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Helios 40 Craze
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PostPosted: Sun Aug 23, 2009 6:30 am    Post subject: Helios 40 Craze Reply with quote

The Helios 40-2 was one of the first lenses I bought in 2006 when I started to collect again manual focus lenses, after a 20 years hiatus. In the first few months, I used this lens a lot, and then I got a bit tired of it. Too much of the best thing is still too much. But after a short while, I missed this lens and started to use it again. I have taken thousands of pictures with it since, and I always try to carry it with me, except when its bulk is too much of a problem...

This morning, I had a short jungle trek with the kids and the Helios came along:















Post your crazy pictures taken with the Helios 40 in this thread!

Cheers!

Abbazz


PostPosted: Sun Aug 23, 2009 7:32 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

#3 shows the power of the Helios 40 very well. Excellent!


PostPosted: Sun Aug 23, 2009 9:38 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Orio wrote:
#3 shows the power of the Helios 40 very well. Excellent!


Thanks Orio. Helios 40 is a powerful lens indeed.

Cheers!

Abbazz


PostPosted: Sun Aug 23, 2009 6:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm a little confused here Abbazz, is your lens the 40-2 or the 40-1? Your samples look the 40-1/chrome to me. You also make reference to the Helios 40 [no -2] a couple of time. The reason I ask is my 40-2/black is not getting this kind of swirly bokeh, which for me has been a little dissapointing.

All nice captures you have, btw.


PostPosted: Sun Aug 23, 2009 8:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

...

Last edited by Helios on Mon Aug 24, 2009 7:37 pm; edited 1 time in total


PostPosted: Sun Aug 23, 2009 11:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

One of my fav lens...







PostPosted: Mon Aug 24, 2009 10:17 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Bruce wrote:
I'm a little confused here Abbazz, is your lens the 40-2 or the 40-1? Your samples look the 40-1/chrome to me. You also make reference to the Helios 40 [no -2] a couple of time. The reason I ask is my 40-2/black is not getting this kind of swirly bokeh, which for me has been a little dissapointing.

All nice captures you have, btw.


Thanks for the compliment. My lens is an Helios 40-2, which is in very good shape. Incidentally, I bought it from Dante Stella, who got bored of it after writing the review on his website. As for swirly bokeh, I can assure you that the 40-2 delivers.

Cheers!

Abbazz


PostPosted: Mon Aug 24, 2009 10:21 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Helios wrote:
Sorry , no "crazy" pics with helios-40 , but some portrait pics, ... and nudes Embarassed (nudes not here , sorry) . I don't "overuse" this lens , since I have the choice in this range of focal length - saying beetween 85 and 105mm (10 lenses) -So I submit to you "gentle" pics ...

Thanks for the lovely picture, Helios. What a sumptuous background, it looks like a tapestry!

Cheers!

Abbazz


PostPosted: Mon Aug 24, 2009 10:22 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ballu wrote:
One of my fav lens...

Way to go, Ballu. Keep them coming!

Cheers!

Abbazz


PostPosted: Mon Aug 24, 2009 12:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ballu 2nd shot is great...


PostPosted: Wed Aug 26, 2009 4:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Very nice shots Abazz and Ballu! Abazz, as you know, I recently got a 40-2 and as such have been carrying it around with me and giving it fair use. Tbh, I'm not sure I don't prefer it to the Biotar. I find the Biotar is as swirly, sharper up the middle and slightly wider, but the Helios has more of that 'dream' quality associated with stronger diffusion around the point of focus. It too is sharp, but masked with this glow. I think a lot of people may mistake this for softness. Having said that, the corners on both the Biotar and Helios suffer the wider they get, for the better in most cases!

Bruce wrote:
...The reason I ask is my 40-2/black is not getting this kind of swirly bokeh, which for me has been a little dissapointing...


A couple of helpful hints: The swirliness is almost gone after f1.5 - wide open all the way for swirl. You are using an APS-C camera which is cropping the strongest portion of the swirl from the image - it will still be readily apparent however, but this is worth noting. The more highlighted background you can include in the shot, the more the effect has a chance to show. Best of luck!

Here are a few shots so far from the Helios I was happy with:








Kelly.

Edit: Ps - to lighten the weight of the carry a little and to aid in mounting adapters and the camera - I have removed the bottom ring and tripod mount. Underneath the metal has a couple of marks from assembly, but it is dark enough it isn't really ugly. It is easier now to use.


PostPosted: Wed Aug 26, 2009 11:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks Pirate, Ill try to concentrate on the brighter backgrounds, yours certainly look great. The color too.


PostPosted: Wed Aug 26, 2009 11:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Kelly that last pic is such a sweetheart.
What a cute kid . Too bad she looks si serious.
Any/All if these with your Sony?


PostPosted: Thu Aug 27, 2009 12:11 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I forgot what an amazing (and unique) bokeh this lens produced... and then I feel like I've learned a whole new side to it after seeing these photos. Thanks for the reminders that this lens should be in the "have" column.


PostPosted: Thu Aug 27, 2009 4:49 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

As usual, Helios produces great shots. Can't wait the day I get a copy. Now if anyone of you are bored with yours and am willing to sell at a reasonable price, let me know.


