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05-18-2010, 12:16 PM   #1
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Helios 44-2 "wobble" and a solution

I thought i'd share this suggestion to cure the looseness or rocking of the Helios 44-2 lens on the camera mount (and other lenses with small diameter mount barrel).
Helios users may have experienced this and a search of old threads brought up these three comments:

QuoteOriginally posted by Jewelltrail Quote
Hey, I was psyched about picking up the Helios 44M, then I read about the wobbling thing and started to have second thoughts...

I am new to these wobbling lenses. Does someone have some insight?
QuoteOriginally posted by Igilligan Quote
I just got the Helios 44M-2 and I can verify what Figmental was saying about the 44-2 being floppy on the camera. The back of the lens has no real support against the camera body so the it does move around.
I am a little surprized there is not more people complaining about the 44-2 as it really does not fit on the camera as nicely as the others.
...
QuoteOriginally posted by figmental1978 Quote
I guess you're referring to the Helios 44 ...The only issue I have with mine is that it wobbles on my K10D which really bugs me but doesn't seem to bother others as much.


i too found the wobble to be a little bothersome since the focus rings on these lenses tend to be stiff anyway, and then there is a split second of play in the mount before it turns.

The problem was eliminated by switching to a specific knock-off M42 adapter ring.

The ring i had success with came from eBay seller "jiakgong" and are $7.70 shipped (from Hong Kong)

here is a link to one:
http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=230458730596&ssPageName=STRK:MEWNX:IT

it holds the lens very tight to the camera mount and infinity focus is not affected in any way. only possible drawback is that the lens marking may not line up exactly at 12 o'clock to the camera, but not a biggie.

good luck!


Last edited by mikeSF; 05-18-2010 at 12:31 PM.
05-18-2010, 01:07 PM   #2
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My experience with the "jiakong" adapters has not been good. I specifically bought some to "permanently convert" some cheapy M42 lenses (a Helios 44-2 included) and the machining of the K-mount was so bad it had to be "forced" onto my K20D. Gave up on that idea immediately!

Oddly enough, I bought a "flanged" non-infinity adapter in the same order from "jiakong" and it was rock solid and easy to mount on the Pentax. A few drops of red loc-tite and my Helios may lack infinity focus (I use it for portraits, so whatever) but the mount is rock solid and easy to slap on and take off!
05-18-2010, 01:25 PM   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by panoguy Quote
My experience with the "jiakong" adapters has not been good. I specifically bought some to "permanently convert" some cheapy M42 lenses (a Helios 44-2 included) and the machining of the K-mount was so bad it had to be "forced" onto my K20D. Gave up on that idea immediately!

Oddly enough, I bought a "flanged" non-infinity adapter in the same order from "jiakong" and it was rock solid and easy to mount on the Pentax. A few drops of red loc-tite and my Helios may lack infinity focus (I use it for portraits, so whatever) but the mount is rock solid and easy to slap on and take off!
that is interesting. while i find myself leading with a different edge to more easily insert the lens, i never encountered any difficulties with fit.
i can see the spring possibly getting in the way but since you were permanently converting, yours would have been removed, right?
05-18-2010, 03:05 PM   #4
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I'm waiting for my 44-2 to arrive, so I'll see what kind of wobble you're talking about.

But couldn't you just affix a thin rubber gasket, either flat or ring, to the lens base so it screws in tight and doesn't wobble?

My Pentax adapter lives on the camera.

05-18-2010, 03:20 PM   #5
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Had the same wobble on my Jup-9 and never could get comfortable with it. :/
05-18-2010, 03:43 PM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by Ira Quote
I'm waiting for my 44-2 to arrive, so I'll see what kind of wobble you're talking about.

But couldn't you just affix a thin rubber gasket, either flat or ring, to the lens base so it screws in tight and doesn't wobble?

My Pentax adapter lives on the camera.
Ira, the wobble occurs between adapter and camera (not between lens and adapter) and because the lens is small in circumference, there is little at the base to hold it firm against the camera. So, i doubt a gasket would work.
05-18-2010, 04:02 PM   #7
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...and congrats on your 44-2 on the way. that is a really enjoyable lens!
05-18-2010, 04:10 PM   #8
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I'm confused:

If I'm not getting any wobble with any of my M42s, why would I get it with the Helios? Unless the problem is with the base of lens to adapter distance?

05-18-2010, 04:13 PM   #9
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The Pentax adapter tolerates no wobble.
05-18-2010, 04:15 PM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by Ira Quote
I'm confused:

If I'm not getting any wobble with any of my M42s, why would I get it with the Helios? Unless the problem is with the base of lens to adapter distance?
hard to explain but you will see when you get yours.
05-18-2010, 04:24 PM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by mikeSF Quote
hard to explain but you will see when you get yours.
Understood totally.

I have a Peleng 8mm which is basically worthless to me. It can't be adapted at all for DSLR use, despite the seller claims. And I paid a LOT for this last year.

I have a MIR 37 preset which I hardly use, but one weekend, I'll spend some time with it. But I see some great images from these Helioses.
05-18-2010, 04:25 PM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by mikeSF Quote
I thought i'd share this suggestion to cure the looseness or rocking of the Helios 44-2 lens on the camera mount (and other lenses with small diameter mount barrel).
The first HELIOS-44-2 I owned, I ended-up taking it apart and removing material from the flange so as to offset the added material of a solid m42/adapter. Which resolves all movement issues by solidly fixing the lens in the mount rather than leaving it shaky. Not to mention simplying the pains of fiddling with those cheap #*%!'ing infinity adapters(arg)...



Anyways, it worked out really nicely, however, on my latest 44-2, I didn't bother removing any material at all because I noticed that the HELIOS was never used for anything(but) portraiture and proximity work anyways, so it was never really necessary.

So for me... it's near impossible to beat the simplicity of a classic adapter on a lens like this(solid and pain free use).
05-19-2010, 03:45 PM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by JohnBee Quote
The first HELIOS-44-2 I owned, I ended-up taking it apart and removing material from the flange so as to offset the added material of a solid m42/adapter. Which resolves all movement issues by solidly fixing the lens in the mount rather than leaving it shaky. Not to mention simplying the pains of fiddling with those cheap #*%!'ing infinity adapters(arg)...


Anyways, it worked out really nicely, however, on my latest 44-2, I didn't bother removing any material at all because I noticed that the HELIOS was never used for anything(but) portraiture and proximity work anyways, so it was never really necessary.

So for me... it's near impossible to beat the simplicity of a classic adapter on a lens like this(solid and pain free use).
i get it. that sounds very ambitious but a great idea.
as Plato once said, "...necessity, who is the mother of invention."
05-19-2010, 06:33 PM   #14
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Does fotodiox make adapters for m-42 for the pentax cameras? If so, give them a try. They are very solidly built for M-42 to Canon and I imagine the same holds true for m42-Pentax.

Chris W
05-20-2010, 10:40 AM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by mikeSF Quote
that is interesting. while i find myself leading with a different edge to more easily insert the lens, i never encountered any difficulties with fit.
i can see the spring possibly getting in the way but since you were permanently converting, yours would have been removed, right?
Yep, removed the springs. My guess is it was a bad batch of machining... it happens when you have little to no quality control, and at these prices, I'm not surprised. I've thought about grinding them down a bit, but I've been loaned a genuine Pentax adapter "B" so I can switch the nicer M42s without problems.

I actually really like the rendering and flare of the Helios 44-2 when used on the K-x with the "toy camera" filter! Almost like living in the 70's again (except that I'm not a toddler anymore)...
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