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02-13-2018, 05:35 PM   #16
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What do you all make about the video towards the bottom of the page and associated text? Their page states, "Original classic lenses, re-buildt in Germany." Someplace I've read that the lenses aren't really made in Germany, and they're playing games to claim such, but the video fitting aperture blades certinaly would fit what I think made in Germany means, unless this is really assembled in Germany from parts made elsewhere, which can be good/bad/indifferent - all about the real quality. As I type this, I think about my range of experiences with Chinese products - a very nice Sirui tripod to horrid first run of Groco seacocks made in China - the Chinese didn't use the materials specified by Groco, and a year out, I was ripping them all out of my hull - if you know boats, you can appreciate the agony of 1 1/2 inch seacocks set in 5200 that were never supposed to be removed again having to be removed - and of note, heat will break 5200, but still not fun. So, I get twitchy on unknown part sourcing and these games of assembly and manufacture.

02-13-2018, 06:28 PM   #17
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I think it will be at "special pricing" forever.
The so called actual price is too much for such a lens.

For a new/modern Helios 85/1.5, its probably at the right price due to manufacturing/tooling/marketing costs as well as whatever new bits of tech added in (is there any??).
But the old ones are easily half the price of the sale price and has history and is probably going to have the same performance.
02-13-2018, 07:54 PM   #18
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QuoteOriginally posted by clickclick Quote
What do you all make about the video towards the bottom of the page and associated text? Their page states, "Original classic lenses, re-buildt in Germany." Someplace I've read that the lenses aren't really made in Germany, and they're playing games to claim such, but the video fitting aperture blades certinaly would fit what I think made in Germany means, unless this is really assembled in Germany from parts made elsewhere, which can be good/bad/indifferent - all about the real quality. As I type this, I think about my range of experiences with Chinese products - a very nice Sirui tripod to horrid first run of Groco seacocks made in China - the Chinese didn't use the materials specified by Groco, and a year out, I was ripping them all out of my hull - if you know boats, you can appreciate the agony of 1 1/2 inch seacocks set in 5200 that were never supposed to be removed again having to be removed - and of note, heat will break 5200, but still not fun. So, I get twitchy on unknown part sourcing and these games of assembly and manufacture.
If a company wants it can take full control of QA process used by the factory located in China. Some companies permanently station their employees in China so that they can manage the QA in the factory located in China. This also varies from project to project. Some projects gets outsourced totally. I find it shocking that some companies think it is expensive hire even in China
02-13-2018, 08:14 PM   #19
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QuoteOriginally posted by pentaxfall Quote
If a company wants it can take full control of QA process used by the factory located in China. Some companies permanently station their employees in China so that they can manage the QA in the factory located in China. This also varies from project to project. Some projects gets outsourced totally. I find it shocking that some companies think it is expensive hire even in China
Yep, so what's the deal with these lenses? Where are the parts made? Who makes them? For $2K, would like to know.

02-13-2018, 09:00 PM   #20
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QuoteOriginally posted by pinholecam Quote
For a new/modern Helios 85/1.5, its probably at the right price due to manufacturing/tooling/marketing costs as well as whatever new bits of tech added in (is there any??).
But the old ones are easily half the price of the sale price and has history and is probably going to have the same performance.
Given that KMZ resumed production of the MC Helios 40-2 85/1.5 a few years ago and that one may purchase through Amazon for under $500 USD including shipping, the Somnium II is somewhat less attractive particularly considering that the Helios has the preset aperture option.

As for the pedigree of the Meyer-Optic Goerlitz products, they are fairly cagey about the specifics beyond simply saying they are made in Germany. Whether the optics are outsourced to Asia is unclear. The truth, similar perhaps to the company history, may lie somewhere in-between.


