Overview of MS HELIOS-77M-4 1,8 / 50 (VOMZ version)

According provided by MS Helios-77M-4 1,8 / 50 lens (with the VOMZ logo) many thanks to the reader of Radozhiva - Vladimir Pivovarov.

MS HELIOS-77M-4 1,8 / 50

MS HELIOS-77M-4 1,8 / 50

MC HELIOS-77M-4 1,8 / 50 is a rather rare and good high-aperture fix, at one time it was used as a standard lens for some Zenit film cameras. Now MC Helios-77M-4 1,8 / 50 is sometimes found on photo flea markets and can serve as a good manual fifty-kopeck piece (lens with 50 mm focal length) for modern digital cameras.

MS Helios-77M-4 1,8 / 50 is well assembled. The focus ring has no rubberized inserts, rotates approximately 200 degrees. Manual focus is not a big deal. During focusing, the front retractable body does not rotate. Focusing occurs by moving the entire lens block.

Of the shortcomings, I want to highlight the non-blackened aperture blades, which can reduce the contrast, as well as the fact that there are only 6 aperture blades. On closed diaphragms, 'nuts' are easily obtained in the out-of-focus area. MC Helios-77M-4 1,8 / 50 is equipped with a standard blinking diaphragm, which works in automatic mode on most cameras with a M42x1 / 45,5 mounting thread.

Main technical characteristics of MS GELIOS-77M-4 1,8 / 50

The name of the instance from the review (as it is written on the lens itself) MS HELIOS-77M-4 1,8 / 50 M52x0,75 91060951 with the VOMZ logo
Basic properties
  • M42x1 / 45.5 - common 'M42' seating thread.
  • manual focus only.
  • aperture control ring, as well as semi-automatic control of the diaphragm using the aperture ring and the diaphragm pusher of the cameras in which it is available.
  • MS - multi-layer optical coating.
  • The lens is suitable for full-format cameras.
  • metal case.
Front Filter Diameter 52 mm
Focal length 50 mm (according to some sources - 52 mm), EGF for cameras with an APS-C type sensor is approximately 75mm
Zoom ratio 1 x
Designed by for film cameras with a frame size of 36 mm X 24 mm
Number of aperture blades 6 rounded petals. Petals form a hexagon of approximately the correct shape. At an intermediate value between F / 1.8 and F / 2.8, the petals form a hexagon with small notches. Petals are dull metal, not blackened.
Tags focusing distance only in meters. The depth of field scale for the values ​​of F / 4, 8, 11, 16. The scale with the aperture values ​​for F / 1.8, 2.8, 4, 5.6, 8, 11, 16. The ring has one intermediate fixed value between the specified pairs of numbers (between F / 11 and F / 16 there is no intermediate value).
Diaphragm From F / 1.8 to F / 16.0, it is regulated by the aperture ring, there is no diaphragm operation method switch on the lens.
MDF (minimum focusing distance) 0.45 m, maximum magnification ratio is 1: 6.3 (approximately)
The weight 250 g (approximately)
Optical design 6 elements in 4 groups
Lens hood screwed into the front filter, marking of the original hood not found.
Manufacturer country USSR, made at the Vologda Optical and Mechanical Plant.
Period For several years, around 1990, the exact period of production is unknown.

How to use with modern cameras?

Lenses with mounting thread M42 (M42 X 1 / 45.5), such as the lens from this review, are very easy to use on almost any modern digital camera (both SLR and mirrorless), for this it is enough to choose the right adapter (adapter). You do not need to carry out any additional steps to modify the lens.

The cheapest adapters can be found at Aliexpress.com... There are adapters (adapters) with a chip that provide more convenience during shooting, usually chips are used to confirm focus and / or metering exposure, and form the correct EXIF. The chip does not affect the image quality in any way.

For some SLR cameras (for example, with the Nikon F-mount), you need to use adapters with a corrective lens, which allows you to focus correctly at all focusing distances. For any mirrorless cameras, such a lens is not needed, and the adapter is a simple decorated hollow metal tube with an appropriate mount.

For SLR cameras

  1. Canon: For cameras Canon EOS with bayonet mount EF / EF-S need an M42-Canon EOS adapter, such an adapter with a chip can be found herewithout chip here.
  2. NIKON: For cameras Nikon DX / FXas well as for cameras Fujifilm и Kodak with a Nikon F mount, you need an M42-Nikon F adapter, you can buy such an adapter without a lens and a chip here, with a lens without a chip herewith chip without lens here, with lens and chip here. Why a lens? Why chip?
  3. PENTAX: For Pentax cameras with K mount, you need an M42-Pentax K adapter, you can buy such an adapter here.
  4. SONY/MINOLTA: For cameras with a Sony / Minolta A mount, you need the M42-Sony A adapter, you can find such an adapter without a chip at this linkwith a chip at this link.
  5. OLYMPUS/PANASONIC/LEICA: For cameras with a 4/3 bayonet mount (not to be confused with Micro 4/3!) You need an M42-4 / 3 adapter, you can buy such an adapter here.

