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TheFieldJournal

Hellios 44-2 Lens, am I being too picky?

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Hey Guys, 

I've been lurking on the forums since I picked up my X-T3 back in September. 

I've expanded my kit quite a bit and fell in love with the images people were getting with the Hellios 44-2 lenses. After watching a bunch on eBay I read on another forum about people having really bad luck with auction lenses... and a few recommended a specific seller from Amazon shipping from Kiev in the Ukraine. I bought a lens in "Very Good" condition from Amazon and when I received it I found the front element full of micro scratches(normal I assume for a vintage lens) and one large one deep enough to catch my finger nail on near the middle of the element. The rest of the lens appeared to be in great shape mechanically, and just had a bit of cosmetic wear. 

I corresponded with the seller and he seemed apologetic and said he really valued his reputation and wanted me to be happy so he'd send another lens and to ship the first to his friend in the states. Fast forward another 3 weeks and the second lens showed up. This one has zero scratches, but it either has a chip or what looks to be a defect on the surface of the outer glass. Similar to when a piece of weld splatter or a spark hits glass. Internally it also has what appears to be a speck of paint about the size of a pin head on the element. This lens looks like it was spray painted on the outside. One of the aperture blades is creased as well. I haven't mounted it on the camera yet to see what the image quality is like. I'm guessing it was opened up and refurbished and any scratches on the element have been polished off, but the other defect was too deep so they just gave up. I don't see any evidence of coatings left. Both the internal and external blemishes on the element are about 1/8" from the OD, so maybe they would get cropped out... I'm just a bit annoyed as this one is in worse overall shape than the first lens. 

The pictures I took with the first lens appeared to be pretty good. I didn't pixel peep at all though and only shot a handful of images. I haven't shot with the second lens yet. 

Am I being too picky? If these were auction lenses I wouldn't have bid on them in the first place if they were properly described unless they were cheap. I didn't pay a ton ($50 with the generic adapter), but I think pristine examples aren't much more if I'm patient. I'd be okay with more cosmetic wear as long as the glass was nicer and it was mechanically sound. 

I'm not sure if the seller is being honest or he's just trying to come off as caring hoping I just keep one of the lenses. I was just in Kiev and have a few Ukrainian friends and they would be the first ones to suspect the latter. They love to rip people off with a smile over there even more so than in America. Too bad I didn't know about the lens before my trip, I would have picked one up in person. 

Thanks, 

TFJ

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The problem with the russian lenses is the qc. Also, they often store them inside a drawer. There are several sellers on the bay posting pics and you can check it out.
However it doesn't mean that a ding, a scratch, affect the final result. I have a Tair 133 that's great. It has a deep scratch on the rear lens, but on the pic you don't see anything.
One thing is be careful if you decide to open the lens, because the metal of screws on the barrel is very soft. You risk to ruin them with the screwdriver.

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