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09-03-2013, 04:48 PM   #1
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Anybody have a new Helios 40-2?

As any fan of Soviet lenses should know by now, KMZ has resurrected the Helios 40-2, and started putting out new units last year. Anybody have one? I believe it's the same as the old, but maybe not. I'm thinking the coatings may have changed.

They even have it on Amazon:
Amazon.com: Russian Soviet Helios-40-2 85mm f/1.5 Best portrait manual lens for M42, Pentax SLR/DSLR Camera. NEW!: Electronics

For those that don't know, the Helios 40-2 is a 85mm f/1.5 lens with technically awful optical performance. Still, the bokeh has a unique swirl that some people like. It used to cost pocket change a few years ago, but over the past two years or so, prices on the original 40's (M39 mount, bare metal finish, impossible 66mm filter diameter) soared to about $400, where it sits today. The newer 40-2's (M42, black finish, 67mm filter diameter) were nearly impossible to find before KMZ started making them again.

There's an aperture-less version of this lens made for night scopes which used to be a sleeper deal, but people know all about it now, and it's highly unlikely that you can find one of them for less than $250.

So, any takers? Considering current prices, $500 doesn't sound so bad... though I'm sure many will consider me insane for saying such a thing.

09-03-2013, 05:01 PM   #2
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For collectors it's a nice piece I'll give it that.
Though I'm thinking in many cases, people will likely opt for a Samyang 85 1.4 in most cases.
09-03-2013, 05:03 PM   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by JohnBee Quote
Though I'm thinking in many cases, people will likely opt for a Samyang 85 1.4 in most cases.
No question, the Samyang is a superior lens in nearly every possible measure.

But it doesn't swirl!
09-03-2013, 06:24 PM   #4
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how about the jupiter-9 85/2? I think its bokeh is amazing though the max aperture only f2.

09-03-2013, 07:27 PM   #5
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Hi all,

I currently have the 40-2 (not the new version) with me... well actually it's a friend's lens but let me use it for how long i would want to use it haha...
problem with this lens? you need to of them to use it as dumbbells (too heavy for me), lacks contrast but quite smooth bokeh...(and yes that swirly bokeh too)

jupiter-9?? (owned 1 before) there a certain character in this lens good for special effects and purposes...

rokinon? tried once and for me, i will pick this 1 than the 2 other lenses... (i just love to shoot wide open shots...)
01-18-2014, 09:49 AM   #6
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Very interested in picking this lens up. Be like me Helios 44m-6 but with a bit extra reach and good for crazy interesting portraits. Anyone got any more recent experience with them? Especially the newer version?

Am I crazy for wanting this along side m7 FA77?
01-18-2014, 12:37 PM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by dcBear78 Quote
Am I crazy for wanting this along side m7 FA77?
I don't think so. The FA77 and Helios 40 are both very unique lenses in their own ways, regardless of their similar focal lengths and apertures.

It's a weird, expensive lens that you either love or hate. If you like it and you can afford it, you might as well save up and get it, because, as far as I know, there's no substitute.



When I get some money, I'll probably sell my beater and get one of the new ones. I love it that much.
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