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05-20-2007, 02:49 PM   #1
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Helios 40-2 - first shots

Hello everybody. I just got a Helios 40-2 85mm/f1,5. I really like this lens but haven't had a chance to test it extensively yet. I bought a very cheap m42-K adapter that fits very loose so in combination with the sheer mass of this lens, made for a lens that was very difficult to focus. Trying to control this heavy lens with a faulty adapter really gave my biceps a good work-out. Completely the fault of the crappy adapter though. I have a genuine Pentax m42-K adapter on order.

I took it to a green house to test bokeh with busy backgrounds. I had a roll of 400 ISO that I just wanted to finish up but with this lens 100 ISO would have been better that day. I had to use my camera's maximum of 1/1000th sec for all my shots wide-open and half were overexposed. I got some interesting results. Here are two samples.



Ring or swirly bokeh is evident in the busy background to the left. This characteristic could be good or bad depending on the situation.



I really like the bokeh in this one.

Once the Pentax adapter arrives, I will make test the lens again. Right now, I'm scared of mounting this huges lens on the camera with the faulty adapter I got. The last thing I want to do is damage the lens or the camera. I've seen some absolutely magical shots taken with this lens and I can't wait to use it again.


Last edited by Nando; 05-26-2007 at 07:47 PM.
05-20-2007, 03:00 PM   #2
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QuoteOriginally posted by Nando Quote
Hello everybody. I just got a Helios 40-2 85mm/f1,5. I really like this lens but haven't had a chance to test it extensively yet. I bought a very cheap m42-K adapter that fits very loose so in combination with the sheer mass of this lens, made for a lens that was very difficult to focus. Trying to control this heavy lens with a faulty adapter really gave my biceps a good work-out. Completely the fault of the crappy adapter though. I have a genuine Pentax m42-K adapter on order.

I took it to a green house to test bokeh with busy backgrounds. I had a roll of 400 ISO that I just wanted to finish up but with this lens 100 ISO would have been better that day. I had to use my camera's maximum of 1/1000th sec for all my shots wide-open and half were overexposed. I got some interesting results. Here are two samples.



Ring or swirly bokeh is evident in the busy background to the left. This characteristic could be good or bad depending on the situation.



I really like the bokeh in this one.

Once the Pentax adapter arrives, I will make test the lens again. Right now, I'm scared of mounting this huges lens on the camera with the faulty adapter I got. The last thing I want to do is damage the lens or the camera. I've seen some absolutely magical shots taken with this lens and I can't wait to use it again.
You should make use of the tripod mount. :P

How much was the lens? I was hoping to get one myself...after I get a job..lol
05-20-2007, 03:21 PM   #3
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Yeah, I know. I think I'm going to pair it up with a small monopod I have even when I do get a good adapter. Coming from the world of rangefinders, I'm not used to that sort of thing being able to shoot a fast 50mm as low as 1/8th handheld. I had a few thoughts (err... fantasies) about getting a custom made adapter to couple the lens to my rangefinders but the costs would be crazy. Even with the use of the lens' tripod mount, I think that it would still would be difficult to focus with the crappy adapter. It was such that if I turned the focussing ring (which was silky smooth BTW) one way the adapter would move about 5 or 6 mm the opposite direction in the mount. Lesson learnt - I won't buy el cheapo adapters again - just real Pentax ones.

I purchase the lens from Yuriy Davidenko of DVDTechnik in Kiev for around $275 USD. Great seller. When he says 'Excellent' - its more like 'Mint'. The only thing wrong with the lens was a bit of paint coming off on the threads of the m42 screw mount, which is expected. It also had an insignificant 2mm scratch near one of the screws on the aperture locking ring. It was touched up very nicely with some flat black paint. One probably would never notice it but when buying used lenses, I always check the screws for signs may indicate if the lens has been opened. It probably just went through a CLA because the glass was absolutely spotless (and its a 30 year-old lens) and it smelled a bit like gear oil. It arrived in Canada in under two weeks, which is just astounding for me. I once waited 3 months of a Jupiter-3 50/1,5 to arrive from Moscow.

I'm a big fan of optics made behind the iron curtain. Next up for me is either a Carl Zeiss Jena 20/2,8 Flektogon or a Carl Zeiss Jena 300/4 Sonnar, both made in the former East Germany. Hopefully, I can buy these from DVDTechnik again as he also has access to lenses from other former communist countries as well as the usual Soviet stuff.

Last edited by Nando; 05-20-2007 at 04:40 PM.
05-20-2007, 04:24 PM   #4
roy
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i've got a couple of collectible adapters if you are interested. both say Asahi Pentax on them. last one on ebay i saw went for almost $60usd.

05-20-2007, 04:38 PM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by roy Quote
i've got a couple of collectible adapters if you are interested. both say Asahi Pentax on them. last one on ebay i saw went for almost $60usd.
Thanks Roy but I won't be needing them. I purchased a couple from Manfred Schmidt Cameras of Chicago last week and they should be in my hands soon.
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