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Helios 44-3   MC 58mm F2 Review RSS Feed

Helios 44-3 MC 58mm F2

Reviews Views Date of last review
2 41,847 Tue September 26, 2017
Recommended By Average Price Average User Rating
100% of reviewers $37.50 9.50
Helios 44-3   MC 58mm F2

Helios 44-3   MC 58mm F2
Helios 44-3   MC 58mm F2
Helios 44-3   MC 58mm F2

"Helios-44 is a series of standard lenses for SLR cameras, produced in Soviet Union by KMZ, MMZ, Jupiter from 1958 till 1992 (2001?) and it is considered to be one of most mass produced lenses in the world. Based on the lens Biotar 2 / 58 , at the beginning was called "... cyrillic " (BioTar Krasnogorski). A fast 6-element anastigmat, it was available in both single-coated and multi-coated versions.
The name of Helios lenses are usually writen as Helios-44X-N, where X -is the index of lens mount (M for m42 thread, K for Pentax K bayonet, Д for Zenit-D bayonet) and N is a optical resolution index 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7 (the higher number the higher is an optical resolution of lens)."
- camerapedia.
Helios 44-3 lens was made by MMZ (Minsk Mechanical Factory). it is a preset lens with the aperture rings at the front end.
NOTE that this lens is normally made for the Zenith which has a shorter registration distance than normal M42. This means that the mount needs to be filed to get infinity focus. This thread by Pepe Guitarra reviews the lens and describes the mod.

8 diaphragm blades.
F/2-16 max-min aperture (preset).
50cm minimum focusing distance.
Takes 52mm filters.
Weight: 230g
Length: 60mm
Mount Type: M42 Screwmount
Price History:

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Registered: September, 2013
Location: Cuenca
Posts: 594
Review Date: September 26, 2017 Recommended | Price: $60.00 | Rating: 9 

Pros: sharpness, color, contrast, fast, preset
Cons: slight softness on left and right edges
Sharpness: 9    Aberrations: 9    Bokeh: 9    Handling: 9    Value: 10    Camera Used: Sony Alpha a850   

I have three Helios 44's, the 44-3, a 44M-4, and a 44M-6. They are remarkable lenses, fast, extremely sharp, producing good color, and inexpensive. I bought the 44-3 last because of reviews I had read about it. It's bokeh has been likened to that of the 44-2 which is prized by many owners of that lens. It's also a preset lens and I like preset lenses. The 44-3 is considered to have better resolution than the 44-2 and is supposedly better manufactured. Not owning a 44-2 I can't vouch for either of those points, but I'm explaining why I chose the 44-3. Unfortunately, many of the 44-3's were manufactured for the Zenith m42 mount which has a different registration distance than the standard m42 mount. This required more than six hours of filing the distance ring (but I'm no craftsman) to enable good focus. The pictures speak for the results and the quality of the lens.
First photo taken at f2 and minimum focus distance; the second at f8; the third is a crop of the second; and the fourth was taken at f5.6.
Senior Member

Registered: December, 2013
Posts: 166
Review Date: April 30, 2015 Recommended | Price: $15.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: Acceptably sharp in the center from f2, from 2.2 it's sharp, lovely bokeh
Cons: Corners are soft until f4-5.6, little wobbly even on genuine adapter
Sharpness: 9    Aberrations: 9    Bokeh: 10    Handling: 7    Value: 10    Camera Used: K-5 II   

I added this lens because I wanted to give a review for this very good lens.

I've done some testings with Helios lenses (44M-7 and 44-3) and compared it with Super Takumar 55/1.8 and SMC-A 50/1.7.
I also have 44M which I'm now selling because it's worst among these three Helios lenses.
Picture is worth a thousand words, so here is the testings between them all.

Inside compare

Outside compare

One can find that 44M-7 is the most sharpest Helios 58mm lens (50/30 lp/mm). If I compare it with 44-3, then 44M-7 is sharper at f2 and f2.8 (it's really sharp), but from f3.5 it looks they are the same. Corners are better in 44-3.

My testings showed me that the best sharpness (center and corners) for 44M-7 lens is f9, and for 44-3 that's at f8. 44-3 is also a little wobbly on genuine m42-k adapter, but 44M-7 is solid as a rock.

For the end, one image taken through this lens.
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