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Old story which Helios 58 mm
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 11, 2020 6:35 pm    Post subject: Old story which Helios 58 mm Reply with quote

I have now only five "normal" lenses

Miranda 50/1,8
Vivitar VMC 50/1,4
Mamiya Sekor SX 55/1,8
Konica ar 57/1,4
Rollei Planar hft 50/1,8

All are sharp enough. More or less contrast.

The problem is that I want to reduce the short list even more.

With only two, I will be happy.

So, Which ones to choose?

Is thr Helios 58 mm a lens to add?

Which version? 44-Mx or 44-2?

Thanks

It seems easy, but I need help.

What do you think?


PostPosted: Tue Feb 11, 2020 7:08 pm    Post subject: Re: Old story which Helios 58 mm Reply with quote

papasito wrote:

Is thr Helios 58 mm a lens to add?

Which version? 44-Mx or 44-2?

Thanks

It seems easy, but I need help.

What do you think?


I have no comment on your other lenses, but for the Helios-44 I have some experience Smile

The early Zenit 39mm-fit Helios-44 and the Helios-44-2 (M42-fit) have very small bases, so depending on which adaptor you use (or which body you have) there can be a problem with light leaks, certainly on a Pentax. Not difficult to rectify, but good to know about.

Both these early lenses are also pre-set aperture, (no auto-aperture pin on the rear). No problem if you're used to such, but apparently can be a little confusing for some of the "younger generations" Wink

The Helios-44M has the usual "aperture pin" and an A/M switch, so very easy to use.

I'm unfamiliar with the later models, but I believe there may be some variation in filter size. Worth checking if you use polarizers, especially.

Later models are likely to have better coatings, but any slight loss of contrast experienced with an early lens can be easily recovered in software. I've never met a "bad" one.

The 44-2 has a very recessed front element, so a lens-hood is often not necessary, the 44M is not so recessed. I don't know how true this is of the later models.

There is a very late model in Pentax K mount that might be worth while considering if you can find one, depending on what body and/or adaptors you already own.

Good luck! The Helios-44 is a fine lens Wink


PostPosted: Tue Feb 11, 2020 7:22 pm    Post subject: Re: Old story which Helios 58 mm Reply with quote

kypfer wrote:
papasito wrote:

Is thr Helios 58 mm a lens to add?

Which version? 44-Mx or 44-2?

Thanks

It seems easy, but I need help.

What do you think?


I have no comment on your other lenses, but for the Helios-44 I have some experience Smile

The early Zenit 39mm-fit Helios-44 and the Helios-44-2 (M42-fit) have very small bases, so depending on which adaptor you use (or which body you have) there can be a problem with light leaks, certainly on a Pentax. Not difficult to rectify, but good to know about.

Both these early lenses are also pre-set aperture, (no auto-aperture pin on the rear). No problem if you're used to such, but apparently can be a little confusing for some of the "younger generations" Wink

The Helios-44M has the usual "aperture pin" and an A/M switch, so very easy to use.

I'm unfamiliar with the later models, but I believe there may be some variation in filter size. Worth checking if you use polarizers, especially.

Later models are likely to have better coatings, but any slight loss of contrast experienced with an early lens can be easily recovered in software. I've never met a "bad" one.

The 44-2 has a very recessed front element, so a lens-hood is often not necessary, the 44M is not so recessed. I don't know how true this is of the later models.

There is a very late model in Pentax K mount that might be worth while considering if you can find one, depending on what body and/or adaptors you already own.

Good luck! The Helios-44 is a fine lens Wink


Thank you kypfer, very much

Very ilustrative your com.

I have a Sony Nex and the Helios is a different imagen maker, with his own soul.

Thx again.


PostPosted: Tue Feb 11, 2020 9:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

From your list I have experience with :
Miranda 50/1,8
Konica ar 57/1,4
Rollei Planar hft 50/1,8

They all render differently for me and I have hung onto all three.
If I had to keep only one it would be the Miranda for its outstanding wide open performance and wonderful bokeh.
It is similar in some ways to the Planar, but a little sharper in my lenses.
Tom


PostPosted: Tue Feb 11, 2020 9:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Re: Helios. I recommend 44-M5/6/7.

