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Biotar 75mm f1.5 vs Helios 40-2-N
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PostPosted: Sat Jul 15, 2017 1:21 pm    Post subject: Biotar 75mm f1.5 vs Helios 40-2-N Reply with quote

Hi

I would like to buy one of the two lenses, either the Biotar 75mm f1.5 or the Helios 40-2-N.

Now, the Biotar is said to have a better IQ then the Helios, but it is much more expensive.
Since their rendering is rather similar, at least WO, (the Helios having a smoother and swirlier bokeh, but the Biotar being sharper) the questions is: is the Biotar worth the extra money?

Judging from the comparison here: http://www.deep-life.ru/test-12/index.htm, I think the answer is no.

I would like to have your opinion.

Thanks.


PostPosted: Sat Jul 15, 2017 3:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Having seen the comparison of the posted link my answer is no as well.

Furthermore I don't like nervous and swirly bokeh and that's why I am more than happy with my Minolta AF 85mm/F1.4 instead. So I won't buy any of these lenses regardless the price. Wink

If you like that kind of swirly bokeh then maybe a cheap Helios 44 is good enough. This lens renders quite similar.


PostPosted: Sat Jul 15, 2017 6:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

It depends, here are some using my slim postwar Biotar 7.5cm lens:
https://www.flickr.com/photos/kds315/albums/72157677615910223

My series of shots "Enchanted Forest" was done with it. None were swirly.
http://forum.mflenses.com/enchanted-forest-with-biotar-75mm-t76926,highlight,%2Benchanted.html

It is a lovely sharp lens with creamy bokeh. About any lens can be swirly and stuff,
it quite depends in whose hands it is Wink

I don't really like this kind of deadbeat judgemental disqualifying comments,
rather than the demonstrated ability to get the best out of any lens, especially
from someone who doesn't even have or have had the specific lens Wink


PostPosted: Sat Jul 15, 2017 8:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ditto Klaus!

I have a Biotar 75, and I admit I don't seem to have what it takes to get the best from this thing. Its certainly more than sharp enough, but can I use it where its clearly better than, for instance, a Nikkor 85/1.8? Some people can tell, but I can't.

Or are any of these 85mm clearly better for their purpose than any standard, cheap 50/1.4? In some peoples hands, clearly yes, but the choice of lens is vastly less important than the photographer, the situation, the model, the lighting, and for that matter the purpose of the photograph.


PostPosted: Sun Jul 16, 2017 6:55 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have the Meopta Meostigmat 70/1.4 projector lens, it has a similar formula, I like it because it has the same rendering, but is much smaller, it has reduced my desire for either the Zeiss or Helios, it's only weakness is the lack of an aperture system.
I desire the thin Zeiss version more than the fat Zeiss or the Helios 40-2, I really want a nice copy of the silver 40 with the red P to go with my 44 red P


PostPosted: Sun Jul 16, 2017 7:34 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

kds315* wrote:
I don't really like this kind of deadbeat judgemental disqualifying comments,
rather than the demonstrated ability to get the best out of any lens, especially
from someone who doesn't even have or have had the specific lens Wink


You don't like my comment. That's fair enough.

However, I seriously looked into this subject already some time ago and decided not to buy any of those lenses, particularly because of the (for my taste) not so nice bokeh rendering. Especially the Biotar which was certainly a very unique and great lens when it was introduced 1938 is nowadays more regarded as a collectors item hence the pricing is already in a ridiculous range for an nice copy. The price of the Helios is OK for the value you get and it's still available brand new. And yes, for playing around with that kind of bokeh rendering I own a couple of Helios 44 (Russian Biotar copy) and that's good enough for me. In the range of 75 to 85 mm I own some other lenses which I simply prefer more, particularly when I put the pricing also into consideration (what the OP definitely was asking for).

For the OP it may also be of interest that you are using your Biotar on a MFT sensor, i.e. you are only using the "sweetest spot" of the lens which is certainly a big advantage compared to the usage on a FF camera. That would have been nice and fair to mention from your side when you stated that this lens is "lovely sharp". On FF this lens is optimal when stopped down to F8. Stephan from Artaphot explains it quite good in his article here: http://artaphot.ch/images/Technik/Zeiss/Planar-Biotar/FS143_History_ZeissPlanarBiotar_150dpi.pdf and in your thread about the "enchanted forest" ("A very small central spot - maybe 8mm diameter - is quite sharp even at f2").

To call my opinion as a "deadbeat comment" is obviously a little overreaction of a proud Biotar owner. Wink


PostPosted: Sun Jul 16, 2017 7:49 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Biotar is a Ferrari Helios is a Toyota both are a nice car and bring you from A to B choice what you wallet allow Smile Now I have to sell my entire collection include many Biotars this is fine I am happy with a Samyang 85mm 1.4 and Appollo 75mm f1.4 for swirly thing Smile . So which one is better what you have Smile
I had several years both lens parallel, I never felt in love with Helios , if I have a choice I always choice to shoot Zeiss, mostly Planar 85mm f1.4 Smile Biotar did come after, on Ebay now you can find Planar for less than 400 USD.
Today I did try first time Samyang 85mm I was really , really happy with it and cost was 70 USD .. LOL because of a scratch on front.