PostPosted: Thu Aug 27, 2009 5:35 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Bruce wrote:
Thanks Pirate, Ill try to concentrate on the brighter backgrounds, yours certainly look great. The color too.


I just noticed you have the 5DmkII as well - disregard my middle suggestion, heh. I recall when I first got my Biotar, I was a bit underwhelmed by my results but there are sweet spots that avail themselves with use of it.

F16SUNSHINE wrote:
Kelly that last pic is such a sweetheart.
What a cute kid . Too bad she looks si serious.
Any/All if these with your Sony?


Thanks Andy, its my neice. I tricked her on this occasion, she loves to pose, but its hard to catch a candid moment now that she recognizes the camera. I called her name and took the shot as soon as she turned to catch her off guard. Shot with the A900, yes.


K.


PostPosted: Thu Aug 27, 2009 5:38 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

You able to use your Biotar 75 on A900? Yours a M42 version? Also, is your Rokkor converted into Minolta/Sony A mount?


PostPosted: Thu Aug 27, 2009 5:54 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

my_photography wrote:
You able to use your Biotar 75 on A900? Yours a M42 version? Also, is your Rokkor converted into Minolta/Sony A mount?


I have an Exa and an M42 version, LuisAlegria made an adapter to fit the the Exa to his Pentax and was very kind to pass one along to me. Although the same principal would have worked with the Sony, I found an M42 for a price I was comfortable with and went this route instead. One small issue with the custom mount was needing to adjust the helical up a 'notch' (the Biotar must be adjusted in increments of a half a barrels turn) to account for the depth of the flanged adapter, which left it with a bit of focus throw past infinity, the M42 is closer to exact.

All the lenses listed I use with the A900, chipped for use with the sensor stabilization. The Rokkor was converted by a fellow named Shao Zhang and consequently sold to me. He went with Pete Ganzel's custom machined A mount and a James Lao custom chip. Its a real beauty. The Topcor I did myself by cutting back the stopper at the end of the helical to allow the lens to focus back far enough to reach infinity with my shaved James Lao chipped M42 adapter screwed over the existing mount. It actually looks alright and functions fine. The rest are simple M42's with the chipped adapters. I share some of those loose adapters around so my Exif isn't always exact, but I have enough of them that its usually at least near correct so shake reduction is effective.

K.


PostPosted: Thu Aug 27, 2009 12:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

thePiRaTE!! wrote:
Here are a few shots so far from the Helios I was happy with:








Wow, Kelly, what a bunch of awesome pictures! I see you are doing great with the Sony A900 (in fact I guess you could as well use a shoe box equipped with a pinhole and still crank out out beautiful pictures). The colors in these pictures are gorgeous indeed. You must have no regrets of selling your Pentax gear...

Cheers!

Abbazz


PostPosted: Fri Aug 28, 2009 3:33 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

So quick question, would the silver bodied Helios-40 (non-2) produce similar results at f1.5? I'm trying to go for that painted bokeh look, but honestly the Helios 40-2 is getting pretty hard to come by (affordablely) these days...


PostPosted: Fri Aug 28, 2009 6:04 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

fates wrote:
So quick question, would the silver bodied Helios-40 (non-2) produce similar results at f1.5? I'm trying to go for that painted bokeh look, but honestly the Helios 40-2 is getting pretty hard to come by (affordablely) these days...


I might not be the right person to give you some advice, since I only own the Helios 40-2 and have never used the Helios 40, but I have seen quite a great deal of pictures taken with both. My personal conclusion is that the differences between these two lenses are less meaningful than the sample variations from one lens to another due to the poor quality control at the time of production. In fact, you might have to try a few lenses before getting the right one -- it definitely helps to buy from a good trusted seller.

Lens coating is not a big advantage, as even the Helios 40-2 flares a lot when shooting against the light, despite its supposedly better coating. As for the adjustable tripod mount, I don't use it at all and I find it rather annoying because it adds to the bulk and tends to get in the way when mounting the lens.

So, Helios 40 or 40-2, who cares?

Cheers!

Abbazz


PostPosted: Fri Aug 28, 2009 8:40 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for that! Any serial number runs to avoid maybe? Or clues I can glean from ebay ads?

Ones that are m39 that have to be adapted up to m42? Or are those ok?

Basically my mission is to shoot video through this lens and make that painterly bokeh move.
Thanks guys.


PostPosted: Fri Aug 28, 2009 1:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've got the Helios 40 in the m39 mount. I use an m39 to m42 ring and then m42 to EOS adapter. I've not tested this particular lens, but on another m39 lens I found I lost infinity focus when pixel peaking at 200+%. I didn't bother with the best for the Helios as I can't recall ever using it at infinity. Portraits and closeups are just about the only thing I use this lens for and it's one of my favorites if I'm doing that type of photography.


PostPosted: Fri Aug 28, 2009 7:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Very nice pics, I'm lookig for a 40-2 but nothing on the horizon yet.
I like the swirling bokeh, really interesting


PostPosted: Sat Aug 29, 2009 8:28 am    Post subject: A few more from today... Reply with quote

Here are a few pictures taken this morning at Tungku Beach:









Cheers!

Abbazz