Ed Mika Adaptors FD on EF

Discussion in 'Canon EOS' started by philip_wilson, Apr 6, 2012.

  1. There are frequently posts on this topic so I decided to show how these things work. Firstly be aware that for most lenses you lose infinity focus with an Ed Mika adaptor but for big white lenses you can preserve it. This is because the big white FD lenses will focus past infinity to allow for thermal expansion and contraction. So to that end I shot my 5DII with my old Canon 300 f2.8 FD lens and my current 300 F4L IS (IS was turned off).
    The lenses were mounted on the same tripod, focused carefully in 10x live view and shot with a remote release in manual exposure on the same settings. First here are the two lenses - the FD lens shows the Ed Mika brass adaptor on the top
  2. So here are the two shots I took of a tree in the yard (I would have shot a mountain at the other side of the valley but there is cloud in the way.
  3. Didn't like the shot so here is the FD image again
  4. Sorry it did not like my filenames so here it is again
  5. Here is the EF image
  6. Note the images and exposures differ slightly. The bigger F2.8 lens offsets the camera slightly more and obviously F4 on the two lenses differs slightly.
    Here is the crop from the FD lens - actual pixels and one pass of unsharp mask
  7. Here is the EF lens
  8. Some of the old FD lenses are very good. Some aren't quite so good. The FD300/2.8L and FD 500/4.5L are good. In fact the FD 500/4.5L is optically identical to the EF 500/4.5L. The 600/4.5 isn't bad, but it's not a "L" lens, doesn't use exotic glass of any kind and has a long minimum focus distance.
    I have an FD 500/4.5L which was converted (professionally) to an EOS mount. It's every bit as sharp as the EF version. I don't know if the ultra thin FD -> EOS adaptor and the "past infinity" focusing of the FD 500/4.5L would give you infinity focus. I have read that the "past infinity" stop can be removed for a little more focus travel.
    Do you know which FD lenses will focus to infinity with this adapter without going into the internals and removing focus stops? I presume the list would be limited to the 300/2.8L, 400/2.8L, 500/4.5L, 600/4.5, 800/5.6L and the 150-600/5.6L. Maybe the 400/4.5?
  9. Both images are processed identically just opened in ACR, cropped in photoshop and saved as JPEGs. Both have had one pass with unsharp filter. As you can see the modern F4 lens is definitely slightly sharper than the old FD lens. So if you pixel peep do not bother with the old FD lenses. For those who have the old FD big telephotos then the Ed Mika adaptor is a way to give them new life.
  10. For those who are interested here is the legendary FD 85 F1.2 (one of my all time favourite lenses) As you can see these are very exciting shots of stucco. All are cropped to show (approx) the same selection of stucco.
  11. Here is the EF lens - Ef 85 F1.8 (I don't have the F1.2) at F5.6 for reference. This was shot the same way (on tripod, in MF focused with live view)
  12. Here is the FD lens at F5.6
  13. As you can see the EF lens is sharper - but I still love the FD lens. For normal size images and up to 8x12 the FD lens works fine. I mainly use mine on an M4/3 body but it can work on EOS so long as you are less than 8 feet from the subject.
  14. Bob - to answer your question here are the lens Ed says the new 0.5mm adaptor works with
    The FD 200mm 2.0L, FD 300mm 2.8L, FD 400mm 2.8L, FD 500mm 4.5L, FD 600mm 4.5 and FD 800mm 5.6L
    I find infinity focus with the 300 F2.8 is marginal - shooting a distant mountain in the cold is not quite focused - you need to shoot at F5.6 or similar. I believe it gets better with longer lenses but the 300 F2.8 is the only big white lens I have left these days. I should probably have sold it but could not bring myself to do so.
  15. I've looked at a lot of lenses for both EOS and M4/3 and my conclusion is that modern lenses, even cheap plastic modern lenses, are sharper than most old manual focus lenses. I guess optical design, manufacturing and coating technology has come a long way in the last 25 years (which is when most of the old MF system started to die out).
    There are exceptions of course, but if you're looking for sharp, my advice is to stick with something recent unless the old lens you are looking at was absolutely "state of the art" in the mid 80s.
    Of course sharpness isn't the only factor. I have a nice Konica 57mm f1.2 lens adapted to m4/3 (since it won't adapt to anything else...). Somewhat soft (low contrast) at f1.2, but for a portrait lens that's not a bad thing.