PostPosted: Sun Jul 16, 2017 8:01 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Attila wrote:
Biotar is a Ferrari Helios is a Toyota both are a nice car and bring you from A to B choice what you wallet allow Smile Now I have to sell my entire collection include many Biotars this is fine I am happy with a Samyang 85mm 1.4 and Appollo 75mm f1.4 for swirly thing Smile . So which one is better what you have Smile
I had several years both lens parallel, I never felt in love with Helios , if I have a choice I always choice to shoot Zeiss, mostly Planar 85mm f1.4 Smile Biotar did come after, on Ebay now you can find Planar for less than 400 USD.
Today I did try first time Samyang 85mm I was really , really happy with it and cost was 70 USD .. LOL because of a scratch on front.


Yes, I have the same feelings as Attila.
You might like to consider the Samyang 85mm f1.4.
It sells for less (brand new) than the other two lenses and also comes with a warranty.
Happy hunting
Tom


PostPosted: Sun Jul 16, 2017 8:55 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Oldhand wrote:
Attila wrote:
Biotar is a Ferrari Helios is a Toyota both are a nice car and bring you from A to B choice what you wallet allow Smile Now I have to sell my entire collection include many Biotars this is fine I am happy with a Samyang 85mm 1.4 and Appollo 75mm f1.4 for swirly thing Smile . So which one is better what you have Smile
I had several years both lens parallel, I never felt in love with Helios , if I have a choice I always choice to shoot Zeiss, mostly Planar 85mm f1.4 Smile Biotar did come after, on Ebay now you can find Planar for less than 400 USD.
Today I did try first time Samyang 85mm I was really , really happy with it and cost was 70 USD .. LOL because of a scratch on front.


Yes, I have the same feelings as Attila.
You might like to consider the Samyang 85mm f1.4.
It sells for less (brand new) than the other two lenses and also comes with a warranty.
Happy hunting
Tom


I have Samyang you did miss it or my English wasn't clear. I did try out today and I am very happy with it. I just sold my last Helios 40 a few days before. My Samyang cost was only 70 USD..


PostPosted: Sun Jul 16, 2017 9:01 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Attila wrote:
Oldhand wrote:
Attila wrote:
Biotar is a Ferrari Helios is a Toyota both are a nice car and bring you from A to B choice what you wallet allow Smile Now I have to sell my entire collection include many Biotars this is fine I am happy with a Samyang 85mm 1.4 and Appollo 75mm f1.4 for swirly thing Smile . So which one is better what you have Smile
I had several years both lens parallel, I never felt in love with Helios , if I have a choice I always choice to shoot Zeiss, mostly Planar 85mm f1.4 Smile Biotar did come after, on Ebay now you can find Planar for less than 400 USD.
Today I did try first time Samyang 85mm I was really , really happy with it and cost was 70 USD .. LOL because of a scratch on front.


Yes, I have the same feelings as Attila.
You might like to consider the Samyang 85mm f1.4.
It sells for less (brand new) than the other two lenses and also comes with a warranty.
Happy hunting
Tom


I have Samyang you did miss it or my English wasn't clear. I did try out today and I am very happy with it. I just sold my last Helios 40 a few days before. My Samyang cost was only 70 USD..


Yes, your english is very good Attila.
I was agreeing with you.
Samyang is a very good alternative
Tom


PostPosted: Sun Jul 16, 2017 9:28 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Option:1
Get a cheap but heavy Helios first. Sell it and get a Biotar if you don't like it.

Option:2
Get something else if you can't decide it.

Option:3
....


PostPosted: Sun Jul 16, 2017 9:58 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Admittedly I have two slim Biotars 75mm (which I use ever so often and one is for sale actually) and also have the Helios 40-2 (which I hardly ever use) and aside from that have many, many other such lenses in my collection, which I "proudly own". What I really like is the craftsmanship and the optical engineering which went into them, aside from their performance they show in using them (on my mft camera bodies), hence why I have so many different ones.

What my pledge is, to not just look at the prominent aspect a lens has and not to put them into boxes like "bubble maker", "swirler", but to see the many possibilities about any of them has Wink


PostPosted: Sun Jul 16, 2017 1:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

There is a lens in the 75mm length that is cheap and superb - the Fujinon-TV 1.8/75 in c mount. I doubt a 2000usd Leica Summi-something is better, that's how good the Fujinon is.


