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Canon FD lenses

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I'm sure this subject has been breeched before....but, I'd like to hear what people have to say about their experience using Canon FD lenses. With the internally stabilized cameras FDs can be very useful, especially for someone who prefers using autofocus most all of the time. So, if you have a moment fill me in on your experience--the good, the bad, and the ugly.

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EOSHD Pro Color for Sony cameras EOSHD Pro LOG for Sony CamerasEOSHD C-LOG and Film Profiles for All Canon DSLRs

Canon FD lenses are superb , great glass highly recommend , especially on soeedboosters , they are all manual focus , you cannot autofocus these lenses at all.

The primes are great and the zooms are also very good, 24-35mm l series , 35-70mm f4 zoom is steller for the money , 35-105mm 3.5 is also very good!!

 

 

 

 

 

 

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More people in the Video World tend to go with Nikon manual focus lenses than Canon FD. Nikon has NEVER changed their mount so that is one reason. And there are more of them around is one other reason. That they can be de clicked pretty easy, by yourself, doesn't hurt either.

But Canon FD has some damn nice stuff out there to buy also. The 50mm f1.2 comes to mind for around 250 bucks. Hard to beat that lens.

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I used to own the Canon FD 50mm f/1.4 and the 24mm f/1.4 lenses for my GH2. Both were superb, delivering rich, organic footage. WAY nicer than the equivalent Rokinon Cine lenses. Highly recommended if you don't need autofocus.

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My go to lens is still currently the FD 55mm f1.2 on a cheap Chinese speedbooster.   The longer focal length, the lower contrast, the imperfections of the booster... Certainly makes footage look less digital-y.

It's a decent solution if it fits the look you want.

Plus, if you really want to push into lowlight shots, it'll take you there.  A f1.2 on a speedbooster becomes something like a f0.9 --Not with a super sharp image, but you can do it.  I think it looks good to my eye stopped down to f2.

I also appreciate the mass of the lens.  It gives a welcome heft to the smaller M43 cams I use.

FWIW, I shoot mostly doc footage and still wouldn't consider using autofocus.  I get why it's handy, but I'm old school.  I like the aesthetic of a camera operator actively trying to find focus as things are happening.  That's not a flaw to me, that's an authentic cinema-verite look with contextual legacy.

Finally, the one thing I don't like about FD, is the twist-lock mount system.  PITA when trying to swap lenses on the fly.  If you plan on doing lens swaps as quickly as possible, would recommend Nikon lenses instead.

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Yes, they are very nice and inexpensive, with the IBIS you should be able to use longer focal handheld (haven't tried yet).

The 50mm f1./4 is like $50 on ebay. I also got the 200mm f2.8 and ($80) and 300mm f something for the very long focal (600mm equiv) timelapse or moonshot.
 

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I think most of the cheaper FD lenses are just like all the other old manual focus lenses and I would think condition and how hard a life they have had matters far more these days than anything.

That said, I do love some of the FD L lenses as they are different to many lenses of the same vintage (often using hand ground aspheric elements unlike the non L and other mount lenses)    I had the 80-200 f4 FD L and 50 1.2 FD L and both were quite nice.     I sold both when I needed the money but seriously considered another 50 1.2 L (but got a native Sony Zeiss lens instead).

I still have a 24 1.4 FD L and 85 1.2 FD L and love both though both have some issues (dissolving bearings I think for the 85 1.2 L which can be an issue with some FD lenses) which is one reason I think condition/life matters A LOT with old lenses.      I do prefer the EF 100 f2 now over the FD 85 1.2 L but it is still a nice lens I intend getting fixed (still works and I have lent them out at the moment).      I keep the 24 1.4 for when I want a fast 24mm lens which isn't all that often.

I prefer them FF on my A7s but will use them on the M4/3 GX7 from time to time.     I don't need IBIS with the A7s and it is a help with the GX7 though not a huge amount (and not at all in video).

Since the F stop blues is real, there isn't so much of a need for 85 1.2 but it is a really nice lens for lens fondlers and both are fun to use (I loved using the FD 85 1.2 L on my dead Pentax Q!).

BTW, you CAN auto focus some FD lenses.    

A) You can use some on the Sigma adapter for E mount cameras and Leica lenses with a second adapter I believe (adapter allows AF with MF lenses but up to a weight limit I think with the latest PDAF E mount cameras).

B) There are actually two or three FD AF lenses that work on FD film cameras (I have a FD 50 1.8 AF lens- has a great big lump on its side).

Just a couple of old snaps I have in my computer with the 24 1.4 I think.

DSC06529.jpg

DSC06674.jpg

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2 minutes ago, JazzBox said:

I love Canon FD lenses. I had a complete kit (20, 24, 28, 35, 50, 85, 135, 35-70, 200 etc...) and I regret a lot I sold it... they give you a great image quality, an organic feel and they are cheap!

MOST are cheap.     Some of the more exotic ones cost as much as they ever did.

