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Playing around with a stock 18-55 and a Sigma 70-300 ...
Now, with an SMC Takumar 105 and a CZJ Flektogon 35 too ...

Friday, June 24, 2011

M42 Focusing Helical

My quest for photographic accessories has leaded to a nice M42 focusing helical. Since i had some "spare" enlarger lenses available and didn't want to go out with a bellows on my camera, i finally decided to buy one following the advice of Calvin from MFLenses.

The helical i bought is an M42-to-L39 type, with an L39-to-M42 ring on the rear side, so that i'm able to use it on both my DSLRs (and, eventually, on a future rangefinder too). It extends from about 15.5mm up to 29mm. Not too much, but enough for what i was thinking to do first with it (playing with my 50mm enlarger lenses).

Out of the box, the helical and the accompanying L39 adapter look really fine, with a nice black finish. Of course, i tested at first the helical without mounting it on the camera. Although not as smooth as a Takumar lens barrel, the rotation of the helical is fluid across the whole range but it requires a bit more strength to rotate wrt a good Takumar. Not so bad: since i'm planning to use it for macro shots, i like the idea of a focusing barrel that doesn't rotate too easily ...

Then i grabbed my M42-to-EOS adapter (bought from Calvin too, by the way) and my original M42-to-PK ring. The helical has screwed in without any issue, the M42 threads are perfectly matching on both adapters.

Finally, mounted on the camera, here is how it looks like with an EL-Nikkor 50/2.8:

Focusing Helical - _MG_4752


Focusing Helical - _MG_4753


As a free gift i got also an M32-to-M42 adapter ring, which perfectly fitted my Taylor-Hobson Ental 80/4.5. Here you can see how it looks on my EOS 5D Mark II:

Focusing Helical - _IGP5400


As a side note: as you can see on the picture, the front face of the adapter is held in place by three Phillips screws. Spread across the whole circumference, there are three more holes, too small for screws, whose usage is unknown to me ...

My conclusions: if i was first thinking that this helical was a good piece of mechanics, now i am even more satisfied with it, because i can play with all my enlarger lenses including my T-Hs ;-) ...

The cons: i'm planning to buy the two bigger versions of this helical, too ...

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5 Comments:

Anonymous Dipo said...

Greeting Indianadinos. I've been looking for this thing for quite some time now. Care to share where you got it from ?

August 29, 2011 at 9:17 PM  
Blogger IndianaDinos said...

Hi Dipo,

The seller is the user Calvin83 from the MFLenses forum. At the beginning of the post you can find the links to the profile of Calvin and to the forum itself ...

Thanks for spending your time here and commenting ...

August 30, 2011 at 12:41 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sir,

Interesting post, I'm also looking to buy what you got for free, the M32 to M42 adaptor ring, would you know of where i could get one?

Kevin.bartrum@gmail.com


Thanks

December 6, 2011 at 8:39 AM  
Blogger IndianaDinos said...

Hi Kevin, sorry for the late reply, i have been quite busy lately ...

I'm afraid i don't know where you could get such kind of adapter ... The best would be to contact Calvin by mail and ask him if he can supply the adapters (at least, he knows the seller/manufacturer of the helical) ...

Thanks for spending your time here and commenting ...

P.S.: i'm going to reply to your e-mail address, too ...

December 11, 2011 at 9:55 PM  
Anonymous Magenta said...

Great info. Been looking for these instructions :)

November 19, 2014 at 2:20 AM  

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