Helios-81M 2/53 is like its brother, MS Helios-81Н 2/50. In fact, it’s the same lens, but with a different socket of the housing and the enlightenment. The difference in focal length has more common with the very symbol than with real differences.
It seems quite strange that Helios-81M 2/53 has the symbol ‘M’ in its name. All lenses from camera brands ‘Kiev’ with mount ‘N’ have the letter ‘N’ in its name.
Note: Lens Helios-81M 2/53 of different years of production may require an easy alteration and cannot always be installed on some modern SLR cameras as Nikon, for instance. It’s very essential to examine the concrete camera. If you need to set lens on camera, you should cut the back part of the skirt on the aperture ring.
The lens has a single layer of enlightenment, visually poorly marked.
The lens aperture consists of 6 blades, they are are blackened. In the side you can see ‘nuts‘ on the closed diaphragms. You can set the values of F/2, 2.8, 4, 5.6, 8, 11, 16.
The focus of the lens is smooth, the focus ring rotates 270 degrees, while the front lens does not rotate, and the lens extends its trunk to 1 cm. Minimum focusing distance is 50 cm. On a subject distance scale infinity ‘starts’ after 12 meters. There is a scale depth of field on the lens.
The lens is very sharp on full frame. It gives a noticeable vignette on F2.0. It copes with side and back light worse than the MC version. It’s better to use Helios-81M 2/53 with the lens hood as the lens catches image distortions and different glare. Surely, Helios-81M 2/53 is for professional and amateur photographers.
Helios-81M 2/53 is good fast fixed lens. In general, it’s worse than his brother MC Helios-81Н 2/50, but not so much so as not to draw on the Helios-81M its attention.
Pavel: I have this one. I bought it together with the camera Kiev-17, because I hadn’t been using it for a very long time. The aperture ceased to jump. I had to be redone it a bit. Now the skipping rope does not work, but the diaphragm is installed. On the whole, I am very pleased with it.
Lesha: Today I have purchased a Helios 81M. I Had to cut the skirt of the aperture ring entirely. This version made me happy— well assembled, excellent sharpness and aperture. Photo are really cool.
Denis: I have this lens. It works in tandem with the D5200 pretty good . I did not cut down anything, it becomes tightly and securely. The filter is 49 mm. Photos are really a bit yellow, but that’s about to change in LR. If you can get to sharpness, the photos are very interesting and beautiful. I recommend to take pictures in RAW, where you can correct exposure . Good luck , everyone!
Roman: I have bought this lens recently, I had to cut down the aperture ring skirt and now everything works fine.