Helios 44 Lens Overview

This review presents exactly old Helios-44 lens 2/58 for M39 thread, and not its subsequent modifications. Its number 0220423, issued at the Krasnogorsk Mechanical Plant (KMZ), as evidenced by the emblem of the plant on the lens. Also, part of the old white Helios-44 was produced in Belarus.

Aperture limits2.0-16.0
Number of aperture blades: 13
Thread: M39
Focal length: 58mm
Optical design: 6 elements in 4 groups

Helios 44 lens overview, front view on a modern camera

Helios 44 lens overview, front view on a modern camera

The optical design was taken from Carl Zeiss Jena Biotar 2 / 58. Zeiss lenses are still famous for their excellent quality and picture.

Photo at Helios-44

Photo at Helios-44

The lens has a classic white metal frame, typical of its years of production. Resolution 35/14 lines / mm. Focusing range from 0.5 meter to infinity. Note that there was also a Helios-44 for "Start" with a special bayonet mount. You can look at Helios-44 2/58 with 8 aperture blades.

Photo at Helios-44

Photo at Helios-44

The first thing, of course, that catches your eye is his white metal frame, which looks unusual on a black camera.

Sample photo on Helios 44

Sample photo on Helios 44

Advantages of the Helios 44 lens:

  1. Excellent aperture. What does the lens have enough sharp already at full aperture. On F / 2.0, good sharpness is obtained, which allows you to use it in poor lighting, and on 2.0 you can get good portraits.
  2. There is aperture preset ring. You can set the aperture to the desired value, focus on sharpness with the F / 2.0 aperture fully open, close the ring to the set value and take a picture.

    The photo on Helios-44 is old, white, with 13 aperture blades. No processing.

    The photo on Helios-44 is old, white, with 13 aperture blades. No processing.

  3. This lens can be used with full-frame cameras. On the crop matrix, the angle of the field of view is narrowed, the equivalent angle will be as for 87mm in the full frame. This is a great focal length. for portraiture, because the lens is great for photographing portraits - and therefore it is still very loved by modern photographers.
  4. Excellent sharpness. This lens is one of the first, after it there were a large number of modifications, different models were produced at different factories. In general, modifications of Helios-44 (m2, m3, m4, etc.) made it one of the most popular lenses in the world. Because of this, in later periods there was more marriage and later versions are considered to be worse in quality in comparison with such old people as Helios-44. Remember that when gossip becomes obsolete, they become myths. So the myth was created, that Helios are rather unpleasant lenses.

    The photo on Helios-44 is old, white, with 13 aperture blades. No processing.

    The photo on Helios-44 is old, white, with 13 aperture blades. No processing.

  5. Its design will survive both me and you, my dear reader. This is not modern Chinese plastic. Illusions about the super-high quality of modern lenses, like teeth, are lost with age. Helios-44 removes so far.
  6. 13-blade aperture... Only a few of the modern afto-focus lenses can boast of this number. From the manual: only Jupiter-37a, Jupiter-11, Tair-11 can compete with this Helios in terms of the number of petals and the correctness of circles in the blur zone. It's funny that the diaphragm has an odd number of blades, which is not typical for Soviet optics. With a circular aperture, you can easily get rid of the “nuts” in the bokeh, which are very undesirable for portraits.
The photo on Helios-44 is old, white, with 13 aperture blades. No processing.

The photo on Helios-44 is old, white, with 13 aperture blades. No processing.


  1. Inconvenient focuser ring, described the problem below.
  2. Weakly holds lateral light.

The bokeh is excellent, slightly twisted in the Helios (Biotar) style. But in my opinion Helios-44 twists bokeh much less than its subsequent modifications. HA noticeable only on open diaphragms when closely studied. Lens gives a sharp, but at the same time soft picture (sharp contours, but even and soft color filling). On crop, I did not notice a serious drop in sharpness at the edges of the frame, nor was there a visible vignette. In order not to read a lot - see the gallery on Helios-44 in this review. (Pictures 1600 * 1200 are adjusted to the size of your display to open the picture completely, just copy the address of the image and paste it into the browser line).

How to use with modern cameras?