PostPosted: Sun Jul 16, 2017 1:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

kds315* wrote:
Admittedly I have two slim Biotars 75mm (which I use ever so often and one is for sale actually) and also have the Helios 40-2 (which I hardly ever use) and aside from that have many, many other such lenses in my collection, which I "proudly own". What I really like is the craftsmanship and the optical engineering which went into them, aside from their performance they show in using them (on my mft camera bodies), hence why I have so many different ones.

What my pledge is, to not just look at the prominent aspect a lens has and not to put them into boxes like "bubble maker", "swirler", but to see the many possibilities about any of them has Wink


I understand your point of view and agree with you. I have the Nikon 85mm f1.4, which is a super lens, probably one of the best 85mm around both for its optical performance and artistic rendering.

I am happy with it, but I am looking at the Helios / Biotar exactly because of their swirl and "bubble" bokeh, which I do not get with the Nikon.


PostPosted: Sun Jul 16, 2017 2:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

wolan wrote:
kds315* wrote:
Admittedly I have two slim Biotars 75mm (which I use ever so often and one is for sale actually) and also have the Helios 40-2 (which I hardly ever use) and aside from that have many, many other such lenses in my collection, which I "proudly own". What I really like is the craftsmanship and the optical engineering which went into them, aside from their performance they show in using them (on my mft camera bodies), hence why I have so many different ones.

What my pledge is, to not just look at the prominent aspect a lens has and not to put them into boxes like "bubble maker", "swirler", but to see the many possibilities about any of them has Wink


I understand your point of view and agree with you. I have the Nikon 85mm f1.4, which is a super lens, probably one of the best 85mm around both for its optical performance and artistic rendering.

I am happy with it, but I am looking at the Helios / Biotar exactly because of their swirl and "bubble" bokeh, which I do not get with the Nikon.


Then get the Helios 40-2 is money is an issue; if not, get the Biotar 75mm (personally I would recommend the slim afterwar version, as it is sharper and easier to handle)


PostPosted: Sun Jul 16, 2017 5:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

wolan wrote:
kds315* wrote:
Admittedly I have two slim Biotars 75mm (which I use ever so often and one is for sale actually) and also have the Helios 40-2 (which I hardly ever use) and aside from that have many, many other such lenses in my collection, which I "proudly own". What I really like is the craftsmanship and the optical engineering which went into them, aside from their performance they show in using them (on my mft camera bodies), hence why I have so many different ones.

What my pledge is, to not just look at the prominent aspect a lens has and not to put them into boxes like "bubble maker", "swirler", but to see the many possibilities about any of them has Wink


I understand your point of view and agree with you. I have the Nikon 85mm f1.4, which is a super lens, probably one of the best 85mm around both for its optical performance and artistic rendering.

I am happy with it, but I am looking at the Helios / Biotar exactly because of their swirl and "bubble" bokeh, which I do not get with the Nikon.


Pretty inexpensive swirly option on APS-C Kodak Cine Ektar 63mm f2.0


PostPosted: Sun Jul 16, 2017 5:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

wolan wrote:
kds315* wrote:
Admittedly I have two slim Biotars 75mm (which I use ever so often and one is for sale actually) and also have the Helios 40-2 (which I hardly ever use) and aside from that have many, many other such lenses in my collection, which I "proudly own". What I really like is the craftsmanship and the optical engineering which went into them, aside from their performance they show in using them (on my mft camera bodies), hence why I have so many different ones.

What my pledge is, to not just look at the prominent aspect a lens has and not to put them into boxes like "bubble maker", "swirler", but to see the many possibilities about any of them has Wink


I understand your point of view and agree with you. I have the Nikon 85mm f1.4, which is a super lens, probably one of the best 85mm around both for its optical performance and artistic rendering.

I am happy with it, but I am looking at the Helios / Biotar exactly because of their swirl and "bubble" bokeh, which I do not get with the Nikon.


For bubble bokeh, get any triplet or tessar and modify it by increasing the spacing between the front two elements a couple of mm, the more you increase the distance, the more pronounced the bubbles become.


PostPosted: Mon Jul 17, 2017 12:11 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yes, it is. Buy Biotar.

Biotar is way lighter, more compact, more sexy, easier to work with lens of a great name/history.

Helios is just a weaker and copied also-run. Never liked that poor people's Biotar too, just as Attila mentions.

Wartime slim is broadly commented to be the best ever, but for collecting reasons I have chosen to own/keep a prewar Exa one. That one is really lighweight.


PostPosted: Mon Jul 17, 2017 7:27 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Marek wrote:
Yes, it is. Buy Biotar.

Biotar is way lighter, more compact, more sexy, easier to work with lens of a great name/history.

Helios is just a weaker and copied also-run. Never liked that poor people's Biotar too, just as Attila mentions.

Wartime slim is broadly commented to be the best ever, but for collecting reasons I have chosen to own/keep a prewar Exa one. That one is really lighweight.


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