FD to M43 focal reducer problem, also which FD lens do you suggest ?

Started Apr 19, 2014 | Questions thread
Eric Nepean
Eric Nepean Veteran Member • Posts: 3,980
Re: FD to M43 focal reducer problem, also which FD lens do you suggest ?

I have the Metabones focal reducer, have been a user of FD lenses since I got my Ftb in the 1970s.

adygadam wrote:

Hello All,

I own a Panasonic GH3 and 4 days ago took the plunge finally after a long debate on speedboosters/focal reducers and ordered a focal reducer FD to M43 from here:

Camdiox Focal Reducer FD to M43

I also ordered an adapter: Canon FD to M43 adapter

A got myself a Canon FD 50mm F1:1.4 S.S.C. lens which is amazing ! No dust specs or fungus and in excellent condition.

The adapter worked like a charm, I was able to change the aperture from F16 down to F1.4 and I believe the FF equivalent focal length would be 100mm (50mm x 2), bokeh was amazing a this makes this lens an excellent short distance portrait lens.

The problem was with the focal reducer, I was only able to stop down to F4.8, after that the aperture was the same to F16. On the contrary the adapter allowed me to stop down to F16.

I have noticed that when I mount the lens to the adapter the chrome ring will turn around 2 inches until it tightens, whereas with the focal reducer it will turn around 4/8 of an inch before it tightens.

Is this normal ? Is the focal reducer faulty ?

The Chrome mounting ring turns between 1 inch and 1 1/2 inches on my various bits of FD gear - the 1/2 inch you mention sounds a little short. I note that with plastic end caps, the mounting ring only turns about 1/2 inch. IMO it quite possible there is an interlock in the chrome mounting ring.

The Chrome ring actually turns on a screw thread on the lens barrel, so how far it turns depends on the thickness of the mating part on the lens mount on your Focal reducer. You could return it and argue that the mount is out of tolerance.

With FD lenses, there is a work around to your problem - in fact its my preferred way of using an FD lens on an M43 camera. On the back of the FD lenses, there are two protruding levers - one is longer than the other. With the rear of the lens facing you, slide the longer lever counterclockwise as far as it will go - towards the end of travel there is a little resistance and then it will snap into place. Now the lens aperture is always closed to the setting on the aperture ring.

On some FD lenses (newer perhaps?), the mechanism is slighly different - there is a very small lever flush to the metal surface, this locks the protruding lever at the end of its travel.

Apart from being unable to stop down any lower than F4.8 using the focal reducer, the focus is working alright and the FF equivalent focal length I believe is now 72mm (50mm x 0.72 x 2) with an amazing F1.0!.

I have the following native M43 lens:

Olympus Zuiko 12mm F1:2.0

Panasonic Lumix G X 12-35mm F1:2.8

Also I have the following FD lens:

Canon FD 50mm F1:1.4 S.S.C. (with adapter: 100mm F1.4, with focal reducer: 72mm F1.0)

Tokina ATX SD 80-200mm F1:2.8 (bought recently)(with adapter: 160-400mm F2.8, with focal reducer: 115-288mm F2 !)

I am thinking about buying this one:

Canon FD 35mm F1:2.0 S.S.C. (with adapter: 70mm F2.0, with focal reducer: 50mm F1.4)

What do you suggest for a close alternative to what you can get from a Voigtlander 25mm (FF=50mm) F0.95, I guess this Canon FD35mm with a focal reducer will be the best you can get on FD ?

Many thanks.

As you have done, I have found that the FD50mm F1.4 lens with focal reducer makes a 35mm F1.0 lens (FF equivalent FOV 72mm DOF F2.0) this quite handy. With the Metabones, the image is quite sharp.

I also have the FD135mmF2.5 which with the speedbooster becomes 96mm F 1.8 (FF Equivalent FOV 190mm DOF F3.5) Unfortunately the lens itself is not that sharp until you stop it down a few stops.

Another interesting combination would be the FD100mm F2.0, which would become 71mm F 1.4

However I have looked and I don't see any useful combos with the original lens focal length below 50mm; the native M43 lenses are better.

The best below 50mm at reasonable price would be the FD 24mm F2.0 which becomes a 17mm F1.4 lens which isn't that interesting because Olympus has a 17mm F1.8 lens, which is automatic and not to expensive, and the extra one third stop isn't that significant at 17mm.

Even if you had a bigger budget to buy the FD24mm F1.4, about $1000 used, with .71x Focal Reducer would be come 17mm F1.0 which would be interesting, but for that price you may as well buy the 17.5mm Voigtlander F0.95 in native M43 mount and get a better lens.

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