Helios-44 1: 2 F = 5,8 cm P KMZ (with replaced lenses), a review of a rare lens from a reader Radozhiva

Review of the lens Helios-44 1: 2 F = 5,8 cm P specially for Radozhiva prepared Rodion Eshmakov.



This slightly non-standard review will not only talk about the existence of such a modification, but also about how the replacement of lenses in the lens affects the image quality; about how you can achieve better picture quality on Helios lenses.

Technical specifications

Structure: 6 elements in 4 groups, type Biotar
APS angle of view: 40 degrees
MDF: 0,55 m
Aperture Limits: F / 2-F / 22, smooth adjustment
Filter Diameter: 49 mm, filters suitable for 49 * 0,75 mm are suitable (surprisingly, since the early standard was 49 * 0,5 mm)
The weight: about 250 g
Year: 1958 (graduated 1 year)
Features: The first serial lens modification for M39 thread, different from the lower mechanism of the preset diaphragm. Users note that with native glasses, the lens is superior to other modifications (very doubtful).

Appearance and design

This is the first serial modification of the Helios-44 lens for Zenit cameras. The lens has, like all early models, a shiny duralumin body. In addition, the diaphragm control rings, which are unusual for Helios-44, are immediately striking. It is worth understanding in more detail.

The narrow ring is the preset ring. To use it, push the ring down (as on the aperture control ring on I-61LZ и Yu-37A) and move the red mark to the desired aperture value. In this case, the diaphragm must be open. When the mark hits the number, the ring again rises to its previous position.

A wide ring with aperture values ​​serves directly to close it. To do this, the mark on the nose of the lens must be compared with the number on the ring.

Simply put, unlike all other models from white 44 to 44-3 - here, even with a preset value, for example, F / 8, we can accurately set F / 5.6, F / 4, and F / 2.8; but on the same 44-2, due to the peculiarities of the mechanism, only a preset value can be accurately set, completely closing the diaphragm to it.

The aperture closing ring moves smoothly without clicks.

It seems to me that this lens has the best design for the aperture presetting mechanism because all intermediate values ​​can be used. The only thing is that the mechanism of my sample is tired and does not work as well as we would like - cleaning is necessary. However, having set the F / 22 as the first ring, I no longer need to bother about this.

The diaphragm itself has as many as 13 black circular petals, which always gives smooth circles in bokeh. The lens also has a slightly elongated nose, which allows the use of standard smooth nozzles, which could not be done with Helios-44-2.

The lens has a depth of field scale with all stops, including F / 22.



As for the optics, the lens uses lenses that are somewhat different from the lenses in Helios-44-2 and later.

  • Firstly, internal glues are not interchangeable - they are bored out completely differently.
  • Secondly, the rear (exactly different) and front (not exactly) are slightly different in shape - when you replace them, you can get a lens with slightly different characteristics, except for focal and aperture.

It is very surprising that the lenses of the lens are blackened, exactly like the inter-lens space.

The sample presented in the review had external lenses that were severely damaged by microcracks (the lenses are native to the photo, there are no scratches in this light), which is why it could not be used in this form.
Therefore, contrary to common sense, the lenses were replaced, and the latest Helios-44M-7 MC became the donor. Well, let's see what came of it)



Image quality

The original lens, according to reviews, has good sharpness with open (although I have never come across soap Helios), correct (unlike most Helios) color rendition. Indeed, in the photo of the lenses, no yellow tint is noticeable. But a slightly later sample turns very yellow. This is achieved thanks to the selection of the lens coating color: the bond coating is amber, and the coating of the outer lenses is lilac.

However, our sample, I repeat, had severely damaged lenses that required replacement. After replacing the lenses, as expected, the lens behaved somewhat interesting.

  • Firstly, sharpness has fallen sharply along the edge and in the image field due to the increased coma.
  • Secondly, the lens bokeh has increased dramatically - for the same reason.
  • Thirdly, the behavior in the backlight has changed - glare of a different color, the contrast has improved. Yet MC ...

Therefore, here are the photos after replacing the lenses:

We can conclude that after replacing the lens gives an interesting picture, but the image quality around the edge is very depressing.
Therefore, measures were taken to correct coma.

  1. It is known that in such lenses, as in other more or less symmetric schemes, the coma is regulated by the gaps between the symmetric blocks.
  2. An experiment was carried out to determine the necessary direction for adjusting the distance between the lens units. It turned out that they need to be moved apart to reduce coma.
  3. After achieving the best result, the rear lens unit was fixed in this position, it was groped and infinity was inferred.

