FD to EF Conversion

Discussion in 'Canon EOS' started by jonpaul_hills, Apr 3, 2012.

  1. Hi there. I have an EF mount Canon EOS camera, and a large collection of old FD lenses that I have a sentimental attachment to, and so would like to be able to use. I want to be able to retain infinity focus, and would also very much like to avoid using an adapter with optics in it. I have seen some people who have done their own FD to EF conversions, and I have decided that I will try to do this myself. I know the FD lens has to be about 2mm closer to the sensor than it did for film cameras in order to retain infinity focus. My main question going into this conversion is whether or not there is a specific way to remove the space, or if I can just remove the FD mount, chop off 2mm of metal, and screw on the EF mount, with some experimentation of course. If anybody knows about this, I would appreciate any help.
    I am aware that this is a task for skilled metal workers, but I would like to try it.
    I am also aware that it may be much easier to simply buy some inexpensive EF lenses, but I would like to use my current lenses.
    Thank you everybody!
    JonPaul Hills
  2. zml


    Jon: try the conversion if you must but getting a nice four-thirds camera body and an adapter migh IMO be a much better way of using your FD lenses.
  3. SCL


    Unless you are a skilled machinist, kiss your sentimental lens goodbye.
  4. I say go for it. If you've got a large collection of FD glass, then you've certainly got some that is 'disposable' (and if not, it's not particularly hard to find copies that are).
    Experiment, though I'd probably find some pre-machined EF metal mounts (even w/o screw holes) , and make a good plan first.
    Let us know how it goes (since I doubt you'll find very many who know about how to do it)!
  5. I think the trick is getting the aperture control to work. In principle, as you say, you can just hack a couple of mm off the back of the lens and slap on an EOS mount, but that tends to be where the aperture ring and couplings are!

    Also, as you no doubt know, the FD mount is somewhat complex because the lens has to be mounted for the aperture control ring to work. There are all sorts of levers and cams in there to accomplish this.
    It can be done. I have an FD lens that was converted into an EF mount lens. I didn't have the conversion done myself but I believe it was done by S.K.Grimes (skgrimes.com). I understand the cost was somewhere in the $500 region, so it's obviously only worth doing professionally on a few of the most expensive FD lenses. I guess the point is that it's not magic and it can be done - but you'd better know what you are doing.
    I've also heard of people doing the conversions themselves. A Google search should dig up some references. Here's one: http://www.ganymeta.org/~darren/photo_f1.2_conversion.php
  6. I just noticed you didn't mention if your EOS camera was film or digital. If film, then bag the whole idea and get EF lenses
  7. Ed Mika's FD>EOS adapter enables retention of infinity focus for longer lenses, so you might want to check it out.
    But I'd abandon the idea of butchering your FD lenses in the hope that they might work on your EOS bodies, especially given that you are sentimentally attached to them. A much better idea would be to follow Michael and Louis's advice, and get a mirrorless body such as a Sony NEX-7 or Fuji X-Pro1.
  8. As Mark says the Ed Mika adaptors work well for longer lenses ( mine works fine on my old 300 F2.8). They rely on the
    fact that the old FD lens was able to focus past infinity to work properly so this restricts them to the big white lenses if you
    want infinity focus on an EF body. They obviously work mechanically on shorter FD lenses but they lose infinity focus.
    That said my 85F1.2 will focus at about 8 feet on an EF body. I am. It with my FD equipment at the moment but can post
    some crops next week. This will allow you to see the quality of the FD lenses and make your decision. To my mind the
    digital sensor reveals some lens issues that the modern EF lenses have solved. This may make you want to think
    carefully about which lenses you modify
  9. You could just cut the legs on your Labrador Retriever shorter and then you'd have a dachshund.
    Sentimental attachment? What would you have when you are done, even assuming all goes well?
    If you want EOS 'controls' for an FD lens, try getting a T90.

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