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Sony NXCAM NEX-FS100 CineAlta
An interchangeable lens AVCHD camcorder using E-Mount lenses.


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Old April 1st, 2011, 06:29 AM   #1
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Canon FD glass?

With my EX1, I've been using the Letus 35mm adapter with the cheapest and most basic lenses I could find on eBay - the Canon FD. I've got quite a few of them, all pretty fast (the fixed ones - F1.4, the only zoom starting with F2.8); glass is immaculate and so are the manual iris and focus controls... Of course, I only used them sporadically when shallow DOF was really needed (I'm not one of those who believe shallow DOF is the holly grail of film making).

Now, for my classical music live performance recordings, I'd certainly do with a second camera (even if I were still the one-man-does-it-all type of guy). My questions to those more knowledgeable/experienced are:

- would my Canon FD lenses be usable with the NEX-FS100 camera (I assume yes, but any more insight welcome - like the availability of mount adapters)

- the lenses being really basic, what kind of resolution, FOV, or other compromises should I be prepared for?

TIA

Piotr
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Old April 1st, 2011, 06:53 AM   #2
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Re: Canon FD glass?

If you are getting reasonable performance from that glass now I would not expect it to get worse on the new camera. It should get a bit better.

There are already mount adapters to go from Canon EOS to Sony E. You should be good to go there.
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Old April 2nd, 2011, 07:02 AM   #3
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Re: Canon FD glass?

Thanks Chris; indeed I can see plenty of FD->E mount adapters available on eBay...

Not having photography background though, I wonder:

- which of the 2 new cameras would make better use of my FD glass: the FS100, or the AF101?

I mean things like magnification/crop factor, optimum use of the sharpest lens area, ability of full zoom-though, etc.

TIA,

Piotr

EDIT: Of course, I didn't mean zoom-through but ability to focus sharply all the way to infinity!
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Last edited by Piotr Wozniacki; April 2nd, 2011 at 08:35 AM.
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Old April 2nd, 2011, 08:24 AM   #4
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Re: Canon FD glass?

The FS 100 has a larger sensor, so you'd have a better wide end with your lenses. Resolution wise, the FS 100 appears to be better than the AF101 in any tests I've seen to date;.
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Old April 2nd, 2011, 08:32 AM   #5
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Re: Canon FD glass?

Thanks Brian, so I thought.

Forgive this naive question, but with video lenses there is a distinction between SD and HD lenses (SD ones usually tend to degrade the HD picture somewhat). Is the stills photography lens like the Canon FD supposed to fall into the "HD" category, in video terms?

On my Letus, I did notice the image being a little softer when compared with the naked EX1 one - but with extra glass of the adapter itself, I considered it normal and it never bothered me much...

Piotr
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Old April 2nd, 2011, 01:29 PM   #6
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Re: Canon FD glass?

Adapters have a screen which softens the image, so they're not what you'd term clean in filter terms. Quite apart from a shallower DOF, I suspect this extra effect also reduces the video look by softening the edges.
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Old April 3rd, 2011, 10:54 PM   #7
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Re: Canon FD glass?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Piotr Wozniacki View Post
Forgive this naive question, but with video lenses there is a distinction between SD and HD lenses (SD ones usually tend to degrade the HD picture somewhat). Is the stills photography lens like the Canon FD supposed to fall into the "HD" category, in video terms?
I always think of DSLR still photography as being sort of "super" HD, and have always assumed that high quality 35mm still lenses would be as good as it gets for HD video.
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Old April 16th, 2011, 05:27 AM   #8
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Re: Canon FD glass?

Thanks guys for the answers so far.

I'd like to ask those having any experience with the SEL18200 E-mount zoom that comes with VG10, and can come with FS100 if purchased as a kit: apart from its ability to use camera controls for iris and focus, and the in-buit OIS - is it worth the money?

It's important for me because I do have a nice Canon FD zoom (also F3.5), in addition to the several primes I mentioned above - so basically, I'd be paying $800 for just the electronic controls that the kit lens offers...

Doug, please?
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Old April 16th, 2011, 09:11 AM   #9
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Re: Canon FD glass?

