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09-05-2016, 05:43 AM   #1
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Helios M44 4 on K3 aperture/exposure issues

My experimenting with manual lenses on the K3 continues and I'm a bit frustrated despite getting some lovely results. I've just put a Helios M44 4 on using a cheap simple adapter. Fits securely, looks great and can't seem to control aperture/exposure using green button. All worked fine with my 135mm k mount and green button previously. Could someone put me right on this?

The frustration is not simply about not getting it to work properly but to do with how much trickier my K3 is compared to a fujifilm x-e2 I also use. With the x-e2, I put a manual prime lens on with an appropriate adapter then focus, adjust aperture and shoot. Focus peaking, which is adjustable to taste, is better to work with than the K3. I also have easy control over shutter speed and can use auto iso. It exposes with little difficulty and always recognises the aperture correctly - no need to hit an extra green button . I'm a bit surprised the K3, given Pentax's access to so many lovely old lenses - an important reason buying my first Pentax - is so much less intuitive and effective. The green button stopping down, when it's worked, slows me down even if I don't want it to. Hitting the green button is fiddly to hit precisely for me. Auto iso, I believe, is not an option and I've made reference in another thread to the process of getting to a chosen shutter speed by having to shift the iso till you've got it. Love the K3 when I get it right. Love the manual lenses in terms of price/quality but this is all swaying me away from using the K3 with manual lenses, when my x-e2 is so much easier to work with.

I know there are work rounds, but am I missing something else. I could persevere till the method is second nature, but should it not be more fluid and simpler if fuji have managed to achieve this? I'm certainly sticking with the K3, but already thinking it's best not to use fully manual lenses with it but seek auto aperture instead.

09-05-2016, 05:49 AM   #2
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Green button stop down only works with K-mount lenses. Just put the camera on Av or TaV and focus and stop down manually. Do you have an adapter with a flange or one that falls entirely into the mount? Flanged ones will make you lose infinity focus.
09-05-2016, 05:49 AM   #3
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The Helios is an automatic m42 lens so you do not neet to ise the green button, but you do need to modify the lens as to keep the aperture pin pushed. to do this you must take the lens mount down from the lens and improvise something that will push down on the aperture lever. it is an easy fix, it takes about 3 minutes and requires no skill whatsoever, just a screwdriver. just take your time and remember to put the mount back the same it was.

it works like you have the green button pushed all the time... changing aperture on the lens changes it real time, not when the picture is taken. that is why the best m42 lenses are preset or have an auto-manual switch so u fosu wide open then stop sown and take the picture

Last edited by robiles; 09-05-2016 at 06:00 AM.
09-05-2016, 06:08 AM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by robiles Quote
The Helios is an automatic m42 lens so you do not neet to ise the green button, but you do need to modify the lens as to keep the aperture pin pushed. to do this you must take the lens mount down from the lens and improvise something that will push down on the aperture lever. it is an easy fix, it takes about 3 minutes and requires no skill whatsoever, just a screwdriver. just take your time and remember to put the mount back the same it was.
No need. it Has an Auto/Manual switch. or A/M That needs to be set to manual.

09-05-2016, 06:13 AM   #5
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The Helio 44 has one but the 44-4 does not. it was my first m42 lens and converted it myself.
09-05-2016, 06:22 AM   #6
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Did you try aperture priority mode?
09-05-2016, 06:30 AM   #7
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This one has:

QuoteOriginally posted by dimitrygo:
The last addition - very unusual Helios 44M-4:





As you can see it has:
1. A/M switch, unusual for this model and of unusual shape
2. very wide focus ring
3. focus ring turns into an opposite direction
4. unusual coating (gold - light magenta - light violet)
5. 6 digits number as some export models
6. label in russian (not so uncommon for this model though)

I am not sure but I think the focus ring and coating of this model are similar to Helios-44K-4
09-05-2016, 06:43 AM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by D1N0 Quote
This one has:
this is the first time i see this lens and i have seen a few helios.

but still i consider it wrong to give an advice based on a picture of a lens that might be one of a kind, pr maybe 1 in 1000.

