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Helios-40-2 - info and a few pics
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 17, 2008 4:00 pm    Post subject: Helios-40-2 - info and a few pics Reply with quote

A descendant of the incredible 1938 Carl Zeiss Jena Biotar 1.5/75 (Planar formula), Helios-40-(2) is massive. Designed in the early 1950s by a Russian professor D.S. Volosov, it has unusually thick glass elements with large air spaces.

On a full-frame dslr or film slr, Helios' resolution dramatically falls off from center of the frame but actually increases towards the edges. This phenomenon is explained as such - (a rough translation): "A curvature of the image surface of the third order is not correctable and is compensated for by curvature of fifth order." Hmm...over my head. Stated resolution data:

Center - 32-48 (lpmm)
Middle - ?-20 (lpmm)
Edge - 16-34 (lpmm)

[In Russian]--> Referenced from http://tinyurl.com/2jfwml

General consensus in the infamous russian thread (213 pages now! and very informative) - http://tinyurl.com/3bbysp is that Helios-40 is workable on full frame (compose for center - a rather limiting factor in my opinion) but wasted on cropped DSLRs (APS-C and 4/3). YMMV.

Well, my mileage does vary and I like it on my cropped (x1.5) Maxxum 7D (Sony will be releasing a full-frame DSLR soon Wink). It's hard to focus with a stock focusing screen, I might get a focus-confirm chipped m42 to a-mount adapter for it. First, a couple of size comparisons/lens porn:





Left to right: Minolta AF 1.4/85 (Minolta a-mount), Helios-40-2 1.5/85 (m42), Jupiter9 2/85 (m42)

And a few pics taken with my 1981 Helios wide open:

1.



2.



3.


Above I completely missed focus but like the effect.

4.



How do you use it and what are your feelings about this lens?

Regards,

-Alex


PostPosted: Mon Mar 17, 2008 7:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

awsome images. I like the 3rd the most, even though you stated it was a mistake. Experimental portraits are always more impressive in the long-run, at least in my opinion, since it really displays the skill of the photographer rather than the lens. Though the lens is incredible. Definatly has been on my wish-list for several years now.

~Marc


PostPosted: Mon Mar 17, 2008 8:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I love #1 - that dreamy look so characteristic of girls of that age.


patrickh


PostPosted: Tue Mar 18, 2008 7:07 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have to get one of those I love that dreamy effect. Your pictures look fantastic


PostPosted: Tue Mar 18, 2008 9:16 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Even without being able to reach infinity on my Nikons I'd be very tempted by one of these if I found one at a good price.


PostPosted: Tue Mar 18, 2008 10:37 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Welcome Alex
Superb portrait and very nice b&w conversion
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