Firstly I'm going to praise the Carl Zeiss Jena Flektogon 35mm 2.4 as an exceptional lens that is highly appreciated both by photographers and videographers alike.
The image, bokeh and build quality as well as the short focusing distance really set the standards. This is one of my go-to lenses.
There is also the M42 mount! There are a lot of M42 mount cameras out there, most of them quite cheap. one of my favourites is the Pentax spotmatic. Built like a tank and really cheap to buy, the build quality is superb. The only downside to the Pentax Spotmatic is that quite often the light metres don't work in the camera. But then that's no problem for me because I usually carry a handheld light metre, it’s more accurate than camera metre anyway and something I highly recommend to my students.
Following the success of the epic Carl Zeiss Flektogon 35mm 2.8 lens, Carl Zeiss decided to give their 2.8 version an overhaul. This included making the lens faster and using modern coatings. This was a real plus especially the coating. The results were not disappointing. The Flektogon 35mm 2.4 is one of my favourite lenses. It's a very versatile lens and the image quality is outstanding.
As you probably know I'm a true black and white photographer and the sharpness and range of tone is just beautiful. It’s also quite small and compact, the perfect lens to go travelling with. It also has a very short focusing range, 19 cm which is perfect for close-ups.
It's also my perfect focal length for street photography as it's wide enough to tell a story and I can also get close enough without any distortion to do a really nice portrait.
Over the last few years, the Zeiss flektogon has become highly sought after making the price somewhat more costly than it used to be a few years ago. You can still pick a nice one up for around £120. When you think of modern lenses it's actually a real bargain, in fact, it's a steal at £120!
My advice: Buy one, use it... you won’t be disappointed!
Bokeh is exceptional
Build quality is excellent
Contrast and tone in black and white is exceptional
Exceptional sharpness, even when shot wide open
Focusing down to only 19cm
Price (for a nice Flektogon f2.4 lens you will pay approximately £120.00)