Best m42 camera to use with soviet lenses?

Discussion in '35mm Cameras and Accessories' started by noeru, Nov 22, 2018.

  1. noeru

    noeru Member

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    Hello all!
    I'm on the search for an m42 camera to use my soviet lenses with - I've been using them on my Pentax ME Super with an adaptor (with no infinity focus) but seeing how much I use and love them I thought it'd be worth making a switch.

    I'd like auto exposure with aperture priority with no need for stop metering and fiddling with buttons. I know this will cause many an eyeroll haha, but dealing with metering and knobs and dials is extremely stressful to me and I'd like to just focus on my subjects when shooting.

    I decided on a Pentax ES II but it seems auto exposure on these only works with Takumar lenses? I actually got one and the thing didn't work when it arrived so I still don't know how it combines with a Helios 44-4 and a Mir 1b. If auto exposure doesn't work on this, it's a very poor choice indeed seeing as you're limited to 5 mechanical speeds...

    Any advice much appreciated!
     
  2. Les Sarile

    Les Sarile Member
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    Sounds like you're looking for the Chinon CE II Memotron, "An automatic electronic camera to fit the (M42) lenses you already own."

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Of course the aperture priority autoexposure comes at the expense of a super long throw shutter trigger that closes the lens down, then meters before it fires.
     
  3. E. von Hoegh

    E. von Hoegh Member
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    There's a Pentax-made adapter that gives infinity focus on K mounts.
    I really like my Practika LTL, a Spotmatic works well, I also use an old Pentax H1a.
     
  4. AgX

    AgX Member

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    Which soviet lens does allow for this? I for instance got Helios 44 lenses in various designs. None yields such feature. One of my samples indeed got an aperture simulator, but that is coupled to the actual diaphragm, thus only works stopped down, thus not actually simulating...

    And if a soviet M42 lens got open-aperture metering, the respective propriatory mount then would sit on a soviet body too.
     
  5. Neil Grant

    Neil Grant Member
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    The Chinon Memotron CE or CE2 is a good choice for auto exp with vintage m42 lenses, especially manual or preset types. It is perfectly happy with Russian Helios, East German Meyer Optik or even early Takumar. Be careful with light entering the eyepiece and 'fooling' the meter, also it's over-red sensitive. Transport feels strong and the whole camera is metal. I have the CE as my 'crash' cam.
     
  6. Paul Howell

    Paul Howell Subscriber
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    I agree with the Chinons, I have a Chinon CE3, aperture priory works with any lens, the camera meters and sets the shutter speed as the shutter is pushed, somewhat of a hard push, need to be careful when shooting at low shutter speeds. Also has a optional power winder, not very fast around 2.5 to 3 FPS, build quality is good. If you can live without auto exposure the CM version is also a great camera.
     
  7. AgX

    AgX Member

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    Neil and Paul,
    I do not understand what you are saying. To do open-aperture aperture-priority metering as the OP wants, the lens must have a true aperture-simulator.
    What soviet M42 lens has such?

    Otherwise a camera at best can meter and auto-expose in stopped-down mode with only the largest aperture pre-set.
     
  8. ic-racer

    ic-racer Member

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    I believe that works like my 6008 Rollei with the older Rolle lenses. It quickly stops down and meters just before the exposure. It gives the correct auto exposure; aperture priority, shutter priority or program. What you are missing is an indication of the settings the camera will choose at the time of metering.
     
  9. E. von Hoegh

    E. von Hoegh Member
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    Many if not all the m42 FSU lenses are preset, most have no auto diaphragm either. The OP will have to learn to use stopdown metering, or use different lenses.
     
  10. AgX

    AgX Member

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    You brought it to the essential point.
    This explaines why above we were talking along each others.
     
  11. Paul Howell

    Paul Howell Subscriber
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    Mine works with pre set, single and 2 pins lens, as E. Von Hoeigh stays, the shutter speed as the lens stops down, if the lens is preset it will again set the shutter speed at the preset F stop. The Chinon was also sold under the GAF brand.
     