Lenses with an M39 mounting thread (for SLR cameras, M39 X 1 / 45.2), such as the lens from this review, are very easy to use on almost any modern digital camera (both SLR and mirrorless), for this you just need to choose correct adapter. The cheapest adapters can be found aliexpress.com

For use on modern digital SLR cameras Canon EOS need M39-Canon EOS adapter, you can buy such an adapter (adapter) here. Also, an adapter M39-Canon EOS can be easily replaced with two adapters: M42-Canon EOS + M39-M42. Detailed information on the use of such lenses with any Canon EOS cameras will find here.

An adapter is required for use on Nikon SLR cameras M39-Nikon F, you can buy such an adapter (adapter) without a lens and a chip here. Also, one adapter M39-Nikon F can be easily replaced with two adapters: M42-Nikon F + M39-M42. Detailed information on the use of such lenses with any modern Nikon cameras will find here.

How to use this lens with cameras of other systems (Pentax, Sony, Fujifilm, Olympus, Panasonic, Samsung, Sigma etc.) - ask in the comments and you will be prompted. If you have any questions on compatibility and adapters, ask in the comments (comments do not require any registration at all, any user can add a comment).

Comments on this post do not require registration. Anyone can leave a comment. Lenses and promotions on them look at Moyo.ua.


Sample photo on Helios 44

Sample photo on Helios 44

Features to watch out for:

It turned out to be quite enough for me inconvenient focusing ring. That is, the focuser is arranged rather inconveniently near the camera mount, the ribbed “nut” of the focuser is also located on the side of the mount, and the second part of the focuser is smooth metal, which is also not very pleasant and convenient to turn.

The photo on Helios-44 is old, white, with 13 aperture blades. No processing.

The photo on Helios-44 is old, white, with 13 aperture blades. No processing.

Aperture has fixed values ​​from 2.0 to 16.0. The lens on the cropped matrix becomes very sharp at 2.8-5.6. Helios 44 has a single-layer enlightenment, which does not greatly help in the fight against backlight and side light. The resulting picture on a fully open aperture exceeds all my expectations.

The photo on Helios-44 is old, white, with 13 aperture blades. No processing.

The photo on Helios-44 is old, white, with 13 aperture blades. No processing.

Reviews for the Helios-44 2/58 lenses:

  1. Helios-44 2/58 [KMZ, 13 petals, M39, silver, No. 0220423]
  2. Helios-44 2/58 [KMZ, 8 petals, M39, silver]
  3. Helios-44 1: 2 F = 5,8 cm П [KMZ with replaced lenses, No. 0007220, review of the lens from the reader Radozhiva]
  4. HELIOS-44M 2/58 [KMZ, 8 petals, serial number 7843528]
  5. HELIOS-44M 2/58 [Jupiter plant, Valdai, 8 petals, serial number 8027170]
  6. HELIOS-44-2 2/58 [plant 'Jupiter', Valdai, 8 petals, serial number 83052779] + autofocus review
  7. MS Helios 44-3 2/58 [MMZ, 8 petals, 8619437, 9167912]
  8. MC Helios-44M-4 2/58
  9. Helios-44K-4 58mm 1:2 [KMZ, 6 petals, Pentax K]
  10. MC Helios-44M-4 58mm 1: 2 [plant 'Jupiter', Valdai, 6 petals] + autofocus review
  11. MC Helios-44M-5 58mm 1: 2 [Jupiter plant, Valdai, 6 petals]
  12. MC Helios-44M-6 58mm 1: 2 [plant 'Jupiter', Valdai, 6 petals]
  13. MC Helios-44M-7 58mm 1: 2 [plant 'Jupiter', Valdai, 6 petals]
  14. An article about most of the major modifications of the Helios-44 series
  15. Gallery of pictures on MC Helios-44M-4
  16. Look at modern the lenses 'Helios' can at this link
  17. A lot of Helios of all varieties can be found on ebay this link

Original 'Carl Zeiss Jena Biotar 2/58 ':

  1. Carl Zeiss Jena Biotar 1: 2 f = 5,8cm T [17 diaphragm blades, M42]
  2. Carl Zeiss Jena Biotar 2 / 58 T [12 diaphragm blades, M42]
  3. A lot of Biotars of all varieties can be found on ebay this link

Look at modern the lenses 'Zenitar' и 'Helios' can at this link.