For mirrorless cameras

  1. SONY: For cameras with 'E'/'FE' mount series SonyNEX и Sony Alpha you need an adapter M42-Sony E (aka M42-Sony Nex), you can find it at this link. An autofocus adapter is also available for these cameras. Techart PRO Leica M - Sony E Autofocus Adapterwhich can be found at this link.
  2. OLYMPUS / PANASONIC / KODAK / XIAOMI: For cameras with a bayonet mount Micro 4/3 (Micro 4:3) you need an adapter M42-Micro 4/3, you can find it at this link.
  3. CANON M: For cameras with Canon EF-M mount need adapter M42-Canon M, it can be found at this link.
  4. CANON R and RF-S: For cameras with Canon RF mount need adapter M42-Canon R, it can be found at this link.
  5. Nikon 1: For cameras Nikon 1 Series need adapter M42-Nikon 1, you can find it at this link.
  6. Nikon Z: For cameras Nikon Z series (FX/DX) need an adapter M42-Nikon Z, it can be found at this link.
  7. FUJIFILM X: For cameras with mount X need an M42-Fuji X adapter, you can find it at this link.
  8. FUJIFILM GFX: For medium format cameras G-mount need M42-Fuji GFX adapter, you can find it at this link.
  9. SAMSUNG: For cameras with NX mount, you need an M42-Samsung NX adapter, you can find it at this link. There are no adapters for the NX mini camera yet.
  10. PENTAX: For Q-mount cameras, you need an M42-Pentax Q adapter, you can find it at this link.
  11. SIGMA / PANASONIC / LEICA: For cameras with L mount you need an M42-Leica L adapter, you can find it at this link.
  12. LEICA: For cameras with a bayonet mount Leica M need adapter M42-L / M, you can find it at this link.

If you have any questions on compatibility and adapters - ask in the comments (comments do not require any registration at all).

Comments on this post do not require registration. Anyone can leave a comment. Many different photographic equipment can be found on AliExpress.

Image quality

On a full-length mirrorless camera Sony a7 I used a lens with an adapter without any problems M42-Sony NEX. MC HELIOS-77M-4 1,8 / 50 is quite sharp in the center of the frame even at F / 1.8, slightly worse at the edges. On covered apertures, the lens shows very high sharpness. On F / 1.8, vignetting is noticeable.

When used without backlight, the lens shows good contrast. Unfortunately, despite the optics with 'MC', the lens weak in backlight, giving a large number of flares, glare and 'rainbows' (these artifacts are in the photos in the gallery below). Version MC HELIOS-77M-4 50mm 1: 1,8 backlit works much better. The highlight of MS HELIOS-77M-4 1,8 / 50 is unusual twisting the background in the blur zoneso that the lens has an interesting bokeh.

Ultimately MC HELIOS-77M-4 1,8 / 50 is an interesting lens that can be a good creative tool for photo enthusiasts. Poor backlit work makes it worse MS Helios-81H 2/50.

You can download RAW source files by this link (20 files in the '.ARW' format, 400 MB). All photos in the gallery above are on-camera JPEG from the camera Sony a7.

UPDATE 1 (added gallery of examples)

More examples of photos on the MC HELIOS-77M-4 1,8 / 50 and Canon EOS 750D from Svetlana Stasyakova:

UPDATE 2 (added gallery of examples)

Examples of photographs on MS HELIOS-77M-4 1,8 / 50 and Canon EOS 60D photographer also shared Ulyana Bukanova (Mizinova).

Several examples on MS HELIOS-77M-4 1,8 / 50 and a full frame in the face Canon EOS 6D You can find here.

MS HELIOS-77M-4 1,8 / 50 and MC HELIOS-77M-4 50mm 1: 1,8

MS HELIOS-77M-4 1,8 / 50 and MC HELIOS-77M-4 50mm 1: 1,8

Note: the HELIOS-77M-4 lens was also produced at the Jupiter Optical and Mechanical Plant under the name MC HELIOS-77M-4 50mm 1: 1,8. And there is also a very similar Soviet lens MS Helios-77M 1,8 / 50.


MS HELIOS-77M-4 1,8 / 50 is a pleasant Soviet fifty dollars. Even in spite of the poor performance in the back and side light, this lens can be attributed to the list of the best Soviet fifty dollars.

Familiarity with the Soviet Helios brand lenses I recommend starting with an inexpensive and common lens Helios-44-2 2/58 (aka HELIOS-44-2 2/58). The following links can look at modern lenses Zenitar и HELIOS.

Material prepared Arkady Shapoval. Training/Consultations | Youtube | Facebook | Instagram | Twitter | Telegram

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Comments: 321, on the topic: Overview of the MS HELIOS-77M-4 1,8 / 50 (VOMZ version)

  • Vladimir

    Tell me please! I bought such a Helios (plant with the emblem of the Valdai plant) and I don’t understand why the diaphragm opens only to the value of 5.6? Thanks!

