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Forum: Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 11-04-2014, 04:56 PM  
Square Bokeh modification to Helios 44-2 (Tutorial)
Posted By stubyles
Replies: 16
Views: 11,808
Ok, so I've been modifying the ubiquitous Helios 44-2 to give it an aperture that produces square bokeh.
This is not a cardboard cutout in front of the lens but an alteration to the aperture blades.
Below is the whole process with lots of pictures.

A word of warning before we start:
This procedure is not a complex idea, it's simple, But it requires a high level of technical skill. It is very tricky and there is a high probability that most people who are not used to taking fiddly things apart and altering them will screw-up their lens. That being said, these are not expensive lenses so a replacement will not break the bank.

I would not advise starting with your best Helios (if you have more than 1), if your 1 and only helios 44-2 is in great condition then you might want to buy another one for your first attempt.

By the way, this will only work with the Helios 44-2 which has 8 blades anchored at each end.
There may be other lenses where this is possible but I haven't found any yet.

I will not be held in any way responsible if you screw up your lens, you have been warned.

If you don't feel comfortable taking on this task you may find one of these lenses (and maybe some other interesting lenses) for sale on my ebay account here:
superchameleon | eBay

First off we need to release the focusing mechanism from the optical assembly. This just unscrews. Hold the lens by the base and unscrew the optical assembly using the preset aperture rings (if it's never been taken apart it might need a sharp turn to start it, it's a normal thread - anti-clockwise to release)

Put the focussing assembly to one side.

Unscrew the rear lens assembly and put it to one side (being careful not to scratch the glass elements).

Now take note of the amount of thread protruding from beneath the aperture ring (where the screwdriver tip is pointing), you'll need to get this right when re-assembling the lens (taking a photo of this part will be useful).

Now remove the aperture ring limiting screw with a flat screwdriver.

Then carefully remove the aperture actuating screw (this is screwed into a plastic ring so be gentle).

Unscrew the aperture ring (normal thread), holding the preset ring.

Clean off the grease from the threads and locate the grub-screw which holds the aperture assembly in place, unscrew this grub-screw (be careful it's very small and easy to break).

Now you can unscrew the aperture assembly from the front optics.

Note the position of the screw-hole in the plastic aperture ring through the cutout in the side of the aperture assembly.

Carefully release the spring-clip and remove it from inside the aperture assembly.

Carefully lift out the plastic aperture ring.

Now you can see the aperture blades, note the orientation of the blades (another photo here would be advisable).

Tip the blades out onto a suitable surface, you may have to use a small screwdriver blade to gently push the anchor pins through from the other side.

Gently wipe any oil from the blades with a soft absorbant cloth.

Now the modification:
I've used a five pence piece (approximately 18mm diameter) clamped onto the blade, equidistant from each end and covering approximately 2.5mm of the blade width at the middle. Do not cover too much of the blade or you will weaken it too much.

Now with a scalpel cut round the coin making sure to keep the blade against the coins edge. It will take several scores to cut the blade, start gently and increase the pressure with each score until the free (exposed) part of the blade comes away by itself. you must not bend the blade.

Using the flat scalpel edge angled down and flat against the blade, smooth the edge of the blade, trying not to apply to much force which will curl the blade up. The flatter you keep the blade here, the easier it will be to re-assemble the blades.

This is what the part under the coin should look like.
Repeat this procedure with 3 other blades.
You should end up with 4 modified blades and 4 untouched blades.

Now re-assemble the blades in the aperture assembly, alternating between modified and untouched blades (this may take several tries, remove small children and other sensitive souls from the room). Make sure the blades are oriented the correct way.

Next place the plastic aperture ring back over the blades, note the orientation of the screw-hole compared to the cutout in the aperture housing. You may need to carefully re-position the blade pins with a small screwdriver into the slots in the plastic ring.

Replace the spring clip, positioning the gap opposite to the cutout in the aperture housing, make sure it is properly seated in the groove in the housing (you should be able to rotate the clip easily).

Now if you carefully rotate the plastic ring the aperture should open and close easily. If you've got it right you should be feeling very smug right now.

Screw the aperture assembly back onto the front optic assembly.

Replace the grub-screw

Screw the aperture ring back on refering to the picture you took of the protruding thread.

Replace the aperture actuating screw being careful not to over tighten it (you're screwing it into the plastic ring).

Replace the aperture ring limiting screw making sure it finishes flush.

Screw the rear optical assembly back in, tighten gently with lens spanner if you have one.

Screw the optical assembly back into the focusing assembly fairly tightly.

Et Voila! you now have a Helios 44-2 that will produce lovely square bokeh.


If you haven't managed this mod successfully or if you don't feel comfortable taking on this task you may find one of these lenses (and maybe some other interesting lenses) for sale on my ebay account here:
superchameleon | eBay
Forum: Post Your Photos! 06-28-2018, 04:19 AM  
Landscape Macchapuchhre aka Fishtail
Posted By Alexander_Ravin
Replies: 7
Views: 228
Mount "FishTail". Sacred mountain for Hindus and Buddhists. The shelter of Shiva.
Never conquered by anyone. 6,998 m.
Forum: Weekly Photo Challenges 01-04-2018, 05:14 PM  
Weekly Challenge Picture of the Week (POTW) # 486 - Covering period 28 December 2017-10 January 2018
Posted By rjbrett
Replies: 5
Views: 874
Welcome to Picture of the Week (POTW) for the period 28 December - 10 January 2018. Thank you NoelCmn for asking me to host this week, and all are invited to contribute to this wonderful diverse thread.

