FD lenses on a Samsung NX100

Discussion in 'Canon FD' started by lou_meluso, Oct 16, 2011.

  1. I have an Samsung NX100 that came with a Samsung 20-50mm kit lens. I picked it up (new, open box) recently on eBay for $240. The kit zoom is pretty good but I wanted to see how some of my good Canon FD prime lenses worked with it. So, I got a cheap Chinese adapter on eBay for $25 and shot a few tests. Here are some of the results and a few of my shooting notes.
    In brief, the NX100 is a small, lightweight, mirrorless APS-C, 14.6 MP camera, shutter speeds 30sec to 1/4000, and 3FPS. Flash syncs at 1/180 sec. It offers matrix, center-weighted or spot metering. The rear screen is a 3" AMOLED type. It's a nondiscript little digibox thats not very ergonomic but has good image quality. The poor handling is not too big an issue when using with FD lenses since most times I found myself handling the rig by the lens. I put gummy Geeko Strips (by eGrips) on the front and back to help get a better grip. The build quality is OK but not impressive. The rear screen is nice and crisp and the AMOLED technology draws much less electrical power than standard LED screens. It does offer an add-on AMOLED viewfinder accessory but I don't have that and it's expensive($200). Here is a review that goes into much more detail if anyone is interested:
  2. My big worry was focusing. My eyesight is not great and I was afraid I would have difficulty getting fine focus. No problem though. Even with the lens wide open, at minimum focus distance, in low light, the image snapped cleanly into focus. When you hit a button on the rear panel the screen magnifies 2X to assist the fine focus. There is a bit of a nack to it but it seemed to work well.
  3. This first group of images were made with the old FD chrome nose, pre-SSC, concave front element, 35mm f/2 lens. This is the Oak Grove school house shot at F/5.6
  4. Here is a 100% crop. Pretty clean! No real color fringing noted at this aperture in the center or the edge.

