Shooting with Helios-65, a lens so rare there’s no adapter for it

Apr 19, 2018

Dunja Djudjic

Dunja Djudjic is a multi-talented artist based in Novi Sad, Serbia. With 15 years of experience as a photographer, she specializes in capturing the beauty of nature, travel, and fine art. In addition to her photography, Dunja also expresses her creativity through writing, embroidery, and jewelry making.

Shooting with Helios-65, a lens so rare there’s no adapter for it

Apr 19, 2018

Dunja Djudjic

Dunja Djudjic is a multi-talented artist based in Novi Sad, Serbia. With 15 years of experience as a photographer, she specializes in capturing the beauty of nature, travel, and fine art. In addition to her photography, Dunja also expresses her creativity through writing, embroidery, and jewelry making.

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Most of us have heard (or owned) lenses from Helios 44 series. But photographer and filmmaker Mathieu Stern has found an ultra-rare Soviet lens with extraordinary bokeh. He got himself a Helios-65 50mm f/2, a lens so rare that there’s no adapter on the market for it. So, he 3D-printed his own adapter and put this vintage lens to a test.

YouTube video

Helios 44 series is known for its swirly bokeh. According to Camerapedia Wiki, it is considered to be one of most mass-produced lenses in the world. Even I own one (Helios 44-M4), I use it sometimes on my Nikon D7000 with an adapter and I just love its bokeh.

But, the Helios-65 is a different story. It also has gorgeous bokeh, but you can’t find an adapter for it. The lens itself is pretty rare: I only found three results on eBay when I searched it, and all of them were sold in a set with other lenses. Mathieu bought a Helios-65 for $30, but he still needed an adapter. He found a DIY version selling for $160, but after some more research, he found a free 3D model and printed it himself. He put it to a test on his Sony mirrorless camera and got some neat shots with a sharp center and wonderful swirly bokeh. Here are the results:

[HELIOS-65 : This Lens is so rare that there’s no adapter for it (Swirly Bokeh) | Mathieu Stern]

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Dunja Djudjic

Dunja Djudjic

Dunja Djudjic is a multi-talented artist based in Novi Sad, Serbia. With 15 years of experience as a photographer, she specializes in capturing the beauty of nature, travel, and fine art. In addition to her photography, Dunja also expresses her creativity through writing, embroidery, and jewelry making.

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10 responses to “Shooting with Helios-65, a lens so rare there’s no adapter for it”

  1. Patrik Martinson Avatar
    Patrik Martinson

    The majority of the images are not sharp, but quite blurry. Only two, maybe three are actually properly in focus.

    1. Вергунов Сергей Avatar
      Вергунов Сергей

      True.

  2. Tj Ó Seamállaigh Avatar
    Tj Ó Seamállaigh

    rarest lens I own?
    My eyes.

  3. Вергунов Сергей Avatar
    Вергунов Сергей

    Rare? You should have told me that 40 years ago. Because back in the 1970-ies it was almost only widely available lens in Soviet Union. It came as kit lens to Zenit SLRs, though not exactly this version. I still have one.

    1. Matthias Avatar
      Matthias

      What you are thinking about is the Helios 44 in its many avatars, but it is a 58mm f/2. The lens discussed here is a 50mm f/2

  4. Benjamin Dantzer Avatar
    Benjamin Dantzer

    This guy on Sony hybrid
    Zeiss Ikon pro tessar 35 and 115mm + 50mm tessar

  5. Graeme Simpson Avatar
    Graeme Simpson

    was it rare because the seller on eBay said so? The amount of adverts i’ve seen on there stating that helios lenses are “rare” but fail to nitice the other hundred ads selling the same thing.

  6. Robin Avatar
    Robin

    Not getting this, bokeh that detracts from the subject that’s not very sharp thing.

  7. Chain Avatar
    Chain

    Helios 65 has special bayonet for Kiev cameras

  8. Lys Garybaldy Avatar
    Lys Garybaldy

    I guess its quite clear why its so rare. The pictures look so shit that surely the realized early on that this design was no good and discontinued it.