I have a VG10 with the 18-200 lens.
Unfortunately, it's the only lens I have used that's from a DSLR, so I can't make a comparison to Canon lenses.
I can tell you that it isn't fast. Indoors, you really have to boost the gain, although the VG10 can handle a lot of gain without noise. I expect the FS100 will do even better.

The focus and zoom controls are bass-ackwards - the zoom ring is closest to the lens front, the focus closest to the camera body. I've never used a lens with this configuration, so it does get confusing. (I first thought this was common with all DSLR lenses, but it isn't). The focus ring is infinitly adjustable - it keeps spinning even when the focus is at its maximum or minimum settings. It's easy to spin right through your focus point. I prefer a focus ring with true stops and markings from one end to the other. The focus ring is my biggest gripe with this lens.

The auto-focus works well enough in some circumstances. I occasionally use the auto focus because there's no focus assist on the VG10, so I can't be too sure of focus with my 50-yr. old eyes. This shouldn't be a problem with the FS100.

The image resolution using the 18-200 is good, not great, although I don't know if this is caused by the camera or the lens. Certainly nowhere near my XF305's resolution.

It might be good to have the 18-200 as a second lens, as it has a long reach with its zoom. The OIS has been handy more than once.
Personally, if I keep my VG10 or buy the FS100, I'd get an A-mount adapter and go for the better quality Zeiss and Sony lenses. But I don't think I'd sell the 18-200 - not yet, anyway...
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Old April 16th, 2011, 03:40 PM   #10
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Re: Canon FD glass?

Glenn has given you a spot on review of the 18-200. My bigest grip is the zoom ring. It has stiction so it takes more force to start zooming than you need to keep zooming. Even on a tripod, you can see a bit of a shake when one starts a zoom.

The ring must drive the inner lens barrel in and out over 5-inches. That takes a lot of force! So one can't zoom while shooting -- which we all know we shouldn't -- but sometimes simply have to do.

I bought the 1855 which feels so much better.

But, not only is slow, it doesn't zoom enough.

What you need is a fast, F2 or F2.8 16-96 E-mount. I have not yet seen one.

The F3/FS100 have 2-stops, before adding gain, greater sensitivity so the two zoom should be able to be used indoors by adding 3 stops of gain.

In Juan's video he clearly tells you the current A-mount adaptor is way to slow. Which is why I saw no reason to buy lots of A-mount lenses. Whenever the "coming" adaptor arrives, this will make A-mount lenses far more useful.

But, you'll notice when he talks about DSLR VS CINE lenses he tells you photo lenses often click into stop changes. So, beware. Likewise beware the noise of any moving part -- including the aperture clicking when the camera is under control.
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Old April 16th, 2011, 04:02 PM   #11
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Re: Canon FD glass?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Piotr Wozniacki View Post
It's important for me because I do have a nice Canon FD zoom (also F3.5), in addition to the several primes.
When you move beyond E-mount you lose one really neat function. When you slightly move the focus ring of an E-mount lens, the NEX-5 automatically goes into Focus Assist mode. I would guess the same thing happens with the FS100. Doug?

The VG10 does not have Focus Assist which is the primary reason I would not spend $2000 on it. It doesn't even have a BUTTON you can press.

So, when you look at using the universe of lenses, you need to consider that you lose all electronic lens functions.

But, the biggest issue is, HOW you will control aperture? Do your Canon lenses have aperture rings? I suspect not. So what controls the aperture?

The adaptor must have a control.

How EZ is it to get your fingers on the control? A narrow ring up against the camera body is a pain!

How will you quickly open aperture fully for focusing?

You realize you will have NO idea of the shooting F-stop!

So how will you, after focusing, QUICKLY close down to the aperture you want?

Lastly, what do you do if your lenses do have aperture rings?

Does the adaptor work with the coupling pins?

Does it have a FOCUS button that pushes the aperture open while you are focusing? Do you have to hold the button down??? Or, is it a lever?


