Home
SearchSearch MemberlistMemberlist RegisterRegister ProfileProfile Log in to check your private messagesLog in to check your private messages Log inLog in

helios 40--85mm/1.5
View previous topic :: View next topic  


PostPosted: Tue Jan 26, 2010 8:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

rbelyell wrote:
also, i have a jupiter 85/2 in m42. i think its wonderful, especially if you consider i got it for $100! is the samyang 3x's better; the helios 4x's better; the planar T 8 x's better? just hoping to get a cross section of opinions...


Despite of what others may say, the Samyang is at least 4x better than Jupiter-9. Let me elaborate. The Jupiter is an ancient pre-set Sonnar design with low resolution and extremely low contrast wide open. Its bokeh is weird at f/2. Really, it becomes a good lens ('good' in conventional terms, that is) from f/2.8 onwards. However, it is only 'good' in perfect lighting conditions; even the MC version is awful if you try shooting agains the sun or in the shadow. I have one, and use it for occasional portraits when I specifically target for that retro look.

Helios-40 is strictly a special effect lens. Used too often, the effect becomes ubiquitous and boring. I haven't seen too many photographers who were able to produce anything but test shots with this lens. It's nice to have, but forget about it as an all-around lens. I wouldn't pay its current asking prices for one.

The Samyang is usable from wide open. It's sharp by all means, but not too sharp like Zeiss Planar stopped down. Very little CA and technically perfect (if boring) bokeh. You can use the Samyang anywhere: sunlight, shadow, against the light... you can shoot sunsets with it! (Try that with Jupiter-9 Sad ).

Finally, the almighty Zeiss Planar is arguably the best of the bunch (yet it costs the most) in terms of the images it produces. Not quite as sharp as the Samyang wide open, it acts as a perfect lens for portraiture. Stopped down, it becomes uber-sharp. Colors, contrast and background rendering are just amazing.

SAMYANG 85/1.4




ZEISS PLANAR 85/1.4



HELIOS-40-2




MC JUPITER-9 (f/2 and f/4 respectively)


PostPosted: Tue Jan 26, 2010 9:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

aoleg wrote:
Despite of what others may say, the Samyang is at least 4x better than Jupiter-9. Let me elaborate. The Jupiter is an ancient pre-set Sonnar design with low resolution and extremely low contrast wide open. Its bokeh is weird at f/2. Really, it becomes a good lens ('good' in conventional terms, that is) from f/2.8 onwards. However, it is only 'good' in perfect lighting conditions; even the MC version is awful if you try shooting agains the sun or in the shadow. I have one, and use it for occasional portraits when I specifically target for that retro look.


although i think your pictures are quite beautiful, i have to disagree with you on all counts. perhaps you have a bad version of the jupiter, but i have used mine to very good effect, wide open in the most difficult of indoor lighting TO GET BEST RESOLUTION PLEASE CLICK ON EACH PHOTO:





and in good light i think it performs excellently:




i am happy that you love your samyang, and you use it to good effect. in my opinion, at a third of the size and a third of the price, i will take the jupiter every time. and at twice the price, i would take the planar T every time. that's just my opinion.


PostPosted: Tue Jan 26, 2010 11:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

rbelyell wrote:
although i think your pictures are quite beautiful, i have to disagree with you on all counts. perhaps you have a bad version of the jupiter, but i have used mine to very good effect, wide open in the most difficult of indoor lighting TO GET BEST RESOLUTION PLEASE CLICK ON EACH PHOTO:


rbelyell, that's precisely what I mean: there's no sharpness in all but one of the pictures you posted, especially considering they were downsized for Web display. Agreed, the second image suffers more from camera shake than the lens softness - BUT! - if you'd used the Samyang, you would have access to double the shutter speed - and could've produced a sharper image because of that.


PostPosted: Wed Jan 27, 2010 12:21 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

i think the pictures are sharp if you click on them to see what i see and in very difficult light. the subjects are clear; there are depth of field issues when you shoot wide open. to me only clear winner of ones discussed is planar T, IMHO. so theres no way i would pay 3x's as much for whatever marginal benefit might be found between 1.4 & 2.0 and no real benefit that i see in IQ.

