Getting the Most out of an M42 Wide Angle Camera Lens

When it comes to filling your frame entirely with your subject, there is no better option than a wide angle lens. These lenses are for when you like to get up close and personal or when you want to take breathtaking photographs that span from corner to corner. One option for wide angle lenses is an M42 lens, and you can find a variety of M42 wide angle lenses, as well as adapters to connect a zoom or prime lens to the mount.

What Is an M42 Lens?

M42 is not a company; rather, it is a standard of lens mount. An M42 lens is a lens that you can screw into the M42 lens mount thread.

  • This lens mount has an external diameter of 42mm and an inner diameter of 41mm.
  • More precisely, this lens mount is known as the M42 x 1mm standard, because it has a 1mm thread pitch.
  • There are many different cameras produced for the M42 mount. These include the Zenit line of SLRs, some Praktica, some Pentax models, the Zeiss Ikon Icarex TM and SL-706, and the Voigtlander Bessaflex TM.

Which M42 Lens Should I Get?

There are many wide angle lenses that fit together with this lens mount.

  • One popular model is the Carl Zeiss Jena Flektogon wide angle lens. This 20mm option has an incredibly wide angle of view, as well as a very short focus distance. It also produces minimal distortion, making it suitable for both photography and videography.
  • Another option is the Phoenix 19-35mm. This is a zoom lens with a focal range that stretches from 19mm to 35mm. This is an autofocus lens ideal for both macro shots and landscape photography.

Can I Use a Wide Angle M42 Lens on a Different Body?

Because of the simplicity of this lens mount, there are many lens adapters that exist for many modern and obsolete lenses.

  • An adapter fits between the camera body and the lens itself, allowing lenses with the M42 mount to screw onto a camera body that was not designed with this in mind, for example, a Canon EOS body or one of the many Nikon DSLRs available on the market.
  • M42 adapters work with a body that has a flange depth equal to, or less than, the flange depth of the lens. Lenses that fit this description include the Canon EF-mount, the Sony A-mount, and the Pentax K-mount.