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09-29-2010, 11:09 AM   #1
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Helios 40mm or Zeiss 85mm/1.4 T

Hi all , I sort of screwed myself here ( m42 wise ) , my dream lenses are the Zeiss 85/1.4 T and the Helios 40 85/1.5. The zeiss is really pricey so I saved up some money to get a Helios 40 2 weeks ago and its on its way from the old USSR, and this week of course I found a zeiss lens locally for a really good price, sub 500 dollars!!

so Im looking for some advice here



Im thinking I should get the Zeiss T 85/1.4 and see which one I like best and sell the other for what I paid for it

the problem is: Helios is converted to M42 and will only focus to 30 metres or so

the Zeiss is a C/Y mount, and will only fit on my rebel XT Unless I get the leitax conversion to enable it to fit on my Pentax KX ( my preferred body), Im thinking the Zeiss would be the better lens overall especially if they are both equal price!

Also the helios is from 1965 , the zeiss is multicoated and from the late 70s I think s/n 7.1 million

09-29-2010, 11:43 AM   #2
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Need help spending your money? No problem.

I have the Planar T* 85/1.4 ZK. It has an A-mode which is useful when mounted on a modern Pentax camera whereas the other mounts do not, IIRC. I like the all-metal, old-school construction. All I can say is it is a nice lens and I wouldn't want to use one with an adapter. I love it on my ME Super SE (awesome bright view finder) but often becomes too much a telephoto on my K-7 in many situations. So if you're collecting lenses, sure, go for it but otherwise I'd save the money towards a ZK version you may find.
09-29-2010, 11:45 AM   #3
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Hi "Dude" . Helios is an old Soviet lens for M42 mount, but I guess you already know that. I don't have Helios 40, but instead I have Helios 44M and it's preferred to be used on "Zenit" cameras. Like 40, it also doesn't have multicoating. I'd recommend you Zeiss, but in any case, please check this review:
Helios 40-2 85mm f/1.5 (M42 to Pentax) - Review / Test Report
this is exactly Helios 40 which is tested on Pentax! On the other hand, this must be that Zeiss 85:
Zeiss ZA Planar T* 85mm f/1.4 ( Sony SAL-85F14Z ) - Review / Test Report

Maybe reviews will be helpful...
09-29-2010, 11:51 AM   #4
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Zeiss 85/1.4 = your regular portrait lens, but really really good.
Helios 40 = crazy weird bokeh, not the best lens to use always, but when you get it right, it'll take pictures the Zeiss can't.

09-29-2010, 12:08 PM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by tuco Quote
So if you're collecting lenses, sure, go for it but otherwise I'd save the money towards a ZK version you may find.
The thing is:

Helios 40 cost me 245 Euros
Zeiss 85 cost me 231 Euro!


In addition, I am sure i can sell the one i dont like and break even , so we shall see what happens


thanks for the advice all


Dude163
RT Wilson

Last edited by dude163; 09-29-2010 at 12:18 PM.
09-29-2010, 12:35 PM - 1 Like   #6
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Get them both. Then sell one if you don't like it.
09-29-2010, 01:57 PM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by xjjohnno Quote
Get them both. Then sell one if you don't like it.
I think this is the best advice.
09-29-2010, 02:13 PM   #8
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Have you tried the Biotar 75 f1.5?

09-29-2010, 03:27 PM   #9
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There wouldn't be any question in my mind. The 85.

09-29-2010, 03:29 PM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by Zav Quote
Have you tried the Biotar 75 f1.5?

I was outbid on one this weekend, the guy didnt know what he had, it was a 1940 CZ biotar exakta in good shape, starting bid was 8 dollars!

I bid up to 300 and it sold for 755
09-29-2010, 03:32 PM   #11
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Sell me the Zeiss 85mm if you decided to sell it
09-29-2010, 03:49 PM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by dude163 Quote
I was outbid on one this weekend, the guy didnt know what he had, it was a 1940 CZ biotar exakta in good shape, starting bid was 8 dollars!

I bid up to 300 and it sold for 755
must be a collector.
09-30-2010, 04:11 AM   #13
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That $755 is in the ball park for a 75mm Biotar, even in Exacta mount which unless you have the right adapter and for something other then a Pentax is not going to play. Luckily I scored mine in M42 for a bit less which was more luck then anything else.
09-30-2010, 06:37 PM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by tuco Quote
Need help spending your money? No problem.

I have the Planar T* 85/1.4 ZK. It has an A-mode which is useful when mounted on a modern Pentax camera whereas the other mounts do not, IIRC. I like the all-metal, old-school construction. All I can say is it is a nice lens and I wouldn't want to use one with an adapter. I love it on my ME Super SE (awesome bright view finder) but often becomes too much a telephoto on my K-7 in many situations. So if you're collecting lenses, sure, go for it but otherwise I'd save the money towards a ZK version you may find.
Tuco!

(Dude ... I apologize for braging in on your thread)

I hope you can help me with this:

I also own a Carl-Zeiss T*Planar 85/1.4 ZK ... quite a lens indeed!

Anyway here's the trouble I am faced with:

I use this lens quite a bit with my K20D and the results are spectacular.
Today, I did mount it on my K7 and I am totally annoyed because it just doesn't focus as accurately as with the K20D.

I did test it mounted on a tripod, using the 2 second timer to avoid vibrations; different ISO's; different focal lengths.

At F1.4 to F1.8, the subjects (still objects) seem not in focus.
As soon as I stop down to F2.8 and down, results are as expected ... great!

I have a bunch of photos taken but I don't know how to post them so they appear all in one post here on this forum.
But, the real problem is, I am wondering why this is happening?

Do you have any idea at all?

If not, I will try to find some answers somewhere ...

Cheers.

JP
09-30-2010, 06:40 PM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by jpzk Quote
Tuco!

I hope you can help me with this:

I also own a Carl-Zeiss T*Planar 85/1.4 ZK ... quite a lens indeed!

Anyway here's the trouble I am faced with:

I use this lens quite a bit with my K20D and the results are spectacular.
Today, I did mount it on my K7 and I am totally annoyed because it just doesn't focus as accurately as with the K20D.

I did test it mounted on a tripod, using the 2 second timer to avoid vibrations; different ISO's; different focal lengths.

At F1.4 to F1.8, the subjects (still objects) seem not in focus.
As soon as I stop down to F2.8 and down, results are as expected ... great!

I have a bunch of photos taken but I don't know how to post them so they appear all in one post here on this forum.
But, the real problem is, I am wondering why this is happening?

Do you have any idea at all?

If not, I will try to find some answers somewhere ...

Cheers.

JP
JP, had you tried adjusting your focusing screen?
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