And again, the lens was ready to go. As a result of adjustment, the sharpness in the center has grown to a good level of 44-2, along the edge about the same as 44-2.
Image quality can be estimated from photographs.

It can be noted that the lens after the "shenanigans" became very good light transmission - it is somewhat lighter than 44-2 and 44M; the contrast has improved due to the MS lenses, excellent color rendition has been preserved - it does not turn yellow or blue. All aberrations are ultimately at the level of the same 44-2 and 44M - not "super-sharp", but not "soap" either. However, does Helios-44 need to have ultrasharpness?

Hack and predictor Aviator

The first modification of Helios-44 pleased us with its workmanship: convenient control; good, not "bottle" optics. Even in spite of the difference in the optical scheme from the later Helios-44, the replacement of external lenses is possible, albeit with the need for subsequent adjustment.
Actually, the acquisition of this lens for me served as a "point" in the fiddling with Helios-44s - at last I got a fairly sharp, sufficiently contrasting, constructively successful light lens.

Thank you for your attention, Eshmakov Rodion.

Familiarization with Soviet lenses of the 'Helios' brand you can start with the inexpensive and widespread model Helios-44-2 2/58, which can be bought without any problems on the website http://helios44-2.ru/.

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Comments: 46, on the topic: Helios-44 1: 2 F = 5,8 cm P KMZ (with replaced lenses), a review of a rare lens from a reader Radozhiva

  • Alexander

    respect to Rodion ... someone else can work with their hands

    • Rodion

      Thank you very much. I hope that a series of reviews of different optics - from semi-kosher handicraft to quite pleasant alterations - will send someone to the "feats" too)

      • a guest

        Some craftsmen are quite successful in making monocle lenses.

        • Rodion

          And it would be nice to rip their hands off by the monocles from working lenses. I saw a monocle from a brand new Primoplan 58 / 1.9 - I almost had a heart attack.

          • a guest

            Yes, sacrilege!)

      • Alexander Hedgehog

        I have the first helios from an experimental batch of 13 petals and bubbles in the lenses, so this is not a myth, and it really is, if not sharper than 44m7, visually not inferior to it, and the plastic of the picture is much more pleasant (to taste).

        • Sergei

          Can you send a photo of the lens from an experimental batch?

  • Ilyas

    IMHO Everything should be your own, as conceived at the factory, otherwise it is no longer gel44, but obscurantism

    • Rodion

      IMHO everything should be how it is better, and not as conceived at the plant 58 years ago.

  • anonym

    I bow my head before you, Rodion. You have enough strength, time and skills for such opto-technical-photographic creativity! Yes, and even for the shooting process itself! Salute to you! Are you by any chance not an optical physicist? I envy such craftsmen (in white)! :) In my opinion, the first series of shots looks better. )

    • Rodion

      Thank you for the nice words.
      I am not a physicist, an optician, I am only a student of the 11th grade.
      PS Yes, the misaligned Helios-44 has its own charms of drawing, sometimes it seems even better. Yes, there and the objects of shooting were somehow more interesting: the Astrakhan Reserve, nature, lotuses ...

  • Ivan

    The lens is good. It is not so easy to spoil it. And the pictures are mostly pretty good. Personally, I like Zenitar 50F2 more. But still, you quickly focus on moving objects. Catching a cat or a seagull here needs luck.

  • grandfather


  • grandfather

    ceased to like instant coffee. switched to natural. Thanks to Arkady and Rodion.

  • grandfather

    only respect.

  • Vasily Petrovich Chapay

    Rodion, tie in the sitting technique, read a book on composition, shooting. You just don't know how to shoot, you have any lens - everything is dull and boring. Learn to take pictures, son.

    • ñ

      Please advise books, I suffer from such a disease)

    • Rodion

      It's not the same for everybody. I shoot as I like. I’m not willing to make fun of some.

    • Rodion

      I like to tinker with technology more than to shoot - I have always done all kinds of handicrafts.

      • Igor

        Somewhere there was a misunderstanding how to determine by the logo of which factory the lens was made, tried to find a second time for verification, but it's not so simple.

  • Evgenij

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

  • Rodion

    A couple of months ago I was able to test a sample of such a lens with perfect native lenses.
    Compared with the sample from the review.
    - The sample from the review (with replaced lenses) has better sharpness, better contrast and more correct color reproduction (without shades of yellow).
    Thus, there is no point in looking for such a lens with perfect dark lenses, a much more justified step is to find a 13 lep body. Helios with damaged lenses and the lens unit of any Helios MC with ideal lenses - such a lens will show much better quality than 13 lep. the original, and will be much more convenient than any Helios 44M-x MC.

  • anonym

    A couple of corrections, if you will.

