ZENITH Helios 44m (M42) to Nikon F mount conversion.

Picture of ZENITH Helios 44m (M42) to Nikon F mount conversion.
Found some old bashed Zenith Helios 44M lenses so wondered if I could use them on my Nikon gear..
Quick browsing left me with few findings.
1 . obviously you need an adapter.
2. other cameras can work with M42 lenses through adapters no problem, Nikon has deeper focal plane therefore once using adapter there is no room to get a lens deep enough to focus at infinity.
3. Its possible to focus at infinity if you purchase ridiculously( comparing to lens value) expensive adapter with reducing lens on its back. you get what you pay for...meaning, cheap one has poor quality lens which messes everything up, even expensive one isn't flawless .
4. I have read somewhere that because of focal plane, even if you get to focus to infinity, lens goes so deep that you would crush your mirror once firing.

I think nah....

So I have 3 Zenith Helios 58/2 44M (I bought 2 cameras on car-boot sale for 2 quid each for my 2 years old back then to keep him away from my gear). All of them survived 2 years with my kid (Gniotsja nie lamiotsja- common decryption for everything from CCCP meaning bending but not breaking).
Welcome to my Butcher style conversion.
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Step 1:

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Metal epoxy putty
Dremel tool with few attachments
2 drill bits
sand paper
vernier caliper
Nikon F lens mount ring (male) with screws.

Step 2:

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Step 3:

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For the purpose of this task you have to be sure you own Helios 58/2 44m which looks like the one on the picture.

Step 4:

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Take A/M selector cover off by removing 3 screws (one by  silver selector (4th) can stay as it doesn't hold into the lens body)

Step 5:

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This is what we have after removal
I used rubber band to hold aperture lever in closed position so aperture ring can do its job. You can tape it up, glue it etc. knock yourself out.
kvokopola1 year ago

Great tutorial! Im seriously thinking of converting my helios 44m to my nikon d70s F mount;
do you have any video of the process? Any good working alternative material (or similiar affordable) ring piece other than metal putty as the distance ring?

Iggyuk (author) 1 year ago
As requested I am adding few pictures
crazyg1 year ago
some test shots would be cool. think your lens is from 1978. impressive dent its got :-)
2 hours is good.
Phil B1 year ago
I once had a Zenit SLR with this lens. The 58mm f/2 lens is supposed to be a copy of a famous German four element design. It has a preset aperture, so the user must learn to turn the aperture ring before making the exposure.