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Lenses for Canon FD mount
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  • Great! Works! Thanks, I´m so happy to could control so good my lenses now!
  • Hi guys! Does anybody know - or did anybody compare Canon FD 50mm Macro f/3.5 vs Vivitar 55mm Macro f/2.8 mentioned by Vitaliy before? I would really like to know the difference. I know only Canon macro of those both lenses and it is a superb lens: IQ is amazing even when widely open, contrast and colors are also great- and it is amazing sharp, really crispy. Also quite unexpensive. I use it instead of all my other (faster) 50mm lenses whenever possible. Otherwise, I own also following Canon FD lenses: 24mm/2.8, 35mm/2.8, 50mm/1.4, 100mm/2.0, 135mm/2.8. All of them are excellent, with brilliant and sharp IQ. My favourites are: 24mm/2.8, 50mm/3.5 macro and 100mm/2.0
  • Here a guy says "A hair less contrast than the Canon macro but just as sharp except at infinity where the Canon was better" :
    I think this guy summarize also the main advantage of the Vivitar "I like this better for real macro work since it goes 1:1 mag without tubes"
  • For those who have the FD 50mm F1.4 lens, does your picture don't look much different from wide open on aperture setting between F1.4 and F2.0? Mine is practically the same as if it is still on F1.4!
  • Does anybody know of Panagor lenses? I just bought one FD mount 35mm F2 for $35. I can not find much information. Is it a decent price, I think so? Maybe I will post some samples when it arrives if someone is interested.

    edit UPDATE: jan 17th: (got it today. It looks brand new, in a nice leathery hard case a la 70:ties. Everything in mint condition. Original lens cap. Above what I expected. Has a nice sturdy feel to it. Focus pulling is going to be bothersome. Has long range, like canon FD 50mm 1.4). Further investigation made clear Panagor was the Kiron brand but for Europe. Some Nikon engineers decided to start their own company. I saw the same lens but for Nikon mount: 150 euro on ebay.:D Always nice to find a steal. Will wait till tomorrow to do some testing. Can upload a few clips, and a few photos.

    $35 would otherwise give me (in Sweden) 1 Bic Mac Meal, 1 pizza, 1 pack of ciggies and 2 beers at the pub. :P I am happy... This lens will last me. FRAK it will even outlive me ha ha, if taken care of :D

  • I had the Canon 50/1.2 SSC Aspherical, 85/1.2 and 135/2.0. I used to shoot those fast lenses around 1.8-2.8. I also like the Vivitar Series 1 28/1.9 and 135/2.3 (as well as the Takumar 85/1.9).

  • Hey FD owners, have you found any problems with spherochromatism? Citing Ken Rockwell "This means that outlines of out-of-focus highlights are slightly tinged with green in the background, and with magenta if you have anything out of focus in the foreground."

    Fast Voigtlander lenses have it in spades, specially full wide open. Once I find it it really bugs me, and not much people seem worried about it. Everybody seems much more worried about comparing the sharpness of flat frames, which might be important for photography, but I don't think it's that critical for HD video. If I get a fast lens it's because I want a nice shallow DOF, not a greenish background and a purple-ish foreground that I need to close a couple of (expensive) stops to correct...

    So... How do fast FD lenses perform on chromatic aberrations and spherochromatism? I'm mostly interested on a fast 35, 50 and 85.


  • I shot my first feature on a Sony HDCAM with a lens that had strong purple/green fringing, so I feel I'm pretty sensitive to it. I don't see it on any of my FD lenses.

  • I just picked up my first FD lens today from a local antique shop. It is a 100-300mm 5.6 lens with Macro. It is the pull slide kind very light (considering it's size) and everything seems to be working extremely smooth. It looked spotless in the shop but at home I can see the slightest haze inside. I am ok with it, but out of curiosity how much does it cost to get the lens serviced/cleaned, who should I trust to do it, etc.. ? It doesn't look like mold and is about as slight as a haze gets imho. Anyways I am excited all the same. Now I just have to wait for my adapter to get here. In the mean time I am keeping my eyes open for a cheap 50mm. With that one I am aiming for pristine.

  • @mee Check Ebay for cheap 50mm. There are tons.

  • @x_worpig_x Thanks, I've looked around thebay, however I have kinda boycotted them, plus I am in Japan anyways, so shipping is a bear. I actually was planning on going to Akihabara this week and doing a combo of shooting with VY Canis Majoris, and hunting down FD lenses, however it's been raining all week so the plans are on hold. I think I have an advantage here in Japan in that allot of people want the newest and best camera equipment, so older lenses can be pretty cheap at the right shop. However I think the humidity (mold) here is going to be the enemy and spoiler of many a good find.

