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03-14-2012, 08:48 PM   #1
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Helios 44 - Year, factory and domestic/export - Do they make any difference?

Hi all,

I am planning to pick up a 44-3, I'll sit with a 44-2 if I can't find a decent 44-3 for the right price.

1. Are there any differences with factories? I.e. KMZ vs. MMZ vs. Valdai (which seem to be the most popular ones).
2. Are there any difference in domestic vs. export mdoels (I.e. English "HELIOS" vs. Cyrillic writing)
3. Are there any differences in the year? Year is the first two number of the serial number.

I have read various things scattered around the Internet but want to read more before buying.

Any help would be appreciated.

03-14-2012, 09:14 PM   #2
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I can't comment to any of your points, but I can say that I am quite fond of my 44-2. If someone held a gun to my head and asked me to choose between giving up my 44-2 and my M50/1.7, I'd toss them the 44-2. That's for one reason and one reason only.... the k mount vs M42 (the 44-2 has a narrow shoulder, about the inner diameter of the k mount), and I have to either rig some foil to accurately meter in Av mode for the 44-2, or +1.7 EV it.

I've no idea on the 44-3. I guess the point is, 44-2 is nothing to complain about.
03-15-2012, 12:43 AM   #3
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1. KMZ was considered to be the best in my time
2. Export model is sure more dependable because it passes more strict control. Non export models may also be good though.
3. I dont think the production year matters anything.
03-15-2012, 01:11 AM - 1 Like   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by pezmaker Quote
If someone held a gun to my head and asked me to choose between giving up my 44-2 and my M50/1.7, I'd toss them the 44-2. That's for one reason and one reason only.... the k mount vs M42 (the 44-2 has a narrow shoulder, about the inner diameter of the k mount), and I have to either rig some foil to accurately meter in Av mode for the 44-2, or +1.7 EV it.
I'd toss them the M. My 44-2 is definitely more temperamental, and it meters reliably only in manual mode, but it keeps rewarding me by producing amazing output with a distinct character that I'm not getting from any of my other lenses.







03-15-2012, 12:00 PM   #5
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I'd definitely toss them my A 50 1.7
While a501.7 is sharp and produces great results, 44-2's has...an attitude like nothing else.
03-17-2012, 11:14 AM   #6
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Yeees the Zeiss genes 44-2 and 44-3 are with 8 bladed diaphragm so they are more interesting, the others are with 6 blades and are bigger and made with less care. In the late models like 44-6 and 44-7 there is improvement in the lenses and they must be more sharper wide open, but ... it is made in Russia - nothing is guaranteed. I would go for the 44-2 or 44-3 because of the size and 8 blades. I have one 44-2 in very bulky condition for spacial occasions when I want to test something or just play. The character is very similar to my Pancolar 50 1.8 MC so the helios stays at home most of the time maybe because it costs nothing and there is no point of selling it.

PS most of the problem copies of the lens are not bad from the factory but because of afterfactory repairs so try and buy is best!
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