There are a lot of different M42 lenses on the market, and it can be tough to decide which one is best for your needs. In this comprehensive guide, we will take a look at 9 of the best M42 lenses available. We’ll discuss the pros and cons of each lens, so you can make an informed decision before purchasing!
If You Are In A Hurry, Here Are The Suggested M42 Lenses For You:
Top 9 Best M42 Lenses Reviewed
Buying Guide For The Best M42 Lenses
1. Exposure Issues
If your camera isn’t able to meter automatically with your lens then it may be hard to determine what optimal exposure will be if using manual mode. Some older lenses may not have the ability to transfer aperture information back to your camera. If you are using an aperture priority mode this will not be a problem, but if you are using manual exposure then it might be best to avoid ancient lenses with no aperture control.
2. Make sure your lens is compatible
Not all M42 lenses will work on every m43 camera! This is because of differences in sensor size, flange-back distance, and more issues that I am unaware of. Some people have successfully hacked together ways of making lenses work with different devices.
3. Lens Focal Length
M42 lenses are generally considered the best choice for APS-C-sized sensors, not full frame. The reason is that full-frame lenses still do not cover 35mm film, even after being reduced to APS-C size sensors. So if you have a Canon EF lens and want to use it on your m43 camera then you will end up with an ugly black ring around the edge of your photo! On the other hand, all FD or K mount lenses cover 35mm film without any major optical problems.
4. Quality Issues
The next problem with using old vintage lenses is that there are many lens manufacturers who produced bad glass in the past which couldn’t be sold today since they would be considered cheaply made. If you haven’t tried a lens before then it is best to spend a little extra money on a new, modern lens from well-known manufacturers such as Sigma or Tamron.
The last thing I would consider before buying M42 lenses is the price. Your mileage may vary, but many vintage lenses can easily cost 20 times more than a brand new full-frame compatible lens from a major manufacturer! On the other hand, there are some really nice deals out there if you look hard enough.
3 Benefits Of M42 Lenses
1. Fast Autofocus
Much cheaper ‘kit’ zooms can be very slow when trying to rack focus from one end of the zoom range to the other.
2. Optical Quality
Although not as sharp at their maximum aperture, prime lenses are still typically sharper than most zooms throughout the majority of their focal range and often produce superior color/contrast.
3. Low Light Performance
With an f/1.4 lens (which you will certainly won’t if you’re stuck with a crappy kit zoom), you can hand-hold your camera in much lower light conditions without having to worry about handshake or slow shutter speeds. This allows you to capture moments that would otherwise be lost because of poor focusing or a camera shake caused by a slower shutter speed.
Even though M42 lenses are getting more and more popular, it can still be hard to choose the best lens for your needs. We’ve compiled a list of our favorite 9 so you can find one that suits your photographic style. Which do you like most?