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03-26-2020, 12:10 PM   #1
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Helios 44M-7

Hi all.

I am new to the forum so if i make any Faux Pars please do excuse me.


I found myself here after doing some research on the Zenit Helios 44M-7.
I already own several vintage lenses, one being the 44M-4 which i love btw , the Pentax SMC Takumar 50mm 1.4 another firm favourite of mine, and a lovely pin sharp yashica yashinon 50mm F2.

I would love to find a reputable seller of the Helios 44M-7 Lens and was wondering if anybody here on the forum could PM me with any information as to who would be a reputable seller.


Many thanks.

03-26-2020, 12:36 PM   #2
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Welcome to the forums

As you may be aware, there are many fake 44M-7 lenses for sale, especially on eBay - so be very careful when buying.

By far my favourite seller of Soviet lenses is "artemstore" on eBay. His items tend to cost a little more, but they are genuine, usually excellent condition or better (and always honestly described), and typically serviced before sale. I've had a number of lenses from him. He's great to deal with, especially on the rare occasions where a lens doesn't meet expectations for one reason or another.

He has at least one genuine 44M-7 for sale right now:

?Original-100%? MC HELIOS 44m-7 58mm f/2 Lens M42 +Adapt. Fuji X-Mount FX Camera | eBay

I have no affiliation with the seller - I'm just a satisfied customer of several years

Last edited by BigMackCam; 03-26-2020 at 01:28 PM.
03-26-2020, 01:30 PM   #3
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Hi great to be here.

Many thanks for the info, it's most kind of you to point me in the right direction.
03-26-2020, 01:32 PM   #4
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For that price I would look for a Zenitar-m 50mm 1.7 instead. One Helios is another Helios. I have three (44-2/44m/44m6) and the difference between them is very hard to notice.

03-26-2020, 01:59 PM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by D1N0 Quote
For that price I would look for a Zenitar-m 50mm 1.7 instead. One Helios is another Helios. I have three (44-2/44m/44m6) and the difference between them is very hard to notice.
I'll have to take issue with your "one Helios is another Helios" claim. The 44M-7 shares the same optical formula as its 44, 44-2, 44M and other 44M-x stable-mates, but it's the sharpest of the bunch. Multi-coated versions of any revision are typically much better than the non-coated, whilst late 60s / early 70s 44-2 models have what I personally consider to be the nicest coatings of all in terms of rendering colour.

There's a wide variety of Helios, Zenitar and other Soviet lenses (most of which I own and have shot with) that all have notable differences in optical formula, centre resolution, edge resolution, out-of-focus rendering at each aperture, flare resistance etc. Some of the differences are quite subtle, some really quite pronounced. How noticeable they are will depend on what you shoot and how you shoot it.

The Helios-44M-7 and Zenitar-M 1.7/50, whilst sharing similarities in the six element optical design, are far from optically the same.

Here's the optical forumla for the 44M-7:



... and now, the Zenitar-M 1.7/50:



If the OP actually wants a 44M-7, that's what he should buy. If he merely wants a Soviet lens at or around this focal length and is willing to consider other models, there are arguably some other options which, subjectively, might be considered "better" and/or better value, depending on his preferences

EDIT: Some ideas that spring to mind... yes, the Zenitar-M 1.7/50; it's oft-forgotten cousin (and one of my favourites) the Zenitar-M 1.9/50 (similar six element formula, yet as different again); plastic-fantastic Zenitar-M2s 2/50 (horribly built, but great optically); Helios 77M-4 1.8/50; Volna-1 1.8/50... all with different rendering characteristics, all well worth considering

Last edited by BigMackCam; 03-26-2020 at 02:25 PM.
03-26-2020, 02:13 PM   #6
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You have already received some good responses so I will just say Welcome to Pentax Forums
03-26-2020, 04:13 PM   #7
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Welcome to the forum from the Highlands of Scotland
03-27-2020, 12:12 PM   #8
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Welcome to Pentax Forums.

