Which FD-EOS Adapter to Buy

Discussion in 'Canon FD' started by ashishgarg, Jan 11, 2012.

  1. I am beginning to explore the FD lenses and need an FD lens to EOS camera adapter. I see the following kinds out there on ebay etc.:
    1. Aluminium ones without glass element (small opening): My understanding is these won't allow infinity focus. I would like infinity focus so they are out of question.
    2. Cheap glass elements allowing infinity focus (with smaller opening and glass element): my understanding is they will allow infinity focus but may not work for macro lenses.
    3. Apparently there is a variation on #1 above that may work for macro lenses (larger opening), allowing for shorter focusing distances.
    4. There is another type that has a glass element but allows that element to be removed if would like.
    Could you guys please guide me or provide pointers to which one(s) should I be looking to buy. Currently, I may be looking to get a 200mm (macro), 400m and 50mm FD lenses.
  2. Search the archives. None of these adapters seem to be worth the trouble, exept perhaps the original Canon one but that one is very rare/difficult to find. Better look at EVIL/MILC for this purpose (Sony NEX and several offerings by Samsung,Panasonic, etc.).
  3. Search for the glass-less EdMika adapters- they are a recent development, with a very thin stack height and the
    ability for focus-confirmation on certain lenses. Its Canadian designers wanted infinity focus, and it is achievable on the
    longer FD super telephotos at least. I believe these EdMika products are machined from brass.
  4. The flange to sensor distance on EOS cameras is greater than it was in FD cameras. This means that it is not possible to position an FD lens correctly for infinity focus on an EOS camera. This is why corrective optics are needed, but the optics in adapters are generally not high quality and will degrade the image. This is why using FD lenses on EOS cameras is not generally recommended. I have heard good things about the original Canon FD to EOS adapter, but it is rare and expensive at this point.
    If you simply want to save money by buying manual focus super-telephoto lenses on the used market, you would be better off looking at some other line of lenses that don't require corrective optics on EOS cameras. Olympus OM lenses may be the best bet, since that system is obsolete. Nikon and Pentax lenses have tended to retain their value better, since at least some current Nikon and Pentax cameras are still backward-compatible with them.
    If you really want to experiment with FD lenses, the best solution is an FD camera, but if you want to stick with digital, then a Sony NEX or Micro Four Thirds camera would be the way to go.
  5. Yes, not many people go the FD-EOS way today, as the EVIL way seems much nicer...
    Having the Canon FD-EF adapter, it sure is good; it is on par with the x1.4 converters, being basically a x1.26 converter with a different mount on each side. But it does not work for short lenses, only for lenses from 200m on.
    So if you are looking for 200 macro for macro work, a simple macro adapter without lens is OK.
    For a 400mm, you would need the Canon adapter; There are several Canon adapter available on eBay, but they are quite expensive, over $1000 ! Your probably better of buying an EF 5.6/400!
    And forget about the 50mm altogether: only physical adaptation of the lens is possible, and even then, may not be possible depending on the lens and body! I must say that I fail to see the interest for adapting a 50mm in the Canon FD range, apart maybe for a 50L or 55 Asph; which are the ones notorious difficult to adapt!
  6. I concur with the others, Ashish. Unless you're doing macro work, it's not worthwhile adapting FD lenses to EOS bodies.
    I've got an adapter with removable elements for those rare occasions when I want to use one of my FD-mount macro lenses on one of my EOS bodies, but I've never even bothered trying to use the adapter with the elements for non-macro focusing distances. (I've got EF lenses for that.)
    Rick, the Ed Mika adapters do sound very promising for FD super-telephotos. They are very thin, and exploit the fact that the focus rings of the lenses go a little beyond infinity. They also appear to be very well made, too.
  7. In 1955 "what america needs is a good four speed transmission"
    ( I said I only comment on old things)
    today what america ( and the world needs) is a good Full-frame FD compatible body"
    IT IS NOT GOING TO HAPPEN. the sad part of it all is that even in cases such as Nikon and poentax film to digital
    and to a smaller degree Minolta to sony. the lenses may fir and focus to infinity.
    but the lack of other needed features makes the lenses LESS than useful/.
    It is lokely that a "department store quality ef lens " if such a thing still existed, would be as good or better than using an adapter of unknown quality so you could use a "same brand" but incompatible lens on a digital canon.
    I realize the lenses now cost as much an an old still running automobile.
    But there is nothing we can do about that.
