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How good is the 58/2 Biotar?
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PostPosted: Mon Feb 09, 2009 9:27 am    Post subject: How good is the 58/2 Biotar? Reply with quote

I hear that Atilla is somewhat of an expert. Laughing And yes I've read the review here.

Are there many variations of this lens and what sort of price do they go for?


PostPosted: Mon Feb 09, 2009 10:57 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

It's easily reach 100 USD, but any price is possible depend from your luck. If you are on short of money take a Helios-44 , they are more less same.


PostPosted: Mon Feb 09, 2009 3:25 pm    Post subject: Re: How good is the 58/2 Biotar? Reply with quote

martinsmith99 wrote:
Are there many variations of this lens and what sort of price do they go for?


As I know, there are 3 basic models of Biotar:

  1. full-manual
  2. pre-set
  3. semi-auto (not the best choice for adaptor + DSLR combination)

  1. Full-manual is very small. It's pre-war design, but it was produced even after war for a short period of time. This lens has 17 iris blades and is rare. There are 3 versions of full-manual Biotar:
    1. black "5.8cm"
    2. silver "5.8cm"
    3. newer silver marked "58mm" instead of 5.8cm (this one was produced after war)
  2. Pre-set Biotar is slightly more common. I know 3 versions:
    1. classic (10 blades)
    2. T (12 blades)
    3. T (17 blades), quite rare
  3. Semi-auto version has probably always 10 blades, I've never seen T version of this lens.


You can buy Helios 44 lens instead. From usage point of view, the 44-2 and 44-3 are very similar to the 2nd versio of Biotar (pre-set). The main difference is fewer iris blades (8 instead of 10/12/17). You can buy also later Helios lenses, but their quality is more various and with the exception of Helios 44M they have have 6 iris blades. Their strong point is contrast (later versions are multicoated) and better sharpness (44M-6), but only if you find good copy.


PostPosted: Mon Feb 09, 2009 3:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

That's great info thanks. I've spotted one, but unsure of the version. I think it's one of the presets in M42 mount (10 blades?).

I have access to a 58/2 Helios 44M, but I looking at a test of standard lenses that was done on this forum a while back, the Biotar looks better than the Helios 44-2.


PostPosted: Mon Feb 09, 2009 4:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

perhaps this page will help you, if don't know yet

http://www.zenitcamera.com/archive/lenses/helios-44.html

Good luck

Rino.