Tag: Helios 44/2

Mixing It Up

Most portraits are vertically oriented (hence the term “portrait orientation”). But it is fun to mix things up now and then. Here is another image of my photographer friend Suzanne. To show as much of the Helios 44/2 lens’s optical character (namely the swirl with the lens wide open) I felt the portrait needed to be horizontal.


Zenit 3M 35mm SLR with Helios 44/2 58mm/2 lens
Ilford FP4+ developed in Xtol 1+1 for 9 minutes @ 20 C
Diffusion and toning added in post

Michelle 1

Today’s image is a portrait of my friend Michelle, who hosted a lovely gathering outside of Montreal a couple of weeks ago. I think the landscape orientation works for this portrait, and I love the expression she has!


Pentax Spotmatic F with Helios 44/2 58mm lens
Rollei Retro 80s film, developed in Rodinal 1+50 for 20 minutes @ 20 C
Toning and diffusion in post


Amy 2

Here is the second image from the photoshoot with Amy last week. This image was created with my Zenit 3M 35mm SLR and Helios 44/2 lens, to get the swirly bokeh in the background. The film used was Rollei Retro 80s, and I added some diffusion in post.

Amy playing Guitar

Adriana Through the Helios 44/2

Today, two images from my Allan Gardens shoot with my good friend Adriana this past Saturday. These images are from a roll of Tri-X shot on a Pentax Spotmatic with one of my Helios 44/2 58mm lenses. A classic camera, classic film and a classic lens came together nicely, and Adriana’s expressions were classic as well!

Adriana film 2

Adriana film 1

Another Shoot With Naima

On Sunday I had another shoot with Naima, this time outdoors on a decidedly chilly day, in the ravine near Yonge and St. Clair. Naima was a real trooper and did not let the cold get in the way of a great shoot.



Zenit 3m 35mm SLR, Helios 44/2 58mm f2 lens
Tri-X @ EI 800, developed in Diafine 3 + 3

Naima Act II: Film

Today, more images of Naima, created with one of the film cameras I used at the shoot: an early 60’s ere Zenit 3M, with the Helios 44/2 Β 58mm f2 lens that is becoming my new best friend as far as portraiture is concerned. As for Naima, she has a look in these images that to me has an Old World sensibility that I like. Both images were shot on Tri-X, developed in Diafine. Lighting was done with a late 50’s movie light, through a lighting umbrella

Naima on film

Naima on film

Those Swirl the Days

I love photo gear that imparts character to images, and this is one area where vintage film gear beats digital. This image was taken with an old Soviet-era Zenit 3M SLR, and a 58mm f2 Helios 44/2 lens. A Russian copy of the Zeiss Biotar lens, when stopped down to a small aperture it is quite sharp, but when used wide open (as it was in this image of my friend and fellow film fanatic Ori) you can get an amazing “Swirl” in the out of focus areas, especially away from the centre of the frame.

Shooting film

Zenit 3M SLR, Helios 44/2 58mm/f2 lens
Tri-X developed in Pyrocat HD 1+1+100,16 minutes


Today, another image shot with my Soviet Russia era Helios 44/2 58mm/f2 lens. I took this image with the lens mounted on my Yashica TL-Electro SLR body, using Kodak Cinema XX film at E.I. 200. The occasion was the engagement photo shoot of GIllian and Kari.

The Helios 44/2 lens has achieved cult status in some quarters due to the “swirl” one can achieve in the unfocused parts of the image, when shooting wide-open, and the effect is really evident in this image. Shooting in full shade wide open at 1/60th means the image isn’t tack sharp, but I do love those swirls πŸ™‚

Helios 44/2

Twilight Portrait

Today, one of the film images from the session with Jennifer this past Saturday. This shoot marked the first time I used a recently acquired Helios 44/2 lens (58mm, f2). This lens is a Soviet Russian era copy of a Carl Zeiss Biotar, and has quite a cult following in certain circles. The fact that its focal length is slightly longer than normal for a “normal” lens makes it great for portrait work. In this shoot I had it mounted on my Yashica TL-Electro. The lighting was not bright, so I was shooting wide open at 1/60th of a second, on Ilford HP5+, pushed to E.I. 800. I like the gritty, documentary look I got: it is a good match for Jennifer’s intense expression. She is a master at bringing emotion into a shoot!

Candle Portrait