Getting To Know Different Lens Mounts

Getting To Know Different Lens Mounts

With almost every camera manufacturer having their own unique lens mounts, it gets very complicated very quickly. This camera lens guide will give you a summary of what camera lens mount will suit your needs. 

 

M39/L39

Info: 

The m39 mount was created by Leica to fit their first range of rangefinder cameras. It is a very simple mount consisting of a 39mm wide screw thread. It is the most common rangefinder lens mount and was later adapted for slrs by the USSR. Due to the high cost of quality lenses at the time, many enlargers were made to accept m39 lenses

Flange focal distance:

28.8mm

Common compatible Brands:

Leica (Pre 1954), Canon rangefinders, zorki, fed, zenit

Common lenses:

Helios 40 85mm f1.5 Helios 44 58mm f2 Industar 50 50mm f1.5 Leitz Elmar 5cm/3.5 Leitz Summicron 5cm Jupiter-9 85mm f/2

Value:

These lenses range from cheap to expensive. The Ussr lenses that came as kit lenses, such as a industar 50 can be found for less then €40 and then on the opposite end of the spectrum, a helios 40 can cost up to €400. The Leica m39 lenses are normally €200+

 

M42

Info:

The M42 mount was first developed by Carl Zeiss at their Jena plant in 1938 at the request of the KW camera company for their Praktica line of cameras. This lens mount was later picked up and popularised by Asahi Pentax, who used the mount on their Spotmatic range of cameras. The mount itself similarly to the m39 mount is a screw mount thread. It is a 42mm wide thread with a 1mm thread depth. It is the most commonly adapted lens mount to be adapted to digital due to the simplicity of the lenses and large variety available.

Flange focal distance:

45.5mm

Common compatible brands:

Pentax, Zenit, Praktica, Fujica

Common lenses:

Pentax SMC Takumar 50mm f1.4, Helios 44-2 58mm f2 

Value:

M42 lenses are some of the most high quality, affordable lenses you can get. I use them myself adapted to my mirrorless camera. You can pick up a helios 44-2 for around €40 for a good example. These prices rise up once you move to Pentax lenses but you should never need to exceed €100 per lens.

 

Pentax Pk

Info:

Pentax's successor to the m42 camera mount. As other manufacturers began modernising their lens mounts to improve communication between the camera body and lens, Pentax understood the need to follow suit and replace their existing m42 mount. The K-mount was unveiled along with their new K-series of SLRs. The new mount consisted of a bayonet mount and an aperture tab to communicate with the camera the set aperture without needing to close the aperture.

Flange focal distance: 

45.46mm

Common compatible brands:

Pentax, Chinon, Cosina, Miranda, Ricoh, Vivitar, Zenit

Common Lenses:

Pentax-a 50mm f1.7

Value:

Generally one of the cheaper lens mounts that you can buy.Due to the large amount of manufacturers who used this lens mount, you can buy some incredibly cheap third party lenses. The Pentax Lenses are also similarly priced to their m42 versions

 

Canon FD

Info: The canon fd mount comes in two versions, the 'breechlock' and 'new fd'. While there is two versions, both types are able to be mounted to all canon fd cameras.

Breechlock

Info:

This lens mount is normally found on Canon FL and early FD lenses. It contains a silver ring which rotates to lock the lens onto the camera body. The entire silver ring rotates to attach the lens. This is a very unique way to attach the lens. 

“NEW” FD 

Info:

This was an update to the canon fd mount which saw it become more conventional in its approach. Instead of rotating a breechlock ring, you rotate the entire lens to attach it to the camera. The aperture on this lens cannot be moved or activated unless the lens is mounted to a camera.

Flange focal distance:

42mm

Common compatible brands:

Canon

Value: 

Canon fd lenses are fantastic value for their quality. There is a massive range of prime lenses available for under €100. They are one of the most common lenses to be adapted to modern mirrorless cameras and are often used in place of modern video lenses

 

Canon EOS EF

Info:

When canon moved from manual focus focus to autofocus, they introduced their new Canon EF mount. This mount is used to this day on all canon DSLRs. It can be identified by the electrical contacts.

Flange focal distance:

44mm

Common compatible brands:

Canon

Value:

As this lens mount is still in use, the lenses can be quite expensive, ranging from around €100 for a 50mm f1.8 up to a few thousand for some of the professional 'L' lenses. 

 

Minolta MD

Source: West Yorkshire Cameras

Info:

Minolta has two mounts – MD and AF. MD are the older manual focus lenses. These MD lenses are fully metal, and have an aperture ring. The mount for the MD lenses is very basic, with only an aperture control lever. There is a small notch cut out in a right hand position on one of the three bayonets.