  16. I agree Bob but there are some that work well. The Old FD 50 F3.5 Macro is especially sharp (on an M4/3 Body) and most of the other great Fd lenses work very well (24 F2, 35 F2, 135 f2 and 70-200 F4 L zoom). In addition I find my old Leica 35 F1.4 Lux to be very impressive although soft wide open - especially when compared to modern Leitz lenses.
  17. Thanks for the nice writeup Philip. Some copies of the FD 300mm 2.8L have trouble reaching infinity using the simple focus recalibration I describe here http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ytgt1d1Ts8I. The solution to absolutely get past infinity is to use a small circular file and extend the slots of the focus mechanism traveller by approximately 0.7mm. I'm not a fan of permanent modification but this one is quite minimal. Another important consideration is to ensure you shoot with a 48mm thread filter installed, it does adjust the optical path slightly and helps push past infinity quite a bit. One thing to note in your comparison, you still had a stop of light the FD 300 2.8 was able to play with to help in lower light situations and for bokeh generation. Its not all just about sharpness as you state. Pixel peeping aside, the two comparison shots you took, the FD one looks more contrasty and vibrant to me.
    Your FD 85mm 1.2L copy seems surprisingly soft though, My copy is not much softer than my EF 85mm 1.2L II at equivalent apertures. I will have a reversible mount swap kit for most FDn sub 200mm primes by June http://www.flickr.com/photos/ontarian/7016119535/in/photostream in case you want to get more than 5 feet out of your lens with the 0.5mm adapter. The 85mm 1.2L is particularly hard to convert though since one of the aperture levers has to be taken out by disassembling the lens and the rear aspherical element can be a challenge to unscrew so I will be highly recommending people use Jim Buchanan's conversion services since he will have my kits on hand.
    Bob, I rented the EF 800mm 5.6L and spent a weekend playing with it along side of my FD 800mm 5.6L. Though I did no well setup comparisons because I was too busy having fun, optically both were equally fantastic for drawing details out of distant scenes. I also own an EF 400mm 2.8L IS and the FD 400mm 2.8L IS and there is absolutely no sharpness difference. I really should do a proper shoot off to prove this to the internets. In any case, its hard not to see the true bargain these white legacy lenses represent. Most people find them safely under 2000 dollars and some even for 5 http://www.fredmiranda.com/forum/topic/1028384/0 . This price range brings this kind of rewarding shooting to enthusiasts that normally wouldn't be ready to drop the price of a car on that type of lens in the EF range.
    -Ed Mika
  18. Philip, Bob and Ed,
    Thanks for this, I had been watching Ed's progress on Filckr for several years, through his various tests and prototypes, it is funny because I had wondered about a zero thickness adapter and he made one. Saved me loads of time, money and speculation! I keep a very close eye on FD 800's but the price has firmed up on them, I will get one one day and when I do Ed will be the first port of call.
  19. Yes, I've been watching for "affordable" 800 FD L's myself. I bailed on FD a few years back, in favour of manual focus Nikon specialty lenses for use on EOS bodies, expecting to watch FD prices plummet to even lower values and it never really happened. Now with micro 4/3, Ed Mika, and Jim Buchanan, demand and prices for FD lenses will only go up. I'll just keep looking!
  20. Thanks Ed I am not sure why my 85 looks that soft - it usually looks fine when I shoot it. Your adaptors are a great
    product and work well. I posted them comparison as many people do not seem to be aware of your product. I will maybe
    file my 300mm lens but it may also have been the cold as it was -3. It seems better when warm.
  21. Thanks for info. It's been hard for me to part with the FD stuff, but then I still have my old IBM PS1 computer.
    Just wondering if anyone has compared Ed's adapters to the original Canon FD-EOS adapter?
    I have one of Ed's adapters (300mm 2.8) but have not converted it yet. I also have the Canon adapter and have been more than satisfied with my long telephoto lenses that are compatible when they were used on my 10D or 5D. Even the 200mm 2.8 FD lens is extremely sharp.
    I've also used an Olympus 4/3 with less than satisfactory results.
  22. Does anyone really know what happened to Ed Mika? I ordered a couple of adapters and they never arrived, no communications from anyone. If Ed is still out there I would love to buy some adapters.
    Mick Simpson

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