Helios 44-2 | First Look

At the beginning of December I purchased a vintage lens on Etsy called a Helios 44-2. Its a 58mm, f2, manual lens once made in the USSR. I bought it after reading about its cult following through its ability to create "swirly" bokeh. They say any one of these lenses with a "0000" at the start represent ones given to Communist party members. 

It finally arrived in the mail on Monday and I have been shooting a variety of tests. However, last night, I did a simple lighting test with a single lamp, flagging off the sides, sometimes shooting through shapes. It's fair to say I have fallen in love with the results. Creamy skin tones, beautiful fall off and an overall nice contrast. 

Note: A few months later in Argentina, I found the original camera body and another lens for only $15 CAD. Obviously, I had to add it to my collection! It was just sitting in this antique market in a box with other old cameras on SALE!

For more information on the Helios 44-2:

In addition, I shot some outdoor tests when making one of my photography classes. Here are a few stills from the video. Incredible right?