Arsat H 1:2 50mm Review

01/06/2015 - 19:39
Arsat H 1:2 50mm




Arsat H 1:2 50mm is a standard lens for the 35mm SLR camera Kiev-19. The early name is MC Helios-81H (Russian name “МС Гелиос 81H”). Made in USSR. Letter ‘H’ means that the lens has Nikon F mount (Ai compatible). Lens manufactured by an “Arsenal” factory, Kiev, Ukraine.

Arsat H 2 50mm

Lens belongs to a vast family of ‘Helios’ lenses, the prototype of which is the optical design of Carl Zeiss Jena Biotar (Planar type).

Arsat H 2 50mm

The main advantage of MC Helios 81H is that it fully compatible with cameras Nikon Ai F mount. I think this is the main reason why this model costs more than twice as Helios 44-2.

My copy is released in ’96, this is evidenced by the first two digits of the serial number, which is not located on the ring with the inscription, and on the barrel near the lens mount.

 

Arsat H 1:2 50mm Specs:

Focal length: 50 mm
Aperture: f/ 2— f/ 16
Weight (gr/oz): 300 / 10.6
Length (mm/in): 48 / 1.9
Filter Ø (mm.): 52
Aperture blades: 6
Min. Focus distance (m.): 0.5

Arsat H 2 50mm

Aperture blades are blackened

 

Arsat H 1:2 50mm Handling and Mechanics

The lens has a compact size, like a pancake, but at the same time quite weighty.

Arsat H 2 50mm on Nikon SLR

Arsat H 1:2 50 mm (MC Helios 81 H 1:2 50mm) on Nikon SLR camera

Overall dimensions of a usual 50mm lens. They convenient and easy to use.

It is a bit larger and heavier than the Olympus OM Zuiko 50 mm f/ 1.8, which is considered one of the smallest 50mm “Planar” family lenses.

 

Arsat H 1:2 50mm Field Test and Sample Photos

All samples were taken on Nikon D3100. Raw export, minimal exposure correction.

Arsat H 1:2 50mm FocusingThe lens has a narrow focus ring that rotates 270 degrees.

Arsat H 2 50mm sample photos flower

f/ 4

MFD —0,5 m, usual distance for standard 50mm lenses.

Arsat H 2 50mm sample photos child portrait

f/ 2

 

Arsat H 1:2 50mm Sharpness

At aperture f / 2 in close focus, has a little soft, and sometimes you can get smooth character. At aperture f / 2.8 sharpness is well.

Arsat H 2 50mm sample photos child portrait

f/ 2

Arsat H 2 50mm sample photos crop

Crop 100% size of the previous photo.

Arsat H 2 50mm sample photos child

f/ 2

Note:
USSR lenses have a large variation in the quality, so I judge sharpness and all other parameters based on the current copy.

Arsat H 2 50mm sample photos child portrait, bubbles

f/ 2.8

 

Arsat H 1:2 50mm Character and bokeh

 

Lens gives live pretty photos. As well as all Helios lenses it had swirly bokeh, but not swirly as Helios 44-2.

Arsat H 2 50mm sample photos kids in grass

f/ 2

Arsat H 2 50mm sample photos kid

f/ 2

Arsat H 2 50mm sample photos kid on market

f/ 4

 

Arsat H 1:2 50mm Contrast and Color Rendering

In most cases, the colors are luscious, pleasant. The lens is multi-coated.

Arsat H 2 50mm sample photos flower

f/ 4

In backlight, the contrast is not good. And sometimes when the subject and a strong side light can distort color, especially skin tones.

Arsat H 2 50mm sample photos backlite

f/ 2

Therefore, as for all old lenses, the hood is recommended.

Arsat H 2 50mm sample photos klown and kid

f/ 2.8

Arsat H 2 50mm sample photos kindergarden

f/ 2

Personal experience
Arsat H 1: 2 to 50 mm this is my first manual focus lens, after daily use I get rid of kit Nikkor 18-55 mm 1: 3.5-5.6.

Arsat H 2 50mm sample photos child near brickwall

f/ 2

Yet because of the low contrast, it can not be the best 50mm lens. But lens has interesting swirly Helios type bokeh and different from the other lenses.

Arsat H 2 50mm sample photos flower

f/ 4

Arsat H 2 50mm sample photos child festival

f/ 4





Mal's picture
Thank you for the review.i have just ordered one from the Ukraine to use on my old Nikon D70,hope my results will match yours.Cheers Mal from the UK.
Roman Stepanenko's picture
Dear Ivan I had read your article and found it very useful.I have 2 Kiev 19M with Arsat H 1:2 50mm.I am going to visit UK and would like to sell my possessions.Do you know shops in London which are interested in such kind of items?
Ivan K's picture
Hi Roman. Unfortunately, I don't know local shops in London which these things can be interesting, but I think more effectively sell it on Ebay. Or try to find British local online-shops via item description on Ebay. Many people put there links to own local online shops and you may contact with them.
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