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Helios lens

Lens Mir-26B review

Mir-26 is a wide-angle lens for medium format cameras such as Kiev-6S, Kiev-60, Salut and Kiev-88.On these cameras, a 45mm lens gives a picture similar to that of a 24mm lens on a full frame.
Those. it is a very wide angle lens. At the time of its youth, Mir-26 was probably one of the most popular of the entire fleet of medium format optics.

This World is based on a thoroughly redesigned Carl Zeiss Jena Flektogon 4/50 scheme.

Mir-26 was produced with two types of mounts - for bayonet B (for cameras Kiev-6C and -60) and B (for cameras Salut and Kiev-88). Nowadays, variants of lenses with both mounts can be found with approximately equal frequency.

In the review, a copy of the Mir-26 with a B mount, produced at the Kiev Arsenal plant in 1984. The quality mark is affixed to the lens barrel.

Optical design:

  • Focal length: 45mm
  • Frame size: 60 × 60 mm
  • Number of lenses / groups: 8/4
  • 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

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

  • Weight - 600 grams

Mir-26B is a fairly large lens, but in moderation. Doesn't look defiant on modern devices. It has a conical extension at the front end, adding a little charm to it.

The lens has a single-layer coating of a barely noticeable yellowish tint.

The focusing ring is wide, with high-quality knurling. It fits comfortably in the hand. The full stroke of the helicoid is about 100 degrees. The ring moves smoothly, focusing is comfortable.

The diaphragm control ring is farthest from the apparatus at the very conical expansion.
The diaphragms switch with crisp clicks and stops in intermediate positions.

There are 6 diaphragm blades and they are quite shiny. This is a common problem for literally all Soviet medium format lenses. I wonder why? After all, the medium format was still with a certain claim for professional use.
Most B-mount lenses (Mir-26 is no exception) have a blinking aperture and it can be automatically closed, of course, only on the corresponding camera.

However, the design of the diaphragm drive is successful in that to close the diaphragm 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.
I have another article on the topic of using B-mount lenses on modern Nikon cameras.

On full-frame cameras, the Mir-26 will behave like a 45 mm lens is supposed to - to give a picture close to normal. On crop it will even be a moderate telephoto lens and can be used as a portrait.
My Mir-26B showed good sharpness and contrast. The lens is noticeably yellow and this is very noticeable in pictures with a lot of greenery. In such conditions, the auto-white balance failed, and you cannot see such details on the screen of the device under the bright sun.
The blur pattern did not impress me, but here everything is individual, of course.
Is it worth buying Mir-26 for a modern digital camera?

You shouldn't buy it on purpose. you will not get anything that your stock zoom does not give you. Even the aperture ratio will not be special.

It's another matter if you want to try medium format. In this case, Mir-26 will become an excellent wide-angle. The lens is not rare and will cost a moderate amount. Its EGF in the equivalent of 35 mm film will be 24 mm, which is very convenient for landscape photography.

That's all for me, good luck!

Examples of photos:

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