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Helios lens

A brief photo review of the device Start N5901941

And today I am proud to present a very beautiful camera - an early start. By itself, this model is quite rare, and even more so in such excellent condition.

The start was produced for a relatively short time - from 1958 to 1964. The model has been the same all these years - just Start. However, the range of these devices includes several types with enough visual differences to make it interesting to have several options.

Earlier I had a review of the 1963 model. According to the classification from, it was a type-2c model. I recommend checking it out in advance. The device itself is more than interesting. I recommend to take a look. In the comments to the article, by the way, an interesting discussion about the reliability of these devices unfolded.

With this later model, I will compare our guest today. He is on the right in the photo.

This will be a 1959 copy with the number 5901941. According to, this is a type-1c model.

Let's look for differences.

What collectors love about this model is the glass inserts in the feed and rewind heads. The heads are higher.

The frame counter and the film type and speed guide are placed under the glass, and the pointers are printed on the glass. You need to turn the glass by a thin ribbed rim.

I can not say that it is very convenient. Rather, on the contrary...

But it looks very stylish. The look at the Start of the early releases cannot be called anything other than aristocratic.

Another immediately noticeable difference is the shape of the trigger foot. The earlier version has a more massive trigger. It comes to the top panel, and a small ribbed drum protrudes upwards at its end. Also, the trigger of the early version has a “ready” position.
The later version has a flat, smooth trigger. It tightly adjoins the rear plane of the body, only protruding slightly above the upper plane. Still, it does not have a "ready" position.

I can’t say that using the late start trigger is directly inconvenient. But early in this sense is more comfortable, for my taste. Well, and more solid, of course.

From the less obvious.

The devices have different icons above the sync contact sockets.

The early version on the rear panel to the right of the viewfinder has a sliding latch for the lock of a removable pentaprism. The pentaprism cannot be removed unless the latch is opened.

The later model does not have a latch, the pentaprism is held only by friction. Although I don't see it as unreliable.

The early version has the number on the right, the late one on the left.

Well, for a snack.

Everyone knows that the Start viewfinder is equipped with optical wedges. Moreover, these wedges are not like the Zeniths. They are large and do not darken in low light conditions.

So, at the early Start, the wedges are tinted yellow.

Purely technically, the idea, I think, is that the yellow filter increases contrast and clarity, which should have helped sharp focus even more.

But such a yellow spot in the viewfinder - for 1959, it also looked very cool.

Something like that.

The lens on this copy of Helios-44 with the number 0156196.

Below are some larger photos.

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