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02-14-2018, 02:32 AM   #21
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QuoteOriginally posted by stevebrot Quote
Given that KMZ resumed production of the MC Helios 40-2 85/1.5 a few years ago and that one may purchase through Amazon for under $500 USD including shipping, the Somnium II is somewhat less attractive particularly considering that the Helios has the preset aperture option.
I purchased my KMZ Helios-40-2 new from a reputable eBay seller in Russia for $330 including shipping. They had several for sale, and had already sold a number of them according to the eBay listing. Mine arrived well packed, boxed with the factory seal intact, and in perfect condition.

One observation I'd make about the Helios-40-2 is that it exhibits somewhat low contrast wide open, especially in very bright light. The wide-open portrait image shown for the Somnium shows greater contrast and colour saturation than my Helios, but a quick tweak of contrast, clarity and vibrance sliders in Lightroom gets my images looking just like that. If the Somnium produces images like this without any post-processing, it may have better coatings and / or blackening of optical element edges and barrel internals. Or maybe they just tweaked those images in Lightroom, as I do
02-14-2018, 06:25 AM   #22
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I own the 75mm 1.9 from Optik Meyer as well as the 58mm 1.9, and while I dont understand the inner workings of the lenses, i can tell you that visually, the lenses themselves are very nice. Typically, i find chinese made product were poorly packaged. The packaging quality of the optik meyer lenses i owned was something else. It beats the packaging of all the lenses I've bought, and I've bought many. Not quite sure if it was a kickstarter thing.
They were adamant that these were hand assembled in germany, and thats what took so long for the kickstarter to fulfill its obligations. The lenses were gorgeous, their communication was outrageously bad, lol. It was a typical german product.

I am very happy with the lenses I own, but I acknowledge that I may have some emotional investment here. But just wanted to give my two cents.
02-14-2018, 08:04 AM   #23
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QuoteOriginally posted by BigMackCam Quote
I purchased my KMZ Helios-40-2 new from a reputable eBay seller in Russia for $330 including shipping. They had several for sale, and had already sold a number of them according to the eBay listing. Mine arrived well packed, boxed with the factory seal intact, and in perfect condition.

One observation I'd make about the Helios-40-2 is that it exhibits somewhat low contrast wide open, especially in very bright light. The wide-open portrait image shown for the Somnium shows greater contrast and colour saturation than my Helios, but a quick tweak of contrast, clarity and vibrance sliders in Lightroom gets my images looking just like that. If the Somnium produces images like this without any post-processing, it may have better coatings and / or blackening of optical element edges and barrel internals. Or maybe they just tweaked those images in Lightroom, as I do
I would second that. I have a 1963 Helios 40, and wide open contrast can be very low. But it's not always low, and I haven't figured out what affects it. I also found that I can't always bring it back in PP. I like Helios 40 on film though. Really ethereal images, if you nail the focus.

02-14-2018, 08:08 AM   #24
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QuoteOriginally posted by IgorZ Quote
I have a 1963 Helios 40
... and I have serious lens envy
02-14-2018, 08:19 AM - 1 Like   #25
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QuoteOriginally posted by BigMackCam Quote
... and I have serious lens envy
that makes two of us then, you have quite a collection!
02-14-2018, 08:30 AM   #26
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QuoteOriginally posted by IgorZ Quote
I have a 1963 Helios 40...... if you nail the focus.
Is that the silver helios?
Yeah. lol. I stupidly threw away the tripod mount. Its not easy to hand hold. It weights a few tons. I take it out once in a while to admire it but i never use it for serious shooting.
02-14-2018, 09:58 AM   #27
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QuoteOriginally posted by D4rknezz Quote
Is that the silver helios?
Yeah. lol. I stupidly threw away the tripod mount. Its not easy to hand hold. It weights a few tons. I take it out once in a while to admire it but i never use it for serious shooting.
yes, that's the one. It's kind of funny using it with the LX... The story of the two extremes - small and light with big and heavy...
02-14-2018, 11:26 AM   #28
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At that price I'd rather get the Speedmaster 85 1.2 which looks superior in any way except maybe the swirly bokeh that is personal preference anyway. That one can be had for around $600 and it's a faster lens, apparently sharper than Canon 85 1.2

I'd imagine focusing with such shallow dof is a pain in the butt though
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