Overview Helios-81 2/50 Automatic

There are a huge number of different modifications of the Helios-81 lens, the whole list can be found in the review MS Helios-81H 2/50.

Helios-81 2/50 Automatic

Overview Helios-81 2/50 Automatic

Often amateur photographers for their Nikon cameras buy a Helios-81 2/50 Avtomat lens, and then they don’t know what to do with it. Helios-81 2/50 Automatic has specific mount, from which no adapters for modern SLR cameras... The lens fits only two SLR cameras - 'Kiev-10', 'Kiev-15'. Since the focal length of the lens is 44mm, theoretically there is every chance of converting such a lens for other SLR cameras.

Helios-81 2/50 Automatic

Helios-81 2/50 Automatic

Due to the great popularity of Soviet lenses of the 'H' series, in particular MC Helios-81N, which can without adapter installed on modern Nikon cameras, I meet detractors who pass off the 'Automatic' version as the 'H' version. Be careful not to get caught.

Helios-81 2/50 Automatic

The rarest mount Helios-81 2/50 Automatic

Helios-81 2/50 Automatic is a very small lens, which was manufactured at the Arsenal factory in Kiev. On my copy, the focus ring has a slight backlash, but on the whole the lens is not bad.

Helios-81 2/50 Automatic

Enlightenment of the lens Helios-81 2/50 Automatic

A feature of Helios-81 2/50 Automatic is lack of aperture ring... Aperture on this lens is adjustable only from Kiev-10 and Kiev-15 cameras. Actually, that's why the lens is called 'Automatic'. The diaphragm itself has 6 blades that shine a lot, creating extra reflections in the middle of the lens.

The focusing ring rotates 270 degrees, the MDF is 50 cm. The diameter of the front filter is 49 mm.

Helios-81 2/50 Automatic

Brilliant aperture lens aperture Helios-81 2/50 Automatic

To mount the lens on the camera, I just used ordinary tape.

Helios-81 2/50 Automatic

Helios-81 2/50 Automatic, only scotch tape, only hardcore

Due to the fact that with such an extraordinary installation of the lens on the camera the optical axis sometimes got lost, some of the photographs “floated”. Although, in this case, you can view a characteristic picture of the lens.


In practice, due to the lack of multi-illumination, the lens works very poorly in back and side light. A characteristic feature of Helios-81 is the twisting of the blur zone.

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.


Helios-81 2/50 Automatic

MS Helios-81N 2/50 and Helios-81 2/50 Automatic


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.

An overview of the modification of this lens appeared on Radozhiv, namely - HELIOS-81 2/53 AUTOMATIC MACHINE, there you can see examples of photos on a full-format camera.

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

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Comments: 38, on the topic: Review Helios-81 2/50 Automatic

  • i-hero-in

    I attached my first Soviet tape to the camera ... :-)

  • fda

    Theoretically, it is possible to screw / glue the cheapest Chinese adapter m42-> nikon by grinding (cutting off) the mount of the current bayonet.

  • Bolu

    There is no problem that could not be solved with adhesive tape ;-). Pleased!

  • R'RёS,R ° F "RёR№

    Once I got caught on a non-conscientious seller and a specific mount.

  • Alexander

    Glass from Arsenal is even nothing. I have almost the entire set of optics AUTOMAT, not so long ago I cut 4 AUTOMATS under CANON, I was satisfied with the result, I have rich experience in this gimmmmoryom. But the lady wanted to pamper the film, came to Kiev from the zenith to thread the thread, it’s not strange everything miraculously blinded one another, as if one person had projected. In general, my advice is, if there is no AUTOMATIC machine available, do not take it specially for alteration, the glasses are certainly good but very troublesome and expensive to get, if only for three kopecks there are hands, then go ahead, but as far as I know their prices are not adequate, I searched for Kiev, in the end I had to cross it with the zenith. Regarding KIEV-15, I’ll say that this is simply a miracle of a balalaika in the hands during the shutter and mirror operation, it is almost inaudible, very well balanced, and the zeniths are far from it. For fans of the film, this dinosaur is the one that I recommend if not for expensive because time does not spare them, you can buy kaku. Who needs advice on AUTOMAT glass, you can ask how I can help. Thank you very much Arkady for what he does, the right review has been started by many sellers. Fuck AUTOMATIC devices for the Nikon mount, once again I remind you all this bullshit because I have it.

