Anybody using Canon FD-lenses?

Started Sep 23, 2009 | Discussions
Jouko Senior Member • Posts: 1,427
Anybody using Canon FD-lenses?

I happened to get some old Canon FD-lenses in very good condition: 50mm f1.2, 35mm f2 and 100mm f2.

But I don't have a body for them - using "standart" FT-bodies (E3, E330)...

So, I'm wondering how good are these lenses with a mFT-body. Is it worth to buy an EP1, G1 or something, or should I sell these and get something wiser to the primary system.

So the questions are:

1. Are the lenses worth using

  • Will they give enough resolution for portraits etc?

  • Sharp? Soft? Full open / stopped down a bit.

  • How about contrast?

  • What will the bokeh be like?

2. How will the metering work

  • I know they have to be used in M or A-mode, but is the metering (usually) accurate? Any compensation needed?

3. Focusing with mFT-bodies and MF-lenses... Easy?

There seems to be some threads going on about FD-> mFT -adapters, no need for that in this thread, thanks.

My primary interests (with these lenses) are portraits, events, low light shooting, travel and landscapes, in this order. And I have some similar old Zuiko-stuff in my bags already. But are these lenses worth a special body?
--
Jouko

'The best camera in the world is the one you have with you when you need it'

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Diane B Forum Pro • Posts: 20,629
Re: Anybody using Canon FD-lenses?

Jouko wrote:

So the questions are:

1. Are the lenses worth using

Yes---see my FD gallery on the G1 here
http://www.pbase.com/picnic/fd_gallery

  • Will they give enough resolution for portraits etc?

Yes---check around on various people's sites and see some being used for portraits. I just don't happen to shoot portraits.

  • Sharp? Soft? Full open / stopped down a bit.

Depends upon the lens. I shoot both open and stopped down just a bit. The EXIF is included above.

  • How about contrast?

I shoot RAW so contrast is not an issue. I would say they have a bit less contrast at times compared to the native lenses. Adding hoods made a difference IMO (I added simple metal hoods from ebay).

  • What will the bokeh be like?

Depends upon the lens. I have 5 FDs (24 f/2.8, 28 f/2.0, 35 f/2.8, 50 f/1.8, 135 f/2.8) and find them each a bit different.

2. How will the metering work

SAme as with native lenses. When you choose an aperture setting and ISO, the camera chooses a shutter setting in A. Its very accurate.

  • I know they have to be used in M or A-mode, but is the metering (usually) accurate? Any compensation needed?

Yes, I find it so. I generally shoot with a -1/3 EC--but do that with all lenses. If I question the exposure (watching the onscreen histo), I use preview and check--and adjust EC if necessary.

3. Focusing with mFT-bodies and MF-lenses... Easy?

Extremely easy. I shoot with a G1--have a GF1 due next week. With the Panny's you can focus without MF assist (I do this at times--depending upon subject, lens---with the very good EVF sometimes that's all it takes) or with. To do that--you press the left 4 way button, then OK--I ahve found doing this while I bring the camera to my eye is very quick. You have the option of 5X or 10x magnifcation in MF assist--just rotate the front dial. Even in very low light when the EVF gets grainier and darker, I have learned to MF accurately. I rarely MF with my 5D--only with my TS lens which requires it. I choose to MF with the G1.

I like my FDs--also have a Konica Hexanon 40 f/1.8 and shoot with all of them all the time.

Diane
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nick_webster
nick_webster Veteran Member • Posts: 7,623
Part answer

MF is easy on a G1 ( or GH-1 ) with the EVF and magnified assist. Not so sure about using the LCD on any of the m4:3s bodies since I only ever use the EVF.

Metering has been good with my MF lenses. They aren't FD mount but since they are from 3 different systems and they all work OK then I can only assume the metering would be fine for Canon lenses as well

Sorry I can't help with your questions about the specific lenses you own,

Nick

FredB Contributing Member • Posts: 828
Re: Anybody using Canon FD-lenses?

I use two mostly the 50mm 1.8 and the 50mm 3.5macro ... I have some examples in my flickr page on the signature. I do not know what I would do without them.
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christan Regular Member • Posts: 233
Re: Anybody using Canon FD-lenses?

I'm planning to get an FD mount adapter to use with my GF1 soon ... Can you share more about your experiences with the various FD lenses, like which ones you find yourself using more, like the bokeh better, etc ? ... I'm thinking about which FD lenses to go for ...

