First Feels of Helios

On Red 05

All my packages have started to arrive in these past few days! ^-^ It's been somewhat confusing at times when I've gotten notices from customs and I have to wonder for a while which of my orders this particular customs' slip is for! XD But yesterday I got my adapter (which came fast! From China via airmail) and today I collected my Helios 44-2 from the post office. I'll do a proper review with photos of these products later, hopefully during the weekend, but I'll say now that the adapter is great especially for the price paid and I'm really liking the vintage lense so far.

On Red 01

All of these photos were shot with the Helios 44-2, with aperture of f2 and shutter speed of 60-100. Sorry I don't have the exact value, because I was testing it out.

I noticed a bright red coloured shoe box in our closet and thought the box cover would do for a makeshift backdrop. I then chose Rigel as my victim of the day. I took these in nighttime, with warm artificial spotlights. I've retouched the colour warmth (to make it much colder) and adjusted brightness/contrast to make up for the bad lighting. So for now I can't say anything about Helios' actual colour-tone or contrast.

On Red 02

Some Helioses have been criticised about not-so-perfect clarity but I can say that even with these test shots it was much easier to get a properly focused photo with Helios than with my Canon 50mm f1.8 (even when stopped down to f2). The focus ring on the Helios is very firm, so when I adjust the focus, I know for sure that it'll stay on the spot I want it to be.

On Red 03

The aperture blades move very smoothly for such an old lense (as some have had experiences with oily blades on Helioses) and can be adjusted from f2 to f16 without any hard stops. Although I think that like with my older 50mm lense, I'll mostly be using the Helios with the largest aperture possible at all times XD Girl loves her bokeh, what can I say?

And speaking of which, the notorious swirly bokeh can't sadly be seen yet. :( I've read that it needs about medium distance to target and from target to background to show up, so my very close quarters photographing of a tiny doll isn't up to showcasing it at all.

On Red 04

This last photo (as well as the very first one on the top) was taken with free-hand and even then the focus is spot on for me. Although the reason why managed to take an unblurry photo without a tripod in poor lighting conditions is because this lense is bright.  I have never been able to take photos with the speed of 1/100 with my Canon lenses indoors!

I have no idea why, but if I adjust the shutter speed so I see a properly lit image n the Live View, the actual photo is overburnt. I have to speed up the shutter at least three clicks to get a decent photo. Live View looks way too dark by then and looking from the viewfinder the image is mostly black. XD This will need some getting used to though, since I still needed to correct the photos afterwards to brighten them up just a bit.


  1. This was fantastic, thanks for sharing!!! Can't wait to see the full possibilities of the bokeh effect with this lens~

    I'm such a stalker, I saw the photos on flickr and thought that maybe there was something here too XD

    The photos turned out very nice!! I always do a bit of lighting edit in photoshop anyways, so the photo doesn't have to be perfect directly from the came and that's okay
    I still can't shoot in artificial light ;_; ... I mean I can but everything turns out useless XD

    1. The editing was quite heavy for these photos, but I would have had to make at least the same amount of editing using any other lense as well. But so far it still feels that indoor photography would be easier with the Helios than with my Canon glass.
      Using Helios won't be as fast as with my Canons, as focusing takes more time, but it is more precise. So I'll probably stick to my old lenses if I want to take people portraits (at least until I became a true pro with the Helios), but for stationary dolls it is quite perfect :3

  2. Haha, at first glance I thought you had bought a surprise Soom Heliot when I read that post title! XD

    Ooh, awesome, crisp and clear pictures!! :O I'm impressed!

    1. That would have been a nice surprise for me too :D Heliot is awesome, but so far I'm satisfied at admiring them from afar. (Like the unicorns they are ;) ) Although "First Feels of Helios" would sound even pervier XD


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