Read This First Before Buying a Helios Camera Lens
Helios camera lenses were initially shipped together with Zenit cameras. However, these lenses are also compatible with other camera brands using the M42 lens mount. The Helios camera lens brand attracted a huge following due to its ability to produce the "swirly" bokeh effect.What products are under the Helios lens brand?
The Russian brand is manufactured by several companies including Valdai, MMZ, and KMZ. The first edition of the camera lens brand came with a M39 mount that shares similarities to the thread found in Leica cameras. The Helios companies later on made cameras lenses not only for Zenit SLR cameras but expanded to produce lenses for the Pentax K mount. The following are the most notable products under the brand:
- Helios 44-2 58mm f2 mount - this lens is based on the Carl Zeiss Biotar 58mm and was made with the M42 mount, the Pentax K mount, and even the M39 thread mount for the Zenit 3-M and the Revueflex M39 SLR cameras. The lens can produce a unique bokeh effect.
- Helios 33 - it is a fast manual focus prime lens for professional cameras and features the ability to cover full-frame 35mm cameras with just a slight darkening of the corners. It can be mounted on the Leica M9, Ricoh GXR, and the Sony NEX-3, among others.
- Helios 40 - this lens also comes with the ability to produce swirly bokeh effects like the Helios 44. It was reproduced to fit new cameras a few years back due to a huge demand.
Buying a new camera lens is already tricky enough. Investing in a vintage camera lens comes with a lot of research and back-and-forth to ensure that you can take advantage of your new toy. When searching for refurbished or used camera lenses, make sure the seller lists the lens's condition in good condition. Sometimes you'll get a lens that has barely been used, which is a good option as well.Are Helios lenses compatible with new cameras?
Yes, as long as it can be mounted on the cameras. The Helios camera lenses were designed and made with the ability to dock on a variety of cameras, whether they be vintage or newly released. However, there are some instances when an adapter to make it work as intended will be needed. For instance, a Helios 44 can work with a Nikon D7000 DSLR camera provided that it is attached with an adapter with a correction lens.