nex, etc. If it is very important to work on Nikon cameras, then you can hand over the lens to the master for revision or redo yourself. Many lenses can be forced to focus on infinity without problems, while others require laborious refinement.

Conclusions:

An adapter with a lens allows focusing to infinity when using optics with a M42-Nikon landing thread, but it can be image quality is degraded. You will find a lot of useful information on working with old lenses on Nikon cameras. here.

Where to buy?

It's the easiest way to buy such an adapter nowadays on Aliexpress: with a chip without a lens here, with lens and chip here.

Comments on this post do not require registration. Anyone can leave a comment. For the selection of a variety of photographic equipment, I recommend E-Catalog, Socket и AliExpress.

Material prepared Arkady Shapoval... Look for me on Youtube | Facebook | VK | Instagram | Twitter.

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Comments: 119, on the topic: M42-Nikon adapter with corrective lens

  • Victor S.

    I can add my results with other lenses. But the point is not even in comparing quality, but in the possibility of using lenses.
    Jupiter-21M (200mm) - it seems to me that without a lens it is better not to try - the pusher of the diaphragm may rest against something. With the lens, everything is fine - the lens has a switch for manual iris control.
    Mir-1V (37mm) cannot be used with a lens - the rear part rests against the lens.
    For some reason, Zenitar-M2s turned out to be unsuitable at all - with or without a lens. Sharpness is impossible to achieve, although it is in the viewfinder.

  • @ f_e_d_2

    I'll add my conclusion :) When I wanted to shoot with Carl Zeiss 135 f3.5 (this is the one made from drawings stolen by the Germans - Jupiter 37 B)))) I realized that because of the pin, only an adapter with a lens is suitable for me. Comparing, I got absolutely the same sharpness in the center, but in the corners - the lens made the “drawing soft and plastic” :)))

    • @ f_e_d_2

      and add that the lens added a little focal length

  • SERG

    Greetings. I have a Nikon d200 camera, there is a 20m world lens (there is an a / m switch). I wanted to use it for landscapes. I do not need Lushnikov's dandelion. The question is whether a lens is needed,

    • B. R. P.

      Without a landscape lens, it will not work.

  • Anatoly

    Pidskazhіt, be affectionate, who can beat Sonnar pid Nikon, is it possible, then what can be done?

    • Rodion

      This is a very valuable lens. It must be adapted carefully. Most likely, the entire shank will need to be replaced with a Nikon shank, while maintaining the diaphragm drive. Not the easiest task for the first time.

      • Anatoly

        Dyakuyu, zrozum_v ... more beautifully do not overwhelm

  • Anatoly

    Pidskazhіt, be affectionate, who can beat Sonnar pid Nikon, is it possible, then what can be done?

  • Gregory

    Thanks for the article, informative and visual. After looking at the photo, I finally decided that I needed to do without a lens.
    Today I received an adapter without a lens by mail and remade my Valdai 44-2, the year of production is 1985.
    Threw out the adjusting ring. I tightened the diaphragm setting ring a turn deeper.
    I removed some aluminum from the parts with a file that are clamped when trying to assemble the lens without an adjustment ring at all. And got an easy OVERRIDE FOR INFINITY. In general, without any operations to change the optical scheme.
    Now, one of these days I will deal with the elimination of the limit switch backlash, and then I will experiment with the manufacture of ultra-thin adjustment rings)))

  • Yaroslav

    I would go even further. Namely: since the lens can be easily removed from the adapter, I would try to find a replacement for it to be able to use rangefinder lenses with the L39 mount.

    It would be interesting if a diffusing eyeglass lens of the appropriate diopter could be used.

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