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100mm Shootout and SEL55-210 vs FD70-210 thoughts

Discussion in 'Adapted Lenses' started by dbmiller, Mar 23, 2013.

  1. dbmiller

    dbmiller TalkEmount Top Veteran

    777
    Mar 2, 2012
    New England
    I definitely blame my daughter for starting this. I was at the local camera store today, and looked at their collection of used lenses. They had a Canon FD 70-210 f/4 lens. Manager said, "30 bucks". Looked through all the lenses and went back to it, and said, "$25, right"? "Actually, I said $30, but sure, $25". So another FD lens has joined my collection.

    Will have to do a little better setup, but a quick hand-held test with the various lenses I have that can shoot at 100mm:

    100mm+Shootout+0001.jpg

    From left to right:

    • Canon LTM 100mm f/3.5
    • Sony SEL 55-210 (Max aperture @100mm is f/5.6)
    • Canon FD 70-210 f/4
    • Canon FD 100-300 f/5.6

    The most portable award goes to the Canon LTM. This thing is tiny. The SEL55-210 and FD70-210 feel pretty similar in weight, yet the SEL has AF and OSS. The FD100-300 is a behemoth; and a bear to hand-hold/focus/shoot. Need a very fast shutter speed if you're going to hand hold, the shake is tremendous.

    Focus peaking was actually best on the SEL. I was using the EVF attached to my 5n, and I did find that most of the lenses peaked better at the lower magnification for MF-Assist versus the higher magnification. I actually preferred to go to the larger magnification so I could see the focus on this quick set of tests; But as always, every situation differs. The two FD lenses focused easiest. I think the LTM has gotten a little stiff. The focus by wire of the SEL lenses is always a little weird, and was the hardest to fine tune.

    The following test shots were done in A mode, ISO-1600, auto WB. My intention was to set all the lenses at 5.6 after focusing wide-open - But I may have forgotten on some of the shots - I just don't remember. All images are straight OOC jpegs, re-sized for posting. In all the pics, I tried to focus on the eyes of the larger tiger in front.

    First up, the Canon LTM 100mm f/3.5. 1/80th sec, probably f/3.5 for that shutter speed compared to the other shots.
    100mm+Shootout+0002.jpg

    Then the SEL55-210. 1/40th @ f/5.6
    100mm+Shootout+0003.jpg

    Now the Canon FD 70-210. 1/50th sec, not sure if f/4 or f/5.6
    100mm+Shootout+0005.jpg

    And finally the Canon FD 100-300. 1/60th @ f/5.6
    100mm+Shootout+0004.jpg

    Unfortunately, as I put each lens on, I didn't always reset to the same position. So the next test will have to use a tripod for a consistent location. Also, the 100-300 has a minimum focus distance of 2 meters, of which I was in the general area, but felt I had to back up a little more to get the same focus spot. I definitely leaned in with the 70-210, but without automatic EXIF data, hard to tell if I hit 100mm exactly.

    With the FD70-210 and the SEL55-210 so close in weight, I may want to carry the FD instead of SEL. Still not sure yet, as I would really miss the OSS, but like the full stop or better performance of the FD. If I were shooting off a tripod, and didn't need AF, the FD would be a winner. But if I were taking a kit on vacation, I think I have to take the SEL. I'll need to take more images and do more comparisons before I come to a final conclusion. But $25 for the FD vs $350 for the SEL? If you haven't got one, that's definitely a cheaper alternative.
     
  2. Bimjo

    Bimjo Super Moderator

    Oct 28, 2011
    Washington State
    Jim
    Hey db, thanks for the pic. It's interesting to see the difference in size of the different lenses. You would think the FD 70-210 would be a lot heavier than the SEL just looking at it. Funny how that works sometimes. And that old glass still holds its weight in IQ, doesn't it?

    Just out of curiousity, do you know how much bigger the Canon LTM 135 is than the 100? I don't need a LTM 135, but I kinda want one, ya know? I can't help it, it's a disease. ;)
     
  3. dbmiller

    dbmiller TalkEmount Top Veteran

    777
    Mar 2, 2012
    New England
    Ask and ye shall receive. The chrome 135/3.5 I have is about an inch taller, and maybe 1/3 inch larger in diameter. The 135 is also a LOT heavier. Both have long focus throws, so they are a bit of a pain. But holding the 100/3.5 is a breeze compared to the 135/3.5.



    And if you have any idea of the sizes of other LTM lenses, maybe this will put it in perspective:


    The 135/3.5 is in the back right corner. In front of it is the 85/1.9. Across the front row are the 28/3.2, 35/2.8, 50/1.8 and the 100/3.5
     
  4. Bimjo

    Bimjo Super Moderator

    Oct 28, 2011
    Washington State
    Jim
    Very cool, thank you!
     
  5. dbmiller

    dbmiller TalkEmount Top Veteran

    777
    Mar 2, 2012
    New England
    Round Two

    I set up a tripod shot, so I could keep the same settings and same location.

    For this test, all images were shot at 1/80th, f/5.6, ISO-1600. I forgot to set a specific WB, so the colors changed as a bit of sunlight drifted in during the tests. I used the auto WB feature in LR to help even them up, but the rest is again, straight out of camera JPEG, re-sized for posting.

    Keeping the same order, first up is the Canon LTM 100/3.5
    100mm+Shootout+0008.jpg

    Now the Sony SEL55-210
    100mm+Shootout+0007.jpg

    The Canon FD 70-210/4
    100mm+Shootout+0009.jpg

    And finally the Canon FD 100-300/5.6
    100mm+Shootout+0006.jpg

    In this set, there is a slight perspective change in the shots. As the lens got longer, I had to tip the camera down more to get an equivalent image. I think I should have lowered the camera instead, but didn't really pay attention until putting these together for posting. There may be some distortion happening as well - I can't decide.

    I took another set from a different angle, but I ended up being too close, and could not focus the FD 100-300 at the same location, which messes up the comparison. The two meter minimum focus distance for that lens makes it quite restrictive. Also in that set, the image from Sony lens appears just a little brighter than the rest. Backing off the exposure by about .2 brought the image in line with the rest. I don't see any big difference in colors/contrast, but I'm also partially color-blind, so you may certainly see colors differently from me.

    Here, focus peaking was easier, and I could focus on either the 11 or the 15 fairly easily. Peaking worked even while zoomed in with the MF-Assist. There was some camera shake with the longer 100-300 lens, but a light touch and small movements could fine tune the focus.

    I think looking for corner sharpness would be a waste of time. The three adapted lenses are full frame lenses, so the true corners are missing from the image captured by the sensor. In addition, the 100/3.5 and the 70-210/4 gained from being able to stop down from their maximum aperture.

    In all, I like the FD lenses. The aperture rings have click-stops at each half step, and both go up to f/32. I haven't tried that high an aperture yet - Too afraid of loss of quality due to refraction - I rarely shoot above f/16. I love the little LTM too, for being small and light. But the aperture ring on is very loose (The way it is with that lens, so I am told), with no hard stops - It's more like a cine lens in that regard.
     
  6. dbmiller

    dbmiller TalkEmount Top Veteran

    777
    Mar 2, 2012
    New England