All photos in the gallery below and throughout the review - without processing (NEF, Auto tone, Resize and JPEG convert Q80%, watermark)


Examples of photos on Helios-44 2/58 (13 petals) and a camera Nikon D810 photographer shared with readers of Radozhiva Anastasia Tretyakova.


A great old-tempered lens, suitable for all types of shooting. For cameras with a cropped matrix, it serves as a good short portrait portrait, since already at F2.0 it gives a high-quality image.

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.

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

Material prepared Arkady Shapoval. Training/Consultations | Youtube | Facebook | Instagram | Twitter | Telegram | Assistance of the Armed Forces

Add a comment:



Comments: 331, on the topic: Helios-44 lens review

  • Irina

    Hello, I bought an M42 adapter with a lens and a chip (Pixso) to connect Helios 44-2 to Nikon D5100. There is infinity, there is automatic detection of shutter speed in mode A, and there is even confirmation of focus. But!!! When focusing through the viewfinder, an absolutely not sharp picture is obtained at aperture of 2 (((Continuous soap ... I am heavy ... I really wanted to shoot Helios on the CZK ... Maybe I'm doing something wrong? ...

    • Igor

      Maybe the problem is due to the lens? Is the picture sharp on other apertures?
      I shoot in white G-44 with an adapter without a lens, adjusted for Nikon - it comes out quite sharply at any aperture. I would turn to a specialist and try to remove it with an adapter without a lens to make sure of her guilt or innocence :)

    • Lynx

      there is a considerable chance that the lens itself is unsharp or misaligned.
      you can try to shoot with a lensless adapter - will there be sharpness in this case.
      For the simplest check - try shooting with the aperture closed somewhere up to 5,6 - whether the sharpness will return to normal.

  • Irina

    Sharpness comes back to normal at aperture of 2,8, even with a lens adapter. But I would like to use the entire aperture of the lens with aperture of 2,0)

  • Konstantin

    Hello. Tell me what kind of adapter do I need to install a Helios-58 44/2 lens (MMZ factory, 58 petals) on the Sony Alpha SLT-A8 Thread: M39. Thank you in advance. Help me to understand.

    • Lynx

      I don't even know what to say to you ...
      let's choose from two obvious options?
      Nikon-F on Pentax-K.
      or M39 / m42 + M42 / Minolta A
      What do you think, which one?

  • Anna

    Please tell me where to buy this lens in Ukraine and which adapter milking Samsung nx 30, and at a price not very expensive. thanks

  • Sergei

    Left from the 44 series so myself. There is no tangible difference with the other 44 NORMAL assemblies, blackening, etc. (and this, alas, is a rarity). With this, the assembly is guaranteed to be normal, but the state of some instances makes you think. 13 petals add asterisks to the ChSV (this is a meme, a sense of greatness)

  • Alexander

    Hello, I am interested in the question when installing Helios 44 13 lep white on Nikon D800, will the mirror touch the lens twisted to infinity. Adapter m39 - Nikon. Thanks in advance for your reply.

    • Sergei


  • Nina

    Please tell me which Helios is suitable for Kenon 1200d? And an adapter? thanks

  • Sergey PSV

    I have such a Helios 44 white 13 aperture plate .. number 0036483 Can someone tell me the year of manufacture ??

  • Evgenij

    m42-nikon adapter (canon) can be bought here http://olx.ua/list/user/Bewr/

    • Andrei

      Eugene, how does an M42 adapter work if Helios has an M39 thread?

      • Novel

        It is necessary to buy an adapter ring 39/42. And everything will be ok.