Owning 44-M6, I never quite understood why 44 was constantly looked down upon on any exUSSR photo forum, until I've tried 44-2.
I've actually borrowed three different copies. They all sucked.
I'd be pretty pissed too, if that was the standard lens I had to live with back in the days.

44-M6 is clearly a level above 44-2.


PostPosted: Tue Feb 11, 2020 9:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Oldhand wrote:
From your list I have experience with :
Miranda 50/1,8
Konica ar 57/1,4
Rollei Planar hft 50/1,8

They all render differently for me and I have hung onto all three.
If I had to keep only one it would be the Miranda for its outstanding wide open performance and wonderful bokeh.
It is similar in some ways to the Planar, but a little sharper in my lenses.
Tom


Thank you Tom.

I have to use the Miranda more time, to know it better. And I will.


PostPosted: Tue Feb 11, 2020 9:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

aidaho wrote:
Re: Helios. I recommend 44-M5/6/7.

Owning 44-M6, I never quite understood why 44 was constantly looked down upon on any exUSSR photo forum, until I've tried 44-2.
I've actually borrowed three different copies. They all sucked.
I'd be pretty pissed too, if that was the standard lens I had to live with back in the days.

44-M6 is clearly a level above 44-2.


The 44 M6 is the one to try, I guess.

Is there much difference between the 5, 6 or 7?
The 5 is the cheaper of the three


PostPosted: Tue Feb 11, 2020 9:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

First try reduce to one. If cannot decide between two, there you go! But you cannot decide between five! Try to reduce to four to keep is a beginning.

I would keep only planar. Where is your smc? Smile


PostPosted: Tue Feb 11, 2020 9:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

papasito wrote:

The 44 M6 is the one to try, I guess.

Is there much difference between the 5, 6 or 7?
The 5 is the cheaper of the three

They should be ranked by sharpness, but I haven't had a chance to compare them personally.
Anything with s/n 92+ should be good, IIRC it's the latest iteration with properly blackened aperture.


PostPosted: Tue Feb 11, 2020 9:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

aidaho wrote:
Re: Helios. I recommend 44-M5/6/7.

Owning 44-M6, I never quite understood why 44 was constantly looked down upon on any exUSSR photo forum, until I've tried 44-2.
I've actually borrowed three different copies. They all sucked.
I'd be pretty pissed too, if that was the standard lens I had to live with back in the days.

44-M6 is clearly a level above 44-2.


Yes I agree up to a point - The 44-2s that I tried were not bad, just not in the same park as the 44-6
Have had several and only kept the M44-6.
Mine is from Valdai and is excellent
Tom


PostPosted: Tue Feb 11, 2020 10:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The 44-2 probably has more swirl than the 44m-6.


PostPosted: Tue Feb 11, 2020 11:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

visualopsins wrote:
First try reduce to one. If cannot decide between two, there you go! But you cannot decide between five! Try to reduce to four to keep is a beginning.

I would keep only planar. Where is your smc? Smile


My SMC were sold both, 55/1,8 and 50/1,4.

My canon nfd 50/1,4 was sharper than the smc, and my mamiya SX has similar rendering than the smc, so I sold for much money.

Only one. Is my dream.


PostPosted: Tue Feb 11, 2020 11:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

aidaho wrote:
papasito wrote:

The 44 M6 is the one to try, I guess.

Is there much difference between the 5, 6 or 7?
The 5 is the cheaper of the three

They should be ranked by sharpness, but I haven't had a chance to compare them personally.
Anything with s/n 92+ should be good, IIRC it's the latest iteration with properly blackened aperture.


Thank you. Very useful.


PostPosted: Tue Feb 11, 2020 11:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

aidaho wrote:
papasito wrote:

The 44 M6 is the one to try, I guess.

Is there much difference between the 5, 6 or 7?
The 5 is the cheaper of the three

They should be ranked by sharpness, but I haven't had a chance to compare them personally.
Anything with s/n 92+ should be good, IIRC it's the latest iteration with properly blackened aperture.


