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11-22-2012, 01:28 PM   #1
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Surching manual lens ~50mm special bokeh

Hi folks, my first posting here!
Im surching a manual lens with apr. 50mm for my K5 and Fuji X-Pro1. I own the M50/1.7 which is a nice lens but Im surching something with a more special bokeh (eg. a swirling one) and rendering. I think there are hundereds of lenses out there so you may give me a tip. I found pics of the Helios 44 and the Porst 55/1.2 in the net which I liked. Sharpness is also important so how is it looking at 100%? May there are other better alternatives, maybe with other focal length?

Thanks for you thoughts!



11-22-2012, 01:47 PM   #2
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swirly bokeh comes from a lens with uncorrected coma, if i'm remembering correctly. that being said, you will lose corner sharpness as a result, but you can usually expect decent center sharpness. If you simply want something cheap, decently sharp and has swirly bokeh, the helios is a very safe bet.
11-22-2012, 04:40 PM   #3
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Helios - either the 44M or the 44-2. You won't be dissapointed.
11-22-2012, 06:08 PM   #4
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Love the Helios 44-2. Superb bokeh.

Last edited by Kozlok; 11-22-2012 at 06:17 PM.
11-23-2012, 06:18 AM   #5
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For swirly bokeh you should get Helios 44-3. It is basically the best bang for the buck. It is the exact same optical design as the 44-2 except it has better coating to reduce flare and is sharper too. It even has the same number of blades: 8. Be careful of "M" versions, which normally have longer min focus distance.

One last thing. If you go for the 44-3, be sure to watch out for one potential issue. In some versions the focus rings protrudes beyond the flange and does not allow for the lens to be mounted on cameras other than zenit. An easy solution is to remove the ring and file it:
Otherwise, you could also just look for a version of the 44-3 which does not have that problem. There are so many available!

Just be aware, the swirl isnt something which is always there in EVERY picture. It only appears in specific settings when the subject and the relative background are at a particular distance from you.

Last edited by oxidized; 11-23-2012 at 06:30 AM.
11-23-2012, 06:26 AM   #6

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QuoteOriginally posted by Biaggi050 Quote
Hi folks, my first posting here!

Im searching something with a more special bokeh (eg. a swirling one) and rendering.

May there are other better alternatives, maybe with other focal length?
Welcome to the forum!

Bokeh is a very personal taste, rendering maybe less so.

Personally, I don't like swirly, but I do like the "painterly" bokeh
that you can get with the Voigtlaender 58/1.4 Nokton open wide.
11-23-2012, 10:01 AM   #8
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I absolutely love my Helios 44-2, but I haven't gotten a single shot with a swirly bokeh out of it. I guess the main reason is that I use it wide open most of the time and the background is so heavily blurred that there is not much structure left that could be swirling. I've tried stopping it down a few times just to try to provoke it, but without success. I think the conditions (background structure, distance to background, aperture) have to be just right, so when you get this lens expecting it to swirl the heck out of every photo you shoot, you may be disappointed.

Last edited by Ikarus; 11-23-2012 at 11:16 AM.
11-23-2012, 12:24 PM   #9
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Also take a look at the Pentax 55/1.8. It came in M42 and K-mount versions.

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