  8. Walter, Minolta to Sony is no different at all from Canon's situation. Minolta switched from a mechanical lens control interface to a purely electronic one in the 1980s when they introduced autofocus. Canon did exactly the same thing at about the same time. Today's Sony DSLRs can use A-mount autofocus lenses from the film era, but cannot use the older manual-focus SR-mount lenses. Canon DSLRs can use EF-mount autofocus lenses from the film era, but cannot use the older manual-focus FD-mount lenses. So in terms of backward compatibility, Canon and Minolta/Sony are in exactly the same position for exactly the same reasons.
    Nikon and Pentax have imperfect backward compatibility, but the main effect of this is to confuse users. Some Nikon DSLRs don't support some lenses, and you have to be pretty familiar with the details of a particular camera and a particular generation of lenses to know whether they'll work together or not (and what limitations you'll be stuck with -- for example, as far as I know, there is no Nikon DSLR that works in Program or shutter-priority mode with AI-S lenses). I am less familiar with modern Pentax equipment, but I gather their situation is similar to Nikon's.
  9. The EdMika adapters are a recent development, so if you haven't investigated these products then your information about infinity focusing FD lenses on EOS bodies is not up to date. His adapters currently work with longer FD telephotos (my FD 800/5.6L infinity focuses without removal of its focus stop) and he's designing more to accomodate other classic FD lenses.
    I'm glad to see him doing the impossible.
  10. I take the opposite view of the standard advice. I have the Bower adapter and it works just fine. Is it as good as a regular prime, no. So what! Photography isn't all about "IQ". It's a cheap way to use glass you already have. If you stop down 2-3 stops the image quality is not as bad as you might think. If you shoot near wide open you'll be treated to very creamy effects that are quite lovely and impressionistic. For the price, around $30, it's good to have if only for odd experimentation or special effects.
    Here is a leaf shot with the FD 35-105 f/3.5 zoom and Bower adapter on a Digital EOS camera stopped down to f/8.
  11. Here is a detail of the leaf. Plenty of detail.
  12. Here is the FD 100mm f/2 and Bower adapter shot at f/2.8. That's pure optical smoothness! The creative potential is endless. Sharpness isn't everything in photography. These are all shot on a Canon 7D but I've made nice pictures on my old 300D as well. Remember, the camera doesn't matter, the lenses don't matter. Visual creativity comes from within.
  13. Remember, the camera doesn't matter, the lenses don't matter. Visual creativity comes from within.​
    That's easy for you to say, Louis.
    Though you're right, of course. To a point.
  14. That's easy for you to say, Louis.​
    Louis could get beautiful results from a Holga, or even from a pinhole camera.
    Most of the rest of us have to be content spending tons of money on top grade gear merely to be able to aspire to make the kind of art Louis makes (and, in my case at least, to never quite succeed in making it).
  15. Thanks a lot all for your responses!
    This is very useful information, some of you are discouraging me to use an adapter at all, but I do want to experiment with FD lenses ... FWIW ... I already have a few good EF lenses with my Canon DSLR, but still feel that I can get some creative shots with some FD lenses ... I will update once I get an adapter and have some shots to show ..
  16. Craig, are you saying that Sony NEX Cameras are compatible with Canon FD lenses?
  17. are you saying that Sony NEX Cameras are compatible with Canon FD lenses?​
    It's the other way round, really: you can use almost all Canon FD/FL lenses on Sony Nex cameras. To do so, all you need is an adaptor, of which there are many on the market. Of course, you don't get AF or automatic aperture control, so you have to shoot in either Av or M modes, but it works pretty well - and the results can be very sharp indeed: see here and then click on the image for a close-up.
    The drawback I have found, with a Nex 5, is focussing: it can be done, and the focus-peaking helps (though not completely reliably), but it is sloooow: action shots are very hit and miss. Part of the problem is that you are focussing using an LCD screen; this will be better on the Nex 7, when it is finally available, though that camera may have other issues; it can also be improved using a loupe arrangement, but you have to be prepared to look pretty odd. Actually, it is almost best for video: no one minds a moment or two of out-of-focus shot on that; I used my Nex 5 plus a 50mm f1.2L last weekend to shoot a friends' band, and it worked very well (although the sound was awful: mics completely overwhelmed by the volume).
  18. Louis could get beautiful results from a Holga, or even from a pinhole camera.​
    Perhaps we could have a "Challenge Louis" thread: set him an equipment combination and subject-matter and see what he makes of it? It would have to involve some FD kit, so as to remain on-forum topic.
