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Lenses like the helios 44?

james d

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So that is to the Jena 80mm as the Helios is to the Zeiss 58mm?  Do you or have you had access to both?  I'm curious how they compare, not that the real Jena are terribly expensive.  Even if the design itself is a carbon copy I would imagine the source or formula for the glass itself and coatings would make some kind of difference.  Even with the Helios 44 there seems to be a palette of available looks based on era, manufacturer, etc. even though they're all the same lens.  You kinda roll the dice.


A mathematician and human visual system specialist friend of mine has interesting things to say about Russian glass that syncs right up to what I think I recall Rich mentioning about the glass itself and micro diffusion properties.  They have a built in point spread function that's been engineered out of modern glass that wants to simply pass light through as unaffected as possible (which exacerbates the bad mojo you get from fixed grid sampling in CCD and CMOS).

the Zeiss one is slightly better the Russian one is slightly more arty - there really is not much in it at all , this was the 'Standard' lens on these cameras so they made them good!!


I only have a 1964 Zeiss one not the newer MC version ....that might be even better?

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thats the one I have the old one , it amazing to think a 50 year old lens is just as sharp as any L Series modern lens , they must have been very good at making glass in that Zeiss factory 50 years ago !  I imagine alot was done by hand ! no computers to assist!


they where made to resolve an image over 2 1/4 inches square - thats a big area to cover with no distortions!

thats about 55mm x 55mm

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Not according to what I've read (here's one: Vintage Zeiss MF).  If you're talking about the 80mm.  The older non-MC are supposed to be the ones to get.  That's what was used for the 35mm portions of The Master.

just read that link Sean , so it looks like mine is a 1963 model with the plastic ring pre zebra , so 51 years old!!


and yes they will be faster on a smaller sensor , so not really f2.8 on micro 4/3 maybe more like f1.7 maybe

will do some tests and see



this is the one I have , looks like the plastic focusing ring has come off this one on ebay


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indeed.  speed is slightly different (particularly if uniform sensor coverage is important.  Wide open  an f2.8 medium format 80mm lens will usually be twice as bright in the corners as an 80mm f2.8 135 format lens.  the 135 80mm will show around 1 stop of vignette on the edges.  the medium format lens will be a lot less - probably not measurable.


I imagine the helios 40 will have almost 2 stops of darkening at the edge of a full frame sensor, though I have not used one, its highly likely.  this in combinaton with its over stretched optics are the reason it looks so beautiful.

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Canon FD 35-105 f3.5 is a very good lens on a par with the L Series Canon FD glass in terms of IQ - it is almost par focal - i drifts a bit but not enough to be annoying

its is well paired with the Canon FD 24-35mm L Series


Super Paragon 35-100mm is insanely sharp and very cheap - I like this lens alot


the Vivitar 35-105mm f3.5 gives the Canon a run for it money and has a warmer look , the Canon 35-105mm has cool blue tinge to it


the Tokina 28-85mm f4 is parfocal and low contrast and has a very good 70s retro look and is cheap



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