Is the M42 Mount the Same as MFT?

Is the M42 Mount the Same as MFT?


In this article, we will be discussing the differences and similarities between the M42 mount and the MFT (Micro Four Thirds) mount. We will explore their respective features, compatibility with different cameras, and provide insights into their usage in photography. Whether you are a beginner looking to invest in a new camera system or a professional photographer seeking to expand your lens collection, understanding the differences between these mounts is crucial in making informed decisions.

What is the M42 Mount?

The M42 mount, also known as the Pentax screw mount, is a type of interchangeable lens mount that was commonly used in 35mm film cameras. It features a thread diameter of 42mm, hence the name “M42.” This mount was popular in the mid-20th century and was used by various camera manufacturers, including Pentax, Praktica, and Fujica, among others. The M42 mount is characterized by its screw-thread mechanism, which allows lenses to be easily attached and removed from the camera body.

One of the key features of the M42 mount is its compatibility with a wide range of vintage lenses, making it a popular choice for photographers who enjoy using older, manual-focus lenses on modern digital cameras. However, it’s important to note that using M42 lenses on modern digital cameras may require the use of adapter rings to ensure proper fit and functionality.

What is the MFT Mount?

The MFT (Micro Four Thirds) mount is a modern lens mount system developed by Olympus and Panasonic for use in mirrorless interchangeable lens cameras. It features a smaller flange focal distance and a reduced lens mount diameter compared to traditional DSLR mounts, allowing for more compact camera designs and smaller lenses. The MFT system has gained popularity for its portability, versatility, and compatibility across different camera brands.

One of the key advantages of the MFT mount is its ability to accommodate a wide range of lenses from various manufacturers through the use of adapters. This opens up opportunities for photographers to explore and experiment with different lens options, further expanding their creative capabilities. Additionally, the MFT system offers advanced features such as electronic communication between the camera body and the lens, enabling seamless autofocus and image stabilization.

Are M42 and MFT Mounts the Same?

While both the M42 and MFT mounts serve as platforms for attaching lenses to camera bodies, they are fundamentally different in terms of their design, compatibility, and usage. The M42 mount, with its screw-thread mechanism, is primarily associated with vintage film cameras and manual-focus lenses. On the other hand, the MFT mount is designed for modern mirrorless cameras, offering electronic communication between the camera and lens for autofocus and other advanced functionalities.

It’s important to note that M42 lenses can be adapted for use with MFT cameras, but this typically requires an additional adapter to bridge the gap between the two mount systems. While the physical aspects of the mounts may differ, the ability to adapt M42 lenses for use with MFT cameras provides photographers with a wider range of creative options, especially when it comes to utilizing vintage lenses on modern digital platforms.


In conclusion, the M42 mount and the MFT mount represent distinct eras in the evolution of camera technology. The M42 mount has a rich heritage in the realm of vintage film cameras and manual-focus lenses, offering photographers the opportunity to explore the characteristics and aesthetics of older lens designs. On the other hand, the MFT mount embodies the modern approach to mirrorless camera systems, focusing on portability, versatility, and electronic integration for seamless functionality.

While the M42 and MFT mounts are not the same in terms of their design and intended usage, the adaptability of M42 lenses for use with MFT cameras allows for cross-system compatibility and creative experimentation. Ultimately, both mounts have their unique advantages and appeal to different groups of photographers, catering to a diverse range of shooting styles and preferences.


Can I use M42 lenses on MFT cameras without an adapter?

No, M42 lenses require an adapter to be used with MFT cameras due to the differences in their respective mount designs. The adapter serves as a bridge between the M42 mount and the MFT mount, ensuring proper fit and compatibility for lens usage.

What are the advantages of using M42 lenses on MFT cameras?

Using M42 lenses on MFT cameras provides photographers with access to a wide array of vintage lenses known for their unique optical characteristics and manual-focus capabilities. This opens up creative possibilities and allows for the exploration of vintage lens aesthetics on modern digital platforms.

Are MFT lenses compatible with M42 cameras?

No, MFT lenses are specifically designed for use with MFT cameras and are not compatible with M42 cameras. The physical and electronic compatibility between MFT lenses and MFT cameras is optimized for seamless integration and functionality.

Can I achieve autofocus with adapted M42 lenses on MFT cameras?

Autofocus capabilities with adapted M42 lenses on MFT cameras may vary depending on the specific adapter used and the characteristics of the lens. In most cases, adapted M42 lenses will rely on manual focus when used with MFT cameras.

Is it worth investing in MFT cameras for use with adapted M42 lenses?

Investing in MFT cameras for the purpose of using adapted M42 lenses can be worthwhile for photographers who appreciate the versatility and creative opportunities that come with exploring vintage lens designs on modern digital platforms. The adaptability and cross-system compatibility offer a unique avenue for experimentation and artistic expression.


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