    My starter for 10 would be a shot of a manhole cover using a telephoto lens of at least 300mm, at night. Ha!
  19. craig, I think there were enough IF's and explanations not to be 101% precise, but to comment that the ONLY lenses that work properly and completely
    with a few exceptions , are the lenses sold for the camera.
    yes sometimes the last generation of film slr lenses will work-more or less-
    on a dslr. But usually the additional steps required are more trounbel thna they are worth.
    yes I realize pentax and nikon and a few later Minolta lenses will mount on the later models.
    but I pointed out, that never will there ebe 100% compatibility.
    auto focus some kinds otr auto exposure anbd auto maticdfiaphram are often not working.
    These questions appear every week.
    and the answer is usually " not really worth trying"
    In there cased the best thing to do it buy some film.
    I for one, do not like the concept of using odd parts so a $5000.00
    dslr functions worse then a 1936 Exacta with a WL finder.
  20. Walter, u heeft helemaal gelijk, but OTOH I cannot begin to replicate my FD arsenal in EOS lenses - and nor would I really want to. And why shouldn't I some of it a whirl on my EOS DSLR (or Nex 5)? It's fun, quite apart from anything else. And until I try my 500mm f4.5L FD on my 1DS Mark III and find it wanting, I am sure not going to think of shelling out for a replacement even if I could)!
  21. Back to the OP's question, I have a bit of experience in this regard. I bought one of the generic Chinese FD-EOS adapters off eBay about a year ago or so. I selected the one I did because the seller advertised that the glass element was made by Hoya. I was hopeful that, since Hoya made the element, the stories I'd heard and seen about the adapters exhibiting large amounts of ghosting flare at wider apertures would not be a concern with it. Unfortunately, fast lenses show tons of ghosting flare with this adapter. It shows a modest amount at f/2.8, a considerable amount at f/2 and a horrendous amount at f/1.4.
    However! I did extensive testing with a variety of sharp lenses to see just by how much this adapter degraded lens sharpness with the corrective element in place. I was surprised by the results. I could detect no degradation in sharpness/resolution in images where the adapter was used. So this was a great bit of information. I then felt no compunction about using it at apertures smaller than f/4 or with slower lenses. And the results I've been getting are great. Similar to Louis's . . . well maybe minus some of the talent, but . . .
    My adapter also amounts to about a 1.2x teleconverter. Here are two images I took with a 10.1mp EOS DSLR and a New FD 400mm f/4.5 IF lens. The first photo was taken without the corrective element in place, and the second one with it. You'll note a slight difference in magnification, which is due to the teleconverter effect. But if anything the second photo is the sharper of the two. I don't recall now, but I probably used Live View for focusing accuracy. The 400/4.5 was set to f/4.5 for these photos.
    Still, I was disappointed that I wasn't able to use my fast FD glass with this adapter. I mean, I say to myself, there's lots of 1.4x teleconverters out there that don't exhibit the large amounts of image-killing flare that mine does, so why can't somebody design a decent set of glass elements for one of these adapters so that it will function as well as a decent 1.4x? I'd pay more for a good one, quite a bit more for a really good one.
    And then just a couple weeks ago, I ran across Fotodiox's website, and landed on a page that was discussing their FD-EOS adapter. Fotodiox was making the claim that they had largely eliminated the CA problems inherent in other FD-EOS adapters, which got my attention. Its price was not bad either, just two bucks more than what I paid for the adapter I bought on eBay. The description also mentioned that their adapter is a 1.4x, not the others' typical 1.2x magnification. So I ordered one from them. It arrived a couple of days ago. It's well made, and the "Lock Open" switch clicks solidly from one setting to the other. I haven't had much of a chance to use it yet, but I did take it out long enough to try it out with my FD 50mm f/1.4 SSC. Following are a few photos -- nothing to write home about, but they get the point across. The first photo was taken at f/1.4, the second one was taken at f/2, and the third at f/2.8. The f/1.4 photo's contrast is noticeably soft and shows a slight amount of this blooming flare that I mentioned above. The f/2 photo is much improved in terms of contrast, and there's essentially no noticeable CA. And by f/2.8, the photo's contrast is spot on, IMO, and there's no trace of CA. All in all, a really big improvement over my other adapter. I'd show you some flared out examples from it, but all the images are archived to DVD now, and honestly, I don't feel like digging through a stack of DVDs to find a couple of lousy (literally) photos. All of the following photos were taken hand-held.