Flange focal distance:

43.5mm

Common compatible brands:

Minolta

Value:

The Minolta md lenses are good value and are incredibly underrated. Some Minolta md mount lenses were designed in partnership with Leica as well, such as the 70-200mm f4 zoom Rokkor, 24mm f2.8 rokkor and the f2.8 16mm rokkor fisheye which can be found for a fraction of the price of their leica counterparts.

 

Minolta AF (Alpha)

Info:

The Minolta Af mount is the successor to the minolta md mount. It was later used on Sony A-mount cameras after their takeover of Minolta.  On the mount, the aperture lever for the AF lenses is  quite recessed, there are electronic contacts, and a red locating dot

Flange focal distance:

44.5mm

Common compatible brands:

Minolta, Sony A-mount

Value:

Due to the unpopularity of autofocus film cameras, and the fact that no new cameras are made with this mount, these mminolta AF lenses can be found at bargain prices

Nikon non-Ai, Ai and Ai-s

Info:

Nikon lenses are very distinctive due to the 'rabbit ears' that communicate the set aperture to the camera body. This is the best way to identify these lenses. They are also one of the only mounts that requires you to attach the lens anti-clockwise rather than clockwise. The non-ai were the first version of this lens, this can be differentiated from the Ai lenses by the rabbit ears. The non ai lenses have solid rabbit ears while the ai ones have holes punched in the centre of them. The Ai lenses can be distinguished from Ai-s by the smallest aperture number on the inside aperture ring. On an Ai-s ring, the smallest aperture is an orange number, on a standard ai lens its white. Its worth remembering that non-ai lenses do not work with ai cameras, but ai lenses work with non-ai cameras.

Flange focal distance:

46.5mm

 

West Yorkshire Cameras Nikon SLR Lens

Source: West Yorkshire Cameras

Common compatible brands:

Nikon

Value:

Nikon are more expensive than other vintage lens mounts, but still more budget friendly than modern lenses. They are considered by many to be the best quality mass produced lenses of the era.

 

Nikon AF/ AF-D

35mm SLR Lens mount identification guide – West Yorkshire Cameras

Source: West Yorkshire Cameras

Info:

When Nikon moved to autofocus, they understood the need to modernise their mount. While maintaining the same bayonet, it was updated with electronics. The original AF-D lenses can be identified by having 5 electronic contacts, and a focussing screw on the mount, which rotates to adjust the lenses focus. The newer AF lenses are missing this screw and have between 7 and 10 round electronic contacts

Flange focal distance:

46.5mm

Common compatible brands: 

Nikon

Value:

Similar prices to Canon EF, due to this mount still being in use. 

 

Leica-r

Source: West Yorkshire Cameras

Info:

Designed for Leicas Leicaflex and R-line of Slrs. The lenses are generally compatible across all models, but there are different cammed versions, 1 cam, 2 cam and 3 cam. You must be careful of which you buy as the older lenses are not compatible with newer models

Flange focal distance:

47mm

Common compatible brands:

Leica

Value:

Leica lenses are expensive, but if you want to adapt Leica glass to your dslr or mirrorless camera, r-lenses are much more budget friendly lens yet still have that "Leica look"

 

Olympus-OM

Info: 

The OM mount is a very easy mount to identify. The OM mount lens will have two rectangular, spring loaded buttons directly opposite-ish each other. Similarly to the Pentax K mount any Olympus OM lens fits any Olympus OM camera old or new with no problems. The Olympus Om lens range also consists of fantastically small and light lenses which have some of the best quality glass you can buy

Flange focal distance:

46mm

Common compatible brands:

Olympus

Value:

There are some excellent value Olympus OM lenses, especially the Olympus prime lens range

 

PRAKTICA BAYONET PB

Info:

Designed by Praktica to replace the m42 mount on their Praktica range of Slrs. These are worth considering as there are many Zeiss Jena lenses built with this mount. It is easy to identify with its bayonet mount, grey circle of plastic and 3 round electro contacts.

Flange focal distance:

44.4mm

Common compatible brands:

Praktica

Value:

These are incredibly cheap lenses for their quality due to the extremely low demand. The large range of Carl Zeiss Jena lenses are the ones to keep your eye out for

 

Yashica/Contax

 

Info:

Yashica SLR cameras, and Contax 35mm SLR cameras share the same lens mount. Zeiss lenses are intended for Contax cameras, and Yashica lenses are intended for Yashica cameras – but you can mix and match. To identify them visually, it’s a similar situation to Minolta MD lenses – look for the position of the notch cut out of one of the bayonets. On C/Y lenses, it’s on the left of the bayonet.

Flange focal distance:

45.5mm

Common compatible brands:

Yashica, Contax

Value:

These lenses are harder to acquire compared to others, due to other brands higher popularity. The Yashica lenses are quite reasonably priced, however the Zeiss lenses used by the contax cameras are normally in the early 100's price wise

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