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05-18-2017, 04:14 PM   #1
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What's wrong with this lens?

I recently acquired a Helios 44-2, and it takes great pictures, but...

There's obviously more than dust on the inside.

What do you think it is? Element separation, fungus, both?

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05-18-2017, 04:55 PM   #2
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Looks like element separation. Just leave it alone
05-18-2017, 04:58 PM   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by Lowell Goudge Quote
Looks like element separation. Just leave it alone
I'm not handy enough to re-assemble a lens I've dismantled

There's also another little round spot above the big defect...which I can only assume is fungal.
05-19-2017, 02:54 AM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by timw4mail Quote
I'm not handy enough to re-assemble a lens I've dismantled

There's also another little round spot above the big defect...which I can only assume is fungal.
GO on ypu tube and look up Mikeno62,he will have a tutorial on how to rebuild it. Alternatively send it to dcshooter. The truth be told most people should never attemt these things themselves,unless of coarse the Lens means nothing to them. Send it to dcshooter, you will be glad you did.

05-19-2017, 04:20 AM   #5
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As cheap as the Helios is, it's a great lens to learn to repair. I'd buy a new one anyway just because repair will cost more than a better copy.
05-19-2017, 04:46 AM   #6
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As Kozlok has said, it would be a great lens to start learning about repairing lenses / cleaning the optical elements and hopefully your original investment was small enough to encourage the purchasing of another. There seem to be plenty about, you might have a look through goodwill shops, markets, garage sales etc where you might pick up a bargain and possibly even pick up some more Russian lenses too.
The concensus on which are the sharper Helios standard lenses seem to be the later the better. I have a couple of -44Ms and I think they are sharper than the 44-2 albeit with an A/M stopdown switch rather than just the auto pin only of later models. Just in case you are looking for another model.
05-19-2017, 06:00 AM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by Kozlok Quote
As cheap as the Helios is, it's a great lens to learn to repair. I'd buy a new one anyway just because repair will cost more than a better copy.
I do have another in the mail, with a modified square aperture

QuoteOriginally posted by Skodadriver Quote
As Kozlok has said, it would be a great lens to start learning about repairing lenses / cleaning the optical elements and hopefully your original investment was small enough to encourage the purchasing of another. There seem to be plenty about, you might have a look through goodwill shops, markets, garage sales etc where you might pick up a bargain and possibly even pick up some more Russian lenses too.
The concensus on which are the sharper Helios standard lenses seem to be the later the better. I have a couple of -44Ms and I think they are sharper than the 44-2 albeit with an A/M stopdown switch rather than just the auto pin only of later models. Just in case you are looking for another model.
As far as Russian lenses go, I've got two Zenitars on the way: a 50mm and a fisheye.


Regardless of the defects of this lens, it still takes great images, so I'm not especially eager to tear it apart. (Plus it has the zebra focusing ring, I hear those aren't as common)

05-19-2017, 09:45 AM - 1 Like   #8
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I think the key thing you have said (twice so far) is that it "takes great pictures." If neither the coating or element separation/fungus looking defect, non the littler spot above it, are affecting that central super sharp area on the Helios, neither problem might be causing problems. They might even be adding something to the quality of out-of-focus vignetting that a wide open Helios offers. Some Helios fans have a stable of them, you know, perhaps because each may offer different rendering, depending on defects like that or hairline scratches on the front element, or different iris blade counts....etc.

If it "takes great pictures" do you really want to monkey with success? Just buy a few more Helioses. I, personally, would wait until I found one that was just so-so to practice repair on, not one that, to quote someone in this thread, "takes great pictures."





QuoteOriginally posted by timw4mail Quote
I do have another in the mail, with a modified square aperture



As far as Russian lenses go, I've got two Zenitars on the way: a 50mm and a fisheye.


Regardless of the defects of this lens, it still takes great images, so I'm not especially eager to tear it apart. (Plus it has the zebra focusing ring, I hear those aren't as common)
05-19-2017, 10:03 AM   #9
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The fungus-like spot could very well be a bubble in the glass and typically has no affect on images. The larger defect does look like separation,but as stated, repair cost is greater than a new purchase. It's amazing what the 'acceptable' level of bubbles, dust and lint are for these Russian lenses as specified by the mfg.
05-19-2017, 10:11 AM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by ripper2860 Quote
The fungus-like spot could very well be a bubble in the glass and typically has no affect on images. The larger defect does look like separation,but as stated, repair cost is greater than a new purchase. It's amazing what the 'acceptable' level of bubbles, dust and lint are for these Russian lenses as specified by the mfg.
Lens defects are also REALLY hard to photograph. The small round defect looks a bit too fuzzy to be a bubble, but I suppose it could be.

Last edited by timw4mail; 05-19-2017 at 10:16 AM.
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