A few years ago I wrote a little about my new toy - manual lens Jupiter-9. Here I have the new one Helios 40-2. I use it with Nikon but it can fit to other systems too. So I'd like to share my new experience with it.

Helios 40-2 is mostly known for it's unique bokeh. The price for this lens has grown quite high as for manual lens in the past few years. For some it's a kind of trendy lens to have. Though I decided to discover it's capability with my full frame camera.

Firstly about the manual working. I found it really exciting and catching up to put more efforts while focusing. Well it's quite complicated for moving objects but there are many shoots I do for mostly stable situations: backgrounds, portrais, landscapes. I usually work with open aperture as it's F1.5 of this lens. The DOF is really tight so it's more evident to watch it, though you need to be accurate to get the right place in focus.

As you know the bokeh itself is quite a creative expression. And it occurs only in the right circumstances if we talk about that glowing bokeh but not just about out of focus area. So the Helios 40-2 gives you possibility to feel the real pleasure of interesting bokeh. Sometimes it happens to see the "dancing" objects in the photo as it's called swirl bokeh. This swirl bokeh gives an expected moment to me. I can only feel how to make it but never know for sure wich objects and where can give the wanted result.

Lens flare. Sometimes it can be called like disadvantage that makes low quality lens. But on the other hand this disadvantage can be used as a creative moment. This lens also gives a special impresive lens flare.

The effects are natural in these photos. It's only the lens bokeh, flare and post production with contrast and colors.

Thanks for reading,

I hope some of you will find this article useful :) And I really wish you to try this lens :)

Nature background

Nature bokeh

Fresh nature green

Spring leaves and sun flare

Fresh nature green

Spring leaves and sun flare

Spring leaves and lens flare

Spring buds and lens flare

Blooming tree flowers and lens flare

Blooming tree flowers

Spider web

Photo credits: Darius Strazdas.
Darius Strazdas
View blog View portfolio
  • Yellowind
  • Vilnius, Lithuania
I am one of the remote photo editors for Dreamstime.

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October 15, 2015


I wrote about Helios 40-2 85mm f/1.5 lens. It give you the unique swirl bokeh, let's try if you have one!

When you say Helios lens you mean the one which came with the Russian Zenith in the seventies? I have one of those if I did not trough it out. I need to check, If I am correct mine is 50mm.



September 25, 2015

i like it..very artsy...


September 11, 2015

Truly beautiful work.


August 02, 2015

Awesome work.Beautiful results.Thanks for sharing.


July 26, 2015

Amazing images and blog!


June 22, 2015

Nice! Thanks Darius Strazdas


May 05, 2015

Unusual bokeh! Very interesting. Keep going your experiments


April 30, 2015

really nice job! - I was trying this lately myself with a MFT camera and the Canon FD 1,4/50 - I was blown away by the bokeh but as you mentioned, one has to be careful on what to set the focus


April 27, 2015

Amazing blurs photos I like bokeh the for sharing


April 23, 2015

So lovely..Thanks for sharing..


April 21, 2015

Really beautiful and amazing photos. The bokeh effect is one of my favorite and these pictures definitely represent what I like. Compliments to the author.


April 21, 2015

these are beautiful, like fine art I'd hang over my sofa. very nice! thanks for sharing!