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Helios 44-2 VS Helios 44M

Discussion in 'Adapted Lenses' started by Holiace, Sep 4, 2016.

  1. Holiace

    Holiace New to Mu-43

    9
    Sep 4, 2016
    Stockholm, Sweden
    It's Sunday, I've been a good boy and cleaned my apartment and I feel like I deserve to buy myself my first vintage lens. I already have a couple of older lenses that I got from my dad (three in M42 mount, three in Canon FD mount), in varying condition. I'd really love an M42/Canon FD mounted vintage lens in great condition. I've been looking at two Helioses.

    Helios M42 44-2 f2 58mm RARE MINTY BLACK CLASSIC SWIRLY BUBBLY BOKEH 760605
    and
    Helios M42 SOLID 44M f2 58mm RARE BLADE MINTY BUBBLY BOKEH SERVICED 7602022

    Now I'm well aware of the crop factor of these, as I have an Olympus OM-D E-M5 Mark II, they'd basically become telephoto lenses, but I think I'll end up getting a focal reducer sooner rather than later.

    SO, to the question at hand, which one should I get? They're both priced the same, and it seems they are in identical condition. I've read some other forum posts and it seems most people prefer the 44-2 over the 44M. What are your thoughts? Should I perhaps skip Helioses all together and get something else at this price point?
     
  2. stratokaster

    stratokaster Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jan 4, 2011
    Kyiv, Ukraine
    Pavel
    There were many versions of Helios, but you should try to find Helios 44-M-6 or Helios 44-M-7.

    Helios 44 and Helios 44-2 were single coated. Helios 44-M-x lenses were multicoated. They were later graded at the factory according to their quality level. The best lenses were marked as 44-M-7 and 44-M-6, they had the best resolution (50 lines/mm in the center of the frame for 44-M-7 and 45 lines/mm for 44-M-6) and 90% light transmission. For comparison, Helios 44-2 has noticeably lower resolution (37 lines/mm in the center of the frame) and 81% light transmission.
     
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  3. stratokaster

    stratokaster Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jan 4, 2011
    Kyiv, Ukraine
    Pavel
    I forgot to mention that there were also K-mount versions of Helios-44, they were marked as Helios 44-K-x. The same quality rating system applies to them.
     
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  4. Holiace

    Holiace New to Mu-43

    9
    Sep 4, 2016
    Stockholm, Sweden
    Thanks for the heads up! What about pricing? Are the ones I linked overpriced you think?
     
  5. stratokaster

    stratokaster Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jan 4, 2011
    Kyiv, Ukraine
    Pavel
    To be honest — I have no idea. To me paying 45 pounds for a Helios is crazy because I live in a post-Soviet country, I can visit any flea market and buy one for about $5. But I don't know how much they usually fetch on eBay.
     
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  6. Holiace

    Holiace New to Mu-43

    9
    Sep 4, 2016
    Stockholm, Sweden
    I need to start going to flea markets. I just feel like it's mostly full of old dinner plates and table lamps. Perhaps I'll try to go past one some time soon?

    On eBay they go for €30-€60, usually.
     
  7. TheMenWhoDrawSheeps

    TheMenWhoDrawSheeps Mu-43 Regular

    152
    Jun 15, 2016
    I actually have quite a collection of those.

    My Version of 44m is prone to chromatic abberations. Its also not particulary sharp. 8 blades makes bokeh smoother, and manual switch is Handy too.

    44-2, isn't that sharp too, but i get much less abberations. It's also only Version with smooth aperture.

    44-4, thats where the multicoat versions start. Bit sharper, less abberations, yet it still has the famous helios bokeh under right circumstances.

    44-6/7 are definetely sharper, but the bokeh is harder to get too.

    I also have some older m39 version with 13blades - too bad i can't find a propper m39 to m42 Adapter that has infinity focus(different focal distances)

    45£ is seriously overprised for the mass produced helioses - 10$ is what they are really worth.
    I've seen a canon FD 85mm f1.8 for 50€ today on flea market, and I've bought canon FD 50mm f1.4 in good condition for 8€.

    Look into Jupiter 85mm f2 - it's advertised as bokeh beast, and with turbo booster you will get yourself a superb Portrait for same price.

    You are from uk, right? I Wonder, how much a package from austria to uk might cost%)
     
    Last edited: Sep 4, 2016
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  8. Holiace

    Holiace New to Mu-43

    9
    Sep 4, 2016
    Stockholm, Sweden
    Nope, Sweden.
     
  9. stratokaster

    stratokaster Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jan 4, 2011
    Kyiv, Ukraine
    Pavel
    To be honest, if you want the famous "swirly bokeh", then Helios is a must, but in my opinion Takumar 55/1.8 is a much better lens in every respect and it easily can be had for about 50 euros as well...
     
