Helios 44-2 Swirly Bokeh Review and Sample Images for Under $50

When I first got the Sony a6000 I wasn’t aware of lenses at all. I did make a thorough research on mirorrless cameras but didn’t know enough about prime lenses, zoom lenses, sharpness, focal length, etc.

When you buy a new interchangeable camera, you want to know what kind of lenses you need. For example, if you want to take portraits, you will need a 50mm prime lens and if you want to take landscape photos you will need a wide lens of 16mm and wider.

So the best way to experiment, improve your skills and knowledge as a new photographer, is to consider buying lenses that doesn’t cost much and still produce amazing results and sharp images!

Helios 44-2 review – quick look

In the image above, it’s the Helios 44-2 58mm f/2.0. It is an old lens for SLR cameras (film) that you may find on the internet for about $50 or less. Old lenses have manual focus. That means you have to manually adjust the aperture and the focus area. The focal length stays the same as it is not a zoom lens.

The Sony e-mount system allows you to adapt any kind of lens if you have the proper adapter. You can mount even the latest Canon, Nikon, Tamron, Sigma and other popular lenses. The Helios 44-2 is very popular for many Sony camera owners and not only.

*You can mount Helios 44-2 on Fujifilm, Sony, Canon and other 4/3 cameras (We will update the list soon).

Helios 44-2 Specifications

  • Format: 35mm SLR
  • Type: Prime Lens
  • Focus: Manual
  • Mount Type: M42
  • Released Year: 1950
  • Optical Element: 6 elements in 4 groups
  • Focal Length: 58mm
  • Max Aperture: f/2.0
  • Min Aperture: f/16
  • Blades: 8
  • Min Focus Distance (m): 0.5
  • Filter Ø (mm): 49
  • Weight: 8.1oz/230gr
  • Length: 2.2in/57mm

While we were looking for sample images of the 44-2, we found Akos Fekete from Hungary on Instagram and asked him if we could post a few images of his work in our blog. He accepted our invitation and also told us that Helios is a really good lens, it produces great bokeh and it’s really sharp!

Personally I own a Helios 44M-6 which is a little bit different but has almost the same features. It’s a 58mm with a f/2 aperture and manual focus ring. I can’t deny that it produces amazing bokeh like the 44-2! I have taken amazing sunset photos with wide open aperture at 2.0. More samples from that lens will be published soon!

The settings our friend used to capture these images with the Helios 44-2 mounted on a Sony a6000 are:

Aperture f/2.0
ISO 100
Shutter Speed 1/800 – 1/1000

Enjoy the beautiful Helios 44-2 image samples and amazing bokeh!

Image Credit: Ákos Fekete

Image Credit: Ákos Fekete

Image Credit: Ákos Fekete

Image Credit: Ákos Fekete

Image Credit: Ákos Fekete

Image Credit: Ákos Fekete

More Helios 44-2 Swirly Bokeh From More Photographers

Check out the amazing swirly bokeh effect from Elena Levitskaya (Simakova). She’s from Novosibirsk, Russia and she owns a Nikon D600, Sony a99 and Sony a7ii.

She likes landscape photography, macro, sports photography and taking photos with the Helios 44-2 which she bought 2 years ago. She didn’t use it though till last spring, when she recognized what an incredible lens it is to be able to capture the magic in simple things we can see in our everyday lives.

Follow Elena on Instagram and see more of her work!

Image Credit: Elena Levitskaya

Image Credit: Elena Levitskaya

Image Credit: Elena Levitskaya

Image Credit: Elena Levitskaya

Image Credit: Elena Levitskaya

Image Credit: Elena Levitskaya

Image Credit: Elena Levitskaya

Image Credit: Elena Levitskaya

We know you’d like to see more sample images so there you go! This time is from Heidi Makkonen, 38 years old, self-taught photographer, constant beauty seeker and mom of two kids.

Heidi works full-time in the field of visual communications and lives in eastern Finland, Mikkeli. She started taking photos 15 years ago as a hobby and that became a passion. “Photography means self-expression for me, it is a way to tell moments in pictures. My strength as a photographer is the sensitivity to see beauty even in small things” she says. She’s also inspired by the beautiful natural light.

Connect with Heidi on Instagram and find more about her amazing photography!

Image Credit: Heidi Makkonen

Image Credit: Heidi Makkonen

Image Credit: Heidi Makkonen

Image Credit: Heidi Makkonen

where to buy helios 44-2

You may buy Helios 44-2 and similar models (all providing amazing images) on Amazon.com.

HELIOS 44-2 for Micro Four Thirds

HELIOS 44-2 for Sony E-Mount

HELIOS 44-2 for Fuji FX-Mount

HELIOS 44-2 for Canon EOS

If you own a mirrorless interchangeable lens camera, you can buy the Helios 44-2 lens as displayed above and use a proper adapter. You will find adapters for almost all mirrorless cameras on Amazon for about 10 to 20 US dollars.

Fotasy M42 Adapter for Sony e-mount

Fotasy M42 Adapter for Fujifilm X-Series

Fotasy M42 Adapter for Canon EOS M

Fotasy M42 Adapter for Nikon 1

Make sure you DOUBLE CHECK if the adapter fits your camera and you have all the knowledge you need before buying anything (lenses / adapters / other equipment).

If you are unsure on what to buy, head over to a local store and ask a professional before spending money on something that won’t fit your camera.

Summary

I am amazed by the swirly bokeh! Are you? Have you ever mounted a vintage lens on your camera? If yes, what did you like the most about it? Let us know in the comments below.

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