  5. Here is a side view as the sun was setting.
  6. This portrait of Matthew was shot at f/2.8
  7. Next I used the FD 50mm f/3.5 Macro lens
    A Fly on a Flower shot @ f/8
  8. A spider web shot at f/5.6
  9. These next two are with the FD 28mm f/2.8
    Park Landscape at f/5.6
  10. Flower Pot Detail at f/8
  11. These last three are from my superb FD mount Kiron 105mm f/2.8 Macro
    A line of goldenrod. I was heading home from the park as the sun set and a shaft of light through the trees illuminated this line of flowers for a few seconds. I used F/4. The camera handled the hurry up shot quite easily.
  12. The next two were shot using the Canon 299T flash mounted in the hot shoe and bounced.
    Apple at f/8
  13. Guitar Curve at f/8
    Overall, I was pleased with the results. On the positive side, it was nice to use my FD glass without much fuss. The camera is very lightweight and super easy to use. Menus are well laid out. By using a RAW workflow, I got very good image quality and color. Battery life is very good. There is a hair bit more noise than my Canon 7D but nothing really to sweat about. Not much in the way of CA to worry about at middle apertures. At the price I paid, this is relatively inexpensive way to get my FD lenses (and just about every other manual lens ever made) active with a more modern camera.
    On the negative side, the ergonomics are poor (for my hands) and the build quality, while adequate, is not stellar. The screen is difficult to read in bright sun and the accessory viewfinder is expensive.
    I had fun with it! No, I won't be giving up my fine FD film bodies anytime soon but it's nice to get some versitility from my FD lenses. My next test will be with my longer lenses, the FD 80-200mm f/4L, and the FD 400mm f.4.5 SSC. With the 1.5x FOV offered by the APS-C sensor, this could potentially be very interesting for bird and/or wildlife photography.
  14. Cool little gadget but I'd need arms about a yard longer to focus on that rear screen! It's so nice to have an optical
    viewfinder wearing the corrective lens (diopter) instead of me...my FD bodies are downright courteous of their far-sighted owner!
  15. I'd need arms about a yard longer to focus on that rear screen!​
    Ha! I hear ya, Rick. I'm near sighted so I actually have to take off my glasses to focus...go figure. The accessory electronic viewfinder has diopter adjustments and is pretty good but spendy. Perhaps when the prices come down I'll pick one up.
  16. This was really interesting, Louis - thank you very much for posting!
  17. Beautiful shots as usual, Louis, providing further proof that it's the photographer and not his gear that matters.
    By the way, does your adapter have an AF confirmation chip, or were you just using the liveview magnification feature to assist with focusing? The reason I'm asking is that I'm going to be adapting a couple of older Nikkor lenses (55/1.2 and 100/2.5) to my EOS bodies, and am considering adapter options.
    A few weels ago I was using my CZJ Sonnar 135/4 on my 5DII with a chipless adapter, and I had a lot of trouble nailing focus. I realize that slower lenses are harder to focus, and that DSLR focusing screens are not optimized for manual focusing. But I'd rather use the viewfinder for routine framing and focusing, and reserve liveview for special circumstances such as macro.
  18. Thanks, Mark. No AF confirm on that adapter.
  19. Louis I use a Panasonic G1 (M4/3i.e. 2x) with my FD lenses sometimes. It works very well as the EVF helps and has
    a zoom capability for focusing. The 50F3.5 macro works really well as does the 24F2, 35F2, 50F1.4, 85F1.2 and
    135F2. After that it gets harder I have had good results with the 80-200F4L and the 35-135 F3.5 but the zooms are
    harder to use. I have played with the 300F2.8 but this is very difficult to focus and the lens is much too big for the
  20. Currently using my FD lenses with a Sony NEX-5 (soon to be NEX-7) and Novoflex adapter, and I couldn't be much happier. I find that I'm hardly using my SLR's anymore. I'm hoping that the eye level OLED finder on the NEX-7 cures one major problem that the NEX-5, and most similar machines have; poor monitor visibility in direct sunlight. Hope to see the 7 at PhotoPlus Expo next week.
  21. Philip- Yes, I remember your exellent post showing shots of your son with the G1 and FD 50 macro (I think). Those results looked darn good. I figured using the 400mm would not be easy but my preliminary test on static objects looked great. Of course shooting moving animals or flitting birds is a whole other thing.
    Paul- Glad to hear the Sony is working out for you. I've heard good things about the 7. I'll be attending the show as well, perhaps I'll run into you at the Sony booth.
  22. Awesome, Louis! I'm considering the NEX-5N (but may just wait and see what Canon comes out with...) and may use my FD glass with it. Excellent post with excellent pics as always!
  23. Thanks Andy, Our EOS cameras handle the old Nikon and M42 lenses pretty well but not so much FD stuff. With a dozen of these good lenses in my kit it's nice to get some additional play time with them. Not to mention the these EVIL cameras are light, light, light! The Sony's get great reviews. I would have got one myself till I found the great deal on the NX100. Totally worth the price even if only used as an FD lens horse.
  24. Excellent work Louis, the FD 35mm f2 Thorium lens is one of the sharpest lenses that the company ever made it seems to defy the laws of physics it's as sharp at medium apertures at the edge as at the middle of the frame, I love mine I've had it for more than thirty five years.
  25. Well, I have to say Ben, the Thorium 35 f/2 did not fail to impress in my test. It's the sharpest 35mm MF lens I own. I "de-yellowed" it this past Summer and have been shooting a lot with it since. It didn't go completely clear but any slight residual yellow was easily compensated for by creating a custom white balance for it. The 50mm macro also sparkled in my testing with this camera. The fact is, all the lenses performed very well. I'll see how the telephoto lenses do in the next round of tests. Thanks for the kind words, I'm glad you liked the images.
  26. I would think that the FD 24mm f2 would be a natural for this set-up, yielding a 36 crop, a fairly useful focal length, and very low barrel distortion. Wouldn't the Samsung NX-10 give you a viewfinder?
  27. Double post
  28. I agree, Doug, the FD 24mm f/2 would be a nice lens to try with this. I have the f/2.8 version and I'm sure it will end up getting screwed on to this camera at some point. Samsung also offers a very nice, extremely small AF 20mm f/2.8 pancake prime that looks interesting.
    Yes, the NX-10 and NX11 both offer integral EVF's in a camera with a larger form factor. The recently announced NX200 follows in the more compact path of the NX100 but, according to reports, is better handling. Yet it, strangely, doesn't offer any type of add-on EVF.
  29. SInce the NX100's shoe seems centered on the lens axis, an old rangefinder viewer could go in the shoe. For the FD 35, use a viewer for the 50, for the 24, use a viewer for the 35. At places like Cameraquest, these viewer aren't cheap, but old Soviet era ones exist on auctions for a lot less money. I don't like composing through a screen. I agree with the wag elsewhere who compared it to holding a baby with a dirty diaper. I want to hold the camera to my eye.
  30. Doug- Yes, I have heard of folks using their old rangefinder optical finders with these types cameras. I have a number of them myself. The only problem is, while they are great for framing, they don't help with focusing FD or other manual focus lenses. That is where the Samsung add-on EVF would really be useful, especially in bright conditions. I suppose one could just scale focus the thing but that is not my cup of tea. Since the new NX200 doesn't use the same add-on EVF as the NX100, I suspect those will come down in price in soon enough. That will provide framing, focusing and eyepiece diopter correction in one unit, plus be removable for times when you want a more compact carry.
  31. Beautiful shots as usual, Louis, providing further proof that it's the photographer and not his gear that matters.​
    Sadly looks like we'll have to wait awhile for the Nex 7, due to the terrible floods in Thailand. I, too, have been using some of my FD lenses on a Nex 5, and - with the notable exception of the 24 f1.4L - have been very impressed with the results (in technical terms at least). The trouble is focussing on any moving subject. You can kludge a viewfinder with a Hoodman Loupe or similar, but it ain't ideal.
  32. I too use a Nex with my FD lenses, and since focus peaking has been made available, manual focussing has been a treat. I can even get some sharp pictures of my small children, which says a lot about the technique!
    I was pretty glad to see how good most lenses performed, especially the 2/24, the 1.2/55 Asph and the 1.2/85L. Big disappointment with the 1.4/24L however! The 2.8/200IF is under par also, the non-IF version seems better, but the 80-200L is so much better that I don't bother with the former... gets big and quite awkward to handle, though. Would be interesting to test the 20-35L, as it would be a perfect walkaround lens, but I never got my hands on one at a reasonable price, and now that prices have gone up again...
    Hope to be able to upgrade to a Nex7 in the future, a viewfinder is much more to my liking than the rear screen.
  33. Awesome photographs with the manual lens on the NX100 Two Thumbs up from me!

Share This Page