Beware of Fake Helios 44m-7 lenses

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How to avoid paying for an older, inferior lens.

Firstly I should start by saying that most of the 44m-7 branded lenses sold on ebay in the past couple of years, were fake.

I will now tell you exactly why they are fake and how to avoid buying a fake copy in the future.
At the time of writing this guide, most of the 44m-7 lenses on ebay are fake.
Please be especially careful when buying 44m-7 lenses from Russia.

Older, inferior versions of this lens include:
44m-2, 3, 4, 5 and 6 but their name-plates can be EASILY unscrewed and replaced with a brand-new face-plate bearing the much desired 44m-7.

So how can you tell if the listed lens is real or fake?
Lucky for us, all the Helios lenses ever made have serial numbers starting with numbers like 82, 83, 84, 85 etc, which indicate the YEAR OF MANUFACTURE.
So 84XXXX (XXXX is a random number) means it was made in 1984.

Helios 44m-7 lenses were only made during and after 1993.
Only real 44m-7 lenses have Serial Numbers starting 93 or later.

I hope this guide reaches as many people as possible.
I've reported the main culprit to ebay many times about this problem, but they persist, mostly likely due to a lack of evidence. 
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