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LENS PORN: Helios 44-2 58mm f/2 Extreme Swirly Petzval Bokeh (Modded)

Helios 44-2 58mm f/2 Extreme Swirly Petzval Bokeh (Modded)
Helios 44-2 58mm f/2 Extreme Swirly Petzval Bokeh (Modded)


The Helios 44-2 58mm f/2 is a legendary telephoto portrait prime lens in M42 mount from USSR or Russia, which was sought after for its swirly bokeh or what they call the Petzval Effect. On my crop sensor camera, the view looks tighter and the swirly bokeh looks less pronounced.

Here are some of the mods I've done with this lens:

1) Removing the grease the makes the focusing helicoid stiff. I simply used oil and cotton buds to swipe out all of the gummed up grease from the helicoid. It used to be so stiff that I need to wrap my palm around the focus ring and yank it around just to turn it. Now, focus ring is now super smooth, you can turn it with a pinkie finger!

2) My second mod is to invert the front glass element to create the insane swirly effect. This will impact image quality, especially making f/2 unusably soft. However, the swirly image looks great at f/2.8 and f/4.

Do you dare to try?



Sample shots at f/2 before modding (no edit)

Helios 44-2 58mm f/2 Extreme Swirly Petzval Bokeh (Modded)

Helios 44-2 58mm f/2 Extreme Swirly Petzval Bokeh (Modded)
 
Helios 44-2 58mm f/2 Extreme Swirly Petzval Bokeh (Modded)


After modding...

Helios 44-2 58mm f/2 Extreme Swirly Petzval Bokeh (Modded)

Helios 44-2 58mm f/2 Extreme Swirly Petzval Bokeh (Modded)
f/2

Helios 44-2 58mm f/2 Extreme Swirly Petzval Bokeh (Modded)
f/2.8

Helios 44-2 58mm f/2 Extreme Swirly Petzval Bokeh (Modded)
f/4

Helios 44-2 58mm f/2 Extreme Swirly Petzval Bokeh (Modded)

Helios 44-2 58mm f/2 Extreme Swirly Petzval Bokeh (Modded)

Helios 44-2 58mm f/2 Extreme Swirly Petzval Bokeh (Modded)

Helios 44-2 58mm f/2 Extreme Swirly Petzval Bokeh (Modded)




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