Arsat H 1: 2 50mm or MS Helios-81H 2/50

There is a very large number of lenses known under the general name 'Helios-81'. After the collapse of the USSR, the Arsenal plant (on the territory of Ukraine) continued to produce “Soviet” lenses, but changed their designation to ARSAT. Thus, many Soviet lenses have two names.

Arsat H 1: 2 50mm or MS Helios-81H 2/50

Arsat H 1: 2 50mm or MS Helios-81H 2/50

They say that Arsat H 1: 2 50mm - this is just another name for the legendary lens MS Helios-81H 2/50. In practice, this is not entirely true.

Different names

Different names

Here are the lens differences:

1. Arsat H 1: 2 50mm has a rubberized focus ring, MS Helios-81H 2/50 has a metal focus ring

Focus ring

Focus ring

2. Arsat H 1: 2 50mm is an AI lens for Nikon cameras. MS Helios-81H 2/50 is something remotely reminiscent of an AI lens. My MS Helios-81H 2/50 has the ability to transfer the aperture value to the camera through the aperture rheostat, but with its skirt rests on the lever EE cameras Nikon D100, D50, D70, D70s, D80, D90... This means that Arsat H 1: 2 50mm can be installed on any Nikon CZK, and MC Helios-81H 2/50 cannot be installed on 6 cameras, without first “filing” the skirt at the point of contact with the EE lever. For details about the diaphragm rheostat and the EE lever, see the section AI-S. I want to note that the protrusion Arsat H 1: 2 50mm doesn't reach the EE lever on my camera Nikon D80.

Miscellaneous aperture ring

Different diaphragm ring. The Arsat ring has a shoulder for the EE lever and a different diaphragm ring design.

3. The lenses have different diaphragm blacking. At Arsat H 1: 2 50mm aperture blades are blackened much better than MS Helios-81H 2/50. Diaphragm blackening affects the reflection of light when shooting on closed diaphragms.

Lens aperture blades

Lens aperture blades

4. Different years of release. Logical that the lenses Arsat H 1: 2 50mm newer, which increases the chances of their normal preservation.

Year of construction

Year of construction


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Conclusions:

When I compared the lenses, I did not notice the difference in image quality between the two lenses. But Arsat H 1: 2 50mm outperforms MS Helios-81H 2/50 rubberized focus ring, the ability to mount on all Nikon cameras and the best blackening of the aperture blades.

According provided by Arsat H 1: 2 50mm lens huge thanks Aleks de Kairoy.

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... Look for me on Youtube | Facebook | Instagram | Twitter.

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Comments: 140, on the topic: Arsat H 1: 2 50mm or MS Helios-81H 2/50

  • Dmitriy

    And I have that average 1994, according to the description of Arsat, and Helios is written on the lens ..

  • Alexey

    Arkady, does Arsat have multilayer enlightenment? And which of them two has better enlightenment, arsat or ms helios?

    • Arkady Shapoval

      Yes, the same can be seen in the photo of the lenses.

      • Alexey

        It is clear that there is. And what is it like? And who is better?

        • Arkady Shapoval

          In addition to the differences in the name and the three small differences described in this article, there is no difference, including enlightenment, otherwise I would have mentioned it. Once again, both lenses use MC coating, it is not customary to write this abbreviation on ARSAT lenses.

          • Alexey

            Thank you very much, now I know everything about my arsat.

  • Sergei

    The same helix. Blacking of the diaphragm and leash to the carcass is also on export Helios. He left one such and one Helios81n export. There is no difference, except for the inscription.

    • Sergei

      There is. Arsat has a rubberized focusing ring.

  • Oleg

    Hello Arkady, I installed Arsat H 1: 2 50mm on the nikon d90, got up perfectly, but in the review about his brother Helios 81n I read that the aperture can be set automatically, as I understood through the camera so that the jump rope would work. Or did I not understand that because I set the diaphragm by rotating the ring ??
    Thanks for the great reviews =)

  • Anton

    “Jumping worked” - this means that you set the aperture on the lens, and the camera closes it to the desired value at the moment of the picture.

