All these shots were taken on a Helios 44-2 with a Canon adaptor to fit my 7D MK II.
This lens is a manual focus lens with a particular swirl effect noticeable in the bokeh (can see it quite clearly in the image above) which was apparently due to a fault in the manufacturing process. Photographers being the contrary creatures they are, have decided this is a desirable feature and you can buy these lenses for quite cheap pricing.
The working distance was around 25-30 cm and I found it very difficult to accurately focus on a small subject through the viewfinder. Unfortunately my Live View wouldn’t work with this lens, so did the best I could, and had to wait patiently for the wind to stop, to maximise sharp shots.
Using these lenses was a good experience. I don’t usually shoot in Manual mode so this was different from my usual process. It highlights the necessity of knowing your exposure triangle, and having to adjust the shutter speed to get the right exposure for different light conditions.
I like how it really makes you slow down, and think about your process – the composition, the light, the aperture, the shutter speed. Forces you to *be* in the moment, rather than click and move on.
The first 4 images were shot at F 2.8. This last one is shot around F5 approx – this lens has a manual aperture ring as well as the focus ring, so I just dialed it around til I got the necessary depth of field I wanted in this image. These ferns were quite big and at the back of the clump, so I couldn’t get the tripod any closer.
Most of these are not 100% sharp but I am OK with that. The swirly bokeh is an interesting effect. Given these lenses are extremely cheap, it is not an unaffordable option to add for a different and creative approach.
Do you shoot with these old vintage lenses? If so, what do you like about them?