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Helios lens

Lens Mir-38B 3.5 / 65 review

It is wide-angle for medium format. On narrow film, everything is a little different, but more on that later.

Mir-38 was produced with two types of mounts - for bayonet B (for cameras Kiev-6C and -60) and B (for cameras Salut and Kiev-88).

Today Mir-38 is relatively rare. But, this applies to many samples of medium format technology, it was initially released less. However, this lens cannot be called rare either, there are always 1-2 proposals.

According to my subjective observations, the variants for bayonet B and C are approximately the same.

It is believed that Mir-38 replaced Mir-3 (I have a review of Mir-3 for bayonet B).

The aperture and AF of the lenses are the same, the optical scheme is similar, but not identical. Mir-38 is lighter and more compact. The resolution of Mir-38 center / edge 42/20 lines / mm is higher than that of Mir-3 - 40/14.

In one source I saw the idea that Mir-38 is a simplified version of Mir-3. I can’t remember where I saw it and how it was based.

In the review there is a B-mount lens produced at the Kiev Arsenal plant in 1986 with the number 863007. There is a quality mark on the lens barrel.

Optical design:

  • Focal length: 65mm
  • Field of view: 66 °
  • Frame size: 60 × 60 mm
  • Number of lenses / groups: 6/5
  • Working distance - 74.1 mm
  • Aperture ratio: 1: 3.5
  • Aperture scale limits: 1: 3.5-1: 22
  • Aperture blades - 6
  • Aperture adjustment - "Blinking"
  • Near focusing limit - 0.5 m
  • Resolution (center / edge) - 42/20 lines / mm.

  • lens with camera - Bayonet B
  • Filter Mount Location: Front

  • Weight - 564 grams

Mir-38B is a large and weighty lens, although no more modern options for full-frame DSLRs.

The lens is cylindrical in shape.

The lens has a single-layer coating of a barely noticeable greenish tint. When looking at the transfer lens, it seems that it is tinted. Looks very interesting.

The focusing ring is wide enough with good knurling and is conveniently located.

The full stroke of the helicoid is about 250 degrees. The ring moves smoothly.

The diaphragm control ring is closest to the device.

The diaphragms switch with clear clicks and with stops in the main and intermediate positions.

There are 6 aperture blades, they are gray and rather shiny.

Mir-38B has a blinking diaphragm and it can be automatically closed, of course, only on the appropriate camera - Kiev-60, for example.

However, the design of the diaphragm drive is successful in that to close it to the operating value, the pusher does not need to be pressed, but, on the contrary, released.

On the Kiev-60, during framing, the pusher is pressed all the time, and the diaphragm is open at the same time. When the release button is pressed, the pusher is released and the diaphragm is closed to the operating value.

Thanks to this feature, the lens, being put on through an adapter on modern devices, without any problems allows you to control the aperture in manual mode. The pusher is never pressed and therefore the diaphragm is always closed to the working value, which can be changed by turning the ring.

My relationship with Mir-38B did not work out.

There are lenses, as it were, responsive. What do you expect from him - he draws. I liked Mir-3B. He is responsive. And I won't say this about Mir-38B.

Although it is possible, the whole thing is in my particular instance. Of course, you cannot criticize the lens brand from one representative at a time.

However. I even wore the Mir-38B for a walk three times. Alas, this is a rare occurrence. As a rule, it is physically impossible to devote so much time to the lens, unfortunately.

My Mir-38B gives a good contrast. On the open one it seemed to me that a little extra software.

I didn't like the blur pattern. IMHO - the blur lacks the smoothness of the transition. I can see it both in my photos and in strangers on the Web. The reviews are mostly positive, though. Well, the taste and color….

Is it worth looking for a Mir-38B for a modern DSLR?

My opinion is no. Although Mir-38B will fit almost any modern device with interchangeable optics through an adapter.

On a full frame DSLR Mir-38B will give a picture corresponding to its 65 mm FR, i.e. will be something between a normal lens and a moderate telephoto lens.

On crop - from 100 to 130 mm EGF in 35 mm film equivalent. This is already quite a telephoto. Large only for cropped devices.

But the fact is that the 65 mm FF is not a very intelligible FF in a full frame for my taste. Not long, not short ... F3.5 is relatively dark.

The role of universal lenses is now performed by standard zoom. You want something more specialized from a manual lens.

If you have a Nikon SLR and want a lens with a FD of necessarily less than 100 mm (i.e. excellent Kaleinar-5N 2.8 / 100 for some reason is not suitable), then Mir-38B may be an option. Although, I think it is better to look for Mir-3B in this case.

That's all for me, good luck!

Examples of photos:

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