Tag: Helios 44

The Only Cafe Portrait Series #2 (Ori)

I have decided to start a new long term project called The Only Cafe Portrait Series; all images as follows:

  1. All portraits taken at The Only Cafe, my spiritual home on the Danforth in East Toronto.
  2. I will be using my Sony A7ii, with a more than half century old Helios 44 lens (58mm/f2)
  3. The end results will be black and white.

Today’s portrait of my good friend Ori is actually the second in the series. (Link to the first). If you are in Toronto (or plan to be in the future) and would like be a subject for this project, let me know at johngmeadows@gmail.com.

Sony A7ii, 58mm/f2 Helios 44 lens

MPP (My Photography Podcast) 52: Imperfections


Imperfection is the common theme this week; I talk about how I love the artistic effect of the optical imperfections of the Helios 44/2 lens, and the copy of got for my Nikon, tricked out to work on a Nikon body, by this clever technician (fascinating video by the way).

The other aspect of Imperfection is a reflection on my piano lessons and music, and dealing with the ups and downs of the creative process.

Here are a couple of examples of the swirly effect that is possible with the Helios 44 series of lenses.



Last Sunday morning on the U of T campus. Did she find solitude or did solitude find her?

U of T012

Canon Rebel TI, Helios 44 58mm/2 lens (39mm mount) via adapter
Rollei Retro 80s film, stand developed 1 hour in Rodinal 1+100 @ 20 C

Complicated Light

Another image from my walk around the University of Toronto campus on Sunday morning. This is a doorway at Trinity College. I loved the dappled, complicated light I was seeing that morning!

U of T014-Edit

Canon Rebel TI with Helios 44 58mm/2 lens (39 mm mount, via adapter)
Rollei Retro 80s film, stand developed for 1 hour @ 20 C in Rodinal 1+100

Sharp Light

Yesterday afternoon was a lovely sunny fall day, with a low sun that created interesting hard-edged shadows with a lot of crispness It would have made outdoors portraiture tough, but for what I was shooting at the University of Toronto campus it was perfect.

Nov Distillery dist050-2

Canon Rebel TI, 58mm/2 Helios 44 lens, mounted via adapter
Rollei RPX 25 film, stand developed for one hour in Rodinal 1+100 @ 20 C

Plant in the Light

Another image from Taylor Creek Park. Shooting the Helios 44 wide open gave a soft effect that I quite like for a lot of the plant


Canon Rebel TI with 58mm F2 Helios 44 lens mounted via an adapter
Polypan F film exposed at EI 50,
developed in Xtol 1+1.5 for 9 minutes @ 20 C

End of Season

This image was created in Taylor Creek Park, no far from where we live in East York. For much of the last few days it has been warm and sunny, but it is still autumn.


Canon Rebel TI camera with Helios 44 58mm/2 lens mounted via an adapter
Polypan F film @ EI 50, developed in Xtol 1+1.75 for 9 minutes @ 20 C

A New Lease on Life

One of my favourite lenses is my early 1960’s Russian-built Helios 44/2 58mm lens, with an obscure lens mount: a 39mm thread mount, not meant for Leica for a specific model of Zenit SLR’s. The lens is amazing, but I’ve had horrible luck with the bodies in terms of longevity. I found a lens mount adapter from China on eBay Β for six bucks that I originally got mount the lens on my Pen F half-frame, but I realized I could use on on Canon EOS mount cameras as well. At “The Big One” film camera sale last weekend I was able to pick up a Canon Rebel G body in perfect shape for $15, and this lens has a new home :-). The image below was taken the same day I got the camera body

The tree

Shot on Rollei RPX film, developed in Rodinal 1+50