I had decided just to shot with this lens for the day. Changing the maxim ‘the best camera is the one that’s with you’ in my case ‘the lens to use is the one that’s attached to your camera’. Yes it’s on to the Fujifilm GFX50s! I had already used the Yashinon on the GFX and now it was time to try out the Helios lens.
Truly a black solid thing! Even though it’s small I wouldn’t like to drop it on my toe. This little lens has a full metal body with an aperture ring which clicks with good confirmation into place. While the focusing turns aren’t exactly on the light side you do get use to it. The version I got, I had picked up a year or two ago secondhand. These lens have been made since 1958 until 1992. Manufactured by several factories in the former Soviet Union by KMZ, MMZ and Jupiter.
They are plentiful on the secondhand market and a good copy can be had for as little as 10 euros. Now they’re not the most constrasty of lens but they are quite sharp. Unusual focal length of 58mm for western standards while behind the iron curtain this was pretty normal stuff. The lens was often paired with a Zenit camera. By the way it’s can be cheaper to pick up this lens when sold with an old Zenit. So you can enjoy using the lens on both digital or analog.
How to use a M42 lens on a Fujifilm GFX
To achieve connecting a Helios 58mm M42 lens to the Fujifilm GFX50s I used not one adapter but two. Yes double adaptering (if that’s an actual word who knows). This liberal way of binding and stacking adapters gives you a lot of options. Especially if you still wish to shoot film. Below is the equipment you need to get such a lens working on the GFX camera.
Why use a cheap lens on a Fujifilm GFX ?
But why would you put such a cheap lens on such an expensive camera its not exactly a $5 camera. Well why not, this is joy of mirror less especially on Fujifilm, Sony, Panasonic and Olympus bodies. Of course there’s no autofocus with these old school lens and then there is the certain trade offs to live with. In the case of the Helios lens here it vignettes and falls off quite a bit on the Fujifilm GFX. The character of the Helios 44m-4 58mm f/2 is that it has a ‘swirl’ bokeh and its centre is sharp. The images convert well too, if you’re looking for a kind of film look. The depth of field and out of focus areas are also very pleasing.
Portraits and Krampus
Firstly it was getting to be that time of year again – Krampuslauf. When the Krampus run around and scare young children if they don’t behave. It’s a tradition in the Alps! My son loves dressing up as Krampus while my other son doesn’t like the whole Krampus thing at all.
This Saturday I really had great moments to use this black barrel of glass not only on portrait pictures but also on an odd but interesting subject. I call this subject “the machine”. I couldn’t be certain what this yellow red beast was used for, if I had to guess it may well have been for logging. The machine has much character, metal shapes, scrapes and scars at over it. The thing is I nearly missed the subject. But that’s another story for the next blog post. Some the of the images you can see in the video on this post. A side note, the main image for this post with the camera and lens was inspired by Jonas Rask. He has an excellent post regarding Minolta lens on the GFX.