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07-19-2011, 12:32 AM   #1
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Helios 77M-4 MC 50mm F1.8 Have you used this lens?

So until yesterday I'd never ever heard of this lens, but someone recommended it in another thread and I started scouring for information on it. There are two reviews for it on this site, one of which contains no info, and the other which has some really fascinating pictures Seems like this lens produces extremely unusual bokeh.

I am curious to hear from people who have had any experience with this lens, what do you think of it? The few pictures I've seen of it have displayed very odd and beautiful, if distracting, bokeh. I am really considering picking one up just for experimentation, but I would love to hear some stories or see some images from it.

07-19-2011, 12:41 AM - 1 Like   #2
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Hello there!

Just recently I got a 77K-4 from ebay, which seems to be the same lens with a k-mount. I only did some test shots, so far I like it. I read about the special bokeh but have not found it in my tests yet ;-).

If I find the time (not sure I will), I'll upload some of the test when I'm home later. I would recommend the lens if you find it for a reasonable price. It's typical Russian hardware, very solid and well build.

EDIT: It seems there are sill some of the 77K's available from a Russian Ebayer:
Objektiv MC Helios-77K-4. Pentax-K bajonett. | eBay
07-19-2011, 12:46 AM   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by mano Quote
Hello there!

Just recently I got a 77K-4 from ebay, which seems to be the same lens with a k-mount. I only did some test shots, so far I like it. I read about the special bokeh but have not found it in my tests yet ;-).

If I find the time (not sure I will), I'll upload some of the test when I'm home later. I would recommend the lens if you find it for a reasonable price. It's typical Russian hardware, very solid and well build.

EDIT: It seems there are sill some of the 77K's available from a Russian Ebayer:
Objektiv MC Helios-77K-4. Pentax-K bajonett. | eBay
Cool! I would love to see some shots.
07-19-2011, 10:01 AM   #4
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Okay, came home earlier than feared today , here are some not so impressive test shots with the 77K-4:
(With not so impressive I did not mean the lens' performance!)

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07-19-2011, 09:40 PM - 2 Likes   #5
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Metalwizards,
I've got this lens and have used it a lot. It's about the same biotar as all those helioses having that twisted bokeh wide open, pretty good general contrast and microcontrast (for MC variants, but all H77's came MC'd since they were made in late 80' to mid-late 90's). I've hit the limit for disk space here for my account, so you can refer to this link for photos:

the link

Most of the shots were made with H77M-4MC at f=2.8, only _IGP1293 was shot wide open and some (one or two) landscapes were done at f=8. Check 'aperture' field available under (i) 'info ' -> 'photo data' web-site page controls to confirm whether a shot was made with this lens or Tokina AT-X AF280PRO: if there's a certain aperture reported, then it's Tokina. Otherwise it's H77M4-MC at 2.8 (or 1.8 or 8, see above).

Bottom line: rare, pretty good baby of Helious family, recommended w/o any reservations, fair market price: up to $250USD for a decent copy. N.b.: focus ring goes the other way then one on Pentax, Tokina and Nikon glass: infinity is on the right and MFD is on the left (just like Sigma, Canon, Zeiss; Pentax, Tokina and Nikon have infinity in the left and MFD on the right). Sometimes it's a bit frustrating, but not that much.

Zig

P.S.
When saying smth about FMV I mean it's fair for something to have such price sticker. But probably you'll fail trying to sell it at this price tag since it's public opinion that goes 'I used to see this X at $5-15, you must be nuts asking $150'. I purchased my NOS copy for $150 a couple years ago and I'm pretty happy with it: both price and copy itself.

Last edited by Siegfried; 07-19-2011 at 09:57 PM.
07-19-2011, 10:41 PM   #6
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Thanks for the pictures Mano. I think I am really going to enjoy this lens. I have to spot meter always with an m42 lens right?
07-19-2011, 11:21 PM   #7
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Metalwizards,
H77 can come in either K-mound or M42 mount (mine is K-version). As with any M- or M42-glass you should enable that menu setting for manual glass and go with either Av mode (in this one you'll get only wide-open shots) or M mode. For the first time I'd advise you to use that camera built-in light meter (green button in M mode for K10 and newer DSLR's) - but do not completely trust it since it's not always right and moreover works with central spot only with any non-electrical (pre KA-lens) glass. After some run-in you'll be able to manually set the sensitivity and exposure w/o going with that green button (or whatever if your dslr is older then K10).

Good luck,
Zig
07-20-2011, 12:09 AM   #8
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Hi Sigfried,

great you showed up an supplied a somewhat more detailed report for Metalwizards! My own experience with this lens is still a bit limited, but you confirm my first impression.

Hi Metalwizards,

do you already have a source for the lens? The link I provided goes to Ebay Germany, don't know if that works for you, but the offer is from a Russian shop which has the K-Mount version of the lens and ships it worldwide for free. I got only two lenses from the shop so far, but they seem to be reliable. They also have some other interesting stuff for sale. (Must...resist...must...resist)

07-20-2011, 01:58 AM - 1 Like   #9
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That was me who posted a review of 77M with pics on this site I sold that lens however I can easily recommend it. It is really razor sharp, and has very good contrast, produces nice colors. It has nervous bokeh, really it can sometimes distract. However, as far as I remember at f/1.8 it was as sharp as my 40mm limited at f/2.8 (at center). That helios is really sharper than FA50mm f/1.4 lens. It might be that I just got a stunning copy, however few reviews of other users just prove the truth.
Focus ring was not the easiest to turn but still reasonably smooth (without ability to turn it fast). I found some old pics made with 77M. All at f/1.8
Buy it.
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Last edited by kent; 07-20-2011 at 02:13 AM.
07-20-2011, 10:55 AM   #10
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And struck by LBA again. Thanks for the heads up on that Russian eBay seller mano. Just ordered one. I like my Helios 44M-4. This might replace it, as I like the idea of a k mount, no messing around with the M42 adapter....plus, it's a little bit faster.

If you want to check if it's available on your local version of ebay (ebay.ca for me), you can just search for the item number under advanced search, on your regular ebay login. The ID Mano linked to was item# 160531447156. Brought it up in English, and my local currency.

I've really got to get rid of some of my my manual 50's......way too many
07-20-2011, 11:08 AM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by WiseOx Quote
I've really got to get rid of some of my my manual 50's......way too many
buying a new one is the best way to get rid of those damn lenses
11-19-2012, 02:53 PM   #12
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Helios 77K

Hi all.
I bougth MC Helios 77K-4 two weeks ago. I have screw version (77M) befor it in my Zenit-19, and I love it bokeh in open apperture. So, I found and bought a K-mount version Helios 77. This screw-lens is often found on sale, but it is not cheap. It K-mount version rare and more expensive.
Test shoots is perfect, in wide-open I saw the famous twisted bokeh. Bokeh is less twisted when I close apperture, and in f/4 twist is gone. Lens gave good sharpness from open aperture and nice colours. Its weakness - lens is afraid backlight, which lowers the contrast and appears veil. In these situations need to use the lens hood.
We had an an anomalously warm autumn, many trees were green - you can see in the pictures.
All picteres shooted in jpeg, w/o any photoshop, just resize and little crop.
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