PS: Juan showed a Novoflex adaptors.
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Old April 16th, 2011, 04:58 PM   #12
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Re: Canon FD glass?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve Mullen View Post
When you move beyond E-mount you lose one really neat function. When you slightly move the focus ring of an E-mount lens, the NEX-5 automatically goes into Focus Assist mode. I would guess the same thing happens with the FS100. Doug?
Neat function? Are you saying that you want auto-focus to kick in when you're focusing manually? If so, we really have opposite views of what functions and features a camera should have. To the best of my knowledge, the FS100 does not have this "feature". Thank god.

I see that you are located in Vegas where NAB was being held for four straight days, so when you visited the Sony booth and spent some quality time with the FS100 in person this past week, what did you think?
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Old April 16th, 2011, 05:39 PM   #13
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Re: Canon FD glass?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve Mullen View Post
When you move beyond E-mount you lose one really neat function. When you slightly move the focus ring of an E-mount lens, the NEX-5 automatically goes into Focus Assist mode. I would guess the same thing happens with the FS100. Doug?

The VG10 does not have Focus Assist which is the primary reason I would not spend $2000 on it. It doesn't even have a BUTTON you can press.

So, when you look at using the universe of lenses, you need to consider that you lose all electronic lens functions.

But, the biggest issue is, HOW you will control aperture? Do your Canon lenses have aperture rings? I suspect not. So what controls the aperture?

The adaptor must have a control.

How EZ is it to get your fingers on the control? A narrow ring up against the camera body is a pain!

How will you quickly open aperture fully for focusing?

You realize you will have NO idea of the shooting F-stop!

So how will you, after focusing, QUICKLY close down to the aperture you want?

Lastly, what do you do if your lenses do have aperture rings?

Does the adaptor work with the coupling pins?

Does it have a FOCUS button that pushes the aperture open while you are focusing? Do you have to hold the button down??? Or, is it a lever?


PS: Juan showed a Novoflex adaptors.
Steve,

All my fast (F1.4) Canon prime lenses are of FD type, so all I'd need is an FD->E adapter ring ($20 on eBay).

Also, they all have aperture rings (true - narrow and "clicking" ones), and the focus ring is always the very first one at the front. All this works wonderfully with my Letus 35mm adapter and gives excellent image quality on my EX1, so - given that the adapter inevitably introduces some light and IQ loss - the lenses would work even better on the FS100.

My only doubt (and question in the previous message) was related to whether I should also keep my only zoom FD lens, or give it up for the SEL 18200 E-mount zoom that can be bought in the FS100 kit.

So, while appreciating your long answer, I really don't share your amount of concern about using Canon FD glass with the FS100!
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Old April 16th, 2011, 09:12 PM   #14
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Re: Canon FD glass?

I have no concern at all. I just gave you a complete answer.

I would buy one E-mount. The 18-200 is fine, but I really liked the 18-55 better.
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Old April 16th, 2011, 10:49 PM   #15
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Re: Canon FD glass?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve Mullen View Post
I would buy one E-mount. The 18-200 is fine, but I really liked the 18-55 better.
I would disagree. The 18-200 is NOT fine. It is the complete wrong choice to bundle with the FS100.
My advice, over and over again, to anyone who visited the Sony booth at NAB while I was working there is NOT to buy the version of the camera that includes the 18-200 lens. It is not suited for this camera. With an f-stop of f/3.5-f/6.3 it just what you DON'T need for achieving shallow depth-of-field. I can get better shallow DoF with an EX1R than I could with this lens on an FS100.

In fact, I felt so strongly about that 18-200 lens that I refused to demonstrate the FS100 with it alone, and insisted on having a better lens on the camera. The lens Sony got me was an Alpha-mount 85mm f/1.4 Zeiss. What a lens! What a camera! The images were beautiful, just as they would be with any f2.8 or faster lens. You have to have the right lens for a camera like this or you're wasting your money even buying it.

So save $800 and buy the body-only version of the FS100. Then use those saving to start investing in the adapter of your choice and some decent Nikon, Canon, or PL lenses if you don't own them already. I think most professionals already own some of those lenses.

As I told Sony, I would have loved to have seen them bundle this camera with a nice fast 50mm prime lens. That would have been a great choice to get people started on the right path.
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