Thursday, January 13, 2011

Helios 44m-6 : the best bang for the buck M42?

I was thinking that I wanted a better camera and a more expensive lens, and while talking with a friend, he mentioned that most of my shots are abstracts and that they look quite decent, I told him that actually the most popular image on my flickr stream was taken with the Pentax KX and the old russian Helios 44m-6 that I had to modify to work properly .

 That got me thinking, so when I got home I looked through the shots i took with the 44M6 and decided to post process some of the others that I liked

 This is one of them, and I liked it because at the time I recall trying to angle the camera to grab the coloured lens flares in the  ice and water droplets . You can see the turqouise blue along the bottom about a 1/3 of the way from the left ( full size on my flickr page here: full size)

 Regarding the Helios 44 : What I have is the 6 iteration of it, and it cost me 48 dollars shipped! with lens caps and a metal hood , all of them are clones/copies of the excellent carl Zeiss Biotar 58mm/f 2 and each successive  version has its merits and drawbacks, some have 8 bladed or i believe 13 blade irises , some are single coated, ( mine is Multi ) and they are either fully manual, manual/auto or auto, so of course mine is Auto. That meant that it wouldnt step down as there wasnt anything in my camera to activate the machanism , so I took the bak off the lens, and put a piece of surgical tubing on the pin to keep it pushed it, in essence turning my 44M-6 into a fully manual lens and I think its a great piece of gear.

 If I had to choose 3 lenses to keep , this would be one of them , hop on ebay and see what you can find, you see 44m-2s for about 30 dollars and the optics are excellent

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