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02-22-2017, 04:55 PM   #1
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Soviet Lens Resolution Parameter and Suggestions?

Hello,

I was browsing the Soviet lens reviews and some other information, and I noticed that many of them have a spec in resolution, for example: Lomo Volna 50mm f1.8 Lens Reviews - Russian and Zenitar Lenses - Pentax Lens Review Database states that this lens has a resolution of 45/27 lpmm. Some Helios lenses can reach resolution up to 50/30 lpmm (Helios-44 | Camerapedia | Fandom powered by Wikia) and Zenitar M2s (M42) 50 F2.0 Lens Reviews - Russian and Zenitar Lenses - Pentax Lens Review Database can reach a resolution up to 68/44 lpmm. However, is this the resolution of max aperture or best aperture, and how does these compare to modern lenses? It seems that the three lenses mentioned above at least rivals the Canon EF 50mm f1.8 STM (nifty fifty), but are there more ways to compare these specs? I am considering between Helios 44M-7 which has a 50/30 resolution or a Zenitar-K2 which has at least a 60/30 resolution.

Sincerely

P.S. I have heard that there are dealers who will use name rings to fake a Helios with lower resolution as one with a higher resolution. I saw a copy of 44M-7 that has 8 blades and an A/M switch. Is this normal for a 44M-7?


Last edited by butangmucat; 02-22-2017 at 05:17 PM.
02-22-2017, 08:25 PM   #2
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QuoteOriginally posted by butangmucat Quote
However, is this the resolution of max aperture or best aperture, and how does these compare to modern lenses?
Your best guess is as good as any. There are various claims regarding resolution on FSU lenses and it is difficult to determine their source. Some numbers are traceable to tables at zenitcamera.com, a Soviet camera/lens fan Web site. The claim is that the specs are from official specifications salvaged after the fall of the Soviet Union. I consider that site to be "reliable, but not guaranteed accurate".*

QuoteOriginally posted by butangmucat Quote
P.S. I have heard that there are dealers who will use name rings to fake a Helios with lower resolution as one with a higher resolution. I saw a copy of 44M-7 that has 8 blades and an A/M switch. Is this normal for a 44M-7?
You are correct that there is a plague of fake FSU lenses. The Helios 44M-7 is one of the more commonly faked models with most being relabeled Helios 44M (8 blades with A/M switch). The 44M is a fine lens,** but is fairly common and not worth a premium price. That being said, I am not sure the 44M-7 is worth more either except that it is multi-coated.


Steve

* This or similar disclaimers is found in realtor's Multiple Listing Service books used for property sales in the U.S. Translation: "We do our best, but if things are not as described, it is not our fault"

** I own the Helios 44M and am perfectly happy with it.
02-22-2017, 08:34 PM   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by stevebrot Quote
** I own the Helios 44M and am perfectly happy with it.
It has the great advantage of an A/M switch...it's just too bad it won't mount on a Spot F.
02-22-2017, 08:39 PM   #4
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Get the 44k-4 instead native k mount, and plenty sharp (for me anyway, completely non scientific, but it looks much sharper than my SMC 50 1.8 wide open and at 5.6).

02-22-2017, 08:53 PM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by boriscleto Quote
It has the great advantage of an A/M switch...it's just too bad it won't mount on a Spot F.
Why won't it mount? The Helios 44M is standard auto-aperture M42 at the mount. The only compatibility issue I am aware of is potential interference of the aperture actuation pin* with the power zoom contacts on KAF2 bodies.


Steve

* The pin is a bit long and position makes interference likely. Mine has lightly scored the contacts on my K-3
02-22-2017, 10:14 PM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by stevebrot Quote
Why won't it mount? The Helios 44M is standard auto-aperture M42 at the mount. The only compatibility issue I am aware of is potential interference of the aperture actuation pin* with the power zoom contacts on KAF2 bodies.