Thanks in advance for your time

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Diane B Forum Pro • Posts: 20,629
Re: Anybody using Canon FD-lenses?

Christian, I had only the 50 f/1.8 left from my film days so when I bought the other FDs I considered size first--the first go round. That meant staying at f/2.8 for the most part in the mid/standard FL range. Here is a very good link for more info about FD lenses. http://www.mir.com.my/rb/photography/companies/canon/fdresources/fdlenses/index.htm

I bought the 24 f/2.8, 35 f/2.8, 135 f/2.8. I've since bought the 28 f/2.8--mine are all the newer bayonet mount, but either works fine. I bought from KEH--they always have a good selection--and very reasonable, esp. for their ratings which are always a bit lower than real condition(better than they rate IOW).

If I was buying again--I would buy the 50 f1/.4 though the f/1.8 is very nice, bokeh pretty decent. Of my lenses, the ones I'm using the most are the 28 f/2.0 (though none in my FD gallery now--its a more recent purchase)--for some reason I really like the 35 f/2.8--it ends up on my G1 a lot. Its very light, just lovely to shoot with and very nice images. I always have the 50 (or, I have to add--the Konica Hexanon 40 f/1.8) in my bag. The 24 f/2.8 is a nice lens--I just like the slightly longer, faster 28 f/2.0 better. I only carry the 135 f/2.8 when I know I want a fast longer lens. I'm not much of a tele shooter so that's not often, but when I do--just very nice lens.

I have the Camerquest/Rayqual adaptor--because it was the first to come out. The RJ/jinfinance is about 1/2 the price and everyone seems very happy with it. I have an EOS to m4/3rds from RJ so I do know the machineing and calibration is good.

Hope this helps. If I can answer anything specific, please feel free to email me. BTW--there is a yahoogroups FD groups--they could be helpful also.

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Brian Wadie
Brian Wadie Veteran Member • Posts: 8,022
thanks Diane

I've got the G1 and have been wondering about going the FD route so its useful to have some definitive information

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christan Regular Member • Posts: 233
Re: Anybody using Canon FD-lenses?

Thanks Diane, really appreciate all the info ... I have never used FD lenses before, so I'm still digging around for more detail before I decide which primes to get ... but your choices pretty much match what I would want

I am also a Canon EOS user myself, so I am contemplating getting the EF to m4/3 adapter as well ... but without aperture control, I'm still wondering how much use I will get out of it.

Thanks again.

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timiano Senior Member • Posts: 1,091
Re: Anybody using Canon FD-lenses?

Hey Diane, and fellow FD user

I was wondering if you could answer a question for me about Canon FD lenses.

On the two parts of the distance indicator on the focus wheels, one side has the distance, the other has a mirror image f-stop range split by a line. Assumingly this gives the range of focus at a given f-stop. That bit all makes sense.

But.....

On each lens, on that mirrored f-stop range there's the tiniest of little red dots. What does that indicate?

My only guess so far is that it's the true infinity mark, as these lenses appear to focus a fraction past infinity.

Any ideas?

Tim

BradJudy Forum Member • Posts: 82
Another recent thread on topic

I recently asked about FD use as well, here's the thread:

http://forums.dpreview.com/forums/read.asp?forum=1041&message=32992225

I don't yet own a 4/3 or m4/3 camera, but I do own FD lenses. When I get my camera, an adapter will be my first purchase.

OP Jouko Senior Member • Posts: 1,427
Thanks!

And you have a nice and informative collection there in the pbase.

But I'm still trying to find examples of these particular lenses I have... I have about the same kind of collection of old Zuiko lenses to use with my E-series cameras, from 8mm to 500mm, including 21mm, 28, 50 f1.4, 100mm... But not as fast as the Canon lenses are.

But it seems that Canon lenses have quite a lot use with mFT-bodies...

Thanks again!
--
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'The best camera in the world is the one you have with you when you need it'

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Diane B Forum Pro • Posts: 20,629
Re: Anybody using Canon FD-lenses?

That's an issue. When I am shooting in the area I can stick in an EOS body and change my aperture on it and put it back on the G1 (if you don't know the trick, you set the aperture on your EOS body, then hold down the DOF preview button as you dismount and the aperture setting holds for the m4/3rds).

I particularly wanted to use my 45 TS lens--and play a bit with my old Lensbaby 2.0. I've also tried some shots--just for fun--with other lenses (45 TS, 50 f/1.4, 28 f1.8, Sigma 15 f/2.8 FE,Tamron 90 f/2.8 macro, Sigma 20 f/1.8). I still don't know if I"ll get much use out of the adaptor. The EF lenses are still large relative to the m4/3rds. I suspect it will mostly be the 45 TS--since I have an FD 50 that I like and the 20 f/1.7 will take care of that range.

