HELIOS-44-2 with Nikon / M42 lens mount

The Magic of Helios 44-2 58mm lens

By: Smari S Smarason.

 

This old Soviet technology lens definitely has character, that is no doubt about it, this lens has everything that used to be called in the old days a lens flaw, Flare – soft glow and swirling bokeh effect.

But now in modern days, these are the lenses that make art, well you make the art, but it’s easy to get the job done with this lens.

The Helios 44-2 is a 58mm lens was mass produced in the USSR from 1958 until 1992.

The lens is so popular due to its interesting effects when shot wide open at f/2 as it creates a swirly bokeh pattern along with lens flare and soft glow.

I have two lenses for review, one is from Zenit TTL 35mm film SLR camera Olympic games 1980 Moscow Helios 44m 2/58mm lens

and the other is much older versions from late 60’s

These lenses are very similar but I feel like the newer lens (the one on the left) is little bit sharper than the old one, but they are very similar

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This Screw Lens to Nikon Camera Infinity Focus with glass mount that I have was very cheap and the glass that comes with it is probably bad quality and reduce the images quality a lot

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Sun flare is one of my favourite wonders that this lens creates, it’s almost magic

Nikon D810 Helios 44-2 @f/2 – ISO-64   1/250s

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Nikon D810 Helios 44-2 @f/2 – ISO-90   1/125s

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The video down below I took with Sony A7II but I used The Nikon mount Sony.

Swirling bokeh effect.

I personally haven’t been able to get swirly bokeh effect with this lenses but sun flare and the soft glow is very easy to get.

This is the only picture that I have come close to get this swirly bokeh effect.

Nikon D810 Helios 44-2 @f/2 – ISO-220   1/125s

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Anamorphic lens flare using fishing line with Helios 44-2.

Here I did a test with 2 lenses just for curiosity and to see how Helios 44-2 works in this kind of scenario, and also because this lens is also famous for the soft glow and that is why I did this test with Nikon 50mm to see that difference.

I think this lens is more suitable for shooting video than still Photography because of all the effects that this lens great it just look better and more artistic with video than pictures.

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