    But I was still wondering how well it would handle the ultimate challenge: shooting with either my FD 85mm F/1.2 SSC Aspherical or my FL 55mm f/1.2 wide open at f/1.2. As it turned out, surprisingly well. With my old adapter, the blooming flare is so horrendous at f/1.2 that it is impossible to focus. With the Fotodiox, not only can I focus, but the image doesn't look so bad. Yes, there is some CA that is plain to see in the following image, but it isn't an overly large amount. If I wanted to, I could bump up the contrast/massage the histogram such that most of it would disappear without affecting the image in a substantially negative fashion.
    One last note -- the Fotodiox's corrective element can be removed, which allows one a limited amount of usability depending on the lens, without having to worry about flare caused by the element. Most lenses that focus to infinity are good only for macro work. But there are a number of Canon FD telephotos that focus past infinity and, with these lenses, depending on focal length, much of the usability can be retained. For example, my FD 400mm f/4.5, which focuses about 5/8" or so past the infinity mark, can be focused out to about 20 to 25 meters, which I have found works out to be a very useful distance for much of the photo work I do.
  22. I saw this adapter offered by the Lens Doctor in the UK but I don't know how much better it is in comparison to others. I have a Panasonic G1 which is a micro 4/3rds camera and being able to use the FD lenses, along with Minolta and Olympus lenses that I've bought makes it very easy to use any of these lenses. My only EOS cameras are an EOS Elan/100 and the Elan 7e which are of course film cameras, so I am not in the market for an FD/EOS adapter but I like to see what is out there just in case I do end up with an EOS digital camera.
  23. I corresponded with the Lens Doctor about his adapters and asked specifically how they handled CA at wide open apertures. He didn't specifically answer the question but he offered to provide some photos showing how it performed. The photos he produced didn't address my specific concerns and once it looked like no more were forthcoming, I cooled to the idea of buying one of his adapters. Especially since I already owned one that used Hoya glass (he too says he uses Hoya glass in his). The CA with mine, despite having Hoya glass, is horrendous. So at the prices he charges for his adapters, I just wasn't willing to risk it.
  24. Thanks a lot Michael, that is really useful and encouraging information. I should try that adapter.
  25. Thanks for a really informative post, Michael. I have already ordered the Bower adaptor and will see how that works, but the Fotodiox option looks very interesting. Out of interest, did you get the one with the "Dandelion" chip or the other one?
  26. EdMika also has a specific adaptation for the FL 55/1.2 alone. There is also a man in eastern Canada that makes high quality conversions of just about any FD lens to an EF mount for about $200 USD.
  27. Current Adapters We have developed and are selling:
    FD to EOS mount TS 35mm 2.8 Tilt Shift
    FD to EOS mount 0.5mm dual-orientation adapter for super-telephotos
    upcoming adapter kits in order:
    relaunch of FL 55mm 1.2 to EOS
    FD 55mm 1.2 chrome nose/SSC to EOS
    FD 55mm 1.2 Aspherical to EOS
    FD 85mm 1.2 Aspherical to EOS
    nFD all sub 135mm non L prime lens to EOS universal kit
    nFD 14mm2.8/24mm1.4/50mm1.2/85mm 1.2 L to EOS universal kit
    FD 35mm f/2 radioactive thorium element to EOS
    All will focus to infinity but some will come into contact with 5D/5D2 mirrors near infinity (but not with full frame 1D-s mirrors). For fixed rear elements I am currently developing a two stage floating system. Some of the kits will be a bigger technical challenge to install than my first ones. Jim Buchanan in California has agreed to offer his conversion services and stock my adapters for buyers not up to the challenge.-Ed Mika
  28. Thanks for the news, Ed. What you're doing I find most encouraging.
    James, no I just got the plain one. Now that I know how well it works, I'm tempted to get one with a chip, though. Having focus confirmation with my APS-C sized viewfinder and with eyes that are getting kinda old can come in handy nowadays.
  29. From info picked up elsewhere (an Amazon review to be more precise), the Fotodiox adapters are for crop sensors only. Just as well that I did not try that one, as my DSLR is full frame. My Bower arrived this week (fastest delivery ever from the US - thank you BHP), but no time yet to give it a proper try-out.
    If I do get some time, I will try to take some comparative shots using the Bower, the Canon telephoto converter, a cheapo Chinese one I picked up a couple of years ago and my Sony Nex 5. But that is a project for an afternoon when (a) I have run out of work and (b) my wife is not around ...