Last edited by rbelyell on Wed Jan 27, 2010 12:55 am; edited 1 time in total


PostPosted: Wed Jan 27, 2010 12:46 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Completely smooth bokeh lenses have rightfully his strong supporters in this group and useful qualities that everyone can use (separation, abstract panterly background).

Me, I prefer those images where the blurring is gradual and with enough structure to give depth and presence to the background, creating a vivid environment. The Blue Canoe is an excellent example of it and explains well why I love so much that lens Very Happy


PostPosted: Wed Jan 27, 2010 3:53 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have very early version of Helios-40 with red П marking (Russian equivalent of "red T" by Zeiss) and it is my favorite lens. The sharpness and colors are top notch and the flare is much better controlled than with later silver versions (haven't tried black 40-2 so I can't compare to that one).
Comparing to Biotar 75mm, it has creamier bokeh with larger and less pronounced circles. Of course, modern Planar 85/1.4 is a tad sharper and the bokeh is more uniform... More boring Smile

Here's one from Helios wide open:


PostPosted: Wed Jan 27, 2010 7:25 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

BTW, there's one Helios-40-2 on eBay with a reasonable (at least at the moment) current bid: Click here to see on Ebay (13 hours left)


PostPosted: Wed Jan 27, 2010 7:35 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

pirius wrote:
I have very early version of Helios-40 with red П marking (Russian equivalent of "red T" by Zeiss) and it is my favorite lens. The sharpness and colors are top notch and the flare is much better controlled than with later silver versions (haven't tried black 40-2 so I can't compare to that one).
Comparing to Biotar 75mm, it has creamier bokeh with larger and less pronounced circles. Of course, modern Planar 85/1.4 is a tad sharper and the bokeh is more uniform... More boring Smile

Here's one from Helios wide open:



This is a really super capture. My guess is that the lens was stopped down a bit considering the DOF achieved at this distance.
Nicely shared thank you. Smile


PostPosted: Wed Jan 27, 2010 8:13 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

One simple Question please...

Are we talking about performance at f/1.4-1.5/85mm?

Why you want to buy a 1.4/1.5 Lens to use it stopped down?
So this is going to be a boring discussion when you try to find out which lens is better stopped down !

For my eyes, the Samyang is the best, if you look for a lens to use at f/1.4.
If you discussing the behavior of a stopped down lens, there where lots more competitors. If you will buy a lens with 1.4.. use it at 1.4.. or buy a f/2.8/85mm lens from a major brand. Take a Leica Elmarit 2.8/90mm and be happy.

Sorry, just my 2 cents..

Cheers
Henry


PostPosted: Wed Jan 27, 2010 9:19 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

hinnerker wrote:
One simple Question please...

Are we talking about performance at f/1.4-1.5/85mm?


Simple answer:
This thread is about helios 40--85mm/1.5

Anyway I am sure your Leica lens is a stellar performer Smile


PostPosted: Wed Jan 27, 2010 9:25 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

karabud wrote:
rbelyell wrote:

also, i have a jupiter 85/2 in m42. i think its wonderful, especially if you consider i got it for $100! is the samyang 3x's better; the helios 4x's better; the planar T 8 x's better? just hoping to get a cross section of opinions...


I think samyang(is sharper in corners wide open than planar; equal in center) and planar are equal


+1

Cheers


PostPosted: Wed Jan 27, 2010 9:29 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I follow Orio when he says that most of the time a quiet background/bokeh is better in forming a picture. The sharp parts of a picture are easy to recognize (even if not centered) with a lens like the Zeiss Planar.

A lens like the Helios or the Biotar are something special to use and so the pictures you make with these lenses tend to be "art" - and not "commercial". It is more difficult to make superficially good pictures.


Last edited by mflex-on on Wed Jan 27, 2010 4:38 pm; edited 1 time in total


PostPosted: Wed Jan 27, 2010 12:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Very fine analysis , mflex-on ! I tried to use my Helios-40 to take pictures of organ cases , and this"centered sharp part" was very apparent even stopped down . Now I use Angenieux Y-12 90mm or Rodagon 80 el lens or 50mm focal length lenses for this special purpose . However , Helios-40 is for me a marvelous portrait tool .
here a crop (25% of the original) . F/4 Istdl sensor, 200 iso



PostPosted: Wed Jan 27, 2010 2:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

hinnerker wrote:
One simple Question please...