  • Hsien

    > Conclusions:
    >
    > When I compared lenses, I did not notice any difference in quality
    > images between two lenses. But Arsat H 1: 2 50mm wins
    > MC Helios-81N 2/50 has a rubberized focusing ring,
    > compatible with all Nikon cameras and with better blackening of the aperture blades.

    If I understand the review correctly, is it also possible to transfer the aperture value to ANY Nikon cameras?
    (unlike Helios-81N)

    • KalekseyG

      not in any, but only in those that have a ring for receiving information about the preset aperture. and everyone will close it

    • Arkady Shapoval

      As indicated in the review, everything is more complicated. Some of Mr.81N and Arsatov are fully compatible with the AI ​​specification, and some are something in between, unfinished. You need to look at a specific instance. They all have to pass the aperture value to cameras that have an aperture rheostat. Problems and reasons for installation are described here. If you put Lushnikov’s Dandelion on Gelik, then the aperture will also be automatically controlled at d40. The lens will not transmit the value to the camera, but if you set the extreme position on the aperture ring and flash the dandelion as F / 2-F / 16, the camera will close the aperture to the desired value. Details here.

      • Hsien

        Thanks. But the farther into the forest with these Helios, the more difficult it is to understand, and for the finishing touches / alterations my hands are unfortunately not quite even, therefore, although I re-read all these recommendations for adapting Soviet lenses, I understood little.
        Ok, I’ll ask another question in the 44th topic.

  • anonym

    > Part of Mr.81N and Arsatov are fully compliant with the AI ​​specification,
    > and part - something in between, unfinished.
    > You need to look at a specific instance

    And how exactly should you look at what to look for? Just going to buy Arsat, meeting with the seller on the street

    • Jury

      it all depends on what kind of camera you have, if the younger Nikon carcass, in which there is no rheostat for reading the diaphragm, then you can not look at anything, but if there is a rheostat in the camera, then you need to look at the presence of a protrusion on the ring or drank under this rheostat (otherwise the lens will not be on the carcass). On my copy it looks like this

  • Stas

    Tell me which lens hood fits this lens?

  • anonym

    Carcass D40. I took to her this very “Arsat H 1: 2 50mm” 1995 release.
    Sold as new. I took a closer look at home and found some annoyance:
    1. On the glasses, or rather, on the enlightenment, there are small light "tsyatochki".
    How critical this is, I don’t know yet.

    2. It turned out that the focuser has a fair amount of play, about 4 mm, sharpening is terribly unpleasant.
    Is this repaired at home?

    3. And finally, I just can’t figure out why all this does not work together.
    That is - I set the mode “M” on the mode wheel, I press start - the prism darkens for about two seconds, as if it gets stuck.
    Then she still lets go, but the frame, of course, turns out to be terribly overexposed.

    Is this a defect, or is there something else to set in camera modes?

    Please pay attention to my questions, if these are defects, then I still have time to return the goods back.

    • Jury

      mode "M" implies the absence of automation from the camera side, ie. the camera will work out everything you set - shutter speed, aperture and ISO. If you set a shutter speed of 2 seconds during the day, then naturally there will be a terrible overexposure, especially if you set aperture 2 and ISO 6400. I can’t even imagine the play of the 4 mm focusing ring, perhaps it’s a marriage.

    • Irina

      can touch the mirror

      • Michael

        Can not

  • Hsien

    Arkady, in your review of Kaleinar-5N 2.8 / 100, you wrote, in particular:

    > The lens has good image quality.
    > First of all, I want to note the excellent sharpness across the entire field of the frame,
    > good contrast, color rendering.
    > MC Kaleinar-5N 2.8 / 100 tolerates backlight well, has no distortion.
    > Lens vignetting is minimal, especially when using a lens
    > on cropped cameras.

