Helios 77M-4 50mm f/1.8

After I had acquired this lens, I found to my surprise that there are only very limited informations about this lens in the net. This lens has actually concurred the position as my “stay-on-camera” lens.

Not that its my sharpest nifty, nor the most convenient to use (not having AF), but the results from this lens is just worth it! This glass yields bubbly bokeh on any highlight, and they becomes more ellipsoide as you move away from the center of the image. Paying a little attention to focusing distances, and ration between motive and background, and the lens also produces what is known as a “swirly bokeh” which is a result of a manufacturing defect, giving a pronounced feeling that the background “swirls” around the center focus subject. The swirly bokeh is not as pronounced on the APS-C sized sensor as it is on a full frame, since the field of view is cropped.

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Moái from my garden, my little piece of Rapa Nui. The swirly bokeh is not pronounced on this photo, but if you study it closely, its there.

With the bokeh, it is like its calling for artistic shoots. It is known for its very good coatings as well for its sharpness when shooting wide open. This glass is amazing for highly saturated pictures but it really does amazingly with black and white photography as well.

The lens design is from the 1990, and offers no further improvement in resolution specs compared to Helios 44M-4 and as far as I can see is the only difference to be found in angle of view and speed. The lens is built like a tank! and I simply love it for this. METAL and GLASS outside in rock solid. My copy has not received any C.L.A. but still works very smoothly in the focus ring, and the aperture ring has nice clicks. The glass is clean and generally in a good condition.

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