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Helios lens

Review Helios-44M-5 58mm 1:2

Helios-44M-5 58mm 1:2 is a fast manual Soviet lens with a fixed focal length of 58 mm and luminosity 2. The optical circuit is Biotar. It was produced at the Jupiter plant in Valdai in the 1980s-1990s.
The Helios-44M-5 is a further improvement of the Helios-44M line of lenses, which were fixed-holders in Zenith cameras. So Helios-44M-5 was completed with cameras Zenit 15M, 122, 312m, 130, 21HS.
It is very similar to its predecessor Helios-44M-4 and has only a slightly smaller (by 7 mm) longitudinal size and weight (by 7 g). Both lenses have 6 diaphragm lobes and do not have a jumping operating mode switch mechanism. The lens diaphragm is switched by steps with intermediate values.
This overview presents the export version, a Helios-44M-5 marked with Latin letters.

Characteristics of a lens Helios-44M-5:
Focal length: 58 mm
Maximum diaphragm: 2
Minimum diaphragm: 16
Number of lenses/groups: 6/4
Minimum focusing distance: 0.5 m
Number of diaphragm petals: 6
Type of optical enlightenment: single-layer
Fastening: m42
Weight: 236 g


The lens has a М42 fastening and can be used through a suitable adapter on modern mirror cameras. Although the lens does not have a switch for the operation modes of the diaphragm jumping, it works perfectly on digital mirrors. The fact is that the projecting button of the pin diaphragm pusher, when screwed into the adapter, thrusts against the side and presses. In this way, the diaphragm immediately becomes operative. And the rotation of the diaphragm mounting ring immediately changes its value.

With a chipped adapter, the lens is convenient to remove because the adapter has a focus confirmation.

Helios-44M-5 in a full shot is considered a universal lens - it is possible to shoot a wide range of objects. From a large plan of butterfly flowers from a distance of 0.5 meters to portraits from a distance of several meters and landscapes at infinity.


When installed on flipped digital mirrors, the effective focal length of the lens is 58 * 1.6 = 93 mm. That is, such a lens can be used as a portrait.

At the tap, the viewing angle is reduced, so it is difficult to use the lens to shoot landscapes where a wide-angle is usually needed. But still, the lens can be used where you can move away from the subject by a considerable distance.

A well-known feature of the Helios-44 family lenses - they are afraid of counter light. It photographs best in scattered soft light.


The lens has good characteristics. Because of its simplicity and cheapness, it is now often used as a cheap alternative to fixed autofocus lenses on painstaking modern digital mirrors. Because of its focal length can be used as a portrait that blurs the back background well has an interesting blurring - an artistic picture is obtained. But it will not be suitable for the role of universal for painstaking matrices - a small angle of view imposes its limitations on the use, for example, in premises, when it is impossible to move away from the subject to fit into a frame.

Examples of photo from the lens Helios-44M-5.

Reviews Helios Lenses
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