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04-12-2009, 08:28 PM - 5 Likes   #1
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Helios 44M-4 Auto to Manual Aperture Control Conversion...

Hope this is of use to some. I recently purchased a Helios 44M-4 from eBay, but found out I could only shoot wide-open (f2) when mounted on my K10d with the M42 adaptor. Modern Pentax DSLRs do not have the M42 provision to activate the aperture pin on the bacl of the lens. Thus, despite what the aperture dial reads, the lens will always remain at max aperture. This mod will change the aperture, as the dial indicates.

Conversion is very easy. You will need a small flat head screwdriver, a paperclip, and some wire cutters.

Start by removing the rear cover of the lens, 4 screws. When removing, careful not to lose the silver pin. Note orientation of the cover, it can only be re-installed one way.

Note the silver pin at the 9 o'clock position:

Remove the pin from the cover, and wrap a short section of paperclip tightly around the end as shown. This will act as a washer to keep the pin permanetely depressed.

Re-install the pin as shown in the pic, and mount to lens back. Careful to keep the cover orientation the same.

That's it. The aperture should change in unison with the aperture ring. Results:

04-12-2009, 09:11 PM   #2
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Thanks very much for taking the time to post this, wonderful.

Other have also used superglue and a snip of a hollow cleaning swab shaft
placed over the pin to hold it down.

Also - very nice pics!

04-12-2009, 09:36 PM   #3
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Great, and clean! I like the paperclip washer idea; very good for adjusting thickness :-D

However, I usually tend to take a pointy object and push the pin in; with most lenses, the pin will catch somewhere inside and stay there till I bang it
04-13-2009, 05:15 AM   #4
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I superglued mine down
It really is a lovely lens. I'm gonna buy another just for backup. They're so cheap for what you get!

some shots:

04-13-2009, 06:52 AM   #5
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Great job with clear instructive photos, did it myself with some plastic wire isolation. Probably it's worth to submit this set of photos + comments and tips as an article in the appropriate subforum?
04-15-2009, 07:39 PM   #6
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wire insulation, good idea!
04-15-2009, 08:24 PM   #7
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I did up a little thing like this when I converted mine, on a one page document (just had gotten cs4 and wanted to play). I posted it a few months ago. I used a hollow plastic cotton swap to hold the pin.

Awesome lens. I use it a lot.

04-16-2009, 01:02 AM   #8
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Nice Instruction. I did the same thing, only I used tiny peace of plastic instead of paper clip.
02-26-2010, 08:20 PM   #9
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I just did this mod. It took me 5 minutes & I used some insulation from some 8amp electrical cable. Pulled the insulation off the copper wire, cut to about 2.5mm & slid over the aperture pin.

Nice tight fit & works well & probably a bit easier than using the coil wrap method.

I picked up a Mint condition 44M-4 with original front /end caps & lens bag from ebay for $15 USD. Would have to be the most immaculate used lens I have ever bought. Now I am waiting for my M42 adapter.
03-03-2010, 10:37 PM   #10
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Nice guide

I just modded my 44M-4 using a small piece of the ink tube out of a ball point pen. Was a 5 minute job.

I'm pretty happy with my Helos lenses - I picked up a 44-2 from an antique shop for $5 (optically nice, but the focus ring has fallen off! oops), and later got the 44M-4 off ebay cheap.
05-31-2010, 10:54 PM - 1 Like   #11
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Good Morning ( as here Finland 8:45 am)
Just also used instructions 'n make my own solution:
a piece of cotton stick rod:

Works fine, BUT no Shake reduction, no af comfirmation, not able to put aperture value to K7(is that anyway possible) result: cannot know is exposure ok or af ok.
My K7 is less than week old and I use used genuine M42 adapter by Pentax.
06-04-2010, 12:52 PM   #12
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i snipped the end off a bic pen refill and it was perfect for the job.
nice clear instructions and great photos here.
09-13-2010, 08:23 PM   #13
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Just in the nick of time

I just now (like in 5 minutes ago) got my Helios 44m-4 out of my bag to try on my new (about a month) K10D tommorrow morning and I probably would have gone bonkers trying to figure out what was going on with the aperture!
I am just poking around here in the forums tonight and found this thread while looking for posts about the Helios 44K-4.
I guess I should "fix" this lens before I go shooting tommorrow.
Good stuff, thanks guys and especially you, quatro, for starting this thread
09-13-2010, 10:33 PM   #14
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Just found this as well. I have two copies of the 44k-4 and a 44m on the way. I'll do this mod as soon as it comes in! Thanks.
12-01-2010, 10:03 PM   #15
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Thank you chaps for these posts. My adaptor is on its way, but I wouldn't know what to do. Now I know. I should thank quattro, especially, for his initial effort.

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