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Old October 13th, 2012, 10:01 AM   #1
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What do I do with my old FD lenses?

Hi folks,

Around 6 or 7 years ago I spent many an hour sitting on ebay and collecting a bunchof canon FD lenses. I had an old SONY PD170 in those days and I got a 35mm adaptor for it, hence the lenses.

The PD is now obviously quite dead, the adaptor has been sitting in its box untouched for years, but the lenses bother me; Its great glass, cost me a fair bit of money - is there any way to use them now? I've heard that the FD to EF adapters aren't all that.

I'm also thinking of a buying a camera (budget around $4,500), it'd be great to get a camera that could use these lenses...its either that or sell them back on ebay, is anybody still buying these lenses?

Please, show me the light....
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Old October 13th, 2012, 01:39 PM   #2
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Re: What do I do with my old FD lenses?

If you Google you will find that the lenses can be adapted to EF. But needs a lathe and a bit of know how.
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Old October 13th, 2012, 01:50 PM   #3
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Re: What do I do with my old FD lenses?

They can also be used on many other cameras.. such as the M4/3 format ones (For example GH1/GH2/GH3)
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Old October 13th, 2012, 04:16 PM   #4
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Re: What do I do with my old FD lenses?

There's a bunch of stuff if you Google. This YouTube video shows a Chinese adaptor, and makes the very good point that the adaptor needs a lens to correct for the added distance of lens from camera body, so that it can stilll focus out to infinite.

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Old October 13th, 2012, 06:12 PM   #5
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Re: What do I do with my old FD lenses?

Panasonic - AF100, GH2/GH3, or any of the other m43 cameras

Sony - FS700, FS100, NEX5/7, or any of the other E-mount cameras

Or sell them as a lot to anybody with those systems. Or use your adapter with one of the new 1/3-1/2" sensor cameras... they still work. All depends on what kind of work you typically do.

Don't bother trying to use them on Canon cameras, none of the adapters work that well due to the optical element.
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Old October 14th, 2012, 01:19 AM   #6
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Re: What do I do with my old FD lenses?

Thanks guys, that helps.

I'm assuming there's a crop factor with anything less than a 35mm imaging area? That only leaves SONY FS100 in my budget. Why doesn't it work well for the full sensor cameras like the 5D, with the adapters of course? Is it the distance thing from the lens to the imaging area?

How's the machine conversion from FD to EF? are there any problems with focus etc with the smaller sensor cameras? Its either machine conversion for me (and then a suitable camera), or buying something like the FS100 or the AF100.
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Old October 14th, 2012, 02:35 AM   #7
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Re: What do I do with my old FD lenses?

The flange distance on FD lenses is 42mm. You won't have any problems getting an adapter for cameras that have flange distances less than that e.g. 4/3 format cameras.

The Canon EF mount cameras (like the 5D) have a 44mm flange distance, I guess they redesigned the mount to allow for the electronic connectors and by increasing from 42mm to 44mm this meant that the customers had to buy new lenses for their new cameras.

The optics in the Chinese adapter allow the FD lenses focus correctly at the greater distance.
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Old October 14th, 2012, 03:25 AM   #8
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Re: What do I do with my old FD lenses?

WTF, I might as well jump in here............

Who's gonna do a digital back for the Canon A1 SLR, so I can use my shed load of FD lenses on a real camera?

I don't want to know about a 20mm 35mm becoming a 40mm - I bought the thing because it was a 20mm 35mm ferkrisakes.

I've got a Nikon D80, and quite frankly, compared the my Canon A1's, it's an absolute joke.

It does everything but make breakfast, and I'm sure there's a menu option for that too, if I could be fagged to look (which, funnily enough, I can't).

I just want the bloody thing to take the shot when I want it to take the shot, and not do the "Dark Star" bomb thing - "Shan't".

Er, hello, who's driving this show - you, camera, or me.

When the camera say's it's in charge, that's when it's time to say goodby.

Give me a digital back for my A1's and I'm going to be in stills heaven, does what it's told, when it's told and the lenses are drop dead georgeous - my 20 - 35mm FD zoom L lens would have to be one of the best Canon ever made.

The 85mm f1.8L portrait lens is pretty close behind it.

Hey, maybe it will happen, there's a shed load of A1's out there, just need a bit of recycling with a digital back, one can hope.


CS
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Old October 14th, 2012, 05:49 AM   #9
 
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Re: What do I do with my old FD lenses?

huh ok.......
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Old October 14th, 2012, 08:56 AM   #10
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Re: What do I do with my old FD lenses?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Vasi Hasan View Post
I'm assuming there's a crop factor with anything less than a 35mm imaging area? That only leaves SONY FS100 in my budget. Why doesn't it work well for the full sensor cameras like the 5D, with the adapters of course? Is it the distance thing from the lens to the imaging area?
The adapters can help it focus properly on an EOS camera, but the (usually low quality) optical element in the adapter significantly reduces IQ.

Crop factor is ~1.6x with the S35-type sensors and ~2x with the 4/3-type sensors. This affects FOV and DOF, but not light gathering capability (ie, exposing for f4 is still exposing for f4 regardless of sensor size). In terms of lens selection, your new "normal" FOV lens is thus ~30-35mm with S35, and ~24-30mm with m43. Both M43 and e-mount have plenty of good wide-angles available to augment wherever your current lens system may be lacking. The side effect of generally deeper focus can be either a positive or a negative depending upon your needs.

Another possible option I neglected to list may be Sony's VG series (latest being VG-30 and VG-900). These are more like interchangeable lens handycams, but they may still remain viable professionally. The 900 is particularly interesting in that it's a full-frame sensor with the short E-mount, meaning you should (theoretically) be able to use your FD glass without any crop... you might want to do some more research on that before taking my word for it, though.

So, if you want something with the manual adjustability and XLR goodness of your PD150, your best choices are the FS100 or AF100.

If you don't need XLR's but still need OK audio, long record times, and don't mind going through menus to change settings, you can pick the VG30, VG900, or GH3.

If you just want good images with long record times and don't care so much about monitoring your audio or adjusting anything on the fly, the GH2 still works spiffy (w/ hack in EU to side-step the 30min limit)

If you don't need long record times or decent audio, then the NEX5/7 or any of the m43 cameras from Panasonic or Olympus will suit you well. Olympus' old EPL1 is still available, takes good JPG stills, shoots 720p30 video what was good enough for a crash cam in "Secretariat," and sells for around USD$150-200. You can fund that by eBaying your 35mm adapter.

By the list, you can likely guess that, yes, people are still buying these lenses on eBay. They may not bring as much as legacy Nikon or Olympus (or other) glass, but they'll sell.


Of course at the rate they're introducing new cameras, all of this is subject to change five minutes from now (or there's something else I've forgotten)
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