In the last couple of years, some of the more expensive ones have come down a bit (24 1.4 L can go from between about $500 and $1500 I think and the 85 1.2 has come down a bit as well).    Maybe since the arrival of lenses like the Samyang/Rokinons and some of the better and more recent Sigmas and the fast third party lenses like the Mitakons the prices of some of the more exotic FDs has come down but not the rarest ones.

The 300mm L lenses are a lot better than the 300mm non L's too I think and hence the higher prices.    Same with the 50 1.2's.      I had a Pentax 50 1.2 that I think was better than the 50 1.2 FD non L but not as good as the FD 50 1.2 L.     The L is twice the price (or more) of the non L.

Others like the 200 1.8 are at car prices still.   The longer faster exotic lenses (often with fluorite elements) also hold up well today.

Just got my 50 1.8 FD AF lens out to play with.

If I ever needed cheap 50 I can actually use it though it is manual focus only on my A7s, it CAN be focused manually (has a one shot/servo/manual switch) but MF is an afterthought it seems with a tiny area on either side to grip to focus.     Just discovered that while I can not change the aperture normally (no aperture ring and no way of changing in camera), the lens mounts safe enough and securely enough that I can change the aperture via the on/off ring on the adapter without the lens coming off.

I have enough normal 50mm lenses to not need to use this but just for fun (it will soon be back on my Canon FD T-80 camera in a box with all the other film relics).

P1450101.JPG

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4 hours ago, Jaime Valles said:

I used to own the Canon FD 50mm f/1.4 and the 24mm f/1.4 lenses for my GH2. Both were superb, delivering rich, organic footage. WAY nicer than the equivalent Rokinon Cine lenses. Highly recommended if you don't need autofocus.

Would never dream of using autofocus.

4 hours ago, fuzzynormal said:

My go to lens is still currently the FD 55mm f1.2 on a cheap Chinese speedbooster.   The longer focal length, the lower contrast, the imperfections of the booster... Certainly makes footage look less digital-y.

It's a decent solution if it fits the look you want.

Plus, if you really want to push into lowlight shots, it'll take you there.  A f1.2 on a speedbooster becomes something like a f0.9 --Not with a super sharp image, but you can do it.  I think it looks good to my eye stopped down to f2.

I also appreciate the mass of the lens.  It gives a welcome heft to the smaller M43 cams I use.

FWIW, I shoot mostly doc footage and still wouldn't consider using autofocus.  I get why it's handy, but I'm old school.  I like the aesthetic of a camera operator actively trying to find focus as things are happening.  That's not a flaw to me, that's an authentic cinema-verite look with contextual legacy.

Finally, the one thing I don't like about FD, is the twist-lock mount system.  PITA when trying to swap lenses on the fly.  If you plan on doing lens swaps as quickly as possible, would recommend Nikon lenses instead.

I agree wholeheartedly with you. I also don't like the twist-lock mount system--sucks. All my FDs are bayonet mount, and they mount quickly and remove just as quickly.

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Due to the flange to focal plane distance they are not ( easily) adaptable to EOS mount so they have always been less desirable in the S/H market which has kept prices low compared to other mounts of similar vintage but for mirrorless cameras this is not a problem. The mount system is 'different' but with the right adapter it can lock the lens in place very securely which eliminates backlash in follow focus systems. General 'Bokeh' can be a bit fussy and they are pretty low contrast wide open which can be useful.

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On 25 marzo 2017 at 0:41 AM, noone said:

MOST are cheap.     Some of the more exotic ones cost as much as they ever did.

In the last couple of years, some of the more expensive ones have come down a bit (24 1.4 L can go from between about $500 and $1500 I think and the 85 1.2 has come down a bit as well).    Maybe since the arrival of lenses like the Samyang/Rokinons and some of the better and more recent Sigmas and the fast third party lenses like the Mitakons the prices of some of the more exotic FDs has come down but not the rarest ones.

The 300mm L lenses are a lot better than the 300mm non L's too I think and hence the higher prices.    Same with the 50 1.2's.      I had a Pentax 50 1.2 that I think was better than the 50 1.2 FD non L but not as good as the FD 50 1.2 L.     The L is twice the price (or more) of the non L.

Others like the 200 1.8 are at car prices still.   The longer faster exotic lenses (often with fluorite elements) also hold up well today.

Just got my 50 1.8 FD AF lens out to play with.

If I ever needed cheap 50 I can actually use it though it is manual focus only on my A7s, it CAN be focused manually (has a one shot/servo/manual switch) but MF is an afterthought it seems with a tiny area on either side to grip to focus.     Just discovered that while I can not change the aperture normally (no aperture ring and no way of changing in camera), the lens mounts safe enough and securely enough that I can change the aperture via the on/off ring on the adapter without the lens coming off.

I have enough normal 50mm lenses to not need to use this but just for fun (it will soon be back on my Canon FD T-80 camera in a box with all the other film relics).

P1450101.JPG

I had 20mm f/2.8, 24mm f/2, 28mm f/2.8, 35mm f/2, 50mm f/1.4, 85mm f/1.8 etc... and all were cheap, especially considering the great images they give you :) 
Of course you it makes sense to buy those kind of lenses, some 1.4 and 1.2, not the exotic or AF...

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