I wasn’t quite so lucky with the serial number this time, getting a 1991 sample. Those who know Soviet history will recall that the USSR collapsed in 1991 & as the rumours of this collapse circulated there was an understandable drop in the quality of output from state-subsidised optical plants like KMZ & its satellite plant LZOS. Still, whilst this particular sample may not be optically as good as some of the earlier, chromed samples, the build quality is still superb & the rings are some of the smoothest I have felt. Incidentally, this is the first pre-set aperture lens I have used; there are two aperture rings, one to set what aperture you want & a second to actually stop down. So you set the aperture you want with the first ring, focus wide open & then stop down with the second ring before taking the shot.
last year’s Reading Party (my 1st) which was just after I had taken delivery of the K20D. You would think that a year on there would be a noticeable improvement in my photos… but I still rush composition far too much! It was raining a bit when we went out & whilst the K20D & grip are weather sealed, the 28mm Sigma isn’t, so I put the Helios 44-M (Soviet M42 58mm f2) on instead as it wouldn’t be the end of the world if that £13 investment got wet! Should’ve rotated this one a bit more anticlockwise… I didn’t even notice the threads of spider web here until I looked at the photo on my computer – guess I got the manual focus right! Not sure what the deal with the pink stuff in the top corner is, could be some nasty chromatic aberration around spider web. Now this bit of spider web I did notice at the time. Didn’t get this anything like I wanted. Would’ve had to stop down more, but was already at the limit of how steady my hands are at f2. And of course there were the taps! Including these extra longs ones!