Meyer Gorlitz Helioplan 1:4,5/75. Review

03/23/2018 - 13:57
Meyer Gorlitz Helioplan 1:4,5/75

Helioplan 1:4,5/75 is a medium format enlarger lens of legendary Meyer Optik Görlitz.

Meyer Optik produced lenses names 'Helioplan' from the mid-1920s to 1952. All of them have an aperture of 1:4.5. There were 6 different focal lengths: 40mm, 55mm for small format, 75 mm for medium format, 105 mm, 135 mm, 210 mm for large format. These were both photo and enlarger lenses.

All Helioplans have a symmetrical optical design called Dialyte. 4 lenses in 4 groups. Such design also has Goerz Celor lenses and Soviet Oragoz.

optical design of Helioplan 4,5/75


My copy Meyer Gorlitz Helioplan 1:4,5/75 has serial number 1099622; it was produced in 1949; this is the first model of DDR Meyer Optic. After the German division, Meyer Optik was in the DDR. Since 1950, this same model was produced with a new postwar barrel design.

This copy has a pre-war barrel design, unpainted aluminum. Optic elements are not coated.

Helioplan 4,5/75

The lens has small dimensions: 30mm long, the diameter of the barrel is 33mm. The lens has an M42 mount. Perhaps this is an adaptation because, on the internet, I saw the same design, but without a threaded mount.

Helioplan 4,5/75

The lens has a filter mount of 30mm and a grooved diaphragm fitting ring, it was painted black, but the paint peeled off over the years. On the ring, there are aperture numbers: 4.5 - 5.6 - 8 - 11 - 16 - 22.

Helioplan 4,5/75 aperture

The aperture closes smoothly and has 14 petals, which have a bluish tinge. This allows you to form smooth circles on bokeh.

The lens looks very unusual on the camera and causes surprise for passers-by people :).

Helioplan 4,5/75 on Nikon

I mount the Helioplan on the Nikon D3100 through a Chinese focusing helicoid 12-17 mm. By chance, infinity was just at the minimal position of the helicoid.


Meyer Gorlitz Helioplan 1:4,5/75 sample shots

All examples are shot on a wide-open aperture on Nikon D3100, RAW export with a slight exposure correction.


Helioplan 1:4,5/75 Sharpness

On the wide-open, the lens has good sharpness. Resolution is not high but sufficient for most scenes.

Helioplan 4,5/75 photo examples boy and bicycle

When the aperture is closing to 5.6 and 8, I did not notice a sharpening gain.

Helioplan 4,5/75 photo examples street


Helioplan 1:4,5/75 Character and Bokeh

The lens is rather sharp and moderately soft. It has good plasticity, which is good for shooting portraits.

Helioplan 4,5/75 photo examples boy

Helioplan 4,5/75 photo examples kid portrait

It has a calm character and creamy bokeh.

Helioplan 4,5/75 photo examples garden

Helioplan 4,5/75 photo examples kid

Helioplan 4,5/75 photo examples outdoor portrait

The aperture is slow, but sometimes you can watch branded Meyer discs, similar to soap bubbles, which are clearly visible on Trioplans.

Helioplan 4,5/75 photo examples bokeh


Helioplan 1:4,5/75 Contrast and Color Rendering

Despite in fact that the lens is not coated, It does have not too bad contrast. Especially when you shoot on a clear sunny day, it rendering bright colors. 

Helioplan 4,5/75 photo examples car

Helioplan 4,5/75 photo examples pigeons

Helioplan 4,5/75 photo examples cityscape

Helioplan 4,5/75 photo examples color rendition

Helioplan 4,5/75 photo examples girl portrait

If you shoot in cloudy weather or indoor, colors are not so bright, and gray shades have dominated. This is because of the coating absence of affection.

Helioplan 4,5/75 photo examples child portrait

If you convert the picture to black and white, it will look good.

Helioplan 4,5/75 photo examples

Helioplan 4,5/75 photo examples child

The lens hasn't good perform in backlit but tolerant to strong side light through its symmetrical optical design.

Helioplan 4,5/75 photo examples in backlit

The sample in the strong backlit.

Helioplan 4,5/75 photo examples sky

The sample of sky color rendition, with a dash of dirt.

Helioplan 4,5/75 photo examples children

Helioplan 4,5/75 photo examples flowers

The lens is a good performer for shooting macro; though its symmetrical optical design, it has a wide depth of field in competing with non-symmetrical analogs.

Helioplan 4,5/75 photo examples flowers

Helioplan 4,5/75 photo examples flowers

Helioplan 4,5/75 photo examples flowers


Meyer Gorlitz Helioplan 1:4,5/75 — is an interesting vintage enlarger lens.  The lens will be interesting for collectors because it has a prewar optical and barrel design but was produced after WWII.


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Bernd Hutschenreuther's picture
Hi, it is a wonderful lense. I have a later version. I like the wonderfull bokeh and color rendering.
Example photos: 
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