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07-06-2013, 09:59 AM   #136
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QuoteOriginally posted by jeallen01 Quote
Pentax 80-320 - probably the worst I ever owned (apart from a 180mm Telegor which went back decades ago) = soft at the long end and gradually got so sloppy in the barrel that I dare not off-load it on anyone else:-(
John
I like mine but it is tough to get anything sharp at 320. I think much of that is the crop factor on aps-c as it is the lens. It does alright on a tripod and careful focus.

07-06-2013, 11:19 AM   #137
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QuoteOriginally posted by Digitalis Quote
Which is why I suppose the Helios crowd has so much fun
Which Helios...the name, after all, refers to a "family" of lenses in various mounts, most of which have no elements of shared design. I own the Helios 103 53/1.8 (Kiev/Contax mount) as well as the Helios 44M 58/2 (M42) and, for the record, have little interest in owning the Helios 40-2 85/1.5.

Your comments regarding optical faults is interesting, however. This is particularly true in regards to the Helios 44 series of lenses. As is well known, all draw their heritage from the Carl Zeiss Biotar 58/2 and all share that lens' strong points as well as its foibles. That is to say that the center is consistently sharp at all apertures while the margins are...well...they are not so sharp. This softness is even readily apparent in the viewfinder of a good 35mm film body. Additional strong points are lack of distortion and CA. There is also the matter of bokeh which can range from very, very nice to "interesting" depending of your copy of the Helios 44 or Biotar.

Soooo...is that lack of edge sharpness a serious flaw or is it a feature to be leveraged? Or is it of reduced importance to those of us that regularly do serious work using the pedestrian APS-C format where the edges are no longer in the frame? Is the currently trendy "swirly" bokeh (shared with a number of high pedigree optics) a highly sough-after asset or a bother. (My copy has virtually no swirl.) Does the lack of CA, PF, and distortion offset the weak points?

FWIW, I like my Helii and am pleased to note that several of my PPG images (while I was still active there) were taken with the the Helios 44M. (Most of the others were taken with lenses of similar dubious reputation.)


Steve

Last edited by stevebrot; 07-06-2013 at 11:30 AM.
07-06-2013, 11:24 AM   #138
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I keep hearing about the 44M Helios. It's another lens that carries a lot of polarized opinions about it. Some love it and some don't. I had it on my "avoid" list because the sample variation is very high and knowing my luck I'll get a stinker. I'd rather put the money toward a safer bet. Am I missing out on something regarding the Helios?
07-06-2013, 12:19 PM   #139
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QuoteOriginally posted by 6BQ5 Quote
I keep hearing about the 44M Helios. It's another lens that carries a lot of polarized opinions about it. Some love it and some don't. I had it on my "avoid" list because the sample variation is very high and knowing my luck I'll get a stinker. I'd rather put the money toward a safer bet. Am I missing out on something regarding the Helios?
Heck, they only cost $30. What's there to lose? Have Ramen for a few nights, and it's covered.

07-06-2013, 12:32 PM - 2 Likes   #141
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QuoteOriginally posted by 6BQ5 Quote
I keep hearing about the 44M Helios. It's another lens that carries a lot of polarized opinions about it. Some love it and some don't. I had it on my "avoid" list because the sample variation is very high and knowing my luck I'll get a stinker. I'd rather put the money toward a safer bet. Am I missing out on something regarding the Helios?
There is no reason to avoid the Helios 44 series of lenses except to avoid paying too much. The "price of a meal" rule applies here. The optical plants in the former Soviet Union turned out several million of these lenses over several decades to be mounted as the kit lens for Zenit SLR cameras. While sort of rare here in the U.S.A., they are very common in Europe and the former Eastern Bloc nations, hence the warning against over paying. The price new of a Zenit SLR with Helios attached was less than $50 USD in 1970. Current pricing should be less than $40 regardless of model/variant. I paid $10 USD for mine on eBay from a seller in California.

Do a search on this site for Helios 44 or you can look at the thread I started some years back:

https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/pentax-slr-lens-discussion/67775-sibling-...s-44m-4-a.html

Condition is important. If it looks nasty, it probably is. The most common problems are:
  • Stiff focus
  • Lack of M/A switch of auto-aperture variants
  • Binding of focus ring to body with some copies of Helios 44-3
I am happy with the work I have done with mine, but I am pretty tolerant. See LINK for examples.


Steve
07-06-2013, 12:47 PM   #142
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What Steve said ...

Latest French thrift shop buy = 3 ... and everything works, except that the 44M is stiff ... it was a nice, lucky day J

11-05-2013, 06:42 PM   #143
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Tamron, Series 1 70-210mm

While they are not "stinkers" the hype and legend surrounding them is astronomical. For the accolades and accomplishments compared to what you get in present form today? Well if they generally do not measure up to the bar they/legend set, then that "stinks". If you never tried one and got that urge or compulsion to give one a crack? (through) November 2013, you buy one you slap it on, and you snap away. You get on your screen later? Generally speaking, more will say "Hmmm" before "Ahhh". Somewhere that one person.....you know them, they walk in a Casino sit down next to you or maybe a few slots away.....BAM- Jackpot. You're down a 100 smiling along with the joy of a stranger who hit it big for some reason. That joy quickly settles when we think.

My cornpone wisdom says; "You can't make a silk purse from a sows ear".

That's generally a lot of reviews on lenses. It matters most when there's much to find regarding specific types. Or? When a mass tries to make a silk purse from a sows ear.

