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LENS PORN: Helios 135mm f/2.8 (M42 Converted to Nikon Infinity)

Helios 135mm f/2.8 (M42 Converted to Nikon Infinity)
Helios 135mm f/2.8 (M42 Converted to Nikon Infinity)


First Published: 16 November 2016
Revised: 05 November 2017



Helios lenses are popular for their 'swirly bokeh' effect... that is, the RUSSIAN Helios.

We have here a Helios 135mm f/2.8, a telephoto portrait prime lens with a built-in retractable lens hood. 135mm is a nice portrait lens for half-body shots when used on either full frame or APS-C cameras. This focal length is nice and effective in creating blurry background because longer lenses have thinner Depth of Field.

This lens comes in M42 mount, and I have converted it to a Nikon mount. The built-in lens hood seems too short and inadequate really. But the focusing is buttery smooth, and the aperture stops are snappy. I also like that it has a 52mm filter thread diameter so it can share filters with my other lenses.

The glass seems to be single coated with a bluish sheen. However, I never found it to be a problem when shooting outdoor as it does make nice images at f/2.8... maybe the colors that this lens makes is weird. It always has a greenish tint like the Russian Helios 44-2 I used to own.

Do you print your images? How huge to you print? All lenses seem to show some sort of flaw when you shoot at the widest aperture OUTDOOR IN BRIGHT SUNNY DAYS, and then zoom in to 1000%. That is a stupidity that people should stop doing!!!

Overall, if you are not a pixel-peeper, then this lens will always satisfy.

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Who Made This Lens?

If you look closely at the serial number on my lens, it ends with a '-3', which probably indicates it was a third generation of some sort. Digging the web for some clues and piecing them together, we get some leads or the mystery maker:

1) The original Helios front cap with the name printed on it, looks similar to that of Toyo Optics.

2) The markings on this lens looks like a TOKINA, which is famous in its early days for making lots of lenses under different names like Vivitar and Soligor, before they decided to come out in the 1970s with lenses under their own name.

3) I'm also considering Makina Optical (who made Makinon lenses), but I'm ruling them out. Makinon's "Made In Japan" font is very rounded, while the one on my lens is taller, more closely to that of Tokina's style, which I've often seen. So no, not Makinon.

4) Some Toyo Optics lenses were also outsourced. So, this leaves us with TOKINA.

5) A later version of this Helios has multicoating. It looked similar to my Alfo Supercolor MC 135mm f/2.8 which was also 'made in Korea'. The similar looks, the fonts, the markings, and the font colors are very unique and used by Samyang.

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Lens Demo

My lens with '-3' at the end of the serial number
(probably indicating a 3rd generation or version 3)




Another copy with '-2' at the end of the serial number





This video shows a Samyang-made Helios
(possibly a late version)



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SPECS

Helios 135mm f/2.8

Possible Manufacturer
Toyo Optics or Tokina

Years Produced
Estimated late 1970s

Focal Length:
FX = 135mm
DX = 210mm

Focus Throw
270°

Minimum Focusing Distance:
1.5 meters

Filter Thread Diameter (Ø)
52mm

With built-in retractable lens hood

Looks like single-coated glass with bluish sheen

Made in Japan

Helios 135mm f/2.8 (M42 Converted to Nikon Infinity)

Helios 135mm f/2.8 (M42 Converted to Nikon Infinity)

Helios 135mm f/2.8 (M42 Converted to Nikon Infinity)

Helios 135mm f/2.8 (M42 Converted to Nikon Infinity)
Here's the original M42 mount.

Helios 135mm f/2.8 (M42 Converted to Nikon Infinity)
After replacing the mount with a Nikon mount and correcting for flange distance.

Helios 135mm f/2.8 (M42 Converted to Nikon Infinity)

Helios 135mm f/2.8 (M42 Converted to Nikon Infinity)

Helios 135mm f/2.8 (M42 Converted to Nikon Infinity)

Helios 135mm f/2.8 (M42 Converted to Nikon Infinity)

Helios 135mm f/2.8 (M42 Converted to Nikon Infinity)

========================================

Samples

Nikon D5200 Settings:
Size - Basic/Small
White Balance - Preset, Auto
Picture Profile - SD (Standard), MC-O (Monochrome - Orange Filter)
HDR/ADL/Flash/Noise Reduction - Off

All photos are unedited.

In order to accommodate using f/2.8 on a bright sunny day, a circular polarizing filter was used for the scene where I was shooting people crossing the street.



With +4 Macro Filter

Helios 135mm f/2.8 (M42 Converted to Nikon Infinity)

Helios 135mm f/2.8 (M42 Converted to Nikon Infinity)

Helios 135mm f/2.8 (M42 Converted to Nikon Infinity)


Helios 135mm f/2.8 (M42 Converted to Nikon Infinity)

Helios 135mm f/2.8 (M42 Converted to Nikon Infinity)

Helios 135mm f/2.8 (M42 Converted to Nikon Infinity)

Helios 135mm f/2.8 (M42 Converted to Nikon Infinity)

Helios 135mm f/2.8 (M42 Converted to Nikon Infinity)

Helios 135mm f/2.8 (M42 Converted to Nikon Infinity)

Helios 135mm f/2.8 (M42 Converted to Nikon Infinity)

Helios 135mm f/2.8 (M42 Converted to Nikon Infinity)

Helios 135mm f/2.8 (M42 Converted to Nikon Infinity)

Helios 135mm f/2.8 (M42 Converted to Nikon Infinity)

Helios 135mm f/2.8 (M42 Converted to Nikon Infinity)

Helios 135mm f/2.8 (M42 Converted to Nikon Infinity)

Helios 135mm f/2.8 (M42 Converted to Nikon Infinity)

Helios 135mm f/2.8 (M42 Converted to Nikon Infinity)

Helios 135mm f/2.8 (M42 Converted to Nikon Infinity)

Helios 135mm f/2.8 (M42 Converted to Nikon Infinity)

Helios 135mm f/2.8 (M42 Converted to Nikon Infinity)

Helios 135mm f/2.8 (M42 Converted to Nikon Infinity)

Helios 135mm f/2.8 (M42 Converted to Nikon Infinity)

========================================

Links

My unedited full resolution photo album:


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1 comments :

  1. Bought this together with a panagor m42 85-205 and smc pentax-m 1:1.7 50mm, only mine is called Info Auto 1:2.8 f=135mm. Adapting to Nikon seems more difficult, the m42 back piece also has the index for the A/M switch. Maybe I can remove the auto function, cant use it anyway. O well, for five euros each it can only get better. But first I try with an adapter with glass, which will be in next week.

    ReplyDelete

 

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