    > Conclusions:

    > MC Kaleinar-5n is a unique lens with fabulous sharpness.
    > The lens is one of the five best Soviet portrait lenses.

    In this review, Arsat 2/50 or Helios-81H did not get such praises.

    So, do you think they are worse?

    • KalekseyG

      Helios 81N is one of the best full-time Soviet
      aperture lens which gives excellent
      sharpness even at full aperture, its
      interesting twisted bokeh with crop factor on
      modern digital SLR cameras are excellent
      Suitable for portraiture. He is without any
      alterations will almost always be able to settle on
      Nikon cameras. And its price is just perfect for that
      image quality .

      • KalekseyG

        Arkady, excuse me for not quoting!

    • KalekseyG

      www.radojuva.com/2011/02/obzor-helios-81-n-test/

    • Arkady Shapoval

      They are different

      • Hsien

        > They are different

        Strange answer. Although, actually, I asked about the difference, only in a different sense.
        For example, both of these lenses (and indeed any) have such concepts as sharpness, color reproduction.
        And they are whatever their focal lengths.

        Can you compare them by them?

        Kaleinar has been awarded your “lens with fabulous sharpness” rating.
        G-81 you did not deserve this, so you need to understand?

        I ask for the sake of argument, but because I already have Arsat 2/50, but if this Kaleinar surpasses him according to the above criteria, then I would not mind taking him for the collection.

  • Hsien

    Hm. Really my question perplexed experts?

    • Arkady Shapoval

      These are different lenses. You can’t just take it and answer directly.

  • Hsien

    We take these different lenses. We photograph the same object.
    Compare the resulting sharpness - is it possible?

    • Rodion

      No, because looking how to compare. Or shoot from one distance, or achieve one coefficient. increase, or what?
      The very problems of comparing hundreds and half a moron. If you need the resolution of these lenses, you can find it on the web.

    • Arkady Shapoval

      Here is the situation. If you compare the resolution of lenses, it will be one thing. But due to the different focal lengths, if you shoot the same frame in the same proportions, the situation will be completely different. Telephoto lenses visually create sharper images than standard lenses. Therefore, usually lenses with different focal lengths are not compared. Moreover, here the spread in focal lengths is already 2 times. Another important point is the fact that there were countless numbers of Helios-81 lenses (their modifications). Each specific option and a specific instance can be very different from each other.
      If we are specifically talking about why there are no specific praises for a particular lens - praises are subjective, they can be found in the comments of other users. If you want to know which lens is better, g81n or k-5, then there is no answer, because these are different lenses. If you really want to know my opinion, then the K-5n is more interesting for a number of photographic tasks than the regular fifty kopeck piece. These are good lenses on their own.

    • Arkady Shapoval

      of course available :)

  • Hsien

    I think it is necessary to compare somewhere like this: as an object we take the person’s face, i.e. portrait.

    We photograph from a half-hike.
    Then we move away with a hundredth to such a distance that the face occupies the same part in the frame as at fifty dollars. We take pictures.
    Compare the resulting sharpness.

    • zengarden

      It is a reasonable question - why?

      Both of these lenses are good in their own way. And in my opinion - even very :)
      Features, pros and cons of both are detailed in the reviews on this site.
      But comparing them is pointless.

      • Arkady Shapoval

        Well, at least someone understands this. Lenses aren't just about sharpness. We need the sharpest one - take some Industar 61 LZ :)

        • Hsien

          Arkady, then why did you write this?

          > MC Kaleinar-5n is a unique lens with fabulous sharpness.
          > The lens is one of the five best Soviet portrait lenses.

          Because of this, I still cannot deal with the Arsat Kaleinar dilemma.
          Be careful with emotions in evaluations :)

          > We need the sharpest - take some Industar 61 LZ :)

          I have one. Lanthanum. In great condition!
          It struck me with its sharpness - much worse than the condovy Industar-26M.
          That's it, i.e. not everything that is written on the fence ... glitters.

