In this review we will tell about lens Helios-65 Automat 2/50 N652018 with rare bayonet «Kiev-Automat», which was made on the plant «Arsenal» in Kiev. Bayonet-type mount is used only for Soviet reflex cameras Kiev-10, Kiev-11 (prototype), Kiev-15 Tee and Kiev-15 TTL. Pay attention, all lenses with bayonet «Kiev-Automat» don’t match for the modern cameras, because there is no adapter from bayonet «Kiev-Automat» to any other camera. You need to make a home-made adapter or to alter the lens, to use Helios-65 on the modern camera. If you see the word «Automat» on the Soviet lens at all, it means, that there will be some difficulties with using these lenses on the modern cameras, and it will be better to avoid such purchase.
Helios-65 is one of the first standard lenses for cameras with bayonet «Kiev-Automat», subsequently it was changed for Helios-81 2/50 Automat and Helios-81 2/53 Automat. Probably, Helios-65 became the base for the creating of Helios-81. Both lenses have the same optical arrangement which consists of 6 elements in 4 groups.
My Helios-65 has a perceptible backlash on the focusing ring. From all of lenses with bayonet «Kiev-Automat», I had only Mir-1 2.8/37 without this backlash on the focusing ring. The other lenses seemed to be made carelessly. Focusing ring has a typical black-and-white coloring (so-calling «zebra»).
Lens’s iris has only 6 blades. The blades are made of polished red-golden metal. It’s very easy to get nuts on the covered aperture. As all «Automat» lenses, Helios-65 has no aperture’s control ring, but you can regulate it by the special lip from the bayonet’s side. You will have to take the lens off to set the necessary aperture settings by the using on the modern cameras. The aperture’s control on the native devices was realized through the camera’s automation. Helios-65 has a focusing distance scale (in meters only) and a depth-of-field scale for F/2, 4, 5.6, 8, 11, 16, 22.
The front lens doesn’t rotate by the focusing, the lens carriage extends. The focusing ring rotates by 270 degrees, it’s movement is smooth. The focusing is made by the movement of all lens’s block. Minimal focusing distance is 50cm. At the same time the maximal ultra-close-up photography can be 1:7,9. The front light filter’s diameter is 49mm, the front cover is metallic, without any latch, it densely adjoins to a case frame.
Helios-65 pictures reminds of Helios-81 2/53 «Automat». The lens is afraid of back- and sidelight. The small blend helps to avoid the gatings. In the center of the frame the lens has a medium sharpness on F/2.0, but on the covered apertures it becomes sharper. Sometimes Helios-65 can lose the contrast and pictures offend the eye. Bokeh is twisted, what is typical for the most of Helios lenses.
Helios-65 Automat 2/50 is an ordinary lens with rare bayonet «Kiev-Automat». It is very afraid of the gatings and can catch sunlight spots in the backlight. It’s of no interest because of difficulties in using on the modern cameras. The pictures reminds of Helios-81.
Movritsio: Nice shoots. The lens is on point.
Natalia: Thanks for this review!
Andrey: I think, it’ll be good for some reasons. Where can you even get such sunlight spots? They can be needed for some portraits.