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Helios 40 Craze
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PostPosted: Sat Aug 29, 2009 6:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

thePiRaTE!!: Your pictures are so convincing, that I'd buy the lens instantly. But I already have one Embarassed


PostPosted: Sat Aug 29, 2009 6:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I had one and I sold it without ever having used it. But that was way before I even got interested in the old lenses. At that time I thought: what's with this heavy old lens? Away with it? And I sold it at 125 euros... Including the original leather case and filters (this was a black 40-2).

But then... Weren't we all young and didn't we make bad decisions when we were younger? Wink

Topics like this make me want one.... Embarassed


PostPosted: Sat Aug 29, 2009 7:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Spotmatic wrote:
I had one and I sold it without ever having used it. But that was way before I even got interested in the old lenses. At that time I thought: what's with this heavy old lens? Away with it? And I sold it at 125 euros... Including the original leather case and filters (this was a black 40-2).

But then... Weren't we all young and didn't we make bad decisions when we were younger? Wink

Topics like this make me want one.... Embarassed


Laughing Laughing


PostPosted: Sun Aug 30, 2009 9:20 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

And now, what about a variable swirly bokeh effect?

First, we use the Helios 40-2 wide open to get the usual crazy bokeh:



Then, we increase the effect on the top of the frame:



And let's try increasing the swirls on the right side of the frame:



More on this later...

Cheers!

Abbazz


PostPosted: Sun Aug 30, 2009 10:03 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Tilt/shift? Bending the barrel of the lens? Laughing
Spill it man!

I've got to find one of these and put some motion samples together...


PostPosted: Sun Aug 30, 2009 2:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I must say, I've inadvertently led you astray! The second shot (of the blue bells) in my first contribution is from a Minolta 58/1.2 Rokkor PG. I assumed it was from the Helios because of the swirly nature of the shot. I didn't question at all it was not from the Helios, it was only later in looking at the Exif did I realise that the data matched the chip on my Rokkor. Sorry! To make up for this, more Helios samples to follow Smile

Btw, nice samples again Abazz, and interesting point about compressing the swirl in specific areas - even with my Biotars, I hadn't yet made any correlation between the occasional similar result to that with someting I was doing intentionally. I must experiment!

no-X wrote:
thePiRaTE!!: Your pictures are so convincing, that I'd buy the lens instantly. But I already have one Embarassed


Thank-you - I'm learning it is a very fun lens. Post some samples from yours if you will!

All Helios this time Smile







Kelly.


PostPosted: Sun Aug 30, 2009 11:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Abbazz wrote:
And now, what about a variable swirly bokeh effect?

First, we use the Helios 40-2 wide open to get the usual crazy bokeh:



Then, we increase the effect on the top of the frame:



And let's try increasing the swirls on the right side of the frame:



More on this later...

Cheers!

Abbazz


You artificially increased the vignetting using a rounded cut out dark paper? First on top then on the side?


PostPosted: Sun Aug 30, 2009 11:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

kds315* wrote:
Abbazz wrote:
And now, what about a variable swirly bokeh effect?

You artificially increased the vignetting using a rounded cut out dark paper? First on top then on the side?


I think this is a good guess. Even if it is not what Abazz has done, it works. I inadvertantly capture the shade from my hand as I shield the lens sometimes and note that even that can exacerbate the effect at the top of the image, if slightly.

K.


PostPosted: Mon Aug 31, 2009 12:21 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

kds315* wrote:
You artificially increased the vignetting using a rounded cut out dark paper? First on top then on the side?

thePiRaTE!! wrote:
I think this is a good guess. Even if it is not what Abazz has done, it works. I inadvertantly capture the shade from my hand as I shield the lens sometimes and note that even that can exacerbate the effect at the top of the image, if slightly.

Yep, Klaus (followed by Kelly) nailed it on the head! I just used a long sun shade from an old Takumar 135/3.5, which has a much smaller diameter than the Helios 40 in order to add some cat's eye effect.

Much of the "swirly bokeh" effect of the Helios 40 is due to the optical vignetting of the lens. That is, the out of focus highlights away from the center are partially obscured by the lens tube itself, due to its insufficient diameter in view of the large aperture of the lens. As a consequence, the out of focus highlights turn into a cat's eye shape, instead of their normal circular shape. For more on optical vignetting, see this excellent page on Paul van Walree's website: http://toothwalker.org/optics/vignetting.html

So I took the Takumar shade and held it in front of the lens to increase the optical vignetting of the Helios 40 (remember that the lens shade is much smaller in diameter than the lens, so it cannot be screwed in place). Then I slightly tilted it down to increase the vignetting on top of the frame, then tilted it to the left to increase the vignetting on the right edge.

In fact, it is more efficient to use a black cardboard tube mounted on the rear of the lens to artificially increase optical vignetting. Unfortunately, this usually is not possible with DSLRs, because there isn't sufficient space available at the back of the lens, due to the mirror clearance. The only exceptions are macro lenses designed to be used on bellows or medium format lenses used with adapters.

Cheers,

Abbazz


PostPosted: Mon Aug 31, 2009 2:40 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Abbazz, thanks for the link. Very interesting reading.


PostPosted: Mon Aug 31, 2009 3:33 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks Abbazz.. interesting...

I know about this phenomenon but never thought in terms of Helios.

I know that lot of for fast lenses (esp 50-58mm FL) were prone to cat-eye bokeh, as the size of the lens was intentionally kept smaller (for size... may be price too, but not sure). Rokkor and Noc (both 58mm) are pretty big compare to their contemporaries...


But bigger question is, which optical grouping/section does vignetting in Helios design.. the front element is quite a piece of glass...


PostPosted: Mon Aug 31, 2009 4:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The famous slim Biotar f1.5/7.5cm (75mm) hat that crazy bokeh too wide open btw.