          Yes, and I do not need Industar, I want to make a choice: Arsat Kaleinar.
          Therefore, I want to understand the difference in the quality of their images, all other things being equal.

          • KalekseyG

            Senya! You are a noble brainbird who cannot read what they write to you!

            • Hsien

              Well so who is to blame for you, that you cannot answer a simple question for 2 whole days! :))

              • KalekseyG

                Everything. Tired of throwing beads!

              • Gennady

                A purely personal opinion. There were both, left Kaleinar-5n. 81st sold without regret. According to my observations, he is not the best. Preferred Helios 44-3 and white 44th.

              • Arkady Shapoval

                Incidentally, I already answered you.

                If you really want to know my opinion, then the K-5n is more interesting for a number of photo tasks

          • Rodion

            And I want to make a choice - a chair or a table and I want to understand the difference in the convenience of these things, all other things being equal.

            • KalekseyG

              Yes Yes. tell me which is better - mir-1 or mto-500

          • Arkady Shapoval

            The difference will be due to focal. Therefore, for starters, you need to understand the exact focal points you need.

            • Hsien

              > Purely personal opinion. There were both, left Kaleinar-5n.
              > 81st sold without regret. According to my observations, he is not the best.
              > Preferred Helios 44-3 and white 44 th.

              Here is the competent answer of an intelligent person.
              Thank Gennady!

              The rest should be ashamed of their powerlessness to answer a simple answer.

    • Rodion

      This is called resolution in essence.

  • Oleg

    If there is no criticism, this is an indicator that everything is fine. And praises, it is from an emotional state. Maybe the author was in a good mood and on positive emotions when he was preparing material about Kaleinar, so the article came out emotional. And in preparing the material about Helios, he was calm and limited himself to dry facts, but at the same time, if he didn’t write that this is a UG lens, then, in his opinion, the lens is good.

    You can argue, like, yeah, that is, Kalainar caused a storm of emotions, but Helios did not? But emotions could not have been caused by the lens at all. Or maybe it is, both lenses are good, but the author has a storm of emotions from working with Kaleinar, and from working with Helios, there is a simple realization that the shots will be good. But it's like with girls (for guys), someone is thrilled by the one that another will call just a beauty, like, to “work” with her is definitely great, everything is with her and all that, but there is no wow effect. Therefore, if you find a wow-effective lens for yourself, it does not mean that others will see this “wow” when working with it, but at the same time they will admit that the photos are excellent from a purely technical point of view: sharpness, balance, colors, etc. ...

    PS Also there is such a lens as in this article.

  • Denis

    Good afternoon.
    I have Helios-81H 2/50 MS, i.e. same as in review https://radojuva.com/2011/02/obzor-gelios-81-n-test/, but only the diameter of the thread for the filter is definitely not 52mm, rather 49. The year of manufacture is 89. Earlier models came with a different diameter of the thread ??
    The question arose due to the search for a hood to it.
    Thanks if you advise anything.

  • Vyacheslav

    I have two Arsat H 1: 2 50mm, one 91 and the second 97 release. 97 years is much sharper for Arsat 91 release. For Arsat 97, the front lens has a greenish tint, and the rear lilac one is reminiscent of Carl Zeiss. On Arsat 97g, the color rendering is more correct compared to a completely green enlightenment, where the picture had a blue tint. The assembly is much better, not where and where it does not play and does not ring. The circlip that holds the lens is fixed with paint. True, there is a small run for infinity.

    • Sergei

      Overrun is easily treated. Remove the gum that is on the focus ring. We expose the lens to real infinity, mark it on a scale, weaken the 3 screws that are under the rubber. We move the infinity sign where it should. We clamp the screws, put the rubber band. Everything, no overrun. Malaise is treated the same way.

  • Nicholas

    Good evening
    The opportunity to buy arsat turned up almost in a new state, and at a good price. But one moment confuses - the shape of the diaphragm opening. The hexagon turns out to be too irregular, and one gets the impression that the lens either fell or was repaired. Tell me how to be
    Screenshot_2018_01_28_21_03_52_312_ua_slando

    • Oleg

      The photos in the review are also irregularly shaped.

