HELIOS 44m 58mm f/2 FIRST TEST + HELIOS vs Canon EF 50mm f/1.4

Above you can see a quick test I’ve done with this lens while out in a local park. It was really bright and I couldn’t use this lens at wide open aperture, so I think this test footage doesn’t do the justice do to this lens. I really need to test it out in low light next time. At f/2 is should be a great low light performer. I’ve also done some quick tests against the Canon EF 50mm f/1.4 which is a great lens and while Canon produced better results in my test, it wasn’t 10 times better, but it’s 20 times more expensive than Helios, so in my opinion, Helios offers much better value for money than Canon.
Helios 44M is one of the first lenses that started my interest in vintage manual photo lenses for video use.  It is a very interesting lens, not only it is one of the cheapest lenses you can buy, but it’s also apparently a Zeiss Biotar copy.  The lens optics were based on Zeiss formulas, so these lenses are apparently very sharp, considering you get a good copy. Apparently the quality control was quite poor, so optical quality varies. It is possible that the lens I tested against Canon was not the best optically.The lens itself is very well built, it’s fully metal, with a nice, long through focusing ring (about 270 degrees). I have 4 of these lenses and a few have slightly stiff focusing rings, so that is something worth bearing in mind. You can find out a bit more about this lens in a great article I found here.  This lens must be the biggest bargain ever. The first Helios 44m I bought, cost me just £3. “Carl Zeiss” quality lens for under £10? That must be the best kept secret in budget filmmaking world, or was I just blinded by “Canon-Only” world around me?  If you didn’t know about this lens, now you know, so don’t hesitate even for a second to get one, at £10-£20 what have you got to loose? In the worst-case scenario you can sell it back on eBay.

Helios 44m 58mmHelios 44m 58mm f/2 Lens on eBay



I try my best to make this website a great resource people interested in vintage lenses for video use, so I hope you’ve enjoyed this post and it will help you save some money on your future lens investments. I’ve joined the ebay partnership program to help me run this website and fund my monthly lens giveaways, so if you found this post useful and would like to help me produce more similar content, please use the links in this post if you’re planning to buy one of these lenses or use this link if you want to buy anything else on eBay. You will not be spending a penny more using these links, while still helping me as I will get a small percentage from any purchase or successful bid you make. A win-win solution for everyone!

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