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Helios-44M  58 mm  f/ 2 Lens

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Helios-44M  58 mm  f/ 2 lens

Helios-44M  58 mm  f/ 2 lens

Helios-44M  58 mm  f/ 2 lens

Optical design

Helios-44M  58 mm  f/ 2 optical design

Helios-44M  58 mm  f/ 2 optical design

Format: 35mm SLR

Type: Prime lens

Focusing: Manual Focus (MF)

Lens mounts: M39, M42, Pentax K

First year of production: 1970

Optical design: 6 elements in 4 groups

User reviews (10)

Photos (44)

Tests (0)

Owners (125)

Views (71746)

Average price: $31


Focal lengthMax. apertureMin. apertureBladesMin. Focus (m.)Filter Ø (mm.)Weight (gr/oz)Length (mm/in)

Additional information:

The Helios-44M 58 mm  f/ 2 (Russian: "Гелиос") is a fast standard lens for a M42 screw mount.

Focal length: 58,6 mm
Angle of view: 40° 28'
Light diameter of first surface: 29,5 mm
Light diameter of last surface: 24,7 mm
Geometrical vignetting: 58%
Mimimal aperture: 1:16-1:22
Maximum diameter of a barrel: 60-64 mm
Weight: 230/270/300/350 gr

The Helios 44M is six lens anastigmat with a single coating or multicoating (MC). It's prototype was Biotar 2/58 (Carl Zeiss Jena).

 By optical design it is Planar. It was one of the most spreaded lens in USSR and it was a kit lens for Zenit cameras. There were several modifications of Helios-44. Different mounts: Start-bayonet, M39, М42 and К-bayonet (Pentax).

In 70s manual diaphragm operation changed to the instant-return diaphragm thus added letter "M" to lens name. Letter "K" instead of "M" means K-mount (Pentax). In earlier versions there were 13 or 8 diaphragm blades but in latest versions only 6 blades were placed.

Helios-44M is sufficiently sharp. Maximum of sharpness can be achieved at aperture F5.6-8. Lens has a nice bokeh but sometimes it turns "swirly bokeh". I haven't seen CA while using this lens.

Helios-44M 58 mm f/2 is a multi-purpose lens. You can do all range of work: from portrait work to close-ups with using of extending rings. All versions of this lens are very similar but they differs in resolution. Important role is played by quality of assembling of a specific copy.

Helios-44M is not flare-resistant thus a hood is recommended.

Sometimes is hard to focus cause of a long run of a focusing ring (270 degrees) - you have to find a middle of an  in-focus-zone. It can be achieved easier using LiveView 10x. 

Resolution  (center/edge):

Helios-44 -- 35/14 lp/mm
Helios -44-2 -- 38/20 lp/mm
Helios -44-7 -- 36/17 lp/mm
Helios-44М -- 38/19 lp/mm
MC Helios-44М-4 -- 41/20 lp/mm
MC Helios-44K-4 -- 42/21 lp/mm
MC Helios-44М-5 -- 41/20 lp/mm
MC Helios-44М-6 -- 45/25 lp/mm
MC Helios-44М-7 -- 50/30 lp/mm

Links to online resources:
Posted by: dv   Date of publication: 06.10.2010

Go to the discussion of this lens on sour forum (messages: 2)

Photos taken with this lens Helios-44M  58 mm  f/ 2:

F / 2
Autor: zunzara
5 0 5348

Summer Helios bokeh
Autor: Ferenc Boloni
5 0 1438

Autor: Kurdukov
5 0 4117

Autor: Werty
5 0 2517

Mechanical quality4.2829
Optical quality4.1629
Pricing / Value4.9129
Overall lens rating

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Owner reviews: Helios-44M  58 mm  f/ 2

Ferenc Boloni 29.05.2020 18:29:56
Period of use: 3 years


Nice sharp wide open and sharper than a lot of other Helios versions. This version has not the crazy swirly bokeh. It s possible to get really close photos almost like a macro lens.


This lens has no weakness.


This version of the lens goes closer to the old Zeiss lens a perfect round lot of bokeh no swirly.

James McDonald 05.08.2014 23:10:26
Period of use: 32 years


Cheap, well built, sharp, smooth focus.


Nothing at the price.


This lens always raises a smile being so cheap to buy and so sharp. I've had one since 1982. First lens I've ever owned.