03-27-2020, 01:48 PM - 1 Like   #9
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Locating an original 44m-7 can be a bit of a minefield. There is a lot of info that can be found via a Google search.
Example; taken from:- New old stock Helios 44M-7 lenses

PostPosted: Mon Mar 06, 2017 6:08 am
"Unfortunately, version 44M-7 is rarely found even in Russia. I bought a copy for about USD 20 (if converted at current exchange rate) in mint condition with the camera.
In Russia, the price of different versions are practically identical. The reason is that here everyone knows - in the case of Helios lenses the quality is not determined by the numbers on the body Smile It can be very bad genuine 44M-7, and very good 44M-5. It can be very good 44M-7 and very bad 44M-5, 44M-6, and so on. It is a matter of luck. So I always advise to check Helios lenses before purchase (regardless of version), or buy only from familiar.
And another common misconception. Many people think that first produced 44M-5, then 44M-6, then 44M-7. This is absolutely not true, it's not chronological numbering. All these versions were released simultaneously. The lenses were tested, and, depending on whether the resolving power was at each particular instance, it is assigned an index of 5, 6 or 7. Thus, version 44M-7 - the best on the lines per mm parameter. Theoretically Smile In practice, it depends on many other factors. For example, how much was drunk worker who made the lens. My copy 44M-7 much better the original German Biotar. But I have met and utterly horrible copies of 44M-7 (not fakes!).
44M-7 with 8 blades - it is 100% fake. But not the fact that it is a bad lens, if you're lucky, it may be better than the genuine 44M-7.
44M-7 has ONLY six blades and NOT have switch A/M. 44M-7 was produced in only one plant (Jupiter in the city of Valdai) - logo in the form of arrow with the circle. The first two digits of the serial number, usually 91, 92, 93 (years of release). Front ring with lens name may be of metal or plastic (plastic - not a sign of a fake, it is a normal feature of the later copies, attempt to reduce the cost of production). Weight - 270 grams (early Helios, such as 44-2, have less weight).
In addition, there are two different lenses with similar names - Helios-44M-7 and Helios-44-7 (rare lens for Zenit-7 camera only). Do not confuse them.
Greetings from Russia."

As always with these things, research is crucial. A smattering of good luck also helps.

Good luck on your search.
6 Days Ago   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by Pedrodelta Quote
Locating an original 44m-7 can be a bit of a minefield. There is a lot of info that can be found via a Google search.
Example; taken from:- New old stock Helios 44M-7 lenses

PostPosted: Mon Mar 06, 2017 6:08 am
"Unfortunately, version 44M-7 is rarely found even in Russia. I bought a copy for about USD 20 (if converted at current exchange rate) in mint condition with the camera.
In Russia, the price of different versions are practically identical. The reason is that here everyone knows - in the case of Helios lenses the quality is not determined by the numbers on the body Smile It can be very bad genuine 44M-7, and very good 44M-5. It can be very good 44M-7 and very bad 44M-5, 44M-6, and so on. It is a matter of luck. So I always advise to check Helios lenses before purchase (regardless of version), or buy only from familiar.
And another common misconception. Many people think that first produced 44M-5, then 44M-6, then 44M-7. This is absolutely not true, it's not chronological numbering. All these versions were released simultaneously. The lenses were tested, and, depending on whether the resolving power was at each particular instance, it is assigned an index of 5, 6 or 7. Thus, version 44M-7 - the best on the lines per mm parameter. Theoretically Smile In practice, it depends on many other factors. For example, how much was drunk worker who made the lens. My copy 44M-7 much better the original German Biotar. But I have met and utterly horrible copies of 44M-7 (not fakes!).
44M-7 with 8 blades - it is 100% fake. But not the fact that it is a bad lens, if you're lucky, it may be better than the genuine 44M-7.
44M-7 has ONLY six blades and NOT have switch A/M. 44M-7 was produced in only one plant (Jupiter in the city of Valdai) - logo in the form of arrow with the circle. The first two digits of the serial number, usually 91, 92, 93 (years of release). Front ring with lens name may be of metal or plastic (plastic - not a sign of a fake, it is a normal feature of the later copies, attempt to reduce the cost of production). Weight - 270 grams (early Helios, such as 44-2, have less weight).
In addition, there are two different lenses with similar names - Helios-44M-7 and Helios-44-7 (rare lens for Zenit-7 camera only). Do not confuse them.
Greetings from Russia."

As always with these things, research is crucial. A smattering of good luck also helps.

Good luck on your search.
Hi there.


Thanks very much for the information, picking through E-bay for this lens felt a bit like trying to do soduko (the difficult one) whilst loudly chewing bubblegum, but through sheer will dogged perseverance and after experiencing a small amount of desperation and tunnel vision I bought a lens.

Hopefully it might just be a good one.

Thank you for taking the time out to reply to me its most kind.

All my best to you.

Regards

Gary.
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