Everything old is new again : FD lenses on new Canon EOS R system?

Discussion in 'Canon FD' started by matt_t_butler, Oct 10, 2018.

  1. Just finished looking at an EOS R with RF 24-105 L IS. Held in size 9.5 hands it's compact and dense with excellent perceived build quality, neither the body nor lens felt plasticky. It's all very solid and of a piece. But far as the sizing goes I would not want it to be any smaller. Thankfully the hand grip is up to Canon's high standards which keeps it feeling secure.

    I found the EVF very clear and crisp, with enough resolution to easily focus manually on the finer details of a subject without using its focus magnifier or focus peaking features. Functionally, it was like focusing on a high quality matte screen and that exceeds my expectations by far. I bet it will be delightful with adapted MF glass! Color me impressed.
    Last edited: Oct 30, 2018
  2. I've owned the nFD 200/2.8 IF off and on since 1985 and one of the first things I discovered about it, when shooting slides, was that it had very pronounced CA. I ruined several slides shooting with it after I first bought the lens. After that, I learned what I could and couldn't shoot with it and it became a much more usable lens. These days one can get rid of most, if not all, of the CA in post, so it isn't nearly the problem it used to be.

    I switched systems from Canon FD to Nikon for a while (these days I have both systems) and after becoming a Nikon user, I sold all my Canon gear and soon thereafter, I bought a Nikon AIs 180mm f/2.8 ED. It is a superior lens to the Canon 200/2.8, both in terms of sharpness and CA control, thanks to that ED glass. I have found a good substitute for the Nikon ED 180, and that is the Tamron SP 80-200/2.8 LD. At 200mm, its performance is virtually identical to that of the 180 ED Nikkor. Having wrote all that, though, I still couldn't help myself, so a couple years ago, I re-acquired the Canon nFD 200/2.8 IF. I missed it is the only reason I can give for buying another copy of it.
  3. LensRentals sent me an EOS R kit to play with for a week. Along with the body they included the battery grip, control ring lens adapter EF-EOS R, RF 50/1.2, and the RF 24-105 L zoom. On the whole, a very sweet box o' goodies. After taking some time to get familiarized with controls, menus, and settings the fun can begin!

    Not having a dedicated FD-RF adapter yet, I tested manual focusing first with an adapted Pentax SMC 85/2.2 soft focus lens- the camera's focus-peaking feature works great on this S/F optic which can be otherwise tricky to focus in an optical viewfinder. That's really encouraging. Next I tried an EdMika FD-EOS adapter with focus confirmation chip that's originally used with an FD 800/5.6 L. Of course, even being very thin it prevents infinity focus with most FD lenses but it still allows them to be attached and focused at closer distances. This too works well, although the still-functional focus-confirmation chip defeats the camera's focus-peaking feature. I'd rather have the latter available so just a simple chip-less FD-RF adapter would be my choice.

    One nicety is the EVF automatically compensating for the reduced light transmission of slower lenses or stopped-down apertures. Now that is pretty slick.
    matt_t_butler likes this.
  4. Spotted on UK based MTF site ($ conversion - ouch!)
    MTF brand FD lens to RF mount.jpg
  5. MTF's certainly the high price option, if there's a commensurate leap in quality compared to cheaper options who knows!

    I'm going to ask them to produce an adapter which pairs the Canon 50mm f/0.95 "Dream Lens" with an EOS R. Having had both of them here to look at they would make a fabulous couple!
  6. i use my fd lenses on a camdiox focal reducer it doesnt degrade the image on a sony e mount apsc digital it gives the old school film field of view and an extra stop of light i think i need a full frame a7 sometime
    they all fit even on a 3rd party fd zoom i have but a word of warning the fd 50mm f1.8 has a curved rear element that will touch the focal reducers lens and leaves you about 2-3 mm short on the lens throw of infinity but the fd 50mm f1.4 has a flat rear element and works perfectly
    i can fit fd lenses to my leica m1 the leica with no rangefinder and use an external rangefinder or zone focusing but i just got my a series slrs out again ........must dust the scanner off
  7. Last edited: Dec 1, 2018
  8. Matt, the new Canon RF mount has a much shorter flange distance than an FD lens', so producing adapters that allow infinity focus will be easy. This was not the case on the standard EOS mount, where even without the adapter an FD lens would be positioned further from the focal plane than its designed flange distance. Adding the adapter pushes it out even more, making them de facto extension tubes- good-bye, infinity focus!
    Last edited: Dec 30, 2018
    matt_t_butler likes this.
  9. I have been using my FD lenses very successfully on EOS M bodies with a cheap China-made adaptor. I guess, there will be soon adaptors like this for EOS R too.

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