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04-25-2010, 01:18 AM   #1
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DA* 55mm vs Helios 44M

How would you compare DA* 55mm vs Helios 44M 58mm at f2 and below, mainly in terms of sharpness and bokeh.

Thanks

04-25-2010, 01:31 AM   #2
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Are you kidding? Seriously. Still, might be beneficial to compare, what do you get when paying many $$$ when there is something very similar for few $.
1.)Af vs Mf, *55 - all points in MF.
2.)Native mount, all auto metering - hard to find genuine adapter, dangerous or crippled third party adapters. Possible lens modification (for only auto aperture).
3.)f2 vs f1.4 (Means more blurred bokeh and brighter viewfinder for *55).
4.)Weather resistant, quality build vs old, dust and poorly machined metal Chip source (still bullet proof).
5.)Precision optics, nice and contrasty from f1.4 vs good at f2, but poor edge sharpness and low contrast, being a Zeiss copy has some special feel. Almost no fringe/aberations.
6.)Latest SMC - nearly no flare or other problems vs Cheap, old coatings - barely multi - produces severe flaring, ghosting, gives various colour casts, has haze by default.
7.)Calm, even bokeh vs weird circular swirl.
04-25-2010, 01:57 AM   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by ytterbium Quote
Are you kidding? Seriously. Still, might be beneficial to compare, what do you get when paying many $$$ when there is something very similar for few $.
....
AF/MF & metering is obvious. As I mentioned, would like to see comparison mainly in terms of sharpness and bokeh. As I can see, 55 @1.4 is really soft and reasonably sharp at f2, but really would like to know how it stands again helios 44m which is nicely sharp wide open.
04-25-2010, 01:57 AM   #4
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I sold my 58mm f1.4 Voigtlander because my Helios 44M-7
is as sharp and i prefer to use a cheap lens with surprisingly good performance...............

08-05-2010, 11:53 AM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by yusuf Quote
How would you compare DA* 55mm vs Helios 44M 58mm at f2 and below, mainly in terms of sharpness and bokeh.

Thanks
...I love my Helios but have heard to many stories about the DA* lenses and how hsm is problematic on most of em.I love simple things that just work.
08-05-2010, 12:10 PM   #6
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The Helios is a great lens for what it is, but the DA* 55 is vastly superior in most respects, excepting maybe only the "artistic" quality of the bokeh.
08-06-2010, 07:47 AM   #7
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I have never used Helios bot I did have DA*55 for a week or so... Definitely wouldn't call it soft @f1.4. I think it was actually very sharp for f 1.4. In the end I kept the K50/1.2 because I really didn't like the OOF rendering of 55 wide open. Too nervous for my taste. Other than that it's a superb lens worth every penny IMO.
08-06-2010, 09:23 AM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by yusuf Quote
AF/MF & metering is obvious. As I mentioned, would like to see comparison mainly in terms of sharpness and bokeh. As I can see, 55 @1.4 is really soft and reasonably sharp at f2, but really would like to know how it stands again helios 44m which is nicely sharp wide open.
I used to have a Helios and didn't think about it at the time, but (as ytterbium mentioned) there was no purple fringing anywhere, which surprised me. It also has a unique look and it's dirt cheap. Might as well get one anyway

But the DA*55--well, it's damn sharp. It's a razor by f/2. Bokeh is indeed a bit nervous wide open, but stop down half a stop and it really smooths out. At f/2.5 it's really something special.

Here's one at 1.6:


And this one's a little random, but shows how the bokeh smooths out by f/1.8:


08-06-2010, 10:16 AM   #9
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the bokeh does smooth out, but my "thing" with this lens was that it was creating circles in OOF areas out of nothing... OK not nothing but it was creating them more often and on places where my K50/1.2 doesn't... that's why it went....
btw the rist pic is great IMO
08-06-2010, 11:33 AM   #10
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I agree axl. If we were comparing against the K 50 1.2 (or A 50 1.2), I'd be shutting up right now, but I'm taking on the Helios

I guess to be fair I should post something at 1.4 that demonstrates some shortcomings of the lens (as far as I'm concerned--some people might dig it!).

I don't shoot with it wide open very much because I don't like it so much, but here you can see a ton of outlining. Back up a bit more and it's even worse.



Oh and thanks about the first one--that's my youngest on her third birthday. I only wish the background wasn't a Dora the Explorer bed sheet, but the B&W helps
08-06-2010, 12:46 PM   #11
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I wouldn't know it's Dora if you wouldn't say...
and thanks for posting the last one, it really shows what I wanted to point out about the DA*.
It really killed the lens for me... and it's a shame because otherwise it's perfect lens. I wanted to love it but but this one thing ruined it for me.... oh well, I guess I'll have to do with my ltds and 50/1.2 instead
08-06-2010, 02:04 PM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by axl Quote
oh well, I guess I'll have to do with my ltds and 50/1.2 instead
Yeah, I fought with the wide open look for a while, but gave up and gave in and now I use it mostly at f/2 - f/3.2 and really dig it.

But between the K50/1.2 and the 77 the only downside is that you can't use them both at once!

What was this thread about again?
08-07-2010, 11:22 AM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by farfisa Quote
Yeah, I fought with the wide open look for a while, but gave up and gave in and now I use it mostly at f/2 - f/3.2 and really dig it.

But between the K50/1.2 and the 77 the only downside is that you can't use them both at once!

What was this thread about again?
I think it was about who's on first?
08-21-2010, 05:06 PM   #14
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