    <> Images.
    <> 40 - on a full frame, in addition, there are several frame formats in the APS system.

  • Sergei

    Rodion, did you replace all the lenses or just a few?

    • KalekseyG

      He described everything. Only the first and last (external). I did the same thing on the start, with the caveat that I took new ones with the G44m-4

  • Dmitrif

    The lens is good and the photographer is even better. The author gave a lesson to juniors last week at the Cosmos Hotel. I am one of those present, I immediately recognized the photo. Then I did not think that these photos were taken just on Helios!
    Now I definitely decided to take it!

    • Rodion

      The author of the review is not aware that he gave the junior a lesson in "Cosmos". Confuse with the owner of the site, m. Accordingly, you could not find out the photo if they were not there)))

  • Victor Stargazer

    There are several lenses, 44m 44m2 ms44m4 I just use it. I am very pleased with the lenses, I shoot mostly macro.
    at 44m, the aperture has 8 blades; the rest have 6 blades.

  • Sergei

    Hello Arkady, I need your advice! I plan to take one of the Helios 44 white lenses (13 petals, red P), Helios 44 white (8 petals) or Helios 44-2 (black) for creative video shooting with focus focus. Tell me please, is it worth chasing the red P? Is the difference significant? or is it better to transfer the lenses from the donor Helios MS to the Helios 44 White body (13 petals) to improve performance? How do the first 2 instances behave on canon? As I understand it, focusing on infinity will not work, and adjustment can not be done? on A7s there shouldn't be problems with infinity? Thanks in advance for your advice.

    • Arkady Shapoval

      On Canon, infinity will be, depending on the camera, it can cling to a mirror at infinity. There will be no problems on the A7s. I don’t see much point with 13 petals, you can take the most budgetary 44-2 and shoot for your own pleasure.

      • Sergei

        Arkady, thanks for the tip! I was about this opinion too, since the prices for white Helios are overstated. Thanks for the site, more than once helped out!

  • Paul

    interesting and from helios 44m-6 to helios 44-2 you can throw a lens? Who really tried it? - it would have been unrealistic to have a preset and smooth running for video. compared - 44-2 and 44-3 (give a poorer quality) and 44m-6 straight song at resolution, but the nutcracker and diaphragm veri bad

    • Rodion

      It is possible, only sometimes 44-2 come across with another bore of gluing - then only the coaxial lenses can be changed too. But most are interchangeable.

    • Paul

      from helios 44m-6 to helios 44-2 can ALL lenses be thrown? It's just that one has a steep diaphragm about 13-8 petals, and the other has an MS (both with marriage and defects) how to make friends with them, before I chicken I would like to know an authoritative opinion.
      By the way, who inked the diaphragm blades using the folk method?
      With binoculars and telescopes, I was engaged in such garbage. but there the picture quality is not as important as in the photo, so if you have experience or links, please share!

      • Rodion

        I wrote it - depending on the type of lens block 44-2. I've come across both interchangeable and not.

      • Rodion

        The front and rear can always be changed.

      • Paul

        I don’t know what he changed there, BUT the lenses of helios 44m and helios 44-2 and 44-3 are different in size.

  • Alexey

    I have a "Glios-44" without custom modifications, quite a good, rather sharp lens. At the edges it is noticeably weaker (on an open aperture), but when photographing from a close distance of 2-10m, an excellent portrait lens, the sag in sharpness is not noticeable.

  • Tiger Bee

    If you turn the front lens over, you can get all sorts of funny aberrations. It's boring, sir.

  • Oleg

    I wondered about lens transplantation and came across an article. There was an experience of transplanting lenses from 44-m6 to 44-2. Having gone through many copies, paradoxically, I settled on the old man 44-2. In the center they were quite acceptable straight from the open. Not only that, it gave much less flare than the M series, half of which I had. Well, the contrast is right there. There was a hunch that the noticeable graphite specularity of the diaphragm, insufficient blackening in the interlens was a hindrance in the new series. Apparently, for the film, this was not as fatal as spurious re-reflections for the matrix. In general, having rearranged the extreme lenses, what I wanted to limit myself to - the middle one lost infinity. I also had to change the middle element. They differed in turning, but everything happened. The "apparatus" adequately earned. Of course, I didn’t see the sharpness of the appendage, on a fully open one, on the contrary. But enlightenment added to the overall contrast and a little to the color. Direct light began to digest much better

  • alarm

    Hi. Also have one.Very good.

    • B. R. P.

      You can't tell from it's looklike.

    • Osh

      He meas “You can't tell by it's appearance”

    • Osh

      *Of cause “He means”

      • B. R. P.


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