Wedding + Helios 44m-7

Discussion in 'Street and Documentary' started by dsiglin, Jul 1, 2013.

  1. dsiglin

    dsiglin TalkEmount Veteran

    Apr 23, 2013
    Greenville, SC
    Have I mentioned how much I love the Helios 44 series lenses? It's not as fast as my canon 1.4 and not as sharp wide open but it has wonderful character including some bokeh all it's own. I was in a friend's wedding a few weeks ago and figured it was a good excuse to bring out the Helios, I like to use it for more "artsy" shots. I'm glad I brought it along as the official wedding photographers left before the garter and bouquet toss and that's always one of the most memorable moments. The effective focal length of 87 means I had to back out to get the garter/bouquet photos, it also made "people sniping" easier. So, in no particular order here are a few shots.

    These first three photos are jpg "rich monotone" setting which is HDR but in black and white. I really like the richer dynamic range without the overbaked look that HDR often has.





    Day of the wedding

    The rest of these photos were shot RAW and then postprocessed in Lightroom 4.

    The Helios is flare prone, I have a rubber collapsible hood on at all times, but even when it does flare the results are often pleasing.


    Deadly sharp is this lens.

    It's a personal taste thing, but I love love love the busy bokeh this lens can give.




    If you don't have one of these lenses you can get them on ebay for $30-$60 with shipping. With all russian lenses it a bit of a lottery. I bought mine from a usa owner so I paid $70 for it knowing I could easily return it if it wasn't as described, and wouldn't have to wait a week to get it.
  2. dsiglin

    dsiglin TalkEmount Veteran

    Apr 23, 2013
    Greenville, SC
    One final image I wanted to put in but was limited to 10. The girl who caught the bouquet was a wee bit excited. Her counterpart kept it cool.

    btw - any critiques or pointers are greatly appreciated!

  3. burgboy

    burgboy New to TalkEmount

    Jul 1, 2013
    I was impressed by your pictures.

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  4. Jaf-Photo

    Jaf-Photo TalkEmount Veteran

    Mar 25, 2013
    I like these photos, they have a look that is very suited to weddings. For me it's little bit difficult to see what is a result of the lens and what is a result of the camera settings and the post processing.

    Would you have some phots with no in-camera or post processing effects? I'm always on the lookout for character lenses, so it would be interesting to see.
  5. davect01

    davect01 Super Moderator

    Aug 20, 2011
    Fountain Hills, AZ
    Real Name:
    Lovely, fun shots.

    Very unprofessional for the photographer to leave early.:frown:
  6. Mel Snyder

    Mel Snyder New to TalkEmount

    Jun 30, 2013
    You have a splendid eye and an ability to get the best out of whatever anyone would put in your hands and call a camera. The image of the flower girl and ring bearer was the best for me.

    I need to look at my collection of Russian lenses - I'm sure there's a Helios-44 in there.
  7. NickCyprus

    NickCyprus Super Moderator

    Oct 11, 2012
    Real Name:
    I agree - there are some amazing photos here, especially from your 2nd set ("day of the wedding")

    I think "walking3" is my favourite along with the close-up of the bridegroom's suit

  8. dsiglin

    dsiglin TalkEmount Veteran

    Apr 23, 2013
    Greenville, SC
    I'm glad to have a community to share them with, thanks for the positive feedback, I hope the photos gave a good sense of the day. I like to share experiences with people and photography is one of the best ways to put people in the moment. I'm also thankful for how many lenses the mirrorless cameras take, it has taught me the adage one shouldn't be tied to a camera, but to a lens.

    Jaf, here are photos straight from camera. I underexposed, I think, by -.7
    I definitely did some heavy post processing to them, I'm searching for a "look" and I'm finding I like photos without super dark darks. Incidentally, my frustration with the dynamic range of the Nex, well actually all digital cameras under $3000, led me to purchase an Olympus OM2n which should arrive in the next few days. I'll still shoot mostly with the Nex but I'm going to dabble in film. And the OM2n is dead sexy, compact, and got that X factor as well as being "full frame".

  9. Jaf-Photo

    Jaf-Photo TalkEmount Veteran

    Mar 25, 2013
    Thanks for posting the originals. They really look nice. I really like the way this lens renders images. Congratulations on the film camera. It will transform the way these legacy lenses see and it's a lot of fun.
  10. dsiglin

    dsiglin TalkEmount Veteran

    Apr 23, 2013
    Greenville, SC
    That's why I often hit the streets with this lens over the Canon 1.4. Canon is great and has nice nuetral rendering, but this lens has character even if it isn't as sharp across the image.

    If you are looking to buy one of these, here's all the info you will need about the various incarnations:
    Helios-44 - Camerapedia

    I'd suggest the 44m-7 as it has the best coating and the best resolving power.