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Color cast of sever Helios lenses - test
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PostPosted: Fri May 07, 2010 11:11 am    Post subject: Color cast of sever Helios lenses - test Reply with quote

Various Helios models have various coating and glass. Combination of these factors gives them unique color cast, which can be helpful or annoying...

Here's a short test. Conditions:

- overcast sky
- f/2.8
- the same exposure time (1/640), the same ISO (100)
- the same settings for RAW conversion
- I must decide which lens I'll use for white balance - I used 44-3 MC, because it's considered to be quite neutral (compared to other helios lenses)

you can compare: relative color cast, contrast, light transmittance
you can't compare: absolute color cast (it can depend on white balance and lighting conditions), sharpness (pictures are scaled down, I didn't use tripod, so focus is sometimes about 0,5mm off)

lens used (coating: first color = front element, second color = inner elements, third color = rear element):

Helios-44 5,8cm red-P KMZ M39 (silver, 13 blades) - strong violet + blue/violet + light cerise coating
Helios-44-2 58/2 KMZ M42 pre-1970 (N00xxx) - neutral + violet + neutral coating
Helios-44-2 58/2 MMZ M42 1973 - neutral + yellow + neutral coating
Helios-44-3 MC 58/2 M42 1993 - light blue + blue/magenta/green + neutral coating
Helios-77M MC 50/1.8 M42 1992 - red + green/blue + green coating
Biotar red-T 58/2 manual (17 blades) M42 - azure + several shades of blue-purple + light periwinkle
Biotar red-T 58/2 pre-set (12 blades) M42 - many close shades of light blue/light violet/periwinkle

1. Helios-44 5,8cm red-P KMZ M39 (silver, 13 blades)


2. Helios-44-2 58/2 KMZ M42 pre-1970 (N00xxx)


3. Helios-44-2 58/2 MMZ M42 1973


4. Helios-44-3 MC 58/2 M42 1993


5. Helios-77M MC 50/1.8 M42 1992


6. Biotar red-T 58/2 manual (17 blades) M42


7. Biotar red-T 58/2 pre-set (12 blades) M42


PostPosted: Fri May 07, 2010 7:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Interesting. The test seems about right; my MC Helios-77M is about neutral, as is MC Jupiter-9. However, the older Jupiter-9 with strong cherry/magenta coatings exhibits strong green-yellow color cast, very similar to your first test picture.


PostPosted: Fri May 07, 2010 8:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for sharing.

Looking the test, I prefer the Helios-44-2 58/2 KMZ M42 pre-1970 (N00xxx).

Very sharp.

I have a 44-3 of 1986 and the front refl is a strong yellow, pale green, magenta, light blue and strog green in the last element. Yellow cast.

Rino.


PostPosted: Sat May 08, 2010 9:19 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Interesting test. The 00 44-2 looks really good. My 44-2 is a later model and it looks like your 1973 44-2. I've got a silver 13 blade 44 but it has rear elements stolen from a 44-2. I have the 10 blade biotar and it is warmer and slightly sharper.


PostPosted: Sat May 08, 2010 9:54 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Biotars have always warmer tint, but they have some nuances... early post war manual T biotars are slightly more purple (=more greenish tint) than the pre-set T biotars. Non-T pre-set biotars ale also more purplish, but the tint is lighter. Latest Biotars (semi-auto, no T marking, wavy aperture ring) have different coating, which is somewhere between T and non T in its color.

But it doesn't mean much, because my repairman told me, that he noticed, that even two identical biotar versions can have different coating - not only the tint, but also it's hardness. Some are very soft, another are hardened...


PostPosted: Sat May 08, 2010 3:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Nice test, indeed. And I am looking forward to more photo comparison. Mike


PostPosted: Sat May 08, 2010 11:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

estudleon wrote:
Thanks for sharing.

Looking the test, I prefer the Helios-44-2 58/2 KMZ M42 pre-1970 (N00xxx).

Very sharp.

I have a 44-3 of 1986 and the front refl is a strong yellow, pale green, magenta, light blue and strog green in the last element. Yellow cast.

Rino.


I'm wrong.

The real best to me is the Helios-44 5,8cm red-P KMZ M39 (silver, 13 blades). More contrast than the rest of the helios.

Rino.


PostPosted: Sat May 08, 2010 11:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The test is a great job, like yours.

And I can suggest, let me please, that if we should have a pic of the elephant taken with another lens whose rendering is known, we can compare and see better what is the rendering of each helio.

Rino.


PostPosted: Sun May 09, 2010 10:56 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

estudleon wrote:
The test is a great job, like yours.

And I can suggest, let me please, that if we should have a pic of the elephant taken with another lens whose rendering is known, we can compare and see better what is the rendering of each helio.

The problem with that is that it is an outdoor test so lighting would be different.


PostPosted: Sun May 09, 2010 12:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

That's an amazing difference!
Not really a problem for RAW-shooters, but it can be essential for film shooters.


PostPosted: Sun May 09, 2010 1:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

With color balance in PP and pacience you can work with each one and make it like you want to. At least i did it with the pics of the test, perhaps with draw you can do a different (or easily) way, i don't know.

Rino.


PostPosted: Tue May 11, 2010 10:48 am    Post subject: Re: Color cast of sever Helios lenses - test Reply with quote

no-X wrote:
Various Helios models have various coating and glass. Combination of these factors gives them unique color cast, which can be helpful or annoying...

lens used (coating: first color = front element, second color = inner elements, third color = rear element):

Helios-44 5,8cm red-P KMZ M39 (silver, 13 blades) - strong violet + blue/violet + light cerise coating
Helios-44-2 58/2 KMZ M42 pre-1970 (N00xxx) - neutral + violet + neutral coating
Helios-44-2 58/2 MMZ M42 1973 - neutral + yellow + neutral coating
Helios-44-3 MC 58/2 M42 1993 - light blue + blue/magenta/green + neutral coating
Helios-77M MC 50/1.8 M42 1992 - red + green/blue + green coating


Very intersting. But it seems there are too many vaiations of coatings. Mine lenses for example are:

Helios-44 5,8cm red-P KMZ M39 (silver, 13 blades, N000xxx) - strong violet + orange + strong violet
Helios-44 5,8cm red-P KMZ M39 (silver, 13 blades, N00xxx) - strong violet + neutral + light blue
Helios-44-2 58/2 KMZ M42 1972 - neutral + pale purple + neutral
Helios-44-3M MC 58/2 M42 1993 - neutral to yellowish + greenish + neutral to yellowish

I also have 4 Helios-44M with different coating. My Helios-77M-4 also has different coating than yours.

Can you please post a picture of your Helios-44-3 showing its blue coating? Just curious about this.


PostPosted: Fri Oct 12, 2012 6:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Nice test!

To me the best looking results were of the M39 Helios and the 17 blade Biotar.


PostPosted: Sat Oct 13, 2012 2:39 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

My 13 blade 44 sn00 has a strong purple coating, that makes the worst purple flare, is mostly unusable for most the type of shots I do.
Anything similar with anyone else?

Thanks for doing this comparison.


PostPosted: Sun Oct 14, 2012 10:39 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Mine's OK ... Confused


PostPosted: Sun Oct 14, 2012 1:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Lightshow wrote:
My 13 blade 44 sn00 has a strong purple coating, that makes the worst purple flare, is mostly unusable for most the type of shots I do.
Anything similar with anyone else?

Thanks for doing this comparison.

+1. I sold all my helios 44 with sn00 due to the purple flare problem and keep a helios 44 with sn01 with neutral coating.