Pentacon 30mm f3.5 M42 lens review

A hidden gem from East Germany (Web Pentacon Jena) - not many people know, this lens performs optically very well. Some Pentacon lens has horrible build quality and their optical performance is very mixed (ex. Pentacon 29mm). Fortunatelly  this lens is different very capable performer and quality built too.  The lens is quite uncommon, but not particularly rare. I am very happy owner of a beautiful copy, if you see any  grap it and enjoy.

Fact Sheet


Vendor name Type Compatible camera systems

Basically all SLR camera
Focal Min(mm) Focal Max(mm) Focus Min(cm)
Aperture Max Aperture Min. Barrel length(mm)
3.5 22
Elements In Group Diaphragm action Weight (g)
5 in 5
Filter Size (mm) Push on diameter (mm) Angular field

User Comments

Decent lens , decent if not superlative quality ( build and optical both ) , CA can be a bit of problem on high contrast area if not stopping down ( at least 1.5 stop to 5.6 ) defocused background / foreground ( bokeh ) is certainly not its virtues. nice coverage, lightweight , made a pretty good lens for APS-C and 4/3 coverage. I recall it seems to work fine on the Sony FF, but I need to check , certainly not FF friendly with Canon DSLR though. On a Canon 1D series DSLR it made for a very nice grab shoot lens ( roughly that of a 40mm on film capture ) Read more

I own one in with Exakta mount and pre-set diaphragm. I?m really pleased with performance of that tiny lens. It?s very sharp and contrasty and in my case it totally outperforms its successor, a latter Meyer Orestegon / Pentacon 29/2.8.
(Vjekoslav Bobic)

Comments (5)
Pentacon 30mm f3.5
5Wednesday, 20 June 2012 11:04
Great lens! I'm really surprised with performance of this little lens, decent sharpness,great rendition,chromatic aberration is almost not existent, no distortion(at least on APSC sensor, great bokeh,decent build, small, cheap and not heavy.
I'm using it with Pentax K5.
Pentacon 30 f3.5
4Monday, 24 January 2011 18:20
A nice lens, maybe not the sharpest in it's range, my 28m SMC Takumar is sharper, but the Pentacon gives me colour.

The colour resolution is excellent, pictures of red flowers in bright sunshine sometimes need a bit of desaturation!

Available cheaply in the UK as they came with the popular Practika camera and the early ones were M42, although mine came with a Zenit camera.

If you see one, get it. You won't be dissapointed.
Pentacon 30mm f3,5
3Tuesday, 04 January 2011 08:42
My first steps with this adapted M42-lens (on EOS 450) were not very successfull. Even at f5,6 or f8 the photos show unsharpness in the left upper corner.
Pentacon 30mm f3.5
Tuesday, 07 June 2011 00:10
Sounds like a decentered element if the out of focus area is consistently in the upper left hand corner.
Pentacon 30mm f3.5 = Meyer Lydith
2Friday, 22 October 2010 22:09
The Pentacon 30mm f3.5 was previously sold as the Meyer Lydith and is the same lens. It's a legendary lens with a wonderful bokeh and produces beautiful images on film and digital.
Prakticar lens mount
1Saturday, 09 October 2010 00:42
This M42 mount, is this the same as a Prakticar mount? I am looking for Prakticar mount lenses and Prakticar to Micro 4/3 MFT adapter rings.
Prakticar lens mount
Friday, 10 December 2010 10:57
Yes, Praktica screw mount SLRs have the M42 mount.
Prakticar mount
Sunday, 10 October 2010 01:28
I think not same.

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