The HELIOS-103 1.8 / 53 lens shown in this review was presented to Igor Burkov by Radozhive. I express my deep gratitude to Igor for such project assistance. The lens was sold and the funds credited here.
HELIOS-103 1.8 / 53 is a standard lens for rangefinder cameras of the 'Kiev' brand. Nowadays it is very easy to find it at flea markets, but, due to its specific mount, it is not of great value.
HELIOS-103 1.8 / 53 from this review has an internal mount Contax-Kiev RF and, unlike lenses with an external mount Contax-Kiev RF, does not have a focusing ring, depth of field scale and focusing distance scale. You can find a lot of useful information about the unusual Contax-Kiev RF bayonet in the review JUPITER-11 1: 4 F = 13,5cm P with external mount Contax-Kiev RF.
My HELIOS-103 1.8 / 53 has a serial number of 8143748 and is manufactured at the Arsenal plant (Kiev, Ukraine, judging by the logo). The filter thread is slightly bent, but the optics are normal, without scuffs or any other damage. Like the rest of the rangefinder "fifty kopecks", HELIOS-103 1.8 / 53 is small, weighing 150 grams. Like many Soviet lenses with Contax-Kiev mount, the diameter of the front thread for the filter is 40.5 mm.
Due to the fact that HELIOS-103 1.8 / 53 with an internal mount Contax-Kiev RF does not have a focusing ring, it is difficult for it to make an adapter for modern digital cameras. In addition, HELIOS-103 1.8 / 53 is a rangefinder lens, and therefore its use as a classic photographic lens is available only on rangefinder or modern mirrorless cameras. On SLR cameras HELIOS-103 1.8 / 53 with Contax-Kiev RF mount can only be used as a macro lens. I tested HELIOS-103 1.8 / 53 on a full frame mirrorless system camera Sony a7, using a homemade adapter from the Contax-Kiev RF mount to the Sony E mount. My homemade adapter is made from the mount part of the Kiev camera and the adapter M39 - Sony E.
HELIOS-103 1.8 / 53 has one diaphragm control ring. The ring rotates with a click. You can set one of the values of F / 1.8, 2.8, 4, 5.6, 8, 11, 16, 22. The maximum aperture ratio of 1: 1.8 is only 1.23 times larger than the 1: 2 value used with a similar lens - JUPITER-8 1: 2 F = 5cm P. And 1.44 is less than the 1: 1.5 value used by JUPITER-3 1,5/50. Aperture has 9 petals, while you can get pretty even circles in the blur zone (closed f / 2.8 example) The diaphragm's petals are gray, when diaphragmed on the petals, developed bare metal areas appear that reflect light.
While working with the lens, I constantly happened to confuse the focus rings and aperture to the touch, which did not improve my mood :(.
As far as I know, HELIOS-103 1.8 / 53 was not produced in a version for a threaded connection, but only for a Contax-Kiev RF bayonet. I met information that there is a version of the lens under a different name - Helios-103 2/50, but I could not even find pictures of the lens, whose name is written in Latin letters.
There are two versions of HELIOS-103 1.8 / 53 with a slightly modified design of the case, the main difference of which is the different ribbed surface of the diaphragm control ring. And it's rather interesting that from 1993 to 1994 HELIOS-103 1.8 / 53 was produced under the name Menopta 1.8 / 53, without the Arsenal plant logo.
In its optical scheme, HELIOS-103 1.8 / 53 uses 6 lenses in 4 groups. Personally, I do not know from which lens the lens was copied or recounted. Please share reliable information on this in the comments.
HELIOS-103 circles of blur at the edges and corners of the frame turn into limonchiki.
On the open diaphragm, HELIOS-103 1.8 / 53 is noticeably sharper than JUPITER-8 1: 2 F = 5cm P. And Helios-103 is not so afraid of flare. That's just a pity, his bokeh visually looks worse than that of JUPITER-8.
HELIOS-103 1.8 / 53 has a simple chemical enlightenment cast on the front lens with a lilac hue. The lens does not really like side and backlight.
Source files can download from this link (29 photos in '.ARW' format, 550 MB). In the gallery, all photos without processing, the usual reduced on-camera JPEG from the camera Sony a7... Pictures of birds were captured in APS-C size shooting mode.
In the comments, you can ask a question on the topic and they will answer you, as well as you can express your opinion or describe your experience. For the selection of photographic equipment, I recommend large catalogs, for example E-Catalog. Many little things for the photo can be found on AliExpress.
HELIOS-103 1.8 / 53 is a good rangefinder fifty dollars, it's a pity, such lenses are unsuitable for use on SLR cameras.
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.