The past few weeks I’ve been wanting to dig out an old lens that I have but it required me to get into the attic space – yuck. I had to get in there for fall decorations anyways so while I was there I grabbed out camera equipment I had packed away. I found it, slapped it on my camera and away I went outside. BUT FIRST had to grab a cute picture of “Fluffy Fletcher” especially with the way the light and shadows looked on him.
This particular lens is not easy to shoot with. It’s a vintage lens produced in the USSR and has been known as a “cult lens.” It is a 58mm prime lens f/2.0 but the f stop and focus are both manual so it takes a bit for me to get used to each time I pull it out. It’s popular in fine art and portrait work because of a very recognizable swirly bokeh effect it gives. This wasn’t done on purpose, my understanding is it’s a defect in the lens construction that leads to this affect. If you don’t know, bokeh is the soft, blurry background of a photo. This lens will produce bold swirls in the blurred edges of a photograph if the settings are just right. The lens I have is a Helios 44m-4 and based on my best guess, the serial number would indicate it was made in 1987 (the same year I was born)!
It’s a really cool lens and I love playing with it. Today for the first time all week the sun was shining and it was so beautiful out. After we returned from ballet class we headed outside to play with the chickens, and for me to practice with this lens. Here are the photos I shot with my Canon 6D body and my Helios lens.