Thank you. Very useful.


PostPosted: Tue Feb 11, 2020 11:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Oldhand wrote:
aidaho wrote:
Re: Helios. I recommend 44-M5/6/7.

Owning 44-M6, I never quite understood why 44 was constantly looked down upon on any exUSSR photo forum, until I've tried 44-2.
I've actually borrowed three different copies. They all sucked.
I'd be pretty pissed too, if that was the standard lens I had to live with back in the days.

44-M6 is clearly a level above 44-2.


Yes I agree up to a point - The 44-2s that I tried were not bad, just not in the same park as the 44-6
Have had several and only kept the M44-6.
Mine is from Valdai and is excellent
Tom


IT seems that of i buy the helios, the 44 M6 from Valdai is the one to look for.

Thanks.


PostPosted: Tue Feb 11, 2020 11:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

D1N0 wrote:
The 44-2 probably has more swirl than the 44m-6.


Thank you, very much.

IT is another difference that I didn"t know


PostPosted: Wed Feb 12, 2020 2:31 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

For my two cents, I have owned the 44-m7 (be careful to get one that isn’t a fake) 44-m4 and an early silver KMZ 13 blade aperture model. They were all good lenses, but the two later ones were missing the something special the really early one had, so that is the only one I have now. All great lenses, but I didn’t want a Helios for ultimate sharpness, I wanted a certain look and rendering and that is what the earliest had, plus it was just as good stopped down if I needed the sharpness and still very good wide open.

I’ve noticed with these Soviet lenses it’s all about finding a good copy and the early ones seemed to have a lot more care and pride in manufacturing. The M7 was really sharp but not more so than my Minolta MC 50 1.4 plus the Minolta was faster and much better to handle so I would vote that you go for an early silver body lens but that’s just my opinion.

I would decide based on which one you like the most wide open or closed one stop and the handling.. most are going to be just fine stopped down.


PostPosted: Wed Feb 12, 2020 7:05 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

did some digging and found out that there are total of 64 differently made copies of Helios 44 lens. this list includes proto and labeling in cyric. I have 19 different coppies of Helios as follows:

Name, Model, Main spec, Additional spec, Blades, Maker
Helios 44 Silver Start 58/2 Start Bayonet 13 KMZ
Helios 44 Black 58/2 M42 8 KMZ
Ге́лиос 44 Black zebra 58/2 M39 8 MMZ
Ге́лиос 44-2 Black Gloss 58/2 8 KMZ
Ге́лиос 44-2 Black Mat, 8 MMZ
Helios 44-2 Black Mat, 8 JOV
Ге́лиос 44-2 New barell 8 MMZ
Ге́лиос 44-3 MC 8 MMZ
Helios 44M A/M 8 KMZ
Ге́лиос 44M A/M 8 MMZ
Helios 44M A/M 8 JOV
Helios 44M-4 6 KMZ
Helios 44M-4 MC 6 KMZ
Helios 44M-4 6 JOV
Helios 44M-4 MC 6 JOV
Helios 44K-4 MC 6 KMZ
Helios 44M-5 6 JOV
Helios 44M-6 MC 6 JOV
Helios 44M-7 MC 6 JOV

have tested them all. late models are indeed sharp. have some swirl to them but in my opinion are missing some.... idk. magic? the earliest one Helios 44 Start have purple color cast against light but its colors are more vivid than others and its swirl is not as noticible as in for example MMZ made Helios 44 zebra, more like in later models.

that being said, 2 outstanding models, appart from the one with Start bayonet are Ге́лиос 44-3 MC and all MC versons of Helios 44x-4. first have in my opinion best color rendition and its as sharp as 44M-7. my copy have some air bubbles in the glass but as far as i know its a mark that the glass used for production is high quality. the build quality is really good with probably the smoothest working focusing ring of them all. a thing to notice. this model was produced in 2 different barrels. the early one cannot be used on most adapters without modyfication of focusing ring.

