Review Helios 44-3 2/58 MS

This review presents a rather rare version of Helios-44-3 2/58 MS from the Helios-44-X series of lenses.

MS Helios 44-3 2/58

MS Helios 44-3 2/58. Lens shown on a film camera Nikon EL-2 installed using a conventional adapter M42-Nikon F

In short

MC Helios 44-3 2/58 is one of the best lenses among all versions of 'Helios-44' with manual aperture setting. This is the only lens in this series with multi-coated optics.

In general, it looks like very common options Helios-44-2 2/58 (HELIOS-44-2 2/58).

The general list of HELIOS-44 lenses can be found in the 'A Thousand and One Nights with HELIOS-44'.

MS Helios 44-3 2/58

MS Helios 44-3 2/58

The main technical characteristics of Helios 44-3 2/58:

The name of the instance from the review (as it is written on the lens itself) Helios 44-3 2/58 MS with the VOMZ logo; two lenses participated in the review: 8619437 and 9167912
Basic properties
  • M42x1 / 45.5 - common 'M42' seating thread.
  • manual focus only
  • aperture control ring
  • diaphragm preset ring
  • MS - multi-layer optical coating.
  • lens suitable for full-frame cameras
  • metal case
Front Filter Diameter 52 mm
Focal length 58 m
Zoom ratio 1 x
Designed by for film cameras with a frame size of 36 mm X 24 mm
Number of aperture blades 8 rounded petals. Petals form an octagon of approximately regular shape.
Tags
  • focusing distance only in meters
  • depth of field scale for values ​​F / 2, 4, 5.6 (dash only), 8, 11 (dash only), 16
  • arrow on aperture ring
  • aperture values ​​F / 2, 4, 5.6, 8, 11, 16
Diaphragm From F / 2 to F / 16.0, it is regulated by a diaphragm ring, there is a diaphragm preset ring. The aperture can be adjusted smoothly, without clicks.
MDF (minimum focusing distance) 0.5 m
The weight 250 g
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
Instructions My scan
Period Around 1983 (?) To 1995 (?)

MC Helios 44-3 2/58 is well built, but from the obvious shortcomings I can note the following:

  • the chamfers of the lenses are not blacked out, which adversely affects the contrast of the image
  • aperture blades are not blackened, which adversely affects image contrast on covered apertures
  • micro-play of the aperture setting ring, but this does not affect the performance or usability of the lens
  • the lens hood is screwed into the thread of the front light filter, and is not installed in the bayonet grooves, as in modern lenses. Although, for that time, I do not know any similar lens with a bayonet type hood
  • focus ring design poorly compatible with adapters. This trouble will be described in detail below and it relates more to adapters / adapters than to lens flaws
  • at F / 4-F / 16 values, the aperture blades form an insufficiently round hole
  • For Soviet lenses, a characteristic feature is the presence of a focus distance scale only in meters (metric system). Some Western users may complain about this.
  • the focus ring is too close to the mount, it is not always convenient to work, especially when used on some modern cameras, for example, equipped with a battery grip
MS Helios 44-3 2/58

MS Helios 44-3 2/58

The focus ring is metal, not rubberized, rotates approximately 270 degrees, the stroke of the ring is smooth. During focusing, the front retractable body does not rotate. Focusing occurs by moving the entire lens block.

MS Helios 44-3 2/58 has a ring presets diaphragm. It allows you to select one of the fixed values: F / 2, 2.8, 4, 5.6, 8, 11, 16. Unlike the preset ring, the aperture setting ring rotates smoothly and can be used to set any intermediate value. The smooth movement of the aperture ring is useful when shooting video. The diaphragm consists of 8 blades that form a hole in the form of regular octahedrons.

Helios 44-3 2/58 MS has an unusual for the Helios-44 series lenses red-yellow marking of the aperture and focusing distance.

The difference between the lenses of the Helios-44-X series and the Helios-44 seriesМ-X is that versions without letter 'М'in the name of the lens do not have a jumping ('Мaperture), therefore, the diaphragm on such a lens works only in manual mode. Such lenses are more convenient to use on modern digital cameras (there is no need to block the mechanism of the aperture jumping device for manual control). Lenses with an 'M' in their name, such as HELIOS-44M 2/58, have a jumping (blinking) diaphragm mechanism and do not have a manual diaphragm control mode (the diaphragm is always open until the diaphragm pin on the bayonet side is pressed).

MS Helios-44-3 is interesting in that it has multi-illuminated optics, as indicated by the letters MS in the name of the lens (МultiproСbranching). MS versions are rare, and usually these are Helios-44 lensesМ-X, not Helios-44-X series.

