M42 adaptor comparison by DSLR brand

M42 adapter

There are many adaptors on the internet converting M42 lens mount to any DSLR you can imagine. However, not all work well with old lenses from SLRs like Zenit, Practica or Pentax. Functionality differs from one DSLR brand to another and there are also many different types od adaptors. Following table is extract from internet forums and is comprehensive look at M42 adaptor possibilities.

FFD Focus to infinity Focus confirmation Metering Anti-shake
Nikon (F) 46,5 no yes no no
Canon (EF) 44 yes no/yes* no/yes* no
Pentax (K) 45,46 yes yes yes yes
Olympus (4/3) 38,58 yes no/yes* no/yes* no/yes*
Minolta/Sony (AF) 45,46 yes no** no/yes* no/yes*
M42 45,46 - - - -

* electronic adaptor
** confirms focus, whether the object is in focus or not


  • Canon - buy only adaptors with stop-screw or you can damage your DSLR
  • Olympus - focal length and aperture setting only by programming adaptor chip :-(


If you have lots of M42 lenses and you want to shoot with them with your DSLR, then you probably should buy some Pentax DSLR. Quite good functionality is also offered by Canon DSLRs. But it’s important remember, that if you use old M42 lenses you must use manual focus all the time and with many DSLRs also use fully manual mode.

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12 komentářů pro “M42 adaptor comparison by DSLR brand”

  1. Rafael Says:

    Hi , please note that this link has misleading info, as K-mount has bayonet, not M42 screw.


    Hope you can modify that.


    Buenos Aires, ARG

  2. Bill.jr Says:


    I don’t see any problem with link you have posted, but if there’s something I didn’t notice I will explain it:

    Old Pentax cameras had M42 screw mount, sometimes also called Pentax screw mount. Newer Pentax cameras have Pentax K-mount which is obviously bayonet.


  3. MM Says:


    Some Nikon models does metering with M42 lens.
    Models starting from D200 and upper level have metering with non-cpu lenses. Use non-CPU lenses in menu settings.


  4. Arkku Says:


    The Sony column is incorrect: Sony DSLR cameras support metering even with a non-electric adapter. However, Sony DSLRs other than A100 and A700 do not support aperture priority auto-exposure (the A-mode) unless an electric adapter is used (but in M-mode the meter reading is still available). Also, focus confirmation works with an electric adapter (accuracy depends on how closely the focal length information transmitted by the adapter matches that of the lens being used; same as for anti-shake).

    So, the metering-column should be “yes” and focus confirmation -column should be “no/yes*”… at least for Sony (of which I have extensive personal experience with and without electric adapters =). I believe these hold for Minolta DSLRs, but I have not verified this myself. (Meanwhile Minolta AF film cameras require various tricks to work at all with non-electric adapters, so this depends on the camera.)


  5. jalla Says:

    The Nikon Column is partly incorrect. Modells like die D200, D300 and D700 will provide metering.

    Moreover, you should add information about the field of view crop (FOV) to your post. It is notable that only Canon, Nikon and Sony provide Cameras without FOV at the moment. As FOV changes the charecteristic of a lens completely, I dont share your recommendation for Pentax.

  6. Keyon Says:

    tSdjro Got it! Thanks a lot again for helping me out!

  7. c.y Says:

    hi all,
    Please keep sharing your personal experience in the comments.
    i find it very rewarding when people like me who’re keen enough to read up all the comments. whether the author willing to change what he had posted or not that’s not important as he’s posting what he knows, and you’re commenting on what you know.

    thanks all for the trouble!!

    Besides, i would also like to contribute a lil.
    I’ve had a Nikon D70/D70s
    and it only allows M42 lenses to be used in Full Manual mode with no metering. But there seems to have focusing confirmation(without beep) when u look in the view finder, the focusin dot would flashes when u’re in focus.

    and for Nikon user who happens to have lens with focal range over 300mm, i find that these long telephoto doesn’t need focusing element on the adapter and they’re still able to focus to infinity *please proves me wrong as i only have tried 2 telephoto, 1 is 100-300, another is mirror 500mm*


  8. Don Stewart Says:

    The Canon EF information in the metering column is incorrect, at least for the 10D which does meter correctly with an M42 Adapter and also works in Av (aperture priority) mode.
    I suspect that if the 10D works in this mode then quite a few Canon DSLRs will also work in this way.

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