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Helios lens

Legendary Soviet high-aperture lens Helios 40-2

Helios 40-2 is a fast telephoto lens with single-layer coating for cameras with an M42 connection thread. Helios-40 and Helios-40-2 are modifications of the Carl Zeiss Jena Biotar 1.5 / 75 lens. Helios has a slightly longer focal length. The optical design is the same - 6 lenses in 4 groups. Helios-40-2 classic Planar (Biotar).

Since August 2012, the Krasnogorsk plant began producing in small batches the Helios 40-2 lens using multilayer achromatic coating, announcing, in addition to the M42 threaded mount, lenses with Canon EF and Nikon F mounts. Weight increased to 950 grams.

The focal length is 85mm.
The maximum aperture is 1.5.
The minimum aperture is 22.
The number of aperture blades is 10.
The number of lenses / groups is 6/4.
The minimum focusing distance is 0.8 m.
Resolution center / edge - 36/17 lines per mm.
Attachment attachments - threaded m67.
Optics mount - M42.
Weight - 880 g.

Ergonomics and design:
The lens is very solid, all-metal, "indestructible" and completely manual. Despite its age, the lens continues to delight with its work. This is a serious indicator of excellent build quality. The focusing ring has a fairly long travel. The disadvantage of Helios-40-2 is the fact that the focusing ring is set too close to the camera mount. It is not very convenient to twist it. When focusing on the focus, the tripod socket clamp, which is located even closer to the mount, interferes. First, instead of focusing on focus, you twist the largest ring out of habit - the aperture preset ring. It's a little unnerving, but you get used to it over time.

The lens has an additional aperture presetting ring. The aperture ring itself is located in front of the lens, and the preset ring is in the middle. Moreover, the pre-installation is very convenient, since its ring has a large grip. This is one of the few lenses where the aperture presetting ring is really handy.

The lens has a very fast aperture for this focal length. The fast aperture is great for low light shooting. You can take off handheld in the evening without fear of lubrication.

Helios-40 has 2 aperture with 10 blades. The number of petals is more than average. But the most interesting (from an artistic point of view) picture he gives at a fully open aperture F1.5.

The lens has a tripod socket. The clamp is located near the camera mount and can rotate 360 ​​degrees on the lens, and is also fixed with a special lock that twists and clamps the clamp. The tripod socket is standard.

Artistic features and photo examples:
The Helios 40-2 85mm f / 1.5 produces a rather sharp, but not contrasting picture. But the unique design of the lens will not leave anyone indifferent! The result is very beautiful, artistic pictures with a soft but plastic pattern! The bokeh in the out-of-focus area is very beautiful and airy, reminiscent of soap bubbles.

Lens sharpness varies greatly around the edges and in the center of the frame. In the center of the frame, sharpness is excellent already at F1.5, sharpness at the edges starts at F2.8. Helios-40-2 has an interesting sharpness curve. Loss of sharpness from the center is a characteristic feature of the lens. Sharpness at open aperture is sufficient to create a portrait.

It so happened that all the advantages and disadvantages are collected in Helios-40-2 in an unusual way and make it really a lens with character. In particular, Helios-40-2 is perfect for creating portraits where smoothness, volume and razor sharpness are needed.

Helios 40-2 is a very interesting artistic lens with its own character. From an artistic point of view, it has an unrivaled design with the legendary twisted bokeh. The lens is more suitable for calm, thoughtful shooting, searching for suitable places to reveal all its possibilities.

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