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My 1961's Helios-40
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PostPosted: Thu Sep 13, 2007 10:23 pm    Post subject: My 1961's Helios-40 Reply with quote

In july I bought this lens from a Russian seller that I can really recommend (Suvorov).
I wanted it, although I already had one Helios-40, because it was made in year 1961, which is my year of birth, and I wanted a lens from that year.
I had it delivered to Attila in Budapest and I picked it up there.
Then when I came back home, the situation that you know got worse, and I didn't have a chance to try it.
Now I did, and man, what a copy. I already knew what these lenses are capable of, but I was really surprised to find out that this 1961 copy, with older coating, was performing every inch as well as the later Helios-40-2 that I have, which are more modern and with better coating.

Now I want to show what this old lens (as old as yours truly) is capable to do.
This is a resize of a shot taken at f/8:



And this the original 100% size:
http://www.orio.ws/temp/nespolo.htm

Another resized image:


And it's 100% original:
http://www.orio.ws/temp/macchina.htm

Move through the original images at 100% and look at the details.
And remember, this is a 1961 lens. Low refraction rare clay glass was still to be developed. Lens coating was not yet in infancy, but still quite young. There was no computer to design lenses. And most people could only afford to shoot cheap B&W film.
And yet...


Last edited by Orio on Thu Sep 13, 2007 11:10 pm; edited 3 times in total


PostPosted: Thu Sep 13, 2007 10:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

And yet you had master lensmakers whose job was a real grind! Laughing

Congrats on your Helios 40! Smile

Wow, lots of detail!

Have to open links at home, won't open at work, but we have a lousy
LAN and ISP.


Last edited by Katastrofo on Thu Sep 13, 2007 10:29 pm; edited 1 time in total


PostPosted: Thu Sep 13, 2007 10:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I am not able to make the full size images work Sad


PostPosted: Thu Sep 13, 2007 11:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

When I had a chance first time to get both Helios 40 I kept older one , because I found no difference between them. Now I have again both, hard to sell any of them , but must have to do that. I found multi coating only effect on direct sunshine in any other case older single coated or not coated lens are good as latest ones.


PostPosted: Thu Sep 13, 2007 11:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have fixed the links, now they work.


PostPosted: Thu Sep 13, 2007 11:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Attila wrote:
When I had a chance first time to get both Helios 40 I kept older one , because I found no difference between them. Now I have again both, hard to sell any of them , but must have to do that. I found multi coating only effect on direct sunshine in any other case older single coated or not coated lens are good as latest ones.


First I thought that black ones were sharper, but now after having seen how this one works, I really think they are the same.

I understand when you say it's hard to sell them, first because you know they are going to become more and more rare in the future, because when people will break them or lose them, they will not be replaced. But mostly, it's because they are true manual lenses, in that they have their individuality. I have four of them, and a fifth one I have sold, and believe me, they behave differently from each other, one does not flare wide open, only soft, another one flares a little, another one flares much, then there are subtle colour differences... in other words, they are more individuals than mass factory lenses... and so you respect them even more than normal lenses.


PostPosted: Thu Sep 13, 2007 11:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

This is absolutely right ! One of the reason why I have lot of Mf lenses all has different personality that is really cool help to makes beautiful artistic photos.


PostPosted: Thu Sep 13, 2007 11:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Since I made a bit of a mess earlier, I post here, isolated, the links to the pages that show the 100% images. You just have to click and see:

http://www.orio.ws/temp/nespolo.htm
http://www.orio.ws/temp/macchina.htm


PostPosted: Thu Sep 13, 2007 11:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Attila wrote:
This is absolutely right ! One of the reason why I have lot of Mf lenses all has different personality that is really cool help to makes beautiful artistic photos.


Yes. This is true to the point, that I even regret having sold the damaged copy that I used to have, because it probably had the best bokeh of all five copies that I had (although it was probably the less sharp one).

I mean it's subtleties... but art (if we could dare to call our photos that way) is distinguished by the subtleties... if you can tell one thing from another by the meter instead of the millimeter, then it probably isn't art at all.


PostPosted: Thu Sep 13, 2007 11:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Please note that in the car picture, you can tell a spiderweb between the elements of the metal fence!
(which was at a distance of 15-20 mt from my standpoint)

A curiosity, I took these pictures using a self-made cardboard lens hood - since the 76mm diameter of the front lens is a non-standard measure and commercial lens hoods are not available.


PostPosted: Thu Sep 13, 2007 11:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I opened the links, awesome performance! Shocked Load of detail, squared. Laughing Is that your car, Orio?


PostPosted: Fri Sep 14, 2007 5:35 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Katastrofo wrote:
I opened the links, awesome performance! Shocked Load of detail, squared. Laughing Is that your car, Orio?


No, thankfully!