Arsat H 1:2 50mm Review
Arsat H 1:2 50mm is a standart lens for the 35mm SLR camera Kiev-19. 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.
Lens belongs to a vast family of ‘Helios’ lenses, the prototype of which is the optical design of Carl Zeiss Jena Biotar (Planar type).
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
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 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 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.
MFD —0,5 m, usual distance for standart 50mm lenses.
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.
Crop 100% size of previous photo.
USSR lenses have a large variation in the quality, so I judge sharpness and all other parameters based on the current copy.
Arsat H 1:2 50mm Character and bokeh
Lens gives live a pretty photos. As well as all Helios lenses it had swirly bokeh, but not swirly as Helios 44-2.
Arsat H 1:2 50mm Contrast and Color Rendering
In most cases, the colors are luscious, pleasant. The lens is multi-coated.
In backlight the contrast is not good. And sometimes when the subject and a strong side light can distort color, especially skin tones.
Therefore, as for all old lenses, hood is recommended.
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.
Yet because of the low contrast it can not be best 50mm lens. But lens has interesting swirly Helios type bokeh and different from the other lenses.