Are there any serious users of MF lenses on this forum?

Started Feb 4, 2014 | Discussions thread
OP MOD Tom Caldwell Forum Pro • Posts: 35,624
Focal reducers and focus peaking assist

Eric Nepean wrote:

I have the Canon FD50mm F1.4 and the Canon FD 135mmF2.5, and a FD-MFT adapter. I don't use them a lot as the situation they are useful in is low light and wide open, and then focusing is tricky and time consuming. For the FD 50mm to be really sharp, I need to stop it down, in which case I may as well use my Panny 35-100 F2.8


There is no real reason why the FD 50mm f1.4 should not take great images. One of the things that hamper the use of MF lenses is a lack of focus peaking assist. I am not sure how widespread FPA is on the M4/3 camera types but I know that the GM1 at least has a usable system in place.  MF is so much more like "fun".

That the FD 50/1.4 can do well is shown here:

These are images taken with FD to NEX focal reducer and the effect of the focal reducer would be to make the 50/1.4 work like a 53mm f1.0 on the NEX body. About mid February you should be able to buy an RJ FD to M4/3 focal reducer. I am not sure but Zhongyi may already be offering one and likewise Metabones.  Right at the moment I have the RJ M42 to M4/3 focal reducer and it is a good product.  The effect on a FD 50mm f1.4 mounted on M4/3 would be to give you an equivalent to a 70mm f1.0 lens as focal reducers on M4/3 reduce the crop factor to 1.4x and give a full stop in light advantage.

The fastest FPA available to use is the Ricoh version "Mode 2" which uses a completely different system to everyone else.  It is so fast in use that I can reasonably state that it can keep up with contrast detect AF.  Mainly because you don't have to peer at the screen looking for sharpness or tiny edge focus traces.  Mode 2 effectively jumps out and bites you when focus is achieved.

I purchased an FD bellows and FD reverse adaptor, intending to use the FD 50mm for macro photography, but haven't had the time to pursue that yet.

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Tom Caldwell

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