MS Helios 44-3 2/58

MS Helios 44-3 2/58

Difficulty using with adapters

MC Helios-44-3 2/58 has one very characteristic and unpleasant feature. When using the adapter, which is screwed onto the native thread of the M42, it rests against the focusing ring and locks it (the focusing ring cannot be rotated). There will be serious focusing problems with any 'M42-desired mount' adapter. I only observe this design of the focusing ring on MC Helios 44-3 2/58. To treat this ailment, either cut the back of the focusing ring a little or use a homemade thin spacer between the focusing ring and adapter.

It's important: all lenses manufactured before 1991 suffer from this ailment. After 1991, the lens was finalized and its use with adapters / adapters does not cause any problems.

Important: Helios-44-3 MS 2/58 using a conventional adapter M42-Canon EOS can catch a mirror full-frame Canon EOS cameras. So MC Helios-44-3 2/58 clings to the mirror of my Canon EOS 5D camera during focusing from infinity to 6 meters. FROM cropped Canon EOS camerasas well as mirrorless cameras Canon M, Canon r there will be no problems.

MS Helios 44-3 2/58

MS Helios 44-3 2/58

Image quality

Due to the use of multi-brightening, the color rendition of Helios-44-3 2/58 is better than some other lenses of the Helios-44 family, which can spoil the color rendition with a parasitic greenish or yellowish tint. Also, Helios-44-3 2/58 MC behaves a little better in back and side light and generally creates a more contrasting image than it can be assembled without multi-enlightenment. Unfortunately, due to the fact that the chamfers of the lenses are not blackened, and the aperture blades are also not blackened, excessive re-reflection can reduce the image contrast, especially in the same backlight and side light. In real shooting conditions, sometimes you have to add contrast to the pictures.

The lens is sharp enough in the center of the frame already at F / 2.0. There is a noticeable drop in resolution to the edges and corners of the frame. Covering the aperture by 1-2 steps of the edge and the corners of the image are slightly aligned.

Many users love Helios lenses for the optical design of the Biotar / Biotar type with 6 elements in 4 groups, which in some cases creates a pleasant looking picture. The main feature of all Helios-44 lenses is the special nature of the out-of-focus zone - twisted bokeh... From a technical point of view, this feature is an optical flaw, namely, geometric vignetting, but from an artistic point of view it can act as an additional technique to create a pleasant picture.

MS Helios 44-3 2/58

MS Helios 44-3 2/58

Sample Photos

Photos on Nikon D40 without processing, JPEG L Basic. On Nikon cameras, I used the lens with a regular adapter M42-Nikon F.

Photos on Canon EOS 5D converted using Canon Digital Photo Pprofessional 4 (Canon DPP) with minor adjustments. On Canon EOS cameras, I used the lens with a regular adapter M42-Canon EOS.

Original photos on Canon EOS 5D can be download from this link... Several photos can be found more here.

MS Helios 44-3 2/58

MS Helios 44-3 2/58. On a Canon EOS 5D full frame DSLR I used this lens with a simple adapter M42-Canon EOS

My experience

Of all the tried and tested lenses of the Helios-44 family, this Helios-44-3 MS 2/58 has personally sunk into me the most. I had several copies that I used in different years of my photo practice, all of them were good. Even problems with the use of adapters could not prevent sympathy for the Helios-44-3 MS 2/58. At the same time, for many years I tried a whole bucket of Helios-44-2 (about 10 different copies, different plants, different years of production) and not one of them stuck with me.

Personally, I believe that the Helios-44-3 2/58 is the best lens in the Helios-44 line without a blinking aperture. This is my personal opinion, it may not coincide with the opinion of other users. If in Helios-44-3 2/58 there were 13 petals, as in earlier versions of Helios-44, then he would not have a price.

Typically, Helios-44-3 2/58 MS is significantly more expensive than Helios 44-2 2/58. Despite his love for Helios-44-3 MS 2/58, they are not chasing after him. You can safely get acquainted with Soviet optics starting with Helios-44-2 2/58.

Comments on this post do not require registration. Anyone can leave a comment. A wide variety of photographic equipment can be found on AliExpress, The Amazon и B&H Photo.
MS Helios 44-3 2/58

MS Helios 44-3 2/58

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.

MS Helios 44-3 2/58

MS Helios 44-3 2/58

MS Helios 44-3 2/58

MS Helios 44-3 2/58

MS Helios 44-3 2/58

MS Helios 44-3 2/58

MS Helios 44-3 2/58

MS Helios 44-3 2/58

MS Helios 44-3 2/58

MS Helios 44-3 2/58. Lens shown on a film camera Nikon EL-2 mounted using a conventional adapter M42-Nikon F

Conclusions

MC Helios 44-3 2/58 is a good standard (in terms of focal length) fast lens. Some units are difficult to use on modern digital cameras due to the unusual design of the focusing ring, which complicates the use of adapters. Many amateur photographers use lenses of the Helios-44 family for a very wide range of photographic tasks, but they are mainly bought for creative photography, and in particular for creating a twisted bokeh effect.

