Helios 44(-1) 58mm f/2 “zebra”

19 thoughts on “Helios 44(-1) 58mm f/2 “zebra””

  1. you need a different adaptor, take off the 39mm-42mm adaptor and get a m39 – canon adaptor and you should be able to focus to infinity

    Liked by 1 person

    1. They all say: “macro only, no infinity focus”
      But I figure this only concerns Leica M39 lenses and not the Helios?


      1. You’d need a “Zenith m39” adapter, not the common one (which is for Leica – and others – m39 rangefinder cameras)
        The ones I got (1 for the silver helios and one for the zebra) both have an AF chip that can be programmed, but they won’t allow infinity focus, I’m afraid..

        What you could also do, is try to find an m39 – m42 step-up ring to be able to use the lens with an m42 adapter.
        I got one for my zebra, but there the distance scale ends up pointing 180° down (it should screw in further but won’t), so infinity focus isn’t possible.. 😦


    2. Unfortunately not; although the lens thread is 39mm it’s for a reflex camera with a different register than a Leica rangefinder. This thread is sometimes referred to as Z39 (z for Zenit camera).


    1. Hi Rob
      Thank you very much 🙂
      As weird as this may sound, I haven’t had time to check since..
      I once looked for a CLA guide in hopes to finding a way to set the focus mechanism right, but never got around to doing anything.


  2. To get the focus to infinity correct on a Zenit m39 lens while using the m39-m42 step up ring you will need to ‘recalibrate’ the lens. This is done by replacing an aluminium ring inside the lens (or filing it sightly thinner) as there is a minor difference in the flange focal distance between the two mounts of 0.26mm. On the Helios 44 it is easy to reach as you can unscrew the front part with the optical unit from the rear focussing part.


  3. Or instead of tweaking, you can just get another one from e-bay for 20-30… I just got one from a seller in Russia, who posts focus charts shot with the lenses he is selling. He’s got a few Helios 44’s, you can PM me if you want the link to his store.


    1. Thanks, but in view of the massive diversity in quality of the Helios lenses, I’d rather stick with mine 🙂


  4. Your students are lucky — your photos are very inspiring. I take it you shot full frame to get the swirl effect.


    1. Thank you very much!

      Yes, most images were from a full frame sensor. The Helios simply shines on the big image.

      I kept the Canon fullframe only to be able to use my Leica and Helios lenses on full frame digital.
      By now, I’m shooting Nikon, because I have found the perfect fifty (AF-S 58/1.4) for my needs.


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