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  10. Holiace

    Holiace New to Mu-43

    9
    Sep 4, 2016
    Stockholm, Sweden
    Which 55/1.8? SMC I take it, because it has the best coatings?

    I have this one myself, but it's really dirty :(

    uNkuuFv.
     
    Last edited: Sep 5, 2016
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  11. TheMenWhoDrawSheeps

    TheMenWhoDrawSheeps Mu-43 Regular

    152
    Jun 15, 2016
    Clean it. %) watch some YouTube turtorials on how to take it apart, and do it yourself - it isn't hard at all, also gives you some understanding on how lenses work, and takes away that Black box/fiddly mechanism anxiety.
    Also the dirt/scratches barely has an impact on IQ.

    There are quite a few turtorials on how to modify helios lenses - doubling the focal length, putting anamorchic filters, vigneting, making square aperture etc.

    Ah, there is a Company selling helios 44-2 with square apertures already, and it costs about 50$ either.

    Dogshidt, arebasicaly modified helios 44-2 lenses for videographers

    Sent from my D5503 using Mu-43 app
     
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  12. Holiace

    Holiace New to Mu-43

    9
    Sep 4, 2016
    Stockholm, Sweden
    Well I gotta say, I am not really happy with the results it's putting out, but they got better once I cleaned it with qtips and water. Perhaps I am just obsessing over perfect image quality? I dunno.

    Perhaps it's that I was shooting with the SMC Takumar at f1.8? Can that cause blown out highlights? Like... bloom?
     
    Last edited: Sep 5, 2016
  13. PhotoDmiK

    PhotoDmiK Mu-43 Regular

    83
    May 26, 2015
    In addition, they have a different position of the iris ring.
     
  14. TheMenWhoDrawSheeps

    TheMenWhoDrawSheeps Mu-43 Regular

    152
    Jun 15, 2016
    Can´t say for sure - need to see some pics. but you shouldn´t see any dust spots especialy at f1.8.=)
    Take catious with water - fungus is worst thing could ever happen to a lens. well exept for falling, but its a draw for me.
    Well i´m quite a pixelpeeper - i´m into macro, so i have to keep both sensor and the lenses sterile.
    Spider_1.
    by the way, that is reversed 28mm f2.8 y/c Zeiss - it got a real hit on the front element in one spot, but therefore it was almost free%) haven´t noticed any glares/reflections/IQ decresement due to it´s flaw. in fact center is almost as sharp as 12-40mm pro, edge not so much, but you shouldn´t expect that from a Film era FF lens on flat mft sensor.
     
  15. Holiace

    Holiace New to Mu-43

    9
    Sep 4, 2016
    Stockholm, Sweden
    I should probably tell you I have a pretty strong fear of spiders, but that little thing is just adorable! I used as little water as possible on the qtips, dipping them and rolling them on a clean microfiber cloth to remove any excess water.
     
  16. barry13

    barry13 Super Moderator; Photon Wrangler

    Mar 7, 2014
    Southern California
    Barry
    Hi, bloom is common wide open on many lenses of that era.
    I didn't have the 55, but I had 2 Tak 50's, a 105, ... And they had a lot of it wide open.

    My Rokkor 58/1.2 does too.
     
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  17. Holiace

    Holiace New to Mu-43

    9
    Sep 4, 2016
    Stockholm, Sweden
    Well that explains a LOT. I thought it was simply that the lens was filthy dirty/hazy (They are really old M42 mounted lenses after all).
     
  18. Roger

    Roger Mu-43 Regular

    170
    Jul 2, 2011
    Western PA
    I have one Helios 44M (no number) and two 44-2's. The 44M is easier to use but I seem to get better results with the 44-2's. When I take a nature walk one of the 44-2's often is in the bag and the 44M mostly stays home. I really like the Helios, but I think my comparable Minolta Rokkors give sharper results. Two of the Helios lens were mounted on Zenit 35mm cameras when I bought them cheap.
     
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  19. smartiepants

    smartiepants Mu-43 Regular

    84
    Aug 17, 2014
    UNITED KINGDOM
    I have had a 44-2 for quite a while now & its great fun to use, just got back from a yard sale around the corner & picked up an old Zenit TTL with a 44M and a Tamron f=135 1:3.5 so will be having a bit of a play over the next few weeks
     
  20. Gary5

    Gary5 Mu-43 Veteran

    310
    Jan 15, 2014
    Sorry I didn't see this before. Is that a thorium coated lens? If it is, you can shine a LED lamp through it for a few days and it will clear up.