      • Nicholas

        Thanks for the answer

  • Nizami

    Greetings! Help, please! I bought Arsat H, but it doesn’t get up on my Nikon d3200, it doesn’t spin until it clicks, as if something is interfering :( Please write to the email how to fix it. Thanks a lot in advance.

    • B. R. P.

      Try to make a little more effort, it usually becomes tighter than the whale.

  • Miron

    Hello, Arkady! Tell me, please, if you choose Arsat for Canon 7d, do you need the same adapter as for Helios 81H, Nikon mount F - Canon EOS, or you can't do without filing?

    • Arkady Shapoval

      Yes, the same. Nothing to cut.

  • Miron

    Thank you!

  • Alexander

    Good day! Now I'm looking after the lens and choose Arsat H 1: 2 50mm or MC Helios - 81H 2/50, or MC Helios - 81H 2/50, and a whole bunch of questions arose in this regard. Firstly, as I understand it for Arsat H 1: 2 50mm and Helios - 81H 2/50 the diaphragm blades have a darker color in contrast to MC Helios - 81H 2/50, or am I mistaken? Secondly, studying a lot of photos on the network, I found that the color of the substance applied to the lens for enlightenment in some cases has a yellowish tint, and in some cases purple, turning into violet. Is this so or am I wrong? And if so, what kind of enlightenment lens has the best optical qualities and how much does it affect the quality of a semi-learned picture under identical shooting conditions? And in general, what to prefer Arsat H 1: 2 50mm or MC Helios - 81H 2/50 and did the different years of release affect the quality of the lenses (maybe the cost of the final product was reduced and more expensive materials were replaced with cheaper and lower quality ones)? Would it be preferable to buy the newer Arsat H 1: 2 50mm over the previously produced MC Helios - 81H 2/50? I'll make a reservation right away that I'm a beginner in photography, and if the questions are asked stupidly or incorrectly, then don't be too angry, treat with understanding.

    • B. R. P.

      These nuances are not significant. Arsats, given the 90s of assembly, may be worse, but not necessary. It is believed that 1986-88gg. better release because of the so-called. government acceptance in production.

      • Alexander

        So I’m alarmed by the fact that since the beginning of the 90s all production in the Union was already breathing well and much could have been done through the sleeves, however, as I read in the reviews, they write that the diaphragm blades with blackening have an advantage, because they don’t reflect light like that and the so-called nut effect doesn’t appear on the images, moreover, on some resources they write what is preferable to Arsat H, because they have improved enlightenment, and if you take Helios, it is better to export the version with the writing Helios - 81H 2/50. Everything is rather complicated and confusing, which is why I decided to write here.

        • B. R. P.

          Of course, blackened petals are better than non-blackened ones, but this will not affect the “nut effect” on closed diaphragms, the shape of the hole will remain the same. Arsat has the advantage of being able to install it on any Nikon, as opposed to Helios, as indicated at the beginning of this review.

          • Alexander

            My case is a little different, I want to take a crop, on Nex 5N, I need to use an adapter, although I don’t know if there are problems installing on it or not due to the specifics of installing Nikon on a mount. Now they offer one of the earliest instances of Helios MC - 81H 2/50, the one with the serial number not on the side, but on the front side along the outer circumference of the front lens, but according to the pictures it has a dusty appearance and something is completely invisible to the enlightenment film, I have the feeling that it was completely erased when cleaning, although the glass in the photo was clear, but along the inner circumference, traces of grease were visible inside the lens, as it seemed to me. So I’m thinking of either taking what is offered in my city or ordering on e-bay and waiting for what comes from there and is more expensive for money and it may come even worse.

            • Oleg

              On e-Bay you need to order from a trusted seller, then the goods will receive exactly the one in the photo. But, in my opinion, Helios is not the glass to buy it over the hill, in our Fatherland they are like dogs uncut, can be found in a new state, such as a fly did not sit.