    • Arkady Shapoval

      Most likely aperture problems

      • Vladimir

        On the other hand, the lens has a lever recessed into the body. If you twist it with a screwdriver, then the diaphragm opens and closes. And if you twist the aperture ring, it only closes to a value of 5.6.

        • Arkady Shapoval

          This lever must be constantly recessed. Usually the adapter from M42-to your camera does this automatically. But sometimes it remains untwisted, for example, with adapters for Nikon. Then it should be fixed manually in any way. For example, squeeze the sharp end of a toothpick

          • Vladimir

            I have a Lumix G80, an ordinary Fotga adapter. The lens also behaves on the adapter. You may have to disassemble and clean. By the way, the focus ring slides closer to infinity .. it looks like grease. Thank you for the answers !!!

            • Cat

              You've probably already figured it out, but most likely your lens unit has rotated in the housing.
              I constantly have this problem on my G-81M, no matter how much I correct it or control the fixing rings.

  • Anonymous 2.0

    Hello Arkady, is there any point in buying this glass, if there is already Helios 44m-4 of the Krasnogorsk plant, are there any differences in bokeh? The difference in price is almost 1000 UAH, is it worth it?

    • Arkady Shapoval

      I don’t see much point, if the 44m-4 is not enough, then something else is already possible and something is not from Helios

      • Anonymous 2.0

        Thank you very much)

    • Fedor

      there will be a very big difference in bokeh

      • Rodion

        Not really at all. Well, yes, there is more krutilov, but the essence is the same. Image quality is generally no better.

        • Zhenya

          Spins much stronger than any other helios, it is already much more interesting. For high quality, if you take something from the new 50mm, in which almost all aberrations are corrected

          • Ilya

            The opinion about stronger torsion in comparison with 44m (any number) is wrong. This impression is created due to the smaller FR, which provides more coverage of the frame, and therefore more torsion. In terms of quality, the image really does not differ from 44 helios.

  • Timothy

    Good afternoon Arkady! Tell me, and having a Helios 81 N it makes sense to purchase this lens?

    • Arkady Shapoval

      No special meaning

    • ba3lur

      ... of course, all Helios of the 44th series and also 77-4 look like brothers, but 81N from a completely different opera, the Arsenalovsky Helios does not twist as much as the 44th and 77th, it is more similar in the picture to Nikon's and Kenon's 50s with a sluggish blur for me the best of all is Helios 44-3 from Belomo

      • weirdo

        Helios 44m-7 naturally zenitar in contrast and resolution tears all 44 and 77 into rubbish and it turns the background, God forbid everyone, and it also gives a very, very good color, very close to fifty dollars zenitar 1.7

        • Rodion

          Do you need any punctuation marks?

  • Timur

    Congratulate me. Just bought this photo lens. I wanted to buy MC HELIOS-44M-5 today, but I saw this lens from the seller and could not resist. Only here is a problem. There is not enough focus to infinity, but I think it's fixable. And to be honest, I can use it anyway, for portraits

    • Andrei

      If the camera is Nikon, then yes, there will be no endlessness. Either an adapter with a lens, or “file lightly.”

    • cvlad

      disassemble and adjust to infinity. I set up my Helios 81 in the same way.

    • Timothy

      Hey! I also bought this Helios, there are 81, 44-3 in the collection, but this one is better and sharper than all. And I do not want to cover the diaphragm. It can be easily converted to infinity (if on Nikon). I removed all the trichomes from the jumping mechanism, the native shank, and put the Chinese one in its place. I put a spring on the pusher from the handle. A micron construction site to infinity was carried out by supplying the ring, where the inscriptions are. I took night pictures - generally super, sharp kapets. If for portraits, then you can simply jam the pusher and that's it. But I would advise you to get confused and do it.

  • Royal Canin

    I sympathize with you.

  • Ksenia

    Good afternoon!
    I apologize, but the link to the Nikon adapter without a lens and with a chip is not working. Will anyone share the new one?

    Thank you.

  • Igor

    Ideal for a crop portrait

    • Cat

      The lady is very beautiful in the photo.

  • Opossum

    77th is definitely better than 44th. Even if the 44th has an M7. And here Vologda is better than Valdai.
    The comparison shows the lower left corner of the frame.
    Left Canon 35 / 1.4LII open, in the center Helios77 also open (f / 1.8), right Helios44M7 open (f / 2)
    Shot with Canon R5

    • Opossum

      bottom right i.e. injection

      • sylphidae

        This is powerful lens testing. From the window of a dark street….. Don't stop there. You can still go down to the basement on a dark, moonless night. Take off by the light of matches.

        • Paul

          Super! In the basement! Ha! Normally lowered it. 5+++!

    • Gregor_S

      Canon R5,Canon 35/1.4L…
      The sir has a nasty set, just for such tests)))

  • John

    Why are you calling it MS Helios?
    This is about the MC Helios.

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English-version of this article https://radojuva.com/en/2011/04/obzor-gelios-77m-4-otzuvu/

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