Several months ago, a friend share with me some info about a rad little lens she uses. The Helios. A Helios is a Russian, vintage lens. It’s just as awesome as it sounds. My only regret with this lens, is that I waited so long to purchase it. ;) It’s not expensive at ALL. I don’t know why I waited so long. I’m all about the old, used, and unwanted when it comes to gear, particularly lenses. This lens does not disappoint. You *will* need an adapter if you want to attach it to your camera, and it will be manual focus only. Manually focusing is something that takes some practice if you’re not used to it, but I believe everyone can do it if they really want to. I love when photographers spill the beans on their favorite little photography finds, so I’m sharing with you all today. This is the lens that I have and this is the adapter I use. Important! If you are itching to go buy this setup, slow down and read this thoroughly. I shoot with a Canon 5D Mark III, so be sure you find the adaptor that works for your camera. The lens mount is “M42”, so you’ll need to find a “M42 to *insert your camera here* adapter. You can google that to find what you need if you shoot Nikon, or something else that differs from my gear.
Let’s talk about lenses for a second. With new technology, a quality lens means less flare because that’s typically unwanted. However, if you’re like me, and I know many of you are, flare is very sought after. If you want good flare (and by good, I mean completely wild and out of control), you basically need some shit glass. Poor quality = good quality. Ha! Ok, so it’s not really poor quality if you ask me. This lens produces some amazing images with a very different look and feel. The lack of technology today’s lenses have, leads to the amazing flare and light leaks you’ll see in the photos below.
This lens is now my go to freelenser, but I love it just as much while it’s attached. I took an unexpected trip to Sequoia National park earlier this month – all of the photos I share from that trip are freelensed with the Helios. Our more recent trip to a favorite Orchard here in Arizona, was also shot on this lens. I did freelens a few shots there, but I’m going to share only the shots where I kept the lens attached.
Sequoia National Park, California
Apple Annie’s Orchard, Willcox, Arizona