Ever used a Helios lens with your DSLR or mirrorless camera? If not, I think you’ve missed out. That’s because Helios offers one of the most characterful vintage lenses across all mounts. With Helios lenses, you get a lovely combination of sharpness and dreamy bokeh. What’s more, these lenses are plentiful and very affordable.
But, which Helios lens should you get? In this post, you’ll discover some of the Helios lenses available on the market.
So, let’s get started!
5 Best Helios Lenses for Your Camera
Here are the five best Helios lenses that you can get from the market:
#1. Helios 44M 58mm F2 Russian Lens for Sony E NEX
- High Quality, Portrait, Standard
The Helios-44M 2/58 lens is a fast manual lens that offers a fixed focal length of 58 mm and an aperture ratio of 2. This fun vintage lens can produce some great swirly bokeh effects for out-of-focus areas. You can use this lens with any Sony E NEX camera, like Sony A6000, A6600, A7III, and more. I could barely see any. This lens fits compatible Sony cameras very well.
Image shot using this lens with my Sony A6000:
This lens works superbly well even in cropped sensor cameras. If you get the opportunity to test this lens in a full format camera, its bokeh will improve a lot in such type of camera. Owing to its solid construction, this lens is a bit on the heavier side. To sum up, this Helios lens is a good purchase for the price you pay.
#2. Helios 44-2 58mm F2 Russian Lens for Canon DSLR Cameras
- I have a great choice of beautiful high-quality watches made in the USSR, Russia and...
The Helios 44-2 lens is a classic 58mm lens with a manual focus so you need to get used to it. It allows you to be creative and quick because of the manual focus. Fixed at 58 mm, it offers original bokeh and sharp imaging which makes it ideal for portraits, landscapes, and in some cases for macro photography too.
Discover the list of the most affordable macro cameras here.
When used with compatible Canon DSLR cameras, this lens gives unique photos with beautiful, soft swirly bokeh in the background. If you use this lens on APS-C systems, the angle of view becomes narrower and the lens is converted into a decent aperture portrait lens.
Image shot using this lens with Canon 60D:
In addition, Helios 44-2 lens can also be used when shooting landscapes, or when there is no need for clear details. It also allows you to smooth out minor blemishes and make-contrast shadow transitions softer. Overall, the Helios 44-2 is an excellent budget choice for portraits. The kit includes Helios 44-2 58mm F2 M42 Lens, and M42 – Canon EOS AF-confirm adapter.
#3. Helios 44-2 58mm F2 Russian Lens for FujiFilm FX Mount
- 1 year warranty
- Not used
The Helios 44-2 58mm F2 Russian Lens for FujiFilm FX Mount is a classic 58mm lens that was produced as the kit prime on the Zenit. This Russian lens is surprisingly well constructed and not worse than the recent plastic models. It is fun to use and if conditions are right, allows you to get a wonderful swirly bokeh effect. This lens is compatible with FujiFilm FX Mount, X-Pro1, X-E1, X-E2, X-M1, X-A1, X-A2, X-T1, and more.
Image shot using this lens with FujiFilm X-T20:
When used with a compatible Fujifilm camera, this lens makes focusing very easy using focus zoom and focus peaking. However, I found that the lens is a bit soft wide open, and in some conditions, it can be low contrast. That’s why when I want razor-sharp high-contrast images with my FujiFilm camera, I use my Fuji glass. Note that this lens does not include a lens cap nor a cap for the mount end of the adapter. The filter thread is 49 mm. There are two rings for the aperture. One sets the minimum and the other actually controls the aperture but at first glance, it appears to be backward. Overall, this one is a fun, affordable lens that gives awesome bokeh.
#4. Helios 44-2 58mm F2 Russian Lens for Micro 4/3 Panasonic, Olympus
Compatible with Micro 4/3 Panasonic, and Olympus cameras, this Helios 44-2 58mm F2 Russian lens comes with M42 to M43 adapter. Built with all-metal construction, this lens offers smooth operations and clean glass. When I used it with my Olympus EM-5, it gave fun bokeh, wide open. In addition, I also saw quite a bit of chromatic aberration in the image. That may be due to the properties of the lens.
Here’s an image I captured using this lens on my Olympus EM-5:
Overall, this lens is nice and works as intended with your compatible Panasonic or Olympus DSLR camera. This Russian lens has some incredibly positive ratings on Amazon, with most reviewers satisfied with it and giving it 4.5 stars+. So, it’s a great buy!
#5. Helios 44-2 58mm F2 Russian Lens for Nikon DSLR Cameras
If you’re using a Nikon DSLR camera, then this lens is for you. The Helios 44-2 58mm F2 Russian lens for Nikon DSLR cameras has found recognition among contemporary photographers. Featuring a durable metal build, this lens offers original bokeh and sharp imaging. It is ideal for portraits, landscapes, and in some cases, macro shooting.
Here’s an image captured using this lens on a Nikon DSLR:
This Helios lens has features that allow you to smooth out minor blemishes and make-contrast shadow transitions softer. Nevertheless, Helios 44-2 can also be used when shooting landscapes, when there is no need for clear details. The lens is used but in excellent condition!
Which Helios Lens Should You Buy?
Well, that depends on your camera. No matter which DSLR you own, there’s a Helios lens that’s compatible with your camera. For example, if you own a FujiFilm X-T20, the Helios 44-2 58mm F2 Russian Lens for FujiFilm FX Mount will be suitable for you. So, grab a compatible Helios lens and get ready to capture some amazing shots with a wonderful swirly bokeh effect.
Find vintage cameras compatible with helios lenses in the following article: 12 Best Vintage Cameras for Beginners (Top Affordable Picks).
Thanks for reading!
I hope this guide helped you get information about the best Helios lens for you. 🙂
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