FD 1.2 lenses (55mm and 85mm) for R6: experiences ?

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mermaidkiller Senior Member • Posts: 1,284
FD 1.2 lenses (55mm and 85mm) for R6: experiences ?

I have found that the vintage MF bright f/1.2 FD lenses are available for reasonable prices. Added $30...$50 for an FD => RF adapter makes it not uch more expensive.

https://www.ebay.com/sch/i.html?_dlg=1&_jgr=1&LH_PrefLoc=2&LH_BIN=1&_ftrt=901&_ftrv=1&_nkw=Canon+55mm+1.2

I've seen Youtube videos taken with this combination (an R class body with a bright 1.2 FD lens) and they look very well.

Does anybody here have any experience ?

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John Crowe
John Crowe Senior Member • Posts: 1,675
Re: FD 1.2 lenses (55mm and 85mm) for R6: experiences ?

I do not have an RF body, but having used the Canon FD 55mm f1.2 SSC back in the film days, I think it and the cheaper chrome noses could be worthwhile to try.  The FD 50/1.4 is said to be a better overall performer with respect to corner resolution and flare control but hey it is not f1.2.

I suspect that the 55 f1.2 SSC or FD 50/1.2 will be sharper and more contrasty than the 55/1.2 chrome nose.  However, the chrome nose may offer smoother bokeh.  None of these will be very sharp wide open, but the narrow depth of field wide open may help the overall effect.

For superb sharpness wide open I went with the Canon FD 55mm f1.2 SSC Aspherical for my 5DSR.  Bokeh is probably not as smooth as the non- aspherical versions.  Both the 85/1.2 Aspherical and 55/1.2 Aspherical prices have quadrupled in the past year.  Looks like the 85/1.2 may go through the roof.  Cinematographers want these!  The newer FD L versions are expensive but have not gone through the roof, yet.

I know little of the FL 55/1.2 and whether there are any mounting problems.  Flare could be a big problem with these.

If I ever go mirrorless a 55/1.2 will be the first lens I buy to check out the bokeh wide open.  Not likely as good an overall lens as the EF 50/1.4, but f1.2 would be fun, and as you say for a good price.

If you want to have some fun with macro the Canon FD 50mm f3.5 Macro is superb and cheap.

I don't think the RF bodies with adapters pose any problems.  I used manual focus film era lenses on a Sony mirrorless with no problems.

Let us know how you make out.

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smith-jones Forum Member • Posts: 56
Re: FD 1.2 lenses (55mm and 85mm) for R6: experiences ?

Be careful with FD lenses.

Some of them and especially some of the more expensive L lenses have bearings that have rubber coatings over brass rollers and the rubber disintegrates making the focus throw very loose.

Unfortunately, my 85 1.2 L has that issue. It still works (Do not have an R camera yet) but not something I can use often out of frustration.

I am selling a FD 24 1.4L as soon as I can travel to buy an R (maybe). The FD 24 L now goes for ridiculous prices (ten grand or more form mint copies, $3000 and more for user copies that have had fungus).

Scott Larson Veteran Member • Posts: 7,050
Re: FD 1.2 lenses (55mm and 85mm) for R6: experiences ?

John Crowe wrote:

For superb sharpness wide open I went with the Canon FD 55mm f1.2 SSC Aspherical for my 5DSR. Bokeh is probably not as smooth as the non- aspherical versions.

Here's an example of the kind of bokeh that you might not like with the FD 55mm f1.2 SSC. This was shot at f1.2.

Or maybe you like it. The uneven bokeh does have kind of a classic 60s-70s look to me. You can see in in lots of movies from that period.

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