Helios 40-2 85mm f/1.5 (M42 to Pentax) - Review / Test Report - Sample Iamges & Verdict
Lens Reviews - Pentax

Sample Images

Here're a couple of quick'n dirty sample images taken with the Helios on the Pentax K10D and RAW-converted via ACR 3.7.

Click on a thumbnail to view the original file (opens in a separate window). Please note that the originals are FULL SIZE (=several megabytes) which requires quite some bandwidth for downloading so please don't waste the limited resources here.

Make PENTAX Corporation
Model PENTAX K10D
ISO Speed 200
Focal Length
Exposure Data: f/ @ 1/4000s
Size 2592x3872
Make PENTAX Corporation
Model PENTAX K10D
ISO Speed 200
Focal Length
Exposure Data: f/ @ 1/2500s
Size 3872x2592
Make PENTAX Corporation
Model PENTAX K10D
ISO Speed 100
Focal Length
Exposure Data: f/ @ 1/2500s
Size 3872x2592
Make PENTAX Corporation
Model PENTAX K10D
ISO Speed 200
Focal Length
Exposure Data: f/ @ 1/200s
Size 2592x3872
Make PENTAX Corporation
Model PENTAX K10D
ISO Speed 100
Focal Length
Exposure Data: f/ @ 1/3200s
Size 2592x3872
Make PENTAX Corporation
Model PENTAX K10D
ISO Speed 200
Focal Length
Exposure Data: f/ @ 1/320s
Size 2592x3872

Verdict

The Helios 40-2 85mm f/1.5 was surely one of the more interesting lenses that found its way to the lab. Technically the lens is no good but naturally there's still a truth beyond hard facts. One of the obvious applications for an ultra-large aperture lens is portrait photography. For this purpose you actually don't really require a super sharp lens and the border quality isn't all that important here. Within this scope the Helios is pretty usable even at f/1.5 ... IF you place you subject into the very center of the image field. The results are "dreamy" here which is sometimes quite desirable. The bokeh (the out-of-focus blur) is pretty good (although not stellar) which also contributes to the effect. At f/2 and f/2.8 the center quality is very good although the border resolution remains next to non-existent. From f/5.6 the quality is very high and leaves nothing to be desired. Distortions, CAs and vignetting are very well controlled and nothing to worry about. Being a M42-mount lens it is fairly obvious that the Helios can't be a mainstream lens - there's no AF and no camera-controlled aperture here so you need to rely on your photographic craftsmanship here. Now does it make any sense to purchase such a lens ? Well, usually not but I think the Helios would be a good boot camp for Rookies on a budget who want to explore the ultra-large aperture world.

Optical Quality:
Mechanical Quality:
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