    • Rostislav

      Alexander. I have Kiev 17 with a broken curtain in the back. And helios 81 cars. Inherited. All in a brown leather case. Tell me how much it costs if you sell cheap to buy?

    • Paul

      Hello, Alexander!
      Please provide a list of optics with this mount, which was produced for Kiev 10 and 15 cameras.
      Thank you.

    • Wladislav

      Can you please tell me which sawed-down automatic lenses do not catch the mirror of Canon 6D at infinity? In particular, they are interested in Mir-1, Mir-20, Helios-81 ...

  • Denis

    For myself, I remade such a lens under the Nikon byte. In principle, there is nothing complicated. In place of the old shank, the adapter KP A / N (interchangeable from Jupiter 37A) was installed, infinity appeared. True aperture control is quite problematic. Draws a lens more interesting Helios 81N.

  • i-hero-in

    How do you feel about fifty dollars? http://foto-olimp.ucoz.ru/news/samyj_kachestvennyj_obektiv_ili_mificheskij_otus/2013-11-30-12

    • Arkady Shapoval

      Photo fetish.

      • Vladimir

        The lens is really cool. The only question is to whom he is:
        a) in photography
        b) afford
        It's like Enzo for Ferrari: to know who the boss is in the house) 1 out of a million will be able to appreciate it, but the rest 999 will open their mouths)

    • d.martyn

      The price should please, I did not find it on Ukrainian sites, but in the world at the level of 5000 USD. - cheap. And I just ended the last million. Foich I have a Nocton 58 / 1.4, I don't think he draws much worse, but for $ 600. :)

      • Arkady Shapoval

        For photos “me and my cute cat” is enough :)

  • i-hero-in

    I'm not a fan of razor sharpness in a portrait - you will be tortured to retouch later. I was quite satisfied with the sharpness of the Nikkor 50 / 1.8G. At 2.8 it is very sharp. For a reportage it is most - autofocus, compactness ... Zeiss is clearly not suitable here. And when I bought Helios 40-2 I realized - 85 is a real portraitist. Now I was looking at the pictures from him - the hairs are also visible. And the picture is soft. It's difficult to get into focus - the main problem.

  • Sergei

    Hello Arkady. Naryl Fotyk ZENITH AUTOMATIC. What is this all about? The bayonet is similar to Kiev 19 but is located in another city. because I don’t know if it is a bayonet mount from Kiev 15?

    • Yura

      CE bayonet Pentax.,

  • B.R.P.

    This is most likely your K-mount (Pentax) to Kiev 19 N-mount (Nikon)

  • Jury

    The link tells about the rework G81avtomat. And what are the nuances of remaking Jupiter 9 machine and setting infinity to Nikon. Balls bearing how to put in place.

  • Ivan

    I bought for 5 bucks, ideally (version 53 mm), sawed a little and inserted it into the m42 adapter, micro 4/3 system. I also have 81M 2/53, these are completely identical lenses.
    http://images.vfl.ru/ii/1409235261/7e30de47/6155604.jpg
    http://images.vfl.ru/ii/1409235314/3ff964ba/6155610.jpg
    http://images.vfl.ru/ii/1409235360/a94593fe/6155625.jpg

    • Artyom

      That is, it’s enough to remove 2mm and it will be like Nikon mount?

      • Alexander

        a ring with a thickness of just 2 mm is installed under its lens block, if you turn the lens block out and move the ring from under it to the top, if you throw it out the nut does not hold the lens block at all, it will hang out, the only thing I don’t remember and I won’t give or not to do this the diaphragm mechanism, its stem leash itself, can become so tight that it rests, I’ve been grinding and re-adjusting the helicoid for my own so that it comes down to the limit, in order to cut out more clearance for controlling the diaphragm, check now for nothing, by it is not the fact that the transposition of the ring will give something, you have to check.

  • grandfather

    The lens Helios-81 automatic and others of this series can be converted to nikon, canon with the installation of a diaphragm control ring. Infinity is with any mount. If interested, I can tell you how.ak04831@yandex.ru

  • anonym

    Tell me, and the windows from the machine will become a regular 81N ???

    • anonym

      I took the whole lens block from the machine and rearranged the old specimen (from Kiev81) into the Helios 17 case. I selected an adjustment ring from two that was thinner.

  • Sergei

    Damn it, I bought it myself for organs like that - lenses don't fit. Rather, they somehow become, but they are different, it is even visible visually when compared with relatives. Accordingly, the picture is guano.

