Vintage Photography with Helios 44

While in lockdown I have been trying to experiment with my photography to learn more and to releive boredom. Last month I experimented with lensball photography, this month I try some sort of Vintage photography experiment.

The lens I choose to use was the Soviet made Helios 44-2, which despite its name is a 58mm F2 lens. This lens was chosen as it was easy and cheap to get hold of on eBay, my example cost £38. Also, some of the example photographs on the internet showed a lovely swily bokeh when shot with a wide aperture.

Vintage Photography . The Helios 44-2 58mm is one of the most mass produced lenses ever made and can be acquired rather cheaply. The results can be very soft when using this lens but the Bokeh is amazing. 

Helios 44-2 58mm lens

To use this lens on modern camera requires the use of adapters. I rushed in and just purchased a m42 to to z adapter, turns out this adapter is for microscopes and proved useless. Luckily it only cost several pounds however, still a waste of money.

To get this lens to work with my Nikon Z 6 I used an FTZ adapter along with a M42 to F adapter. The M42 to F adapter I used had a glass element which allows the Helios to focus to infinity. I have since discovered K&F Concept Lens Mount Adapter for M42 Mount Lens to Nikon Z Mount which also allows the lens to focus on infinity.

Obviously you don't buy this lens similar lenses for tack sharp images when there are so many modern lenses out there. If you experimenting with t giving your photos a vintage photography feel then the Helios is probably a good starting point. The gallery below were all taken with the Helios 44-2 mounted on a Nikon Z6

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2 comments on “Vintage Photography with Helios 44”

  1. (How) Does the Z6 metering work with lenses like the helios?
    Does it set the time automatically ( like a Canon EOS, Sony A7 or fuji XT) or does one have to adjust manually?

    I like to replace my Sony A7 which i use for my collection of ancient glass with a Z6 but can't find anything in the manual.

    Thankx, Hans Neinhuis

    1. It works but i dont think very well, I havent used it enough to qive an expert opinion. However the results I have got I have really liked, I think because it is mirrorless just been able to see in the EVF negates some of the issues with metering on. If you ask on the nikon z6 z7 shooters group on Facebook I think you will get a better anwser than the one I have given.

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