  • You should look here :

    and here :

    I advise you the 80-200L F4 (or maybe the 300L if you really need something that long)

    I think the best relatively cheap lenses are :

    FD 35 SSC F2 (Concave (down to F16) or convex (down to F22), they are both excellent) : around 150 USD

    FD 50 1.4 SSC around 50 USD

    FD 85 1.8 SSC around 50 USD

    FD 135 2.5 SC around 50 USD

    I personaly use 35-105 F3.5(around 70 USD) and 80-200L F4(around 200 USD) a lot (both with a Canon F1 and Lumix GH2) during daytime, because the quality is good enough for me, and I can do most of the photo I like with them. I think they are also good enough for video, when used as "multi-fixed focal length" more then zoom lenses.

    I prefer the build quality of the older breech lock lenses to the newer nFD equivalent, but they are heavier, and apparently not optically better then the more compact nFD.

    Something great with FD lens is that you can test a lot of lenses for cheap, and sell them if they don't suit you for the same price you paid for

  • At one point I was going to sell my set of FD lenses but I'm glad I didn't as I have a very affordable alternative to MFT lenses. For cinematic use it's great since they are much easier to focus manually. I use the ciecio7 adapter for the build quality. My only wish is that it had a lever or switch to go from stop down mode to wide open (easier to focus when the aperture is open all the way). Having to click the aperture ring all the way back to wide open is kind of a pain sometimes.

    I have the nFD 50/1.8. The 1.4 version is probably sharper at first but I think I'd invest in another prime before getting the better version.

  • In my armoury of Canon nFD's, I currently have:

    28/2 28/2.8 35/2 50/1.4 50/3.5 Macro 85/1.8 135/2.8

    Without a shadow of doubt the star performer is the 35/2 - it's incredible. Next after that is the 85/1.8, long, but fabulous bokeh. The 50/1.4 is a great low light performer, but a bit 'too' dreamy at 1.4 for all around use. The 28/2 suffers from internal flare a lot wide open; it's not a lens you want to overexpose.

    Cieco7 is the best adapter I've used, but you might want to change the screws on the collar as it's tight. I personally don't get the advantage of older breech lock, and the build quality it superb by any of today's standards.

    I used to have the 200/2.8. Epic lens, but too much of a beast on mFT.

  • @lenuisible I guess it is a matter of personal preference as well, but I find the nFD have a better build quality. All the older FDs I have are rickety and move when used with a follow focus = ruined shot. Also, the thorium lenses are inevitably yellowish to some extent. nFDs I have, on the other hand are compact, sharp and with pure colors. Even the SLR Magic 12mm t1.6 has a pretty similar look, which is why I got it as the widest FD I have is 24mm. If I try to mix the old FDs with the nFDs, the difference is so huge it's incredible.

  • Great to see this topic open back up from my inquiries, and I appreciate all the imput. Today I headed to Akihabara and as I was almost rounding up my search for memory (was looking for used camera shops as I had seen them before there, but couldn't for the life of me find them) I walked by a man that said "nice tripod" to me. He had a nice Camera in Hand (Sony?) and he went up a into a narrow opening and up an even narrower staircase.. I started walking on and then said to myself "wait, he knew my manfrotto was good, he has a nice camera, he probably knows a used camera shop or two in the area" So up the stair case I go, quickly noticing a small sign with the word "Camera"! I walk into the tiny doorway on the second floor, seeing almost nothing but used lenses, and the man. I picked up two 50mm FD 1.8 lenses (one older style, one newer) for about 30 bucks !! Both in very good condition, inspected by my new friend, who turned out to be an Akihabara tour guide that just got off work, and took it upon himself to then give me a free 2 hour guide of about half a dozen used camera shops, telling me specifically which ones had the goods vs mediocre lenses. I don't think I could've had better luck.

  • Also after much complication due to the lack of a paypal account, I finally managed to order two Cieco7 FD adapters last week. One with the mount for heavier lenses, one without. I plan on gifting one of them to my father who recently picked up a GF3. He will never get anything other than the 14-42 if I don't open the door for him a bit. I have to wait a bit because Japans post offices are closed due to golden week, so three FD lenses now taunt me until hopefully next week sometime.

  • Can someone please enlighten me, as mentioned earlier I purchased a Canon FD 100-300mm lens, it proved very difficult to find what it was since it looked just like the FD L without the red stripe. I finally found that mine is the 100-300mm (version 2), and below are stats for my lens and the 100-300mm L lens . So minus 5 grams and a slight difference in Grp -El (huh?), they obviously have a lot in common. So my question is what is the difference? Different glass, or just the lens coating? It's hard for me to imagine lens coating weighs 5 grams, but what do I know.