Steve

* The pin is a bit long and position makes interference likely. Mine has lightly scored the contacts on my K-3
The long pin catches in the open aperture mechanism on the Spot F. The lens won't fully screw in.
02-22-2017, 10:55 PM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by butangmucat Quote
Hello,

I was browsing the Soviet lens reviews and some other information, and I noticed that many of them have a spec in resolution, for example: Lomo Volna 50mm f1.8 Lens Reviews - Russian and Zenitar Lenses - Pentax Lens Review Database states that this lens has a resolution of 45/27 lpmm. Some Helios lenses can reach resolution up to 50/30 lpmm (Helios-44 | Camerapedia | Fandom powered by Wikia) and Zenitar M2s (M42) 50 F2.0 Lens Reviews - Russian and Zenitar Lenses - Pentax Lens Review Database can reach a resolution up to 68/44 lpmm. However, is this the resolution of max aperture or best aperture, and how does these compare to modern lenses? It seems that the three lenses mentioned above at least rivals the Canon EF 50mm f1.8 STM (nifty fifty), but are there more ways to compare these specs? I am considering between Helios 44M-7 which has a 50/30 resolution or a Zenitar-K2 which has at least a 60/30 resolution.

Sincerely

P.S. I have heard that there are dealers who will use name rings to fake a Helios with lower resolution as one with a higher resolution. I saw a copy of 44M-7 that has 8 blades and an A/M switch. Is this normal for a 44M-7?
I think that such kind of lens measurements, queried out in different laboratories, are not well comparable each other.
Personally I have found that Russian lenses have quality index spread over very broad interval. One can come across with very sharp lens as easy as to a very soft from the same type. Latest Zenitars are maybe a bit better but not very sure.
02-23-2017, 07:15 AM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by awscreo Quote
Get the 44k-4 instead native k mount, and plenty sharp (for me anyway, completely non scientific, but it looks much sharper than my SMC 50 1.8 wide open and at 5.6).
Or maybe the Zenitar-K2? It's the K mount version of the 60/30 resolution M2s. Though a bit plasticky, but much cheaper.

02-23-2017, 07:45 AM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by butangmucat Quote
Or maybe the Zenitar-K2? It's the K mount version of the 60/30 resolution M2s. Though a bit plasticky, but much cheaper.
I haven't used the zenitar one, I got 44k-4 as a little gift from the childhood from my first slr I found at my relatives home. And I bought the 44-2 the same time, so joke's on me, I have two of those, one being much better optically. Maybe I should sell the 44-2
02-23-2017, 09:44 AM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by boriscleto Quote
The long pin catches in the open aperture mechanism on the Spot F. The lens won't fully screw in.
Got it...

I have never looked "down the throat" of a Spot F, but did find some photos on the web showing the part that potentially interferes. I also did the Google work and came up with some strange results, but also a few reports of actual interference of various lenses on the Spot F.
  • @Cuthbert (PF user) bent the aperture pin on his Helios 44M attempting mount to a Spot F
  • Your experience with the SP F/Helios 44M combination on the same thread
  • Lenses intended for the Pentacon's "electro" M42 variant bodies have an aperture follower similar to that on SMC Taks that may engage the coupling in the Spot F body, but not in a good way. Lenses with this feature include various Carl Zeiss Jena, various Pentacon-made lenses, and some Helios 44M-n variants. One might assume there is a similar compatibility issue for SMC Taks on some Pentacon bodies.
I guess this is something for owners of Spot F/ES owners to be aware of.

On the strange side, there were several posts on different forums of a pin on Spot F bodies jamming into a screw hole on the Helios mount face. Yes, a pin...go figure...

End thread hijack...

Steve
02-23-2017, 11:19 AM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by stevebrot Quote
Got it...

I have never looked "down the throat" of a Spot F, but did find some photos on the web showing the part that potentially interferes. I also did the Google work and came up with some strange results, but also a few reports of actual interference of various lenses on the Spot F.
  • @Cuthbert (PF user) bent the aperture pin on his Helios 44M attempting mount to a Spot F
  • Your experience with the SP F/Helios 44M combination on the same thread
  • Lenses intended for the Pentacon's "electro" M42 variant bodies have an aperture follower similar to that on SMC Taks that may engage the coupling in the Spot F body, but not in a good way. Lenses with this feature include various Carl Zeiss Jena, various Pentacon-made lenses, and some Helios 44M-n variants. One might assume there is a similar compatibility issue for SMC Taks on some Pentacon bodies.
I guess this is something for owners of Spot F/ES owners to be aware of.

On the strange side, there were several posts on different forums of a pin on Spot F bodies jamming into a screw hole on the Helios mount face. Yes, a pin...go figure...

End thread hijack...

Steve
So if I am getting an Spotmatic, the non-ES ones will accept more lenses?

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