Material prepared Arkady Shapoval... Look for me on Youtube | Facebook | Instagram | Twitter | Telegram.

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Comments: 215, on the topic: Overview of Helios 44-3 2/58

  • Michael

    Hello! And no one used the MS HELIOS 44M? Maybe this is the same?

    • B. R. P.

      Enjoyed. The 44s are all alike, by and large.

      • Serg

        Not really. I had 2 44-3 they were better than the other 44m-7 that I saw. definitely 44-3 is the best helios from the 44 series

        • B. R. P.

          You are well versed in the varieties of Helios)

    • Michael

      MC HELIOS 44M, as it seems to me from the picture, is something better. But I also like it constructively.

  • Hamlet

    Hello. Arkady, do all helios catch the mirror of full-frame Canon? And how to deal with this, not to twist to infinity?

    • Alex duloglo

      Yes, I am also interested in this moment. Please tell us more about this.

    • "Joe"

      Not all.
      https://www.panoramaplanet.de/comp/

      • Hamlet

        All this can work on virgin lenses, and then, under the USSR, the spread in parameters on the same lenses was large. For example, I had 2 identical Gelika 44-2, I took off the yust of one. the ring and everything was normal, but the other, after removing the alignment ring, the diaphragm ring was jammed. Likewise here, I screwed 4 objectos into my adapter and measured with a barbell how far the rear lens protrudes from the adapter. 44-3 came out at 1.2mm, 44m at 1.1mm, 44-2 at 1.1mm, zeiss at 1.3. It turns out that if Arkady's mirror touches the mirror according to table 44-3, then all the ones I checked will also hurt.

        • Hamlet

          By the way, is it possible to put some 1mm thick washer between the adapter and the lens?

          • Hamlet

            Even if infinity disappears, hardly anyone needs it on Helios. Will focus even meters at 10-20 and OK.

        • "Joe"

          See the table below for a general overview, it really depends on the specific lens instance. If the measurement results show that the rear part of the lens can touch the mirror, you can try either not to focus further than 2-3 meters, or not screwing the lens completely into the adapter (inserting a washer can help with this), or grind off the metal part of the lens protruding from the back. You can also try to turn on the LiveView mode first, and after raising the mirror, screw in the lens, but you need to know for sure that only the shutter is activated at the time of shooting, without the participation of the mirror - the mechanism of operation is different for different camera models. And in this case, you need to turn off the power saving functions of the camera so that LiveView itself does not turn off after a certain time. Before turning off LiveView, remember to first unscrew the lens. In general, there are inconveniences.

          • Hamlet

            Thanks. The best and safest thing to do is to cut a washer out of something between the lens and the adapter.

  • Seladir

    What about the Canon 6D, does this lens hit the mirror on it?

    • Seladir

      I tried it, like there were no extraneous sounds either when focusing to infinity, or when shooting.

  • Sergei

    Can you tell us more about the problem with adapters and pinching the focusing ring? How exactly was this disease cured after 91 years old, and how to visually distinguish it? The lens from the review is just 91 years old, is it still with this problem or not?

  • SERGEI

    Good glass.

  • Sergei

    Dealt with the so-called “problem” of clamping the focusing ring with the adapter. Delov for 10 minutes, nothing special, even turning is not necessary. Unscrew the 3 fixing screws, remove the focusing ring. Grind the back part (remove about 1-2 mm, the main thing is not to completely grind the side off). I used a trite grinder, placing the back of the ring in the center of the circle. But you can also use ordinary sandpaper, putting it on a flat surface.

  • С

    I will help with adaptation (refine) to modern cameras gerkon55@bk.ru

  • Vladimir

    WHY DID YOU NOT START GLASSES WITH MC ENLIGHTENMENT ON TAIR 11A, the lens is more expensive than this helios, the quality of ms enlightenment, the process is very complicated and if the coating is not correct, it will only hurt in the end, plus the wear resistance of the coating, the author put so many photos, but there is not a single front or chest portrait to practically show how good he is

    • B. R. P.

      There is little sense from the Soviet ms.

  • ba3lur

    it is strange that no one, starting from the author and commenting, noticed that this design and the logo of the Minsk MMZ or Belomo in Vologda is completely different and were not produced like they are available with this design Helios 44-2 without MS 1989 and 44-3 with MS 1993 nothing catches anywhere ... I agree that this is the best in series 44

  • ba3lur

    ... this is MS Helios 44-3 Belomo

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English-version of this article https://radojuva.com/en/2012/07/obzor-ms-gelios-44-3-2-58/

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