In our last Community post about bokeh, Susan Licht shared a photo taken with a Helios lens. I loved the sparkly raindrops in the photo, and so I decided to see what this lens was all about.
I purchased the vintage Russian-made Helios 44-2 58mm f/2 Lens online — they are very affordable (under $60) — and it arrived in a few weeks. It seems most comparable to my 50 mm f/1.8 lens, though it is completely manual and a bit heavier since it is mostly metal rather than plastic. It comes with an adapter ring for your brand of camera.
I took it on a walk this week to see what it could do. I started at home, indoors, and then ventured out on a sunny morning, with all the spring flowers popping.
I didn’t capture any of the swirly bokeh that the lens is noted for, but that’s OK — I think that that quirk would get boring if that was all the lens could do. From what I’ve read it is supposed to be a good portrait lens as well, so I’ll have to test that out. I did find that the focusing was a bit challenging — discovering the sweet spot took some practice. But I’ll continue to play with this lens, and keep it in my camera bag for just the right moments. Thanks for introducing me to a new lens, Susan!
These are all gorgeous, Lucy! It does take some getting used to. I’ve found the key to getting that swirly bokeh is getting the right angle to the light and keeping a certain distance away from the subject. Very funky lens but fun to play with.
These are gorgeous! So exciting!
Love them! A funky lens indeed! You’re both tempting me to get one!!
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