I love the magic of blur in a photo. Shooting wide open is one way to accomplish this. Lenses like Lensbaby can enhance this effect. Recently, I noticed some spectacular bubble and ovoid bokeh from heritage or vintage lenses. Vintage lenses can also be very sharp. Not only do vintage lenses only focus manually, but aperture, ISO and shutter speed are also manual so you may not want one if you are attached to point and shoot.
I started researching various old lenses by reading various blogs on the subject. Certain lenses got mentioned more frequently than others. I decided to get a Helios 44-2 58mm f/2 lens. It is a Russian lens that is a copy of a Carl Zeiss lens and one of the most mass produced lenses ever, so there are lot of them available at cheap prices.
Unless you happen to stumble upon one at an old camera store or flea market, the best way to buy one seems to be eBay. I decided on a person from Russia, who had a very high rating. He said that it would take 3-4 weeks because of customs. It took 4 weeks. It must be built like a Russian tank because it arrived in great condition in a padded envelop. Inside the envelop, the lens was wrapped in foam.
In order to use a heritage lens on my Fuji camera, I needed an adapter, which I purchased for $20. As soon as the lens came, I attached it to my camera and ran out and took the top photo. Watch for more photos from this lens in future posts.