  12. E. von Hoegh

    E. von Hoegh Member
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    Now I'll be watching for a Chinon...:angel:
     
  13. rubbernglue

    rubbernglue Member

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    I can mention that you can also look for the Chinon CE-3 as is ALMOST the same as CE-2; the major difference which I am aware of is the available shutterspeeds which is from 1sek to 1/2000 on CE-2 and 4sek to 1/1000sek on CE-3. But the CE-4 is something entierly different when they walked away from M42.
     
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  15. Bill Burk

    Bill Burk Subscriber
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    The ESII will work with the stop-down switch pushed up.

    You do need SMCT lenses to engage full open auto. But stop-down isn’t that hard to get used to.
     
  16. Sewin

    Sewin Member

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    Chinon, I've the CM3 which is not fully auto, nice and solid feeling.

    I found on my CM3 the shutter release was very sensitive, apparently it is quite common, so I did a simple mod, put a small elastic band around the release to cushion it.
     
  17. Billy Axeman

    Billy Axeman Subscriber
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    If you want automatic exposure on the ES-II without fuss forget all the foreign lenses and buy a Pentax Takumar SMC lens ("Super-Multi-Coated" on the front ring).

    Due to the construction of the mount on some Pentax M42 camera's you run the risk that a foreign lens screwed on can't be removed again because the aperture-pin on the mount is stuck behind incompatible parts. This happened to me with a Pentacon Auto 29 mm F/2.8 on a Pentax F, and there are more examples. To avoid this you must do some serious research which lenses can be mounted without problems.
     
    Last edited: Nov 23, 2018
  18. Neil Grant

    Neil Grant Member
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    ...it meters when the lens is stopped down. With aperture priority auto exposure it's very quick to use. I don't think any camera can meter open aperture with a Helios 44.
     
  19. OP
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    noeru

    noeru Member

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    Thank you so much guys, Chinon CE II it is then. They're so cheap too!
     
  20. Hilo

    Hilo Subscriber
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    Don't forget about your Pentax Super ME too quickly ! That is a wonderful small and fast working camera in auto. I have a Zeiss Ultron 1.8/50 with the Pentax made adapter. Infinity is fine. It's got the stop down lever and all you need to do is set an aperture beforehand. When you don't push anything you work with the lens wide open regardless of the set aperture. When you push up the lever, the aperture goes to what you've set it at. This lever has a spring and jumps back when you let it go. Very fast and intuitive . . .

    Not sure what your Russian lenses do . . .
     
  21. Les Sarile

    Les Sarile Member
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    I don't know about the infinity focus issue but my Pentax M42 to K adapter works perfectly as expected. The ME Super and my 17mm Takumar is a great compact combination and if you forget to manually stop down, the autoexposure will meter properly.

    [​IMG]

    However, the native M42 support in the Chinon will automatically stop the lens down while the K mount adapted cameras will not so that is a convenient factor.
     
  22. OP
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    noeru

    noeru Member

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    I put a Mir 1b on my ME Super and it won’t even focus a few meters away, let alone infinity. This is a lens with a strange aperture system, it has two rings, one sets the aperture value and the other, when turned, will close down the diaphragm no more than the set value, so I think this is meant to make stop down metering easier - so yes, I’ll have to learn to deal with it since I like this lens. Still, if can only shoot closeups with it on an ME super, having a Chinon will be great.

    I’ve been meaning to move away from having separate cameras for different lenses and look at me now haha.
     
  23. AgX

    AgX Member

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    A common manual aperture preset mechanism. There also was a half-automatic german mechanism where one had to cock an auto-diaphragm spring after each release.
     
  24. Sewin

    Sewin Member

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    noeru,

    A bit of Karma :smile: You are welcome to have my CM3 for the cost of postage if it's any use. I've been gradually moving from M42 to Nikon so it's not getting used.
    It will be a couple of weeks before I can pick it up though.
     
  25. abruzzi

    abruzzi Member

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    There are some third party m42 to K adapters that have a flange and don't allow the lens to sit flush so they don't support infinity. Buy either the Pentax one, or the knock-offs of the pentax ones.

    Bad adapter:

    [​IMG]
     
  26. rubbernglue

    rubbernglue Member

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    The biggest problem afaik. is the batteries on these Pentax cameras which has a dedicated m42 mount as they use those 625 (px625 in EU) batteries. That was pretty much my decider as I would like to have the opertunity to use a lightmeter in some cases and do not want to rely on those old strange batteries.
     
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