Simmod Lens has launched the professional way to convert old Pentax Takumar lenses for cinema use. The new all-brass Simmod M42-LPL conversion system adapts practically all M42 screw mount lenses onto the new modern LPL cinema mount standard.
For Pentax Takumar SMC M42 lenses the system also has the added benefit of the ProLock system to prevent the lens from unscrewing in use (this feature only works with original Pentax SMC Takumar lenses with a locking pin and does not work with older Pentax Takumars or M42 lenses from other brands). To hold the lens into place a clever submount is fitted with a rear locking tab that fits over the Pentax lens’ pin. This is then secured with screws and fitted to the LPL mount part, which again has more screws for security. Once installed the Simmod M42-LPL conversion system provides a robust connection between lens and camera body or Simmod LPL lens adapter. No play, no wiggle – just a positive lock.
Fitting the Simmod M42-LPL conversion system can be performed by anyone competent in DIY lens modification, or by a qualified lens technician like those at any one of Simmod’s global network of approved installers. The conversion system also comes complete with a set of shims to guarantee infinity focus is achieved. As with any other high-end cinema lens, a Pentax lens with Simmod M42-LPL conversion will require calibration for optimal performance.
Old Pentax Takumar M42 lenses offer unique vintage color rendition, beautiful flares and distinctive bokeh, making them a popular choice with many filmmakers. In addition, Takumars are known for their smooth and precise manual focus control with well-damped focus rings that achieve deliberate focus pulls. Additionally, the solid all-metal build quality and compact design of these lenses make them a joy to handle.
However, when adapting old Pentax Takumar M42 lenses to modern video cameras, users may encounter a notable drawback related to the rotation of the lens during mounting – one of the key reasons that Pentax and other camera makers eventually moved away from screw mount to bayonet mounts. M42 lenses typically require a screw-mount lens adapter for attachment to modern camera systems, and the nature of this adapter can result in the lens rotating slightly when mounted. This rotation can pose challenges, especially when using follow-focus systems or lens gears for precise focus pulling.
ARRI’s LPL – the ultimate Univeral mount
Before the Simmod Lens LPL conversions, if a user wanted to modify vintage stills lenses to be universally used between top-end cinema, professional and mirrorless cameras then the standard option was PL mount. Unfortunately, this meant most vintage stills lenses would require an expensive full cine re-housing or a costly bespoke mount-only PL conversion. Now users can get all the benefits of positive locking and greater compatibility, without unnecessary expense, by fitting a Simmod LPL mount themselves.
The ARRI LPL or “Large Positive Lock” mount is an innovative universal lens mount designed specifically for digital capture. It is the first mount of its kind and was created to address the limitations of the PL mount. The LPL mount is designed to work with larger sensors and has a wider diameter than the PL mount (62mm vs 55mm for PL). It can be found on the ARRI Alexa LF, Mini LF, Alexa 65 and Alexa 35. The Sony Venice/Venice 2 and most RED DSMC2 and DSMC3 cameras can also be fitted with LPL mounts.
M42-LPL modified Pentax Takumar lens attached to Sony FX3 with Simmod Lens LPL adapter
Users of mirrorless mount cameras can also gain the benefits of LPL converted lenses by using Simmod Lens LPL adapters to connect to their camera. The high price of LPL adapters currently on the market is prohibitive for most end users, so Simmod Lens solved this problem by coming out with its own range of professional-grade LPL adapters that sell at a much lower price point than the current alternatives. Available for LPL to Sony E, LPL to RF, LPL to L-mount, and LPL to PL, each adapter is robustly constructed of solid brass and stainless steel.
With ARRI behind it, LPL is set to become the standard lens mount of choice in the future. The availability of inexpensive Simmod LPL options now gives users far more choice than before and will speed adoption of the standard. Rental houses and others who are looking to fully rehouse their vintage stills lenses often face a two to three-year wait to get the work done on their lenses. Now, instead of having the lenses sit there gathering dust in the meantime, they can be Simmod Lens converted to LPL and rented out or used until their place in line for rehousing comes up. Nothing in the Simmod Lens conversion kits changes the optics, or the capacity to have a lens fully rehoused at a later date.
Works with Essence Magnetic Rear Diffusion Filters
The Simmod M42-LPL conversion system is also compatible with the company’s Essence Rear Magnetic filter system for incredibly quick and easy diffusion filter changes. Once a Simmod Rear Magnetic Pilot guide is fitted changing filters takes seconds with each Essence filter popping into place with a reassuring click. It also has the advantage of being smaller and lighter than screw-on or matte box mounted filtration. One small single filter size fits multiple lenses and there is no need for heavy matte boxes, multiple step-down rings, or larger more expensive filters for wide angle lenses. Currently Simmod Lens offers Essence Rear Magneitc filters in Aria Black Mist filters in 1/8, 1/4 and 1/2 strengths, as well as Aria Glisten filters for a glimmer effect in 1/8 , 1/4, 1/2 and 1 strengths.