My new, old (vintage) lens has finally arrived from the Ukraine 🙂

It’s a Helios 44-2 58mm f/2. This ia Russian lens that was basically made after the war (WWII) to copy a German Ziess lens, but they didn’t get it totally right so in the right conditions the lens creates some lovely, swirly bokeh (if you’re still unsure what bokeh is, it’s the quality of the out of focus portions of an image, created by a combination of the depth of filed of the lens along with other factors like the aperture blades and the lens itself- there’s quite a good introduction to it in this article, here).

There’s a ton of info on these lenses on the web: for example, here, here, and this rather good video review, here.

Anyhow, I bought one on Ebay a couple of weeks ago, and it has taken two weeks to get here from Kiev. I didn’t get the cheapest one I could find, I looked for a nice, clean one in good condition, and luckily the Ebay seller seems to have described it quite accurately as it seems to be a very nice copy, I paid $48.95 including shipping.

As with the others, this needs an adapter to fit on my Canon, but this one doesn’t have any extra glass to degrade the image, it is a simple mechanical adapter from the old M42 screw mount of the lens to the EF mount on my 5Diii, I think it cost me $7. The lens is totally manual, and as before there will be a bit of a learning curve to get used to its idiosyncrasies and find the sweet spot for that awesome bokeh, but just the first time out with it this afternoon I am very happy with it 🙂 I have done nothing clever in post with these images, just a little tweak of contrast etc. in Lightroom- it is super sharp in the center and lovely and soft around the edges, and when you get it right the bokeh is wonderful…


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