    New FD 100-300mm f/5.6 9-15 24°- 8° 15' Auto 32 2 71.4x172 705

    New FD 100-300mm f/5.6L 10-15 24°- 8° 15' Auto 32 2 71.4x172 710

    Update, I found my answer,

  • I received my FD adapters from Cieco7 a couple days ago, and finally had a chance to do some tests in my back yard this morning. This is the FD 100-300mm 5.6 lens w/Macro Version II. Same body as L version, and I have read some promising reviews. I am no expert though, so I appreciate feedback on what you folks think of this lens. All videos were shot with Driftwoods VY Canis Majoris Night (will test with day soon), with setting at standard 0 0 0 0

    first video was shot wide open at 5.6 with 125 shutter speed and ISO 640
    Second video was shot at either F8 or F11 with 125 shutter speed and ISO 640
    third video was shot in EX TELE wide open at 5.6 with 125 shutter speed at ISO 640
    fourth video was shot in EX TELE at maximum zoom wide open at 5.6 with 125 shutter speed at ISO 640

    On a side note, the Cieco7 adapaters are great, however I cannot personally recommend buying the one with the tripod mount because it wobbles too much. I had to place a sock under the lens, and back of the camera to get it someone stable. Next tests I will try it with the regular adapter, and just mount the camera to the tripod. I expect better results. I think Cieco7 could fix this design flaw by making two contact points with the adapter, one towards the front and the current rear one. Or even a solid piece from front to back. Literally anytime I touched the lens to focus or zoom the wobble was unbearable. Considering the point of the tripod mount is to use with TELE lenses that will be more sensitive to movement this seems a necessary fix.

  • I was a big fan of the FD 55mm f1.2, built like a tank, smooth focusing, just a really well made lens. It was a little "dreamy" looking wide open but still usable. Anyway I ran across this video and sold mine off. Some of the older Pentax and Olympus lenses do this as well, it's really a case by case issue and if you search google on a particular lens, you can usually find out of its radioactive. Some people say its harmless which it probably is but I error on the safe side myself lol.

  • @chazzmoe interesting bit of info. I was not aware of this. What is the reason for the high radiation levels in some lenses?

    Being that I moved to Tokyo in March of 2011, I have a pretty decent Geiger counter/dosimeter. I am happy to say non of my three FD lenses showed any rise in radiation. Granted everything is radiated here, but it was a bit lower than usual day when I tested yesterday, at just .10 millisieverts per hour (average is about .13 from central tokyo to kyoto). I forget what the cfm conversion is, but the noise in that video you posted sounded pretty extensive. My counter is beep, or vibration based, though it does use a Mueller tube. If anyone is truly worried about their particular lens model, make post it here, and my next outing I will do my best to test lenses at the shop. I suspect most employees will find this interesting and allow it.

  • Some older breech mount FDs use a thorium lens element, especially the 35mm f2. This is the reason, and it is very well known.

  • Here's a few more videos shot with the 100-300mm lens. Any feedback, bad or good would be appreciated. I am definitely still getting the hang of the lens, so I mean feedback on the lens, not the cameraman. Their are about 4 soft vertical lines in the cat video (one through the right eye), this is from out of focus cage bars in the foreground, not the lens.

    Feedback on the lens por favor.

  • @mee Hi, this is an interesting post, so I'll make you a deal, but need some answers first; What are you expecting from this lens? Are you happy with it? I tend to agree with Vitaly on tele options for m43-I have none but if I needed one I'd get the panasonic zooms with OS. Still, as a huge fan of FDs, I am intrigued to see this, it's like 3 different lenses in this video to my eyes to be honest. It seems you switch shutter speeds and apertures in a same shot. I have to commend your steady hand, I can't hand hold my 85mm (I like the booze so I invest in stabilizers :) I found that with my clients the BEST and most important question is always: "what is it exactely you want to achieve". Handheld wildlife? - stabilization could help you a great deal with this with cheap Panasonic zooms. Tripod and wildlife - well, even more and faster options from Olympus. I am going to contradict myself here hugely, but FD's are (except for build quality and some exceptions) quite shit lenses! My main and only full set are FD's (carefully selected with many literally thrown away) but they serve a VERY specific purpose - you can do a multicam with an identical looking image and work very fast this way. Also, all my FDs are primes, and although not stellar, they are all very decent and respectable.

    To make it more interesting, I'll make you a Personal View deal:

    Please explain in great detail: 1. what it is that you would like to do with the GH2 exactely and why you have chosen it, and 2. why did you think this FD lens was the best choice for this purpose and I will send you (you pay shipping) the radioactive FD 35mm f/2 if most people here agree I should. It is one of the 3 lenses from my "egg basket"- the ones I have not kept for my set and did not put on our "lemon tree"(a little chinese chrismass tree with barbwire with all the lemon FDs from eBay. It is also the only non nFD I have kept.

    I think you will get way more use from it than me (I will probably never use it), and it could be fun. Also, optically it is better than your zoom, but hey, that is to be expected.

    So, what say you? :)

    PS Just to be clear, this is in the spirit of giving back, and actually, I would not mind giving away the other 2 FD's as a contest, as long as the people pledge to donate to this site.

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