Recent Camera and Lens Purchases (Canon EOS M, Helios, Industar & Zenit)

This blog post is about my recent camera and lens purchases, which include a Canon EOS M, Helios, Industar and Zenit.

A photo of two cameras, lens and related items.

Note: As this blog post focuses on manual lenses, I took all the photos using an old SMC Pentax-M 1:1.7 50mm lens which I was kindly given for free. I attached the lens to my Canon EOS M camera using a Fotga PK-EOSM adapter. Some of the photos were taken using a Pentax extension tube. I resisted using my auto-focus lenses and other equipment!


I’ve been buying a lot of camera items during the last year. I’ve built up a sizeable lens collection and whilst I’ve been doing photography for years, I still view myself as a novice, especially when it comes to manual lenses. Though my first camera was a film camera with a manual lens!

The intention of this blog post is to cover what I’ve just purchased, give some early feedback and then later on publish some other blog posts about some of the items I’ve mentioned.

If this topic is of interest to you, please subscribe to the blog or add the RSS feed to your reader. I also blog about other topics, but for a while I’m going to try and publish at least two photography blog posts a month.

The Canon EOS M camera

I purchased a faulty Canon EOS M via eBay and blimey was it dirty! In the photos below you can still see the dirt, but I’ve already cleaned it once and will do so again soon.

A black Canon EOS M camera

What I tackled first of all was the fact that the camera wouldn’t work with a EF lens in automatic mode as one of the EF-M connections appears stuck. I decided to enable the camera setting to release the shutter without a lens and now I can use my collection of old manual lenses.

A close up photo showing part of a Canon EOS M camera.

The second thing I tackled was a dirty sensor. I cleaned it a few times and after taking some test photos, I’m satisfied I’ve cleaned it enough.

This is actually my second EOS-M camera, which either my fiancée or I will use. The thinking is that when we’re out and about we both can now use a EOS-M camera. The camera didn’t come with a cap, so I’ve ordered one via eBay.

The rear of a dirty Canon EOS M camera

What I’ve not photographed is the three batteries that accompanied the camera, which are very welcome and will come in useful.

The USSR made Zenit EM camera with a M42 Helios 44-2 lens

Whilst I had started to lean towards Canon lenses a while ago, now I’m also looking more at other brands and recently lenses from Russia and nearby.

I’ve liked what I read about the Helios 44-2, so decided to buy it and purchased what I think was a reasonable deal for a Zenit EM with the lens attached.

A photo of a Zenit EM camera with a Helios 44-2 lens

Thankfully the Helios 58mm f2 lens came with a 49mm front cap. The lens is well built, heavy and despite the age and it being a bit tough to turn one part, on a quick glance it seems okay.

A photo of a Helios 44-2 lens

The camera itself looks very nice and has details for the Moscow 1980 Olympics. I’m considering using the Zenit camera in the future, but for the time being I’m going to use the Helios with a M42-EOSM adapter on a Canon EOS M or perhaps try it with another adapter with my Canon 20D.

A photo showing a Canon EOS M with an attached M42 adapter and Helios 44-2 lens

I’m excited to see what I can do with the Helios lens and that does include ‘bokeh’ photographs.

Industar 50-2 50mm lens

Another Russian lens and this time it’s a small lens that does look out of place on a large M42 adapter! Like the Helios, I’m going to use the Industar with my Canon EOS M.

A photo of a Canon EOS M camera with an adapter and Industar 50-2 lens

This time I wasn’t as lucky, as it appears there is a bit of dirt in the lens and the front area where a cap or filter would screw/fit onto is slightly bent.

A photo of the Industar 50-2 lens

I already knew I wasn’t going to receive any caps with this lens and my current collection of spare caps doesn’t have the size available. I hopeful a job lot of caps I recently purchased will include some.

A photo showing the rear of the Industar 50-2 lens

When I feel able to take this lens out and about, it’s doubtful I will take this on any trips, but I’m thinking about taking it on photo walks nearby and I’m looking forward to using it.

Final thoughts

I’m going to publish separate blog posts about the EOS-M camera and the two lenses sometime during the next month. I’ve also ordered some other lenses to blog about shortly and a mixture of photography items for future projects. I believe it’s a good era for being able to buy cheap photography items.

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