  • VS

    I sometimes work with manual focusing lenses, both with domestic Helios (44, 40), Jupiters (9, 21), and with German Sonnar 180 2,8, Praktikar 80 1,8 ...
    I calculated and sharpened the Praktikar 80 1,8 to the Nikon F mount, adjusted the infinity exactly to the ∞ sign, we got the chic Zeiss 80 1.8 Nikon F, possibly the only one.
    The rest I use through a Nikon-M42 adapter with a lens. I have several adapters, including one without a lens. Adapters with lenses are different, one is Moscow with a Lytkarino lens, others are Chinese. When shooting at 35mm full frame (FX), most adapters hit the mirror when the shutter is released and are only suitable for DX format where the mirror is smaller. Lenses are different for everyone, both in shape and in focal length ... For ten years of numerous studies, I have selected a pair from a case that does not touch the mirror, and a good lens. I came to the conclusion that a normal adapter with a lens is better than without an adapter without a lens - the drawing is a little more interesting, the corners are a little sharper. It is not necessary to copy common speculations without proper qualified research, and make good lenses ...
    Photo: Helios 44 1984

  • Oleg 1

    Good afternoon, photo dowels. I want to express my opinion on the old Soviet lenses, I had a lot of them, I consider them shooting as a hobby, a hobby, for serious shooting there
    Sony and Minolt optics, which behave predictably (that is, perfectly) .And in the Soviet optics there is some kind of mystery, practically did not meet two identical copies (even one model), thanks to the Soviet scammer and different plants, the spread in quality was huge, different
    dynamic range, focus depth, color, contrast, software. When you take the next glass never
    you don’t know what it will give out, because if you are passionate about this idea, buy, I had five Helios and they shoot everything completely differently (and went through more than a dozen), the same can be said about
    other brands. Most of these lenses were designed for black and white film, so require
    from them on high-quality DSLRs is not worth it, but the beauty of the picture is quite possible.

  • David Hobby

    Good time of day!
    Please tell me, is there a Helios 44m-4 Helios 44-2, is it worth buying a Helios 44 for 13 aperture blades? I am faced with the choice of either Helios 44 with 13 petals or Helios 77-4 (this has multilayer enlightenment). Which glass to choose?
    Thank you in advance!

  • Oleg 1

    Good evening, David. I had both, I liked the G77 more, the G44 was very soft on the open and
    I got a yellow picture, the G77 showed a little bit of a blue tint, but because of the MS I kept the backlight well, much sharper from the G44. As a result, I sold both and bought a Belarusian Gms44-3 for
    which he chased for a long time, and it’s worth it, it gives out, though not the sharpest picture, but in color at the Minolta level (the only one from all I went over). Look also at Pentacon 50 1.8 or
    Enitar 50 1.7 at a price they are cheaper than G77 and I like the picture from them more. But these are only mine
    personal impressions.

    • David Hobby

      Thank you very much for your advice!
      Regards, David Hobby.

  • anonym

    Tell me, please, can I use Helios-44 2/58 on the canon600D?
    A metal lens does not harm the amateur equipment of a plastic design?

    • Oleg

      No harm. Shoot for health

  • Dmitriy

    A friend gave it, lay idle. Excellent condition of an instance of 1956. I cleaned it up, greased it up, put in a deep blend, and adapted it to MFT. I liked it so much that I mainly shoot with it - from macro to landscapes.

  • kronitoropov

    Fuji S3 Pro + Helios-44-2 with an inverted front lens.

    • Rodion

      Why be so perverted ... Helios is already a good cute lens to spoil it. It's time to put up a monument to him - Helios the Great Martyr and Passion-Bearer).

      • Dmitriy

        From what? The picture turned out to be interesting. A year ago, I bought the same G-44-2 mechanically dirty for a penny, restored it. I started shooting and was stunned - there is no twisting, but a kind of elongation from the edges to the center, like a special effect, and the bokeh is simply exceptional. Suspicion that the previous owner did not mount something correctly. I sold that lens well to a portrait girl, she also liked the unusual. Now I regret, but then I was in dire need.

  • Valera

    The other day I went to a flea market. And I saw the lens, and of course I bought it. Helios 44 13 leps, silver, maximum aperture 22. And most interestingly, the serial number starts with four zeros (0000XXX). I did not find information about such on the Internet. Can someone suggest something?

    • Dmitriy

      As far as I know, this is one of the first still with fascist optics. Lucky. If in good condition, then this can cost for 20 thousand. I have a later one and still super-duper. And flea markets sometimes sell great things for a penny.