PostPosted: Mon Aug 31, 2009 4:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Is it so that the Russian designers were trying to copy the Biotar originally?
They sure did not copy the size Shocked

My skinny Biotar is a nice compact lens maybe half the size of the Helios 40 although still quite heavy.


PostPosted: Mon Aug 31, 2009 5:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well, remember that you had to repair that stuff in the field with just a large hammer and other coarse tools... Wink


PostPosted: Mon Sep 07, 2009 6:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Crazy sharpness , isn't it ? Mr. Green



PostPosted: Tue Sep 08, 2009 12:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Helios wrote:
Crazy sharpness , isn't it ?

The picture looked quite sharp on the forum, but then I clicked and I looked at it full size: WOW!

Cheers!

Abbazz


PostPosted: Wed Sep 09, 2009 12:39 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Abbazz wrote:
kds315* wrote:
You artificially increased the vignetting using a rounded cut out dark paper? First on top then on the side?

thePiRaTE!! wrote:
I think this is a good guess. Even if it is not what Abazz has done, it works. I inadvertantly capture the shade from my hand as I shield the lens sometimes and note that even that can exacerbate the effect at the top of the image, if slightly.

Yep, Klaus (followed by Kelly) nailed it on the head! I just used a long sun shade from an old Takumar 135/3.5, which has a much smaller diameter than the Helios 40 in order to add some cat's eye effect.
Abbazz


Hmmm, maybe Ill keep my 40-2 afterall Idea

and I noticed there are way too many smart people on this forum Laughing


PostPosted: Thu Mar 25, 2010 3:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

thePiRate, love your flower images. Crazy kaleidoscope of wonderful color. Wish I could afford that lens!


PostPosted: Thu Mar 25, 2010 3:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
thePiRate, love your flower images. Crazy kaleidoscope of wonderful color.


I imagine your boosting the color though, right? Maybe a bit of alteration in l.a.b. mode? Cause I certainly have not gotten color like that, even with relatively saturated slide films. Incredible nonetheless!


PostPosted: Thu Mar 25, 2010 6:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Truly great, well meaning post, and absolutely fabulous pics too! But for God's sake, you are only going to further inflate the price of this already overpriced lens. Please forgive me for being a spoilsport.
Now imagine paying 500+ bucks from a Russian seller for this amazing lens, and waiting for it to show up in your humble mailbox. Ha,ha. My experience with Russian sellers has been very mixed. Some wonderful, some not so. You might as well play the lottery brother, you'll have better odds.


Last edited by Jeff Zen on Thu Mar 25, 2010 10:03 pm; edited 1 time in total


PostPosted: Thu Mar 25, 2010 8:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I really don't like this swirly bokeh, this is very disturbing as the main object or people is not the main anymore ! The lens is sharp as hell but is it really worth the price ? I think not...


PostPosted: Fri Mar 26, 2010 6:27 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

A blast from the past!

Kram wrote:
thePiRate, love your flower images. Crazy kaleidoscope of wonderful color. Wish I could afford that lens!


Kram - my thanks! Fwiw, I found my copy in a buy/sell site. Luckily, I had a friend nearby who picked it up for me. Minty for $300 cad, which wasn't too much less than they can still be had online, actually. The 40-2's smaller brother 44-2 is also capable of swirling bokeh for less. I haven't used the 44 personally, but have seen some shown in this forum.

themoleman342 wrote:
...
I imagine your boosting the color though, right? Maybe a bit of alteration in l.a.b. mode? Cause I certainly have not gotten color like that, even with relatively saturated slide films. Incredible nonetheless!


Hi Moleman, you are correct (and thanks!). Usually unless I'm reviewing or comparing lens traits, I apply PP. I do use l.a.b as one technique for exposure and saturation modulation. I watch training videos for photoshop, experiment with and cycle various work flows as I haven't any formal training.


Jeff Zen wrote:
Truly great, well meaning post, and absolutely fabulous pics too! But for God's sake, you are only going to further inflate the price of this already overpriced lens. Please forgive me for being a spoilsport.
Now imagine paying 500+ bucks from a Russian seller for this amazing lens, and waiting for it to show up in your humble mailbox. Ha,ha. My experience with Russian sellers has been very mixed. Some wonderful, some not so. You might as well play the lottery brother, you'll have better odds.


hehehe. It's a nice tool, the Helios. I wonder why with all the older Russian lenses still in production that the Helios isn't among them? Also, I think the cat is already out of the bag - http://club.foto.ru/forum/11/261862 (626 pages!)

Heathcliff wrote:
I really don't like this swirly bokeh, this is very disturbing as the main object or people is not the main anymore ! The lens is sharp as hell but is it really worth the price ? I think not...


Ah yes - but what if your subject IS bokeh? Note to Jeff Zen - Showing off the lens may actually send some away from buying one Wink

K.


PostPosted: Fri Mar 26, 2010 6:45 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Someday i'll find one in my country. All the helios i find in here are 44-2, 44-4, and 44-6.


PostPosted: Fri Mar 26, 2010 7:07 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Heathcliff wrote:
I really don't like this swirly bokeh, this is very disturbing as the main object or people is not the main anymore ! The lens is sharp as hell but is it really worth the price ? I think not...

I used to dislike the swirlies, but I changed my mind after getting a 44-2. They can be good in some situations.

The 40-2 is far from being the sharpest in this FL. A test on another fourm alongside 4 other lenses saw this one come 4th out of 5. The winner was a modern AF Canon (which sells around the same price). The other cheaper MF primes gave better value for money, but there is something about these Russian lenses. Once you get it, you'll understand why they are popular.


PostPosted: Sat Apr 17, 2010 11:23 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

There is just something about this lens that has some sort of magic it seems Cool