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08-14-2011, 02:19 AM   #16
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Just to add some general onfo regarding my 44M-4: when I compare it against my 50s (Rikenon 50/2, Pentax M 50/1.7, Cosinon 50/2), I find that the 50s are broadly similar, but the Helios is completely different. So:

Best wide-open centre resolution: Helios.

Worst wide-open edge resolution: Helios.

Worst stopped-down general resolution: Helios.

Other examples may yield different results (especially if made by a different manufacturer), and other versions may be different again. But it looks to me as though the Japanese designs have given higher priority to maintaing a flat field in the focal plane (possibly at the expense of centre performance) than the Helios designers.

08-14-2011, 03:38 PM   #17
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I guess perhaps much of it depends on the manufacturer of the lens.

What about with the helios 44-2s? I know there are various manufacturers, and while I don't know the names of each, I have seen different symbols on the front of the lens. Does anyone have more than one helios 44-2, or has compared various models to know if there is a difference?
08-15-2011, 01:53 AM   #18
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I bought Helios 44M just because it is sharp at centre and not so at edges, and for that swirly bokeh. If I wanted something more presice, I'd buy japanese lens, like tak 55/1.8(and maybe I will anyway, and keep Helios for that one purpose only...grazy bokeh.
08-15-2011, 02:20 PM   #19
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I did a comparison post here on PF a couple of year's back on these two lenses including some of the same subject.

In summary:
  • Helios 44M 8 blades, A/M switch
  • Helios 44M-4 6 blades, no A/M switch (some MC)
  • Helios 44-2 8 blades, pre-set aperture
All Helii 44:
  • Consistent excellent center sharpness at all apertures
  • Soft in the corners at all apertures on 35mm (read that as damn sharp corner to corner on APS-C)
  • Single or Multi-coated depending on model
Swirly bokeh:
  • Highly variable between copies, even of the same version
  • Depends a lot on subject and aperture
Special caution:
  • Some (most?) Helios 44-3 will not mount cleanly to other than a Zenit SLR and require modification (grinding) to do so.

For Helios 44 pictures (with a few Helios-103 thrown in just for fun) on my Flickr account:
Flickr: Search fotostevia's photostream
Note that several of those images are also in PPG


Steve

(One of my favorite lenses if you haven't figured it out yet...could results like this full resolution crop be the reason??)




Last edited by stevebrot; 08-15-2011 at 02:52 PM.
08-15-2011, 02:43 PM   #20
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Found the previous comparison article:
https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/pentax-slr-lens-discussion/67775-sibling-...s-44m-4-a.html
and what may be the definitive thread at MF Forum:
Complete Helios Lens list anyone?

Steve
08-15-2011, 05:29 PM   #21
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Thanks a lot Steve, that seemed really helpful.

Did you think one shined over the other in terms of 44M and 44M-4?

Maybe I'll just stick with a 44-2, and if I get a copy that isn't so swirly just purchase another one, they're relatively cheap these days anyway.
08-15-2011, 10:50 PM   #22
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QuoteOriginally posted by teartear Quote
Thanks a lot Steve, that seemed really helpful.

Did you think one shined over the other in terms of 44M and 44M-4?

Maybe I'll just stick with a 44-2, and if I get a copy that isn't so swirly just purchase another one, they're relatively cheap these days anyway.
I thought the two were very comparable. I like having the A/M switch and eight-bladed aperture on the 44M. Supposedly the 44M-6 and 44M-7 are much sharper, but I can't say from personal experience and am unwilling to pay the premium prices that either lens has been fetching lately.

As for the swirly bokeh...I used to swear that my 44M did not have the trait. At least that is what I though until this Spring when I shot this photo:




Steve
08-16-2011, 12:50 AM   #23
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QuoteOriginally posted by stevebrot Quote
I thought the two were very comparable. I like having the A/M switch and eight-bladed aperture on the 44M. Supposedly the 44M-6 and 44M-7 are much sharper, but I can't say from personal experience and am unwilling to pay the premium prices that either lens has been fetching lately.

As for the swirly bokeh...I used to swear that my 44M did not have the trait. At least that is what I though until this Spring when I shot this photo:




Steve
That is something that makes it for me atleast, this lense special.

08-16-2011, 01:40 AM   #24
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Wow fantastic swirly bokeh on those two photos!
I guess I might pick up both a 44-2 and a 44M. If I get a 44-2 that doesn't swirly I'll just throw down the money for another one! Does the 44M require aperture pin modification to use it on an DSLR?
08-16-2011, 03:20 AM   #25
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I've owned the 44k-4 and the 44-2. Optically, the 44-2 was sharper and quirkier and I miss her dearly. The 44-k was ok, nothing special and had to be metered via the green button...which I hate doing.
08-16-2011, 07:58 AM   #26
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QuoteOriginally posted by teartear Quote
Wow fantastic swirly bokeh on those two photos!
I guess I might pick up both a 44-2 and a 44M. If I get a 44-2 that doesn't swirly I'll just throw down the money for another one! Does the 44M require aperture pin modification to use it on an DSLR?
It has AUTO/MANUAL swich, so it don't need to be removed or jammed inside. Atleast my copy does not.
08-16-2011, 02:17 PM   #27
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QuoteOriginally posted by repaap Quote
It has AUTO/MANUAL swich, so it don't need to be removed or jammed inside. Atleast my copy does not.
What he said...


Steve
08-24-2011, 03:25 AM   #28
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Umm about metering, M42 lenses can be used in AV- mode, it is nice. Here is one more swirly shot...
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