Russian on Russian action
Avid readers* of my Russian camera saga will recall that I carried out an exhaustive** trial of the various lenses that had come into my possession following the acquisition of too many Kiev cameras. The winner was the Helios 103, a vision in metal and plastic representing the finest Russian craftsmanship of its time (joke).
The Helios was produced between 1978 and 1984 and was shipped with Kiev rangefinder cameras. Problem was that the quality control on the cameras reached such a low point that entire production runs were sent for scrap, to reappear later as wheelbarrows. So by 1984, the lenses that were being produced had no associated camera, and hundreds (thousands?) of Helios 103 lenses ended up in a warehouse, unloved and forgotten.
But with the resurgence of interest in film cameras, and the medium of eBay, these spare lenses are being dragged out of storage and put up for sale. The going rate is between $25 and $40, and I paid near the upper limit, $39 for a lens with caps, a rather dirty box, and a piece of paper which is worth nothing more than amusement value; although thirty year old Russian paper does have an interesting aroma.
The lens itself, dating from 1984, is very clean, after some dusting. How would it compare with my existing Helios, a 1981 model? I carried out an exhaustive** comparison and the older lens won. Perhaps, like the cameras, the lenses reduced in quality over the years.
Never mind, having two of them allowed me to take a photograph of a Helios 103 with a Helios 103, and Spanky tells me there is nothing like a bit of Russian on Russian action.
This is the new lens being shot by the old lens at F1.8 on a Panasonic GX1 with an adapter. Nice bokeh.
* Just me really
** Brief and unscientific
Comments are closed.