09-05-2016, 07:11 AM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by robiles Quote
this is the first time i see this lens and i have seen a few helios.

but still i consider it wrong to give an advice based on a picture of a lens that might be one of a kind, pr maybe 1 in 1000.
Yeah I am a bad boy.
09-05-2016, 07:32 AM   #10
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I have a K mount Helios 44 so I can go green
09-05-2016, 09:08 AM   #11
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For the OP:
  • Your lens is auto-aperture* and is stopped down using the pin on the mount face
  • While some variants in the Helios 44 series have either a preset aperture or an A/M switch, yours does not
  • Your lens will work fine on an M42 body that supports its aperture automation. That would include all M42 cameras that I am aware of.
  • If you wish to have a working iris diaphragm when adapted to another mount, you will have to perform a little surgery to convert the lens to full time manual aperture
  • Converting the mechanism is not hard and is usually fully reversible. The most common methods involve putting a tubular "sleeve" over the pin to serve as a stand-off such that the lens is always stopped down. There are instructions online on how this is done.
Once converted, you have a couple of options in regards to metering when using the optical viewfinder, all of which require stopping the lens down:
  • Av mode is the most common. The body will choose a shutter speed for you according to the amount of light reaching the meter at the various apertures.
  • M mode with green button (not just for K-mount!!). Manually set the desired aperture and press the green button to get the a metered shutter speed. The advantage is easy exposure compensation/bracketing without fiddling with those features.
  • M mode with EV scale. This method is more involved and uses the optical DOF preview feature. Stop the lens down to the desired aperture and move the DOF preview/power switch to the DOF preview position. The EV scale in the optical viewfinder may then be used to dial in a metered shutter speed. This method works better with K-mount lenses and with shutter speed assigned to the rear e-dial.
I must add a short note regarding stop-down metering on dSLR cameras. Reliability of the metered results is somewhat variable when done with the optical viewfinder. This is the case across brands and the explanation is long and involved. Current model Pentax dSLR are better in this regard in comparison to past models, but I strongly recommend "chimping" the exposure and adjusting to need if exposure is critical.

After having said the above, for the highest exposure accuracy with stop-down metering, live view (LV) using Av mode is your best option.


Steve

* Automatic aperture actuation, meaning that the lens has a mechanism to stop down for exposure and open back up afterwards. This is not the same as automated aperture control by the body. Most modern lenses feature "auto" aperture in normal use. A few exceptions include tilt/shift lenses, adapted lenses, and bellows operation.

Last edited by stevebrot; 09-05-2016 at 10:20 AM.
09-05-2016, 10:08 AM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by D1N0 Quote
This one has:
That is a very cool Helios 44M-4 and appears to be late production (1982) from the serial number. The mount has additional linkage that would indicate use with a specific (prototype?) body. Very interesting indeed!

Edit: I wonder if this lens with its strange coupling was intended for the Zenit 18 body.


Steve

Last edited by stevebrot; 09-05-2016 at 10:14 AM.
09-05-2016, 12:29 PM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by stevebrot Quote
That is a very cool Helios 44M-4 and appears to be late production (1982) from the serial number. The mount has additional linkage that would indicate use with a specific (prototype?) body. Very interesting indeed!

Edit: I wonder if this lens with its strange coupling was intended for the Zenit 18 body.


Steve
It reminds me a Praktika MTL3 with a 50/1,8 auto pentacon wich also had "auto mode" but camera was "manual" aha , from wiki:
l. The auto option allows full aperture composition even when the aperture ring is set to, say f/8.

It may be something similar, open aperture metering
09-05-2016, 01:53 PM   #14
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No k mount versions of helios 44M need a little work on the lens. It is a reversible pocess. This is the way I proceded:




















Enjoy the lens!!
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