helios-44-2 breathes new life into my rebel
Having been predominantly shooting fully manual film cameras for a while now, I had become a little bored with my Canon 350D. I know it can be set to fully manual as well, but for whatever reason, I just wasn't that excited about using it that much anymore. It was too easy to use, and the kit lens is basically rubbish.
To be fair though, it is quite an old DSLR (11 years or so now), so it hasn't got most of the bells and whistles present in today's cameras. So it is sort of vintage in its own right. Still though, there's vintage and there's vintage.
Normally when I fancy a bit of instant gratification in the form of digital photography, I'd reach for my iPhone, or my Sony NEX 5n. Having recently lost the Sony however, I've been forced to dust off the Canon. I found an M42 adaptor and swapped out the kit lens for the Helios-44-2 ; the kit lens from my Zenit-E.
What a difference it made. Sure, there was no autofocus or shutter priority, but I usually manual-focus anyway. In aperture priority mode, I found the photos overexposed by almost a stop. Nothing exposure compensation couldn't fix.
The Helios lens is a 55mm focal length, so on the Zenit it is just longer than 'normal'. On the 350D with it's x1.6 crop factor, it's approaching telephoto. Also, it is kind of soft, so effectively it's virtually the prefect portrait lens.