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.
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)