              • Alexander

                And where you can see such, so as not to watch on e-bay?

            • B. R. P.

              There should be no problems installing on Sony through an adapter. It is certainly more reliable to take from hand to hand, when everything can be looked and checked. Confuses your information about the serial number. See that you don’t get something like this: https://radojuva.com/2015/02/helios-81-2-53-automat/

              • Alexander

                It seems like not an automaton, at least there is no such inscription. The bullet, it seems, is inside, but as I understand it, everywhere and almost inside all there are old lenses.

            • B. R. P.

              Well, dust is everywhere. Honestly, for the first time I see the G-81N serial on the front rim. But you look at the rear of the bayonet mount. Because there are craftsmen to rivet a fake. For example, in the photograph you provided, the front lens looks somewhat suspicious.

              • Alexander

                And what is suspicious about the front lens? They sell a lens with an old camera, does it make sense to fake it? This number I erased in the photo myself. As I understand it, the first figures are the year of issue? 86 year?

            • B. R. P.

              In theory, yes, the 86th year. I have the 88th, the number on the side, at the bottom.

              • Alexander

                I purchased this lens, now it remains to find an adapter for Sony E. Externally, the lens is without any damage, the front lens is coated with anti-reflecting minor incomprehensible scratches, the rear lens or anti-reflective coating is damaged, or some stripes in the glass itself are not clear. On the inner surface of the front lens there is some kind of dust-point, like grains of sand adhering, on the closed diaphragm it can be seen very straight in the center, well, as well as grains of sand and dust inside are a little visible.

            • B. R. P.

              If the damage, especially scratches, on the rear lens is very bad.

              • Alexander

                Well, maybe not everything is so bad, the enlightenment is scarce on the front lens, but there are no deep scratches, on the back lens, scratches on the glass surface are not visible, but some damage to the enlightenment is possible, or it is not even scuffs, but inside the glass there is such structure, but this is not visible in the transmission, only a point on the inner surface of the front lens is visible, here it is perhaps annoying, but what quality the image will be I do not yet know. Now in search of an adapter for my Sony NEX 5N. It turns out to be not so easy to find it, almost exclusive. I found such an adapter in several online stores, one has a manufacturer K&F, another has JYC in another online store, but even the manufacturer is not indicated there. In one case it is written that the material is brass and aluminum, in the other case it is brass, and in the third it is copper, but it is extremely doubtful to me that it is copper. it is quite soft metal and relatively expensive.

        • Roman

          Breathe Incense. Incense is an aromatic resin that is used in worship.

          • Alexander

            I was a bit mistaken, I didn’t know, now I will know. The main thing to remember.

  • Alexander

    I got such a lens, sometimes I shoot with it, so to speak for the soul. The best school for learning to understand the technique and gain practical experience is to shoot with a non-autofocus lens in manual mode. This lens makes this clear. This lens is often mistaken with the focus under absolutely ideal conditions, it could not catch the pattern, and it does not depend on the time of day.

    • Sergei

      Apparently, the focus "walks" due to natural backlash, especially when the lens is "seasoned". Moreover, this is facilitated not so much by wear as by drying / development of lubricant. IMHO.

  • Maksim

    I got hold of Arsat and the same ledge doesn't reach the EE lever on my D90 (.

    • Maksim

      I understood wrong, and wrote it wrong ... in general, for some reason, it does not convey the value of the aperture to the carcass ..

      • Maksim

        Why I don't understand, but why I don't cover the diaphragm during shooting, I don't understand how.

        • B. R. P.

          If the petals are in the lubricant, maybe the spring is stretched. Who knows him, nothing is clear ...

          • Maksim

            Yes, yes, thanks, I already figured it out .. on the petals the oil prevented from closing, washed it now like a watch)

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English-version of this article https://radojuva.com/en/2013/09/best-helios/

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