POTW is a great spot to show off six or fewer shots you take or are editing within the thread's date range. In other words, you can post your shots from this week AND last week.

To post your great photos, just hit reply and attach away

feel free to start immediately, if not sooner


ē consider including in your post any special circumstances or tips on technique or equipment which might be interesting to others.

ē identify your camera and lens if that information is easily available to you.

And please invite other Pentaxians to join us.

Some rules:
1) No theme, just post your favorite pix
2) Six or fewer images per person per thread to prevent thread bloat
3) Any Pentax, Ricoh or Samsung camera, film or digital

The current host will invite a new host via Private Message (PM), but if you are interested and willing to host POTW, please send me a PM, before I contact others.

Read more at: Picture of the Week (POTW) # 485- Covering period 20 December 2017-3 January 2018 - If possible, the new thread will be linked to the previous one. If the thread doesn't start, please contact the host, via PM.
Here are the records of recent POTW thread hosts: 390 smf, 391 smf, 392 smf, 393 smf, 394 smf, 395 smf, 396 smf, 397 smf, 398 smf, 399 smf, 400 smf, 401 smf, 402 smf, 403 smf, 404 smf, 405 smf, 406 smf,407 ramseybuckeye, 408 ramseybuckeye, 409 stubyles, 410 stubyles, 411 stubyles, 412-423 SD_Bob, 424-427 dave kitson 428-451 smf 452, 453, 454 StephenHampshire 455 Aslyfox, 456 StepehenHampshire, 457 noelcmn, 458 noelcmn, 459 noelcmn, 460 noelcmn, 461 noelcmn, 462 noelcmn, 463 noelcmn, 464 noelcmn, 465 noelcmn, 466 noelcmn, 467 Aslyfox, 469-470 aaacb 471 Madmathmind, 472 Madmathmind, 473 Eva, 474 rjbrett, 475 Aslyfox, 476-Noelcmn, 477 noelcmn, 478 noelcmn, 479 noelcmn, 480 noelcmn, 481 noelcmn, 482-noelcmn, 483 noelcmn

Iíve had a busy week and not had much time to get photos together so Iíve pulled a few older Caplio GX100 and Optio A30 pics from my hard drive and resized and lightly processed them. I got by on these two cameras for about 10 years before buying the K5 last year., appreciating and using the full manual control each gave, a rarer thing in smaller format cameras when I bought them.

Several years ago we had weather that coincided so perfectly with the breeding cycle of these blue butterflies that they increased almost to plague proportions in this part of the world. I spent several days chasing them round the garden with my two small cameras, hoping the neighbours wouldnít notice. I donít think they didÖ. They never said anything. :). It was about this time I started thinking I could use the interchangeable lenses and features of a dslr.

Iíve tried several different varieties of orchids here over the years, and without a greenhouse have found Cattleya hybrids do particularly well. Iíd never seen the pink rain lillies before moving here, but they do flower reliably before rain! The larger white Brisbane lilly is endemic to this area, and apparently used to grow abundantly along the banks of the Brisbane river.

This suburb was new when we moved in but as it has aged the insect populations have changed. Iím not sure if this is a natural progression as the built environment develops or due to some other ecological cause, but we had a great many of these little bugs for about 2 years. They look good, but did strip several well established shrubs, ruining them.

The butterfly, Rain Lilly, and white Cattleya were taken with the Caplio, the others with the Optio.

Read more at: Picture of the Week (POTW) # 485- Covering period 20 December 2017-3 January 2018 -
Forum: Post Your Photos! 09-26-2017, 07:00 AM  
Macro Spider on the Rider.
Posted By DW58
Replies: 11
Views: 462
Seems to have worked for him. There were two flies struggling in the web when I shot this.
Forum: Welcomes and Introductions 09-26-2017, 03:21 AM  
Took the plunge after years of reading (and a recent camera-accident)
Posted By PJ1
Replies: 6
Views: 546
Not the best way to meet, but welcome to the Forums. And get that replacement working!
Forum: Welcomes and Introductions 09-26-2017, 02:54 AM  
Took the plunge after years of reading (and a recent camera-accident)
Posted By Kerrowdown
Replies: 6
Views: 546
Welcome aboard, the ideal excuse for buying lots of Pentax "replacement" kit. :D
Forum: Welcomes and Introductions 09-26-2017, 12:01 AM  
Took the plunge after years of reading (and a recent camera-accident)
Posted By redpit
Replies: 6
Views: 546
Welcome to PF! Sorry for your accident, I hope you find a good replacement camera soon and post some pics!
Forum: Welcomes and Introductions 09-25-2017, 11:02 PM  
Took the plunge after years of reading (and a recent camera-accident)
Posted By pjv
Replies: 6
Views: 546
Hi from Australia torashi, and welcome to the Pentax forums. Sorry to hear about your camera, but good to have you here.:)
Forum: Post Your Photos! 09-25-2017, 05:40 PM  
Macro Spider on the Rider.
Posted By DW58
Replies: 11
Views: 462
Apparently it's time to get the riding lawn mower up and running again. Somebody's set up house next to the seat. :)
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