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HELIOS 44 58MM F2 PROPER REVIEW

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PHOTOGRAPHY by KRISS on 24 march 2017

I am writing this unbiased review of the Helios 44, an old Russian lens that rates 58mm f2 (probably something around 90mm on a Fuji X system).
This is a manual lens 99% of you are going to get for portrait so it’s a good thing because mine cannot focus on infinite past 5 meters away.
So this is a good lens, or rather a lens for now, for head shots and other portraiture, perhaps boudoir because it seems to focus quite close for a 90mm equivalent.

So I tested this lens while tutoring 101 a lucky man with an XT2 and my Fuji 90mm f2 (135mm equivalent).
Mind you I still haven’t properly tested this lens ! I’m really off my game these cold winter days.

Never mind, I took the opportunity to have my friend Sofia available to grab a couple of shots now and then and I can now review properly my first impressions on the lens.

Light conditions were ideal, sunset with clouds, light was very homogenous, with the best and cheapest of all softboxes : the sun behind clouds !

The first thing I need to review is the focus ring which doesn’t require you to turn it around 10 times to change focus.
It’s satisfying but at the same time if your model moves an inch you’re screwed (you’re shooting this lens at f2 right).
It can trick you into thinking you’re in focus while you’re not.
But you have plenty of assistance from cameras like the XT1 and with some practice I’m sure you can get very close to getting all your shots in focus.
I did get about 80%.

Now I have decided to post work these images in black and white to add more contrast and see how effective this lens is at detaching a subject from its background.
After all, what else do you want from a portrait lens (besides smooth progressive or original bokeh) ? Maybe my lens is not the best in terms of swirly bokeh or the background was too flat for it to shine, I’ll have to try it with a messier background.
In terms of sharpness and detaching the subject I think it does its job.
I personally find the images a bit flat and bland but maybe that’s me and maybe I need to shoot it again to confirm if my first impressions were right or not ! Here are the pics.

#helios44 #thirdpartylens #fujiX

HELIOS 44 58MM F2 PROPER REVIEW

HELIOS 44 58MM F2 PROPER REVIEW

HELIOS 44 58MM F2 PROPER REVIEW

HELIOS 44 58MM F2 PROPER REVIEW

HELIOS 44 58MM F2 PROPER REVIEW

HELIOS 44 58MM F2 PROPER REVIEW

HELIOS 44 58MM F2 PROPER REVIEW

HELIOS 44 58MM F2 PROPER REVIEW

HELIOS 44 58MM F2 PROPER REVIEW

HELIOS 44 58MM F2 PROPER REVIEW

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