  • Arthur

    I got a Helios-81 automatic converted into a mirrorless camera.
    Filmed on Sony NEX-6
    Examples of photos:
    http://mihanev.ru/blog/gelios-81-avtomat.html

  • Dmitriy

    A very nice lens. So far it has not been possible to come up with something worthy with the diaphragm - she is deranged and the G-81 simply unfairly discredits, and it has not yet been possible to cope with infinity - we have to win another 1,2 mm - the focusing limit is about 2,5 m. gorgeous, as someone just said - perfect.

    • Alex Alex

      It has long been done with autofocus and working aperture, and infinity itself is a subwoofer ...

  • Dmitriy

    I made an adapter from a Kiev automatic machine mount to a 4/3 system (Olympus, Panasonic). It is made of plastic on a 3D printer. With the ability to control the diaphragm and without altering the lens. Infinity is preserved. If anyone is interested in acquiring write mezhevskiy@mail.ruI will send a photo of the adapter.

    • Dmitriy

      Converting for Micra or any other systems from a short section and with the diaphragm engaged is not a problem. But. Micra is not very popular and it will not be easy to sell. And the diaphragm itself at the Automata is a mockery, a crimped nut with a beautiful, but not photographic sheen. But fully remaking it for the M42 is a problem. I found a simple version with an overhead diaphragm, it's enough. Selling to Nikon's portrait painter was easy. I want to find another copy of my own, there are simpler options for reworking it, a gorgeous lens (if not for the diaphragm)

      • Dmitriy

        I did it for myself, just read in the review that the adapters are a big problem, I decided it might be interesting for fans with budget Olympus cameras. And I didn’t divide under the mikra but under the usual 4/3, there the segment is not so short, but certainly shorter than Nikon. (On micro 4/3 with the same design, you can do it but it’s expensive, you need to gain a lot of plastic.) And the whole point of the adapter is that the lens remains in its original state, I personally felt sorry for kicking the lens.

        • Dmitriy

          I also did it for myself on Mikru, but with the M42 in the expectation that it would be more universal. And so it happened - it took money and sold it easily. And other manuals on Mikra on the market hang without any demand.

  • Sergei

    Lens Helios 81, auto produced in 1979 - it gives just such a picture - very sharply. Shot and scanned without processing - on a Kiev-15 TEE camera.

  • Alex Alex

    I assembled myself such a one, with autofocus and a working aperture, well, infinity itself is saba. The flight is excellent)

    • Anton

      Duck would immediately tell you how?

  • Nicholas

    I am an amateur…. I got Helios 81 Auto for a symbolic price from a photographer's friend in good condition and lay on the shelf for a year - I still could not decide to “saw through” it The problem is not only in the bayonet, but also in the focal length = 44 mm, unlike the M42 with its 45,5 , 4 mm. Therefore, when “sticking” the lens into ready-made adapters for a Nex or M3 \ 44,5 mirrorless camera, it was not possible to achieve infinity. After searching on the Internet, I found out that adapters for Cannon-Nex and Sigma SA, and almost (42) for Sony / Minolta, are suitable for such a working distance. When I tied the lens to Kennovsky with electrical tape, everything is fine with infinity, but it’s gemorno to mechanically combine them. Therefore, I decided to dial the segment with M39 or M1 macro rings and screw them to a thin adapter (42 mm) M81-Nex. To do this, I filed down the maximum diameter of the bayonet part from Helios 39 Auto, took the middle macro ring M42 (the same M39 has a lower height), grinded off the input thread from it and inserted the lens into it with effort, fixing the connection with superglue, and through the adapter ring M42- I screwed the M42 to the small M42 macro ring, and this whole “pyramid” to the M2,5-Nex adapter. I set the aperture to about 1. The working distance of 2-44 mm does not reach XNUMX mm, and the MDF is larger, there is a scanty overrun beyond infinity. You can fix this and put in thin gaskets, but for now it suits me. In the end, the most important thing - the pictures were very pleasing - one of the pros even noted the good quality of the optics! ))

  • Alexander

    Arkady, hello!
    Are you interested in whether the g81N is optically different from the g81 machine?
    I am very pleased with g81n and wanted to do it with AF, only I feel sorry for him, 10 years with me. If you take and make an AF lens from a g81 automatic machine, there will be a big difference in picture and sharpness. I am very happy with the sharpness and picture of my g81n. I would like to get the same. Or to get what is now better to use what is?

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