The Helios 44 is basically a copy of the Carl Zeiss Jena Biotar 58mm f/2, optically that is. At the beginning it was even called “БТК” – “БиоТар Красногорский” (BioTar Krasnogorski). At the end of Wold War II the Russians took the Zeiss’ designs and materials back to Russia and copied them. The Soviet Union manufactured millions of this lens in different variants and it shipped as standard lens on many Soviet (Zenit) cameras. KMZ (the same factory that made the Zenit cameras) started manufacturing this lens from 1945. The Helios 44 lenses have built a cult around themselves in modern days and have been very popular for portrait photography and videography, it is the number one vintage lens used for making videos on modern cameras. It is very popular for its image character, its clickless aperture, balanced center sharpness and not least its swirly bokeh. Let’s have a look!