The 50/55 lenses cost me about $15 each and the Vivitars were all under $50. I use them on either a Spotmatic or Ricoh TL or with an M42/K adapter on either a Chinon CP6 or Ricoh XR1. Mt favorit lens is the 135/2.3.
With this particular lens, everything really depends on where and when was it made - you see, Helios-44-2 name was a nightmare for many Soviet photographers, and an excellent example of how the optics shouldn't work... but as always, in the whole inferno of these lenses one can find a diamond
Originally Posted by nzeeman
Helios 44-2 58/2 very nice lens. i tried a lot of lenses but this has something, i cant explain what- maybe nice colors and sharpness.
The Takumars, of course, and many many Soviet and DDR-made lenses are still in my posession and use - a fabulous titanic Helios-40 85/1.5, a small Makro-Flectogon 35/3.5, Orestor 100/2.8 and 135/3.5, a strange but amazing Industar-61 L/Z, and others. I also cured my 50/1.4 Takumar from yellowing by intense UV irradiation, so I can shoot slides with it now without any cast
The 55/1.8 Super-Takumar is one of the great all-time "sleeper" lenses. It gets overshadowed by its "big brother", the 50/1.4, but I think it is every bit as good or better than the 50/1.4. Has a subtle but unique "signature", particularly close-up. I've been shooting this lens for 35 years. If I had to give up all gear except one lens, it would be a tough call between this lens and one of the 1950's Schneider Xenon's.