  • anonym

    Nightmare. And this daub, someone considers optics with "good sharpness". The alternative sold at that time in the form of “Industar-50”, in terms of the quality of the pictures, was not even good enough. Its only advantage in sharpness was that its higher aperture allowed for more comfortable focusing in the incredibly dark Zenith viewfinders. Well, its other conveniences, such as aperture presetting, made the choice in its favor over the industrial one. But neither the quality of the images obtained, nor their sharpness, which, in fact, was an outright smear. Definitely one of the worst examples of Soviet optics!

    • Dmitriy

      1. Helios are diverse and very sharp specimens come across
      2.For many scenes shot, absolute sharpness is absolutely unnecessary
      3. If you want to crap the Soviet in a teenager, then enter the right

    • Nikolai Fedorovich

      Anonymous Nothing will come of you

      • Dmitriy

        This is some embittered young man with ambition

      • Dmitriy

        This is some embittered young man with ambition and superficial knowledge.

  • Sergei

    Please help me decide. I have a bad fuji, and I found two Helios 44s, but now I have no access to them. I can't find out what kind of thread there is M39 or M42. This could be remedied by purchasing an adapter ring. But on Fuji, the M42 adapter is a small tube, and the M39 is a simple ring with a thread on it, like on Canon, etc. hence the question arises. Will I be able to focus at infinity if I buy the universal m42-m39, given that in this position the lens will be a couple of centimeters further from the sensor than with a simple m39.

    • Dmitriy

      Helios-44 with M39 thread has a working distance of 45,2 mm and an M39 adapter with a “tube” is needed. And adapters without a tube with M39, then this is M39Leica for rangefinder lenses and there are no Helios-44 among them. I first screwed the M44 / M39 ring on Helios-39 white with M42 thread, and then screwed it into the M42 / Micro adapter with a “tube”. And then, the gauge rings in the helios had to be sharpened to catch infinity, but this is not at all difficult - the helios is easy to understand.
      Fuji X has a 17,7mm flange distance, Helios-44 with М39x1 thread - 45,2mm. Therefore, the height of the adapter should be 45,2 - 17,7 = 27,5 mm.
      In general, something like that. The main thing is not to worry, over time everything will become clear

  • Oleg zzmeyy

    Good afternoon! Tell me, there is a helios-44 but there is a scratch on the back lens. What is the probability that on other helios models the design of the rear lens will be the same (thread, lens ratio, etc.) to restore the “old man”?

  • Д

    Please tell me, on Sony alpha 330 which one you need to look for an adapter under 44, and which under 44M.

    • Dmitriy

      44 M39 tail, so you need to wind the threaded adapter M39-M42 (not much, but then if it’s difficult to unscrew it). Then screw this tail into the adapter M42-Minolta A. Then into Sonya and insert. At 44M, the tail is already M42, so he does not need the M39-M42 ring.

  • anonym

    Good time of day!
    There is a good instance of Helios 44 with 13 petals, so I think it's worth buying it? Maybe someone will share their experience with the use and show their pictures just bokeh. I will be grateful to you.

    • Dmitriy

      The lens is super. In principle, they can shoot both clear landscapes and a decent macro. I recommend a chic device. His bokeh is twisted like all helios, but this can hardly be attributed to flaws, rather to features.
      I had to sell my copy to a portrait girl, I regret a little, but now I replaced it with Tair-41, which is also a very interesting fifty dollars with a unique pattern and bokeh.

  • Olga

    Good day! I can not remove the adapter (adapter) from the camera. Tightened tightly. How to remove it?

  • vadim

    I wonder how to start Helios from Start to Nikon d3000?

    • Nikolay Fedorovich

      To nag

  • Yang

    Please tell me with Mark 2 is it possible to use?

    • Rodion

      Yes, but it is likely that the file will have to be slightly modified backside so that the mirror does not cling. With 44 series M there are no such problems.

      • Dmitriy

        I advise you to carefully recommend, otherwise ladies can cut down part of Mark in adaptation

        • Rodion

          In tyrnets, the gender of the interlocutor is male by default.

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