Diane
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Diane B Forum Pro • Posts: 20,629
Re: Anybody using Canon FD-lenses?

Tim--this is a puzzle. I'm just going to throw this out but am not sure it its the case.

Some of my EF lenses have the IR focus adjustment setting shown on them (the 24-70L for instance). I looked at all my FDs and each of them has the mark but different for each FL--so that's my guess. But---now you have piqued my curiosity LOL.

Ah, I did find it--and it appears to be the case.

http://www.mir.com.my/rb/photography/companies/canon/fdresources/SLRs/t60/t60manual/index3.htm

Diane

timiano wrote:

Hey Diane, and fellow FD user

I was wondering if you could answer a question for me about Canon FD lenses.

On the two parts of the distance indicator on the focus wheels, one side has the distance, the other has a mirror image f-stop range split by a line. Assumingly this gives the range of focus at a given f-stop. That bit all makes sense.

But.....

On each lens, on that mirrored f-stop range there's the tiniest of little red dots. What does that indicate?

My only guess so far is that it's the true infinity mark, as these lenses appear to focus a fraction past infinity.

Any ideas?

Tim

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Trafford
Trafford Veteran Member • Posts: 8,255
Diane B

Diane== Have you used this type of Kalimar 2X Tele Conv w/ Extension Tube (FD) Canon?
Have just bought one on EBay and wondered how they work with the G1.

Diane B Forum Pro • Posts: 20,629
Re: Diane B

No--did you mean to post a link?? I have extension tubes for the FDs but no converters. I have a 1.4x converter for my EF (really only works with my 70-200).

Googling gave me this at photo.net.
http://photo.net/canon-fd-camera-forum/00UKd4 You might also ask at

http://tech.groups.yahoo.com/group/CanonFD/ I know with the EFs, the Canon converters will only work with certain lenses because of the protrusion of the converter--I don't know if its similar with the FDs.

Diane
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timiano Senior Member • Posts: 1,091
Re: Anybody using Canon FD-lenses?

Thanks Diane

I'd Googled for hours trying to find that, and I'm usually pretty good at Googling

Memerang Regular Member • Posts: 211
Re: Anybody using Canon FD-lenses?

Hi. First time owner of Canon FD lenses here.

I just received my lenses - before my adaptor arrived (like putting the cart before the horse i know...:) )

Got myself (from the left) a 35/f2.8, 50/f1.4 and 1 Hoya 135/f2.8. I never knew that the 50mm is a heavy weight - it feels like...1/3 the weight of the E-P1.

Because i am a new owner of the FD lenses, i dont really have a clue on how to use the properly. I presume the aperture ring works properly i.e. i turn it to 4 the lens aperture will be 4? and that green dot at the end is for the lens to be wide open?

Maybe Diane can help me out here?

Sorry jouko for hijacking your thread.

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S601superflow Regular Member • Posts: 374
Re: Anybody using Canon FD-lenses?

HI.
think these portrait says it all for an canon 50mm f1.4

Lew

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OP Jouko Senior Member • Posts: 1,427
No 50 f1.2, 35 f2 or 100f2?

I have kept on searching from this site and others... No luck.

I'm mostly intersted on the lenses mentioned above - I have them, but no body. Doesn't anybody have them on use? If you have, please send some examples!

If you are shy to show results in public you can send me an address or even some photos to my email (in profile).

I'm still wondering what to do with the lenses - sell them or buy a body.

Thank you!
--
Jouko

'The best camera in the world is the one you have with you when you need it'

http://lehtokukka.smugmug.com/

Diane B Forum Pro • Posts: 20,629
Re: No 50 f1.2, 35 f2 or 100f2?

They are all quite fast lenses--should be very good with ability to use quite shallow DOF and a lot of light gathering for low light. Unless you need to sell them to buy the camera, I would try them---unless you don't want to use manual focusing. I'm guessing most of us don't have them because the faster lenses are more expensive over all--and many of us have bought the more easily and less expensively obtained f/2.8 and up.

Did you check out the lens specs here? http://www.mir.com.my/rb/photography/companies/canon/fdresources/fdlenses/index.htm

You can also ask aobut IQ at the yahoogroups FD group. There they will be mostly used on film cams, but they should be able to give you some idea.

Diane
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