Helios 44M is an improvement of the Helios 44-2 model with M42 connecting thread. A blinking diaphragm mechanism has been introduced. TTL open aperture metering can now be used with this lens.
Helios 44M 2/58 (Helios 44M 58/2)
Instances of Helios 44M for the most part have an inscription on the case in Latin, of the form Helios 44M. It seems to simplify production (first of all, in order not to launch a separate series of engraving for export).
The Helios 44M case is very similar to Pentacon 50mm f1.8, only looks more "clumsy", and used, also sloppy. But even despite the unsatisfactory cosmetic condition, the lenses retain their basic qualities - shooting on Helios can be a pleasure, as long as the glasses are without critical damage. frame lens made of aluminum, the paint is peeled off once or twice.
Scheme Helios 44M
Looks like a diagram Zeiss Biotar 58mm f / 2, the ancestor of all "Helios" is "Biotar Krasnogorsky". In turn, BTK was recalculated from Zeiss Biotar 2/58. The scheme of these lenses refers to the varieties of the planar.
Helios 44M in action
Focusing Helios 44M focusing range from 0,5 to approximately 14 meters, values on the focusing ring are approximate. There is a scale for calculating the hyperfocal distance lens, as well as calculating the depth of field. The output of the front edge of the lens frame at the maximum focusing distance is about 1,1 cm. Starting with Helios-44M, the model range has acquired a different position of the focusing ring. The focus ring has changed places with the aperture ring due to the introduction of a push mechanism. The aperture control has moved closer to the camera mount.
The Helios-44M focusing ring is grippy, ribbed, focusing is done by rotating the focusing ring around the lens unit axis. Native grease in the Helios 44M focusing mechanism thickens over time to such an extent that the lens has to be disassembled and serviced. A properly serviced lens, as a rule, does not have any comments on the rotation of the rings. How to service your Helios - in this article. In the cold, there were problems with the rotation of the rings - due to the old grease, the aperture ring and lens focusing could not be rotated. Replacing the grease with a new one eliminated the problems and returned a smooth ride to the controls.
Aperture Helios 44M
The first model of the Helios-44 series, which has a pressure diaphragm and a switch for its operation mode. There are eight aperture blades. Lenses produced after Helios-44M have only 6 blades. Insufficient blackening of the petals in Helios 44M leads to additional spurious illumination of the optics by re-reflected light.
The aperture on the body is set by a ring with a value lock. Switching occurs with considerable effort, there are intermediate values (half-stops). The relative aperture is adjustable from 1:2 on the open and up to 1:16 on the fully closed aperture.
Modern digital cameras estimate the exposure level in the frame at an open aperture lens (in fact, old films too). When using any manual lenses at aperture other than open, you will have to enter exposure compensation. In the case of this Helios, I had to correct it by 1 \ 3-2 \ 3 stops in minus.
In the resulting picture, in the out-of-focus area, there is a firm twisting of the background. Due to the shallow depth of field, the on-screen focusing mode has to be used much more often than with autofocus lenses. As an alternative to LiveView: you can use the distance scale of the lens itself, or use adapter rings with a focus confirmation chip (more expensive).
Depth of field control
Helios-44M will not be suitable for filming with sound without removing the aperture ring value; soft focus shifting, on-the-fly depth-of-field control. Since the "ratchet" makes loud clicks, and its hard switching will in any case affect the quality of shooting. The relative aperture of Helios-44M, as mentioned above, is adjustable from 1: 2 when the aperture is open and up to 1:16 when the diaphragm is fully closed. DOF is very small at a wide aperture. It is so small that it is almost impossible to get into focus even on cropped cameras without using additional funds.
Helios 44M lens aberration and bokeh
On the open aperture of the Helios 44M, there is a noticeable "twisting" in the out-of-focus area, as well as color aberrations in contrasting transitions. Twisting the background is highly regarded by some users as it gives the photo an extra artistic touch. Helios 44M turns the background noticeably stronger than Helios 44-2. Coma and distortion are well corrected in Helios 44M. The background twist is most pronounced when the distance to the subject is 2 meters, and to the background - 10. Moreover, it is advisable to choose tree branches as the background.
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