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06-18-2018, 05:18 PM   #31
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QuoteOriginally posted by micromacro Quote
I've been taking about Helios 44-s since this thread about them. Sorry, I trolled you with generalization.
No, you didn't troll

I'd actually agree that there's a general and sometimes undeserved popularity with some Helios-44-series lenses. But even with this isolated series, the variations are very significant indeed. They really can't be looked at all that generally. Some really do deserve the popularity - depending, that is, on what the photographer is looking for... others, less so. It's worth considering, for anyone reading this thread who's not that familiar with the lenses

06-18-2018, 06:36 PM   #32
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QuoteOriginally posted by BigMackCam Quote
Franken-lenses are in abundance, with optical elements, bezels, body parts, mounts, diaphragm blades, other discrete components (even documentation and supposed retail packaging) substituted / modified / added as necessary, and bodies / paint-work refreshed / refinished / modified (to varying degrees of professionalism, believability and historical accuracy).
Yes, I own one and it sucks. It came attached to my FED-2 and is marked Industar-61. however, it differs from known Industar-61 LTM variants on several points. It also sucks optically. I finally decided it is a Frankenlens composed of bits and pieces from both I-26 and I-61 lenses. Click through for on-image notes and a more complete discussion...




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06-18-2018, 06:44 PM   #33
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QuoteOriginally posted by micromacro Quote
Why unknown?
Because tables are included in the site with no reference as to where the information came from. I use and appreciate zenitcamera.com for the effort expended and for the incredible breadth of what is covered. I do not consider it authoritative or accurate beyond the common disclosure on the realtor's multiple listing service catalog, "Information is deemed reliable, but not guaranteed." The site is extremely useful, but I don't cite it without a caution.


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06-18-2018, 06:57 PM   #34
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QuoteOriginally posted by BigMackCam Quote
That's a pretty bold and vague statement, with all due respect
And also not borne by comparison to Zeiss Biotar of the same era. My KMZ Helios 44M has never been humbled when used on my K-3 and for center sharpness is about the same as my FA 77/1.8 Limited (I think I hear thunder). That being said, edge and corner sharpness are somewhat less good and on 24x36mm FF, quite...ummmmm..."artistically soft".

As for street cred...I think I was the second user on this site shooting the Helios 44 series. David Wang was the first. I borrowed his KMZ Helios 44M-4 for a week and picked up my own copy after only two days with his. I have been looking for a good MC Helios 44-3 and/or MC Helios 44K-4, but prices have gone too high for my taste.


Steve

06-18-2018, 07:20 PM   #35
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QuoteOriginally posted by micromacro Quote
Mechanically they are Zeiss lenses
Optically, they are all Zeiss Biotar made by Soviets based on technology and tooling won as WWII reparations. Mechanically, the build is Soviet on all but the earliest versions (some of which actually had Zeiss elements) and that is not entirely a bad thing. Soviet glass is also not a bad thing. The color rendering common to many of my FSU lenses is part of why I shoot with them.


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06-18-2018, 08:15 PM   #36
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How mechanically Helios lenses could be Soviet if mechanically they were copies of Zeiss? Copy is a copy, it's not an original design.

I found one article for you Steve. Most likely you read it already.
http://www.novacon.com.br/lenses08.htm

Last edited by micromacro; 06-18-2018 at 08:35 PM.
06-19-2018, 12:09 AM   #37
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QuoteOriginally posted by stevebrot Quote
And then folk start quoting from zenitcamera.com as if were other than a fan site assembled from documentation of unknown origin. For sure, much was salvaged from KMZ files, but much is also inconsistent with known specs (rolls eyes).


Steve
Hey but it's on the interwebz, so it must be true...
06-19-2018, 01:04 AM - 2 Likes   #38
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QuoteOriginally posted by micromacro Quote
How mechanically Helios lenses could be Soviet if mechanically they were copies of Zeiss? Copy is a copy, it's not an original design.
Much in the same way that my 1961 Kiev 4A is Soviet, not German. Immediately upon surrender, the Soviets carried off the Contax assembly line tooling, all production (partial and complete) as well as all the engineers they could find and took them all to Kiev. The job of the engineers was to instruct the Ukrainian Soviets how to build German Zeiss cameras. The engineers did a good job and after a few years, the Soviets sent them home to what was then East Germany.

The first few years of production were essentially Contax cameras built in Kiev. I owned a 1957 Kiev IIa true copy for a short time several years ago and posted several comparison images with it and my 1961 Kiev 4A (click through for four images, notes, and mouse-over comments in the photos). The two cameras were only four years apart, but during that time sufficient changes were made such that the number of shared parts were limited mostly to the shutter, mount, and film transport. Even the excellent Zeiss viewfinder/rangefinder had been replaced by functionally similar, more typically Soviet designs.


Fotostevia on Flickr | Kiev 4A vs. Kiev IIa


No, my Kiev 4A is not a Contax copy. It is a Soviet camera of German heritage. No, the Jupiter 8M that came with it is not a Zeiss Sonnar 50/2 copy despite a close approximation of appearance. It is Sonnar-based Soviet lens of German heritage with several improvements and a uniquely Soviet-style iris diaphragm and (ta! da!) click stop aperture! I seldom shoot with the quite good Arsenal J-8m, preferring instead the somewhat more excellent Arsenal Helios 103 53/1.8 whose optics have a stronger resemblance to a '70s-vintage Leitz Summicron 50/2 or a Super-Takumar 55/1.8 than any pre-WWII Zeiss product.

So, back to the Helios 44 series 58mm f/2 lenses. The optical design has remained remarkably consistent since the first faithful copies were made of the 50s-era Carl Zeiss Jena Biotar 58/2 under the Helios 44 label. The later model M-42 lenses (Helios 44-n and Helios 44M-n series) keep the same optics (with improvements to manufacturing process) but in a body design unlike any that CJZ made for its Biotar lenses. Optically, they are quite equivalent to shooting with a Biotar. Physically/mechanically, Helios 44-2, 44-3 preset lenses and the auto aperture 44M / 44M-n series are Soviet creations. They don't feel like a CZJ lens in the hand because they aren't.

BTW...yes, I am very familiar with the Maylon Kelly article you linked to and his assertion that the Russians/Soviets had assimilated significant expertise and design skills. The true gem of negotiating the Zeiss works as war reparations (done at Yalta months in advance of the actual race to Berlin) was not the lenses or cameras. It was the coating technology, the best in the world and far beyond what anyone other than the Germans were capable of making. FSU and Russian coatings are quite good as a result.


Steve


Last edited by stevebrot; 06-19-2018 at 07:08 AM. Reason: One of me is enough
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