5x12 pentomino tiling

Helios 44-2 58mm f/2

I'm squarely blaming Beth for this one as she turned my head towards it. This lens is one of the most mass produced lenses ever and although the production has since stopped, there are still millions of them around. It's a copy of the Carl Zeiss Biotar 58mm, a design which dates back to the 1920s! The Russians "acquired" the design after WWII.

Curiously, given its name, the Helios 44 is not a 44mm lens but a 58mm lens. It come in a variety of versions and mounts but this is the commonest, the M42 mount, and it's the 44-2 rather than the 44-M making it both light and smaller. Here it is mounted on my NEX6.

Helios-44-2 on my NEX-6

That mount does make it hang over the front a bit but whatever. The only problem I'm having with this lens so far are with aperture as the ring is very stiff and until I really tightened the lens up in the mount it kept unscrewing as I changed aperture. The other oddity is that it's got a stop down ring on the lens which has to be rotated fully anti-clockwise (when viewed from the front) to set the aperture you've pre-set on the main ring.

But here's one of the photos I got on my first outing.

Rowan taken with the Helios 44-2

Isn't that a cracker? That's taken at f/4 1/200s.

It's also pin sharp. Take this shot on the beach (f/4 1000s):

Beth and Jack on the beach

And here's a crop, with a bit of cleaning up using gimp.

Beth and Jack on the beach - crop

So I think of my current lens my "go to" lens are now this one, the RMC Tokina II 24mm f/2.8 as my general purpose semi-wide, and the Minolta MD Tele Rokkor 135mm f/3.5 when I need a moderate telephoto.

(I also have access to Beth's Samyang 12mm f/2 which I've not put on these pages, but perhaps I should.)

« RMC Tokina II TM 500mm f/8
Sony FE 70-200mm f/4 G OSS »

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