Are we talking about performance at f/1.4-1.5/85mm?


hi henry

well, i'll tell you what i was talking about in starting the thread: performance vs price! this wasnt a 'whats the best 85mm' it was a 'i cant believe a helios is 4x's more expensive than a jupiter, and a planar T is 2x's more expensive still' thread! given the choice/quality/price differential at other focal lengths it seems to me this disparity at 85mm was worth talking about:
jupiter $100/samyang $300/helios $400/planar T $800!
it seems to me something is wrong with that picture. everyone's opinion is valid, as opinions reflect the subjective judgement of the giver, but my eyes simply do not see the differences in the jupiter/samyang/helios that justifies that price differential. and even though i see a big difference between all of these and the planar, again, i just find the difference in price hard to understand. perhaps its due to the lack of choice at this FL, but that was where i wanted the discussion to go...
btw helios, really nice portrait!


PostPosted: Wed Jan 27, 2010 2:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Many thanks, rbelyell, I bought my copy in 1987, brand new ... , 850 french Francs , that was $180/$200 of 1987 , it was a lot of money ! My jupiter is a 1969 purchase (my first "telephoto") , and my s-tak 1,8/85 was second-hand acquired in 1977 .... My oldies are in very good condition , no repairs , only the grease in the j-9 was removed for a better one in 1990 .
Smile


PostPosted: Wed Jan 27, 2010 2:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

hey helios, if you have a minute, maybe you could post some pix w the tak 85 to see how it stacks up. though i think these too are pretty pricey! it really seems that this FL does not allow for a reasonably priced quality lens outside of the jupiter, and i think that's very strange...even the really wide angles, which today given the crop-camera scene--are gold, have a variety of good performers around or under $200!


PostPosted: Wed Jan 27, 2010 3:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

F16SUNSHINE wrote:



This is a really super capture. My guess is that the lens was stopped down a bit considering the DOF achieved at this distance.
Nicely shared thank you. Smile

Thanks! Smile No, as far as I remember it's wide open. If you look at the ground on the right, you'll see that the DOF is not more than 30 centimeters (my son is 1 year old, not big at all!). It's just the bokeh of Helios is not a uniform blurry field, so you always get some details in the background. That's what I like about it, especially on prints - every part of the shot has some texture to it.


PostPosted: Wed Jan 27, 2010 4:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Relayer wrote:
rbelyell wrote:
well, i'll tell you what i was talking about in starting the thread: performance vs price! this wasnt a 'whats the best 85mm' it was a 'i cant believe a helios is 4x's more expensive than a jupiter, and a planar T is 2x's more expensive still' thread!


my USSR made cinematography lens PO2-2M 2/75 cost me around $6 Smile wide open

and some other samples also wide open
http://farm5.static.flickr.com/4040/4298712330_fe3d58a73f_o_d.jpg
http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2734/4298714208_b2b52f8192_o_d.jpg

what do you think about performance/price ratio for this lens? Smile Rolling Eyes


WOW!
Do you have one for sale Wink


PostPosted: Wed Jan 27, 2010 4:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

With current prices Samyang is the obvious choice. You'll get a new lens with guarantee. Have you heard any news about the 14mm Samyang? That's the one I want.


PostPosted: Wed Jan 27, 2010 5:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

@relayer: are you freakin' kidding me?! wow!! i want that!!! but how do you get it to work on a dslr--i understood c mount lenses only operated as macro lenses on dslr????


PostPosted: Wed Jan 27, 2010 5:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Riku wrote:
With current prices Samyang is the obvious choice. You'll get a new lens with guarantee. Have you heard any news about the 14mm Samyang? That's the one I want.

The 14mm lens doesn't have good reviews st the 85mm. It suffers from strange kind of distorsion.


PostPosted: Wed Jan 27, 2010 7:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

rbelyell wrote:
hinnerker wrote:
One simple Question please...