  30. James, what do you mean "for crop sensors only"? Do you mena to say that they do not fit physically to a full-frame body like the 5D, i.e. that they have rather an EF-S mount than an EF-mount? I did not read such info on the Fotodiox website and after reading Michael's report I was so convinced that I actually did order one from Fotodiox.
  31. what do you mean "for crop sensors only"?​
    All that I mean is gleaned from this Amazon review. The reviewer comments:
    The adapter's lens diameter is too small for a full frame camera like the 5D. This leads to vignetting which would be a problem if you try to use the image out to the edge. It was not as noticeable with the 135mm lens as it was with the 50mm or 400mm. Note that this may not be an issue with crop sensor cameras.​
    YMMV - I just thought I would pass on what I had found. I expect that the problem, if there is one, will not be with physical fit, just with vignetting.
  32. Thanks for the additional info. Anyway, it's too late to cancel my order so I will just give it a try, though I find your comment contradicting what Michael wrote before which confuses me a bit, since he used the adapter on a 50mm lens and did not report any vignetting.
  33. Not sure it does contradict, fwiiw: Michael was clear that he was using the adaptor on an APS-C camera. If he is using a 50mm lens, by definition he would only be using the central part of the lens's field of view, and so vignetting would be less likely than on a full-frame camera.
  34. James, you might be right, though Michael did not specifically state which camera he was using.
  35. Michael did not specifically state which camera he was using​
    True enough, but see his last post on p. 3 of this thread:
    … my APS-C sized viewfinder …​
    I may be wrong, but for me the inference is that his is an APS-C-sized sensor as well.
  36. Yeah, you might be right there. I'll just have to wait and see. The shipping to my place takes about 4 weeks. I'll get back to you all when I have some results.
  37. Guys, sorry for the confusion. Yes, I was using a crop sensor EOS -- an XS (1000D) to be exact. I don't have access to a full frame DSLR, but I do have an EOS Elan IIe, which unfortunately does not have a 100% FF viewfinder, probably around 90% or some such. But that might be good enough. I've never used either of the adapters with my Elan. I don't have access to my gear at the moment, but when I can, I'll report back with my findings. I will state this, though, without measuring each of the adapters' central openings, to me they sure do appear to be very close in diameter. So, chances are if the Fotodiox vignettes, the Bower (and others, like my Hoya-equipped one) probably will too.
    Not particularly pleasant news, if this vignetting business is true. I'm hoping to pick up a 5D II soon.
  38. I had a quick go with the Bower on my 1Ds iii plus a 35mm FD and it looked OK. I, too, will have a more considered go and report back.
  39. BTW, I visited Fotodiox's website last night and when you click on "Lens Mount Adapters," the category of adapters that this one was found under is labeled as "35mm Full Frame/APS-C Adapters." I kinda doubt they would indicate this if there were vignetting issues with their adapters on ff cameras.
  40. Hi, in the meantime I got hold of such a Fotodiox FD-EF adapter and tested ist also on an EOS DSLR 1000D. I mounted the new FD 1,2/50mm, the FD 1,8/85mm SSC and the FD 2,8/135mm.
    Well, what can I say? The results were rather disappointing, especially with the 1,2/50. The pics with this lens were absolutely useless when used with f/1,2. Towards f/4 they became better. Problem is that the diameter of the back lens element on the 1,2/50 is much larger thatn the diameter of the glkass element in the adapter so that it is no wonder you have to stop down the lens so much until the diameter is at least equal if not smaller as the one of the back lens element of the 1,2/50.
    The tests with the 85mm and 135mm lenses were a little more promising but I guess I will resell the adapter again.
  41. ctd. from above. As the software of this forum does not allow multiple uploads from my pc I am sorry not to be able to give you more evidence, but I will try to upload one or two more pics.
  42. I've enjoyed reading these threads a lot.

    I have an FD 50mm 1:1.8 (I'm not sure what the 1: means), the one that usually accompanied the AE-1 Program, and I've
    been thinking of using it in our EOS 70d, just for the fun. I'm thinking of getting one of those adapters in which you remove
    the optic, possibly the Fotodiox, but there's one thing worrying me: is there any possibility that the camera may get
    damaged? The 70d is crop, so I hope not, but it's something I'd rather not risk just to have fun.

    Also, has anyone used those adapters with contacts to tell the camera that the lens is MF, so it will beep when something
    is focused?

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