Point is, if the lens isn't rated or has little info that's taking a pure chance. The level of chance going in lessens the disappointment or should. If the lens on the other hand is highly
rated and you grab one? That's a whole new level of disappointment factor if it stinks......cheap unknown about failures do they really stink?

Attitude going in I guess.

These Tamron's and S1's have out lived their glory, some hype still exist, claims still reach higher levels. Based on the information and the accolades I say generally speaking, most would be disappointed and many would be kidding themselves today...Nov 2013. They haze up, dust compiles in a 19AH at every group and element seen inside, they separate, they oil up blades, they are 30 - 40 years old and certainly well built but far past prime. Exceptions always exist. Generally though these are average at best today and often soft to very soft lacking contrast and crisp colors.

The market has already named them stinkers if you watch the prices lately.

11-06-2013, 12:16 AM   #144
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QuoteOriginally posted by Spotmonic Quote
While they are not "stinkers" the hype and legend surrounding them is astronomical. For the accolades and accomplishments compared to what you get in present form today? Well if they generally do not measure up to the bar they/legend set, then that "stinks". If you never tried one and got that urge or compulsion to give one a crack? (through) November 2013, you buy one you slap it on, and you snap away. You get on your screen later? Generally speaking, more will say "Hmmm" before "Ahhh". Somewhere that one person.....you know them, they walk in a Casino sit down next to you or maybe a few slots away.....BAM- Jackpot. You're down a 100 smiling along with the joy of a stranger who hit it big for some reason. That joy quickly settles when we think.

My cornpone wisdom says; "You can't make a silk purse from a sows ear".

That's generally a lot of reviews on lenses. It matters most when there's much to find regarding specific types. Or? When a mass tries to make a silk purse from a sows ear.

Point is, if the lens isn't rated or has little info that's taking a pure chance. The level of chance going in lessens the disappointment or should. If the lens on the other hand is highly
rated and you grab one? That's a whole new level of disappointment factor if it stinks......cheap unknown about failures do they really stink?

Attitude going in I guess.

These Tamron's and S1's have out lived their glory, some hype still exist, claims still reach higher levels. Based on the information and the accolades I say generally speaking, most would be disappointed and many would be kidding themselves today...Nov 2013. They haze up, dust compiles in a 19AH at every group and element seen inside, they separate, they oil up blades, they are 30 - 40 years old and certainly well built but far past prime. Exceptions always exist. Generally though these are average at best today and often soft to very soft lacking contrast and crisp colors.

The market has already named them stinkers if you watch the prices lately.
Bonjour,

I would tend to disagree with you ... my 19AH is just fine along with many other AD2's ... great performance/value ratios ... my FA 77/1.8 & D FA 100/2.8 Macro WR do not stand up as well to this test sometimes ...

PS - I have a second 19AH with some fungus that I need to test shoot and I ordered a third out of Belgium for a really decent price, hoping it comes in well ... Salut, J (PPS - not everything in these snaps ... "140F" 1.4xTC, 200/3.5, 24/2.5, third PKA, +... )



Last edited by Jean Poitiers; 11-06-2013 at 12:35 AM.
11-06-2013, 12:20 AM   #145
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QuoteOriginally posted by Spotmonic Quote
They haze up, dust compiles in a 19AH at every group and element seen inside, they separate, they oil up blades, they are 30 - 40 years old and certainly well built but far past prime.
Unless you have a considerable amount of experience repairing lenses like I have. You can buy a lens for next to nothing, and with a bit of effort you can return it to its former glory. And if you choose to sell it you can recoup the cost of repairs.
11-06-2013, 12:27 AM   #146
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QuoteOriginally posted by Digitalis Quote
Unless you have a considerable amount of experience repairing lenses like I have. You can buy a lens for next to nothing, and with a bit of effort you can return it to its former glory. And if you choose to sell it you can recoup the cost of repairs.
Very true ... Some are easy to do minor "touch up's" on ... my SP 90/2.5 was an easy rear element clean up plus a bit on the front one, too ... and bingo as good as new, except for the sensor reflections in certain images, but that's another issue when using certain (non-coated) film designed lenses ... J
11-06-2013, 01:48 AM   #147
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Personally i avoid heavy lenses and lenses with plastic mount.
11-06-2013, 01:48 AM   #148
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QuoteOriginally posted by Spotmonic Quote
These Tamron's and S1's have out lived their glory, some hype still exist, claims still reach higher levels.
I can only speak for my Tamron 19AH not for any other copies or Vivitar Series 1 lenses, but my copy has given me many great shots.

A 70-210mm with a constant f/3.5 aperture is still very useful these days. I used it wide open for concerts and still got sharp shots. Its macro mode did not impress me but for non-macro applications it is more than fine.
11-07-2013, 05:09 PM   #149
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QuoteOriginally posted by Joojoo2010 Quote
Personally i avoid heavy lenses and lenses with plastic mount.
The myth that plastic mounts are inferior is largely bunk. It happens, but you're pretty much just as likely to break a metal mount as well.
11-07-2013, 05:18 PM   #150
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Just found this lens in shop with box covered of dust..real bargain AMAZING GLASS I don't care of the short focal..beat my 18/135 WR(Never use more than 50/60/70 mm) ,SIGMA really has quality...next will be the 17/70 2.8-4
Testing SIGMA 18-50 f 2.8-4.5 DC OS HSM with my PENTAX K30 | Fabiopirovano's Weblog
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