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Helios lens


Helios 44-2 is a lens produced in the USSR since the 1950s. Why do they to photograph? The image obtained by Helios is unique and very different from that obtained by the modern lens. Helios can be installed on almost any chamber with replaceable optics.
Why use old optics?Mostly, everyone is photographed on popular models of cameras and optics. As a result, all images are similar to each other. Once you use something non-standard - your photos stand out. Image quality, in most old optics, is worse than in modern counterparts, but they take interesting, unique-looking pictures.

IMPORTANT: Helios is a lens for art shooting; his task is to get an interesting picture. In general, it is not a tool for commercial shooting (although it happens...).

Helios 44 - more than twisted side

Helios 44 is very popular due to the low price and non-standard picture. Many love it for its pronounced, twisted pattern of the side and low contrast. Due to this, the lens is often used for painting. Low contrast hides problem spots on the skin (while modern lenses can emphasize them), and the boke "surrounds" a person and adds accent.

Here I talk about Helios 44-2 because it is the most popular model and the model with which I have the most experience.

NOTE: 44-2 is the model number, the 58mm f/2 lens itself.

Later summer in Finland. Notice the places out of focus. They surround the object and thereby give it an extra accent.Helios 44-2 for travel photos

Photos of travel are all a little bit: streets, landscapes, portraits, documentaries. Anything that can convey the atmosphere of the place. Also, it etched the photographer more freedom to choose instruments. I believe Helios is a great addition, he's always in my photo show.

I use Helios 44-2:

-For vintage portraits, including low-light portraits;

- When I want to give additional emphasis to the object in the center;

-When I benefit from a twisted side;

- In general, if I want to give the stage a vintage look (though for vintage photos during the day I like another Soviet lens - Industrial 50-2, it is wider and sharper in corners).

The twisted side makes the windy weather more expressive.
Zones out of focus and famous twisted side The twisted side appears on values of diaphragm f/2-2.8. Because the focus of the manual is easy to miss. In the mirror and without a "focus assistant," I only shoot fixed objects.
Focusing on the distance of a couple or three meters is quite simple. But when I do a portrait close-up - it's difficult to focus. Light movement can take your eyes out of focus.
Here, the girl has moved a little sideways and the closest eye is slightly out of focus.The twisted side effect is best achieved on full-frame cameras. It's harder on the crops, but it's also possible.
Helios 44-2 has a cool function. You can limit the diaphragm range. I set it to 2.8, and use values between 2.8 and 2 accordingly. For landscapes, I switch to f4 as the angles of the image become sharper.Working against bright light

The lens has no modern coatings and the gloss is pronounced. Usually I don't shoot against bright light or try to use gloss as part of the composition. (But so far I have not made much progress)

How to handle Helios 44-2The weight of the camera and lenses is important in the journey. It is important that the secondary lens does not occupy much space.
(I carry a full-frame camera and lenses with me and I don't want to add more weight.) Helios weighs only 200 grams and is placed in any bag.

I believe that on a trip it is important that the technique does not fail in case of unexpected rain and is protected from dust. There are no electronics in Helios, so he's not afraid of moisture. But you need to be careful on the beach; sand can easily get into the mechanism of focus.

Also, I found with regret that the lens could break when there was a strong vibration. Once I left it at the bottom of the photo show. In the old bus, the floor vibrated a little and the lens fell out. I've been treating him more carefully ever since.

Installation on modern cameras

There are different modifications to Helios, following are examples for a М42-threaded lens.

Learn more about other models here.

On the full-frame, the twisted side appears on f/2-f2/8. The center of the image is quite sharp but in the corners the drop of sharpness. Sharpness increases at f/4 and beyond.

On the tap sensor, the side is less visible, but can still be reached if the object is close to the camera. The center is relatively sharp, but the sharpness in the corners falls strongly (compared to the full-frame)

Helios 44-2, the filter diameter

The size of the filter is 49 mm. This is pleasing because Sony 50mm 1.8 and Canon 50mm 1.8 STM have the same diameter.

Helios 44-2 with the adapter for any camera, you can buy in our store.
Best of luck!

Reviews Helios Lenses
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