Are we talking about performance at f/1.4-1.5/85mm?


hi henry

well, i'll tell you what i was talking about in starting the thread: performance vs price! this wasnt a 'whats the best 85mm' it was a 'i cant believe a helios is 4x's more expensive than a jupiter, and a planar T is 2x's more expensive still' thread! given the choice/quality/price differential at other focal lengths it seems to me this disparity at 85mm was worth talking about:
jupiter $100/samyang $300/helios $400/planar T $800


Thanks rbelyell for the explanation of your aims...

But to find out, what is really the difference between lenses in the same focal length, nothing, really nothing comes closer to your aim, as to buy the different lenses and make your own tests to find out exactly this. There are hundreds of 50mm Lenses, hundreds of 35mm lenses, lots of 85mm lenses.. each with special character and different prices on the second hand market also depending on your luck.
The shown pictures are taken with different cam's which are different to your 5D .. what do you really try to find out in this way?

The differences are as big as you want. The prices on evilbay are not consistent.. the only thing you can see, are different pictures, which saying not much about the lenses differences, the behavior in different conditions and so on. But exactly this behavior or a feature a lens can give you, is that, what it makes it valueble for one person and for another person not.

To check out, how valuable a lens is for you, you must check differences in the lens behavior, and decide by yourself and the value for you. IMHO this can only done by yourself..

An example.. in another forum we now discussing a Leica Summilux 1.4/50mm vs. SMC Takumar 1.4/50mm..
Both have near similar optical formulas.. The Summilux goes for roundabout 400-500 Euro on Evilbay.. The SMC you can find for 1/4 of the price.. same bokeh, nearly same sharpness, some small differences here and there... why should anybody buy a Leica Summilux ?
And there are lots of 50mm you can buy for peanuts..

The only valuable metering is "dont look, try it". Today you are in the best position for buying and selling this lenses again with lost of very little money.

Cheers
Henry


PostPosted: Wed Jan 27, 2010 7:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

henry thanks so much! you of course are correct; we can only know what we really like through personal use. but i disagree a little when you say there are many 85mms at different prices. my point really is that the 85mm FL is NOT like other FL's because there are NOT any lenses i have seen under $200 except for the jupiter! and the lenses we have talked about here are between $3-800! any other FL i think there is great variety of quality lenses for under $150!!!


PostPosted: Wed Jan 27, 2010 8:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

rbelyell wrote:
henry thanks so much! you of course are correct; we can only know what we really like through personal use. but i disagree a little when you say there are many 85mms at different prices. my point really is that the 85mm FL is NOT like other FL's because there are NOT any lenses i have seen under $200 except for the jupiter! and the lenses we have talked about here are between $3-800! any other FL i think there is great variety of quality lenses for under $150!!!


Potentials at or around $200 (shopper must be diligent)
Nikkor 2/85
Zuiko 2/85 (one of my personal favorites and a natural on your 5D)
Super Tak 1.9,1.8/85
Leica Summicron 2/90 I bought a very used cosmetically but perfect copy for $180 last august

Under $150 you will not find it anymore. Nor should you it is not reasonable to expect a fast mid tele for this price.
Slow sure but mid tele lenses have a lot of big glass and are not as easy or cheap to make.
Also you must consider that fewer are on the market as compared to 50mm or say 135mm FL's.
I think for you Tony the Samyang sounds like the best choice as a "go to" lens. It meets your price point as well as being a good wide open performer.
The lens may not improve much in sharpness stopping down compared to some others.
It is good enough already WO and does not get worse so. Take one for the $250 and show us some great samples. Smile


PostPosted: Wed Jan 27, 2010 8:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

rbelyell wrote:
my point really is that the 85mm FL is NOT like other FL's because there are NOT any lenses i have seen under $200 except for the jupiter!

Keep an eye on this one. No case and average wear and scratching. I'm sure a better example will come along:
Click here to see on Ebay

The J-9 is really a super lens IMO. I don't often use any lens wide open very often, so the wierd bokeh isn't really an issue. At f3.5 and above it's as sharp as any other 85mm, a touch sharper than the Tak maybe, and gives those classic rich Russian colours. See if you can find any examples on the forum from our member Borges (Michael). Some of his pics with the J-9 were fantastic.

The only thing I don't like about it is that the aperture setting and stop down rings are very thin and too close together, which makes it a bit fiddly for me. I tend to keep the setting ring at f2 and just use the stop down ring. On an AE camera this acts like a bokeh control.