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Helios 40 examples
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 18, 2009 9:00 pm    Post subject: Helios 40 examples Reply with quote

I recently was on a trip to Belarus where I got a chance to acquire few Soviet/Russian lenses, among them an old Helios 40 85/1.5 specimen. It's a first version and it ruins every picture when there a strong background light, but when used in the right conditions - wow. I really like the personal retro feeling coming from portraits that it produces.

Here are couple of examples at f/1.5 with its signature whirlwind bokeh:



Here are couple more at f/2.8:



PostPosted: Tue Aug 18, 2009 9:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Nice samples! Clearly shows how good this lens!


PostPosted: Tue Aug 18, 2009 9:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Nice shots.


PostPosted: Tue Aug 18, 2009 9:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I really love the bokeh of the two firsts photos.
That helios really have some character on it. A very special retro rendering that I've always liked.
The first one is my favourite, the light, the expression, the rendering of the lens...Very nice capture


PostPosted: Tue Aug 18, 2009 9:32 pm    Post subject: Re: Helios 40 examples Reply with quote

pirius wrote:
It's a first version and it ruins every picture when there a strong background light


Nice pictures to be sure - is your lens clean internally, or is this problem a characteristic of the lens?


PostPosted: Tue Aug 18, 2009 9:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The glass is clean throughout although a little yellow. I thought about UV-treating it at first but now I think I like the colors the way they are. I have other 85mm lenses if I need accurate color Smile

I think this lens suffers from flare by design - at least I've seen exactly the same problem with another copy I tried. They also both had air bubbles in the glass and the coating on internal elements was uneven.

It may also be caused by an internal reflection from the 5D sensor to the rear element and back, I don't know. My copy at least has a hood that was custom made from a ring taken from one of filters that it comes with. It helps a bit, but not much.


PostPosted: Tue Aug 18, 2009 11:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

#1 and #3 for me (and I'd try #3 in black and white).

As to the yellowing, sunbathing most likely will not help: the yellowing is rumored to be caused by the blue coatings on the lens. BTW, be extra careful when cleaning the lens, as the coatings on the first versions were chemically applied (can be damaged and washed away with substances such as isopropyl alcohol). Anyway, the color cast is easy to correct in post if you don't like it.


PostPosted: Wed Aug 19, 2009 12:01 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

1 & 3 for me too, but Id leave it colored as is.
Another lens to get Mad


PostPosted: Wed Aug 19, 2009 2:55 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Nice pictures.
This lens tens to flare and hood is a must for it.


PostPosted: Wed Aug 19, 2009 2:57 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I love this lens, but o boy it is so heavy!


PostPosted: Wed Aug 19, 2009 5:25 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

great pics! my favs #1#3#4


PostPosted: Wed Aug 19, 2009 6:01 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I used to hate this lens but having used a Helios 44-2 I'm warming to the bokeh. I think the price of the 40s is inflated though.