A few months ago I picked up a Helios 44-2 on a whim from Amazon. I can't remember where I heard about this lens, but someone had mentioned the amazing flare, swirly bokeh and light leaks from this lens and I really wanted to give it a try. I found one for $35 on Amazon (which if you know the prices of lenses these days, this is a AMAZING), and I just couldn't pass it up. The Helios is a Russian designed lens and was plentifully manufactured, which makes the prices so inexpensive. This fun lens has become one of my favorites and I always keep it in my camera bag.
Why I love the Helios lens (and why I think you will too)!!
1. It's different than your typical lens
The Helios is a manual lens, which is WAY different than all of my other auto lenses. Both the focus and aperture can be manually adjusted so you can adjust not only your focus points, but the depth of field as well.
2. The Helios makes you slow down
If there was an over-snapper-anonymous club, I would definitely be a member. I have a tendency to way over-shoot both personally and professionally. I don't really chimp that much during my shooting, so I think I overcompensate by over-shooting. With the Helios, I literally have to take a deep breath and slow down. I can totally over-shoot with the Helios, but most of them are likely going to be out of focus since my subjects are always moving. In manual, I have to pay attention to the light and my subjects and really "wait" for that shot. It's been a fun challenge for me! A big BONUS of the Helios lens is that it's a great way to get my creative juices flowing if I'm in a rut and just don't feel inspired! Have
3. Light leaks, sun flares, swirly bokeh, oh my.
This! This is what I love most about the Helios. The light leaks and sun flares from this lens are amazing and if you have something to filter the light through, you are pretty much guaranteed a light filled photo. If you've followed along with me for a while, you probably know that I have a mild (ok - crazy) obsession with light and sun flares. They make my heart go pitter-patter and there is nothing better than capturing my kids or families in some pretty light. The Helios does all that and more. It make take some patience and practice, but it is so worth it.
Have you ever tried out the Helios?? If it's in your budget, I totally think it's worth adding it to your collection!!