FD Lenses Explained – DSLRShooter.com

There are plenty of old vintage lenses you can slap onto your cameras, and Canon FD mounts are just one type. They might not be as good as other lenses (i.e. Nikon lenses), but for the hobbyist who can't afford several hundred dollars, you can find these FD's fairly cheap. After posting a few samples of my sexy 85mm F/1.2L Canon FD lens on a GH2, a few new questions came back around. I'll start by answering a few by saying, the FD lenses work better on MFT (Micro Four Thirds) cameras than on my Canon 5D Mark II full frame. By better I mean I can get a wider aperture, but if I stop down a bit to about F/2.0-2.2 with my 85mm, i'm getting excellent results.

These lenses have a completely different look, and that's not a bad thing at all. Lens flares, softness, and contrast are all things I personally desire. It's like slapping a Holga Toy Lens to a 5D Mark II - doesn't make a lot of sense, but it's pure creative fun for the artist. There's some other fun facts about old FD lenses, and Caleb Pike over at DSLRShooter.com put together the best video with sample footage you'll find online. You'll get an idea of crop factor, usable aperture, and yadda yadda yadda. He's using basically the same adapter i'm using with the Glass Element. If you haven't seen it before, it's an oldie but goodie. If you've got further questions, you can hit him up over at Vimeo here: http://vimeo.com/17805517 [Thanks Caleb]

You can check out the video sample I shot with GH2 + Canon 85mm FD here: http://cheesycam.com/canon-fd-lens-85mm-f1-2-on-gh2/

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6 thoughts on “FD Lenses Explained – DSLRShooter.com

  1. Emm

    Post author

    @VJ - Maybe not because the MFT doesn't require a glass lens in the adapter. It's just straight through.

  2. VJ

    The guy in the video says that there is about a stop of light loss when using FD lenses on DSLR's. I was wondering if it also applies to MFT?

  3. Austin

    The only EOS lens I have is my T2I kit lens, the rest are older m42 mount lenses. I love my 50mm f 1.4 i got for 50 bucks at a local flea market. Also 20 bucks for a 28mm f 2.8 isnt bad either.

  4. Emm

    Post author

    @Michael - EF lenses are 'normally' mounted on Canon bodies because they are extremely expensive with all the autofocus features. You cannot change the aperture in an EF lens if you don't have the electronics connected. An FD lens is completely manual so you can change the Aperture without electronics. The Focus ring is also specifically designed for manual focus so they work much much better than trying to Focus with EF Autofocus lenses.

  5. This might be a dumb question but i'm going to ask anyway...do the same rules apply for FD lenses as EF lenses? IE, do you need to purchase lenses that are made for specific bodies? Or b/c of the converter, does it not matter?

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