I own a Helios-44, it has a m42 screw mount and does not own a focus ring. Is it possible to use this lens as a magnifying lens for analog prints, with a standard photo enlarger for analog prints. With a m42 to m39 adapter it could be screwed on the enlarger, will it give a decent quality compared to real magnifying lenses like a lower quality 50mm 3.5 Rodenstock Trinar.
It is unclear from the wording of your question, how you intend to use this lens. That being said, likely this lens is a Russian-made camera lens -- probably 58mm (focal length).
Camera lenses can be mounted on an enlarger in lieu of a proper enlarger lens. Camera lenses generally perform substandard for this application. What is needed is a flat-to-flat projection lens which is the specialty of an enlarger lens. A camera lens often yields blurred edges, but many find such a presentation to be acceptable.
You might be attempting to make copies of photographic prints using your camera. Most cameras will perform this task without the need to make optical modifications. If your camera won’t allow close-focusing, a simple fix is to buy an inexpensive close-up lens. These you mount before the existing camera lens. Consider buying a +3 close-up lens.
The tried and true solution to make close-up pictures is to buy a macro lens. These can be quite costly and therefore out-of-reach for your budget.
Could this Helios lens work for your camera? You would need to figure out how to mount and how to focus. This could be a daunting task and costly. Keep in mind, your existing camera lens and camera will likely allow you to make close-up pictures. It won’t do you any harm if you read your camera manual to find out how this is accomplished.
To use the lens with your enlarger:
- If you own a metal lathe, you could reduce the size of the screw on the lens.
- You can switch the m39 mount with an m42 mount on your enlarger.
- You can use a step-up ring with a male-m39 and female-m42. Such a ring is available on everyone's favorite auction site.
As far as quality is concerned, I defer to Alan Marcus. You might as well get a real enlarger lens. They are not very expensive.