One of the reasons why I moved to Leica SL is the ability to use old lenses with an M42 mount, as I own several, bought for a few euros from the flea markets in Europe. The manual focus then is very fast and accurate thanks to the zoom function in the fantastic electronic viewfinder of Leica SL.
Said so, whenever I have some free time, I pick one of the M42 lenses from my special box and I’m going out to try it.
Yesterday, on a nice Sunday afternoon, I mounted an old Russian lens, produced in huge quantities in the ’50s, and so very easy to find at the flea markets (usually attached to a Zenit camera) or on Ebay markets for a few euros. I own two Helios already, but there are many variations on the market.
The one I tested is the Helios 44-M4 58mm f2.
The peculiarity of this lens is the rendering of the out of focus also called “bokeh” that, besides being pleasing, has a particular vortex effect.
Here is the lens paired with my Leica SL with a Novoflex adapter for the M-42 mount
Lost in a swirl of lavender…
While walking, I’ve found a nice bush of lavender (now is the blooming season) and this is the blooming period, so I played around with the flowers and the bees.. here are the pictures, always at full opening, so f2.
In these last photos, you can clearly see the nice swirly bokeh that is a peculiarity of this lens.
Well, I’m pretty sure from now on I will always keep this lens in my travel bag to use it exclusively at the maximum aperture, f2 and have that unique vortex behind the subject.
Thumbs up for the Helios 44-M4 58mm!
Thanks for reading and soon,