The other mentioned for me have the smoothest bokeh and some really nice colours. they can be really sharp and are probably the easiest to aquire.

lastly, the worst, in my opinion, copy. Helios 44-2 Black Mat made by JOV. there are 2 variations of this lens with the other one with serial number on the barrel. this lens have the worst biuld quality as the ballel is wobbly. its helical grease usually is stiff but their price is low so...

altho i have listed my favourites its basically on you what do you like and why. yet the numbers of variation to try can overwhelm most people.


PostPosted: Wed Feb 12, 2020 11:02 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The 44-2 Black matte was also made by KMZ. The copies i've had experience with where booth focussing smoothly and without any wobble.


PostPosted: Wed Feb 12, 2020 11:31 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I would keep the Rollei Planar first of all. From my own lenses only my Contax Planar 50mm /f1.4, f/1.7 and Pancolar 50mm f/1.8 can challenge its position on my top spot.

As for the others I only have the Mamiya SX and Miranda, but no adapter for the latter. The Mamiya didn't impress me much so far.

So for the second lens it would make the most sense to keep the Hexanon or get a Helios. The Helios is so cheap you can get one to test and sell it if it's bad.

My Helios 44 experience include: 44-2 KMZ, 44-2 Valdai, 44M, 44M-4 and 44M-7. The 44-2 KMZ has a tiny edge over the other and is my favorite. The 44M-7 was a instead worse than the others and had a smaller area in the center that was sharp.


PostPosted: Wed Feb 12, 2020 9:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Me. Bittacy, Olmajti, D1N0, Blotafton, thanks for your interesting commentaries.
Very informative.
Really thanks for all of you.


PostPosted: Thu Feb 13, 2020 8:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Mr.Bittacy wrote:
For my two cents, I have owned the 44-m7 (be careful to get one that isn’t a fake) 44-m4 and an early silver KMZ 13 blade aperture model. They were all good lenses, but the two later ones were missing the something special the really early one had, so that is the only one I have now. All great lenses, but I didn’t want a Helios for ultimate sharpness, I wanted a certain look and rendering and that is what the earliest had, plus it was just as good stopped down if I needed the sharpness and still very good wide open.


I agree completely.

My silver 13-blade Helios 44 is my favorite.

However, given that you're trying to downsize, do you "need" to get a Helios 44? I say no.

The Helios 44 does have quite different characteristics from the lenses you listed, however.


PostPosted: Fri Feb 14, 2020 1:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Only 5 normals? I have more than 5 just in my Takumar/SMC 50/1.4 collection... 3 of the last 4 lenses I've bought are normals...
I prefer focal lengths @ 24 or 28, plus 40 plus a short tele in the range of 70-110mm, usually an 85 or 90.
My KMZ 44 0000xxx f22 is my favorite Helios, followed by a KMZ 44-2.
I also prefer presets over auto lenses, so I haven't felt much desire to acquire the various models after the 44-2.


Last edited by Lightshow on Fri Feb 14, 2020 1:46 pm; edited 1 time in total


PostPosted: Fri Feb 14, 2020 1:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thank you, KEO.

Between the Konica 57/1,4 and the Helios 44, there should be the lens with character, I guess.

Between the Miranda and the Rollei Planar should be my first lens, I understand that.

Bye Mamiya 55/1,8. Bye Vivitar 50/1,4.

IT seems to be the thing "in solutione"


PostPosted: Fri Feb 14, 2020 7:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I don't have any of those lenses, but I guess, if you want to shorten the list, firstly just don't add any more. You should compare the one you have, as many times there are lots of differences between them (quality control, particular issues etc) and start to get rid of one ,every time you compare them. I've also got some normal 50's ,but it's imposible to get rid of them, is the focal that I mostly use, and I know they are all different (at least to my eyes). Sometimes it's not about the lens itself, but the feeling you have with a specific lens that you choose it for (I love Septon dkl, even though I wouldn't compare it with a topcor 1.4). Sometimes ,the circumstances make you reduce the lot, so you're the one that needs to choose, for me ,it's difficult to get rid of 50's (all the others FL aren't an issue for me, maybe the 24mm...)
I still need to add that I miss my c/y planar 1.4, overall, was the one I've never sell (unfortunately, too expensive to keep it).