Convert Canon Fd 50mm f1.8 to Macro Lens

Discussion in 'Adapted Lenses' started by Nex6, Sep 2, 2013.

  1. Nex6

    Nex6 TalkEmount Regular

    32
    Aug 16, 2013
    Dear all,

    I don't know much about macro photography but I saw a video on youtube that it is possible to convert an old manual fd Canon lens to a macro lens with an adaptor. Does anyone know what adaptor to use to convert my Canon fd 50mm 1.8 to a macro lens on my nex 6? Thanks all.

    Sent from my SAMSUNG-SGH-I747 using TalkNEX mobile app
     
  2. Poki

    Poki TalkEmount Hall of Famer

    Aug 30, 2011
    Austria
    These are called extension tubes and can be had quite cheap in most to every mount. The quality won't come close to a true macro lens, however.
     
  3. Bimjo

    Bimjo Super Moderator

    Oct 28, 2011
    Washington State
    Jim
    Probably the easiest way is with extension tubes. You can get tubes in fd mount and then adapt to the NEX or get tubes with electrical contacts in E mount and place the tube between the camera and fd adapter.

    The tubes with electrical contacts cost substantially more than the "dumb" adapters, but they have the advantage of working with E mount AF lenses. You can search ebay or Amazon for "NEX extension tube" to get an idea of prices.
     
  4. sleekdigital

    sleekdigital TalkEmount Regular

    135
    May 7, 2013
    You might also be talking about a reversing ring... basically you can mount the lens backwards and it will provide high magnification. My choice would be neither of these. I would either get a dedicated macro lens or get a quality diopter.
     
  5. CGrimm

    CGrimm New to TalkEmount

    5
    Sep 2, 2013
    There are also the options of a Bellows and/or reversing rings and to a lesser extent, close-up filters. The bellows are generally not as readily available and the filters are not the greatest since they add more optics into the mix.
     
  6. sleekdigital

    sleekdigital TalkEmount Regular

    135
    May 7, 2013
    Adding more optics isn't necessarily a problem if they are of high quality. You always lose a good bit of light when you use extension tubes or bellows. Every option seems to have it's pro's and con's.
     
  7. Poki

    Poki TalkEmount Hall of Famer

    Aug 30, 2011
    Austria
    But 'high quality' close up lenses cost more than the 50mm Minolta lens (or a dedicated legacy macro lens) itself.
     
  8. sleekdigital

    sleekdigital TalkEmount Regular

    135
    May 7, 2013
    It depends on which lenses you are comparing, but yes, a good close up add-on can cost more unless you find a good deal on ebay or something. The cost would be the most notable negative point of that option. If you want the magnification without loosing so much light, it might be worth the extra $$.
     
  9. Poki

    Poki TalkEmount Hall of Famer

    Aug 30, 2011
    Austria
    But then again, why not simply buying a 50mm or 100mm legacy macro lens? It'll be sharper, better in handling (usually longer focus throw) and not too expensive.
     
  10. eno789

    eno789 TalkEmount Top Veteran

    720
    Jan 1, 2012
    NoCal, USA
    Brian
    For extension tubes, you can also buy dumb e-mount set without electrical contacts, very inexpensive, works with adapted lens fine. The advantage (vs fd mount tubes) is that you can use the same extension tubes set for other legacy mounts.
     
  11. Nex6

    Nex6 TalkEmount Regular

    32
    Aug 16, 2013
    Thanks everyone for the response. Very helpful! Now at least I know what my options are. Since I'm a newbie I think ill start with the cheapest method, a reversal ring. Pretty cool idea...I didn't even know you can do that with lenses

    Sent from my SAMSUNG-SGH-I747 using TalkNEX mobile app
     
  12. Bimjo

    Bimjo Super Moderator

    Oct 28, 2011
    Washington State
    Jim
    True Brian. Somewhere on this site is a whole thread on how to get macro, but I'm too lazy to look for it. Lots of good info in that thread though.
     
  13. xXx1

    xXx1 TalkEmount All-Pro

    Jan 15, 2013
    I will second that. 50mm macro won't be that expensive. A short piece of extension tube is handy as it doesn't weight much and works ok if the lens focuses already close but it won't be as good as real macro.
     
  14. Bimjo

    Bimjo Super Moderator

    Oct 28, 2011
    Washington State
    Jim
    I would agree with a dedicated macro lens if you are going to do a lot of macro. If it's an occassional thing then tubes make more sense, especially since they are just as useful in reducing the minimum focus distance of a lens for close up ( but not macro) shots.

    Depends on your needs really.
     
  15. Poki

    Poki TalkEmount Hall of Famer

    Aug 30, 2011
    Austria
    I usually would recommend only getting a 50mm macro lens (instead of the standard 50mm lens). f/2.8 is plenty fast for most portrait work, or even get a Makro-Planar which are available up to f/2. But as you already have a 50mm lens, I totally agree with Bimjo here.
     
  16. xXx1

    xXx1 TalkEmount All-Pro

    Jan 15, 2013
    In reality very few need a real macro. Close focus is enough. For that extension tube is ok. I think that 20mm extension tube is a great idea for occasional use especially if flat field isn't needed. Even many macro lenses rely on depth of field to achieve it. (There is a huge differences in macro lenses optical quality, optical quality [flat field, high resolution, no ca, no geometrical aberrations] just aren't the limiting factor normally.)

    That 20mm extension tube is quite useful with a 135mm legacy lens. They have typically closest focusing distances of 1.2-1.5 m and 20mm extension tube will bring it to about 80 cm and magnification 1:4.
     
  17. Poki

    Poki TalkEmount Hall of Famer

    Aug 30, 2011
    Austria
    Sure, if you only do macros occasionally and are okay with 1:2 or 1:4 magnification, extension tubes are great. But if you want 1:1 macro on a regular basis, there's no way around a dedicated macro lens. That's why I recommend getting a high quality macro lens instead of a normal 50mm lens - you basically get two in one, and macro lenses often have better optical quality (at the cost of speed) anyway.

    Whatever, I think we've discussed every option now and like so often in photography, there's no 'best' option. It always depends on what you need (except you have unlimited money, probably).
     
  18. xXx1

    xXx1 TalkEmount All-Pro

    Jan 15, 2013
    I think that having both (or even more than two) 50mm lenses isn't so bad idea. Even throwing a extension tube for occasional use isn't so bad.

    A stellar 50mm/1.7 lens will cost something like 100 monies, 50mm/3.5 macro not even 100 monies and fast 50mm/1.4 about same (stellar 50mm/1.4 or 1.2 is going to be expensive). These lenses will last a lifetime and you don't need to get them at once.

    I know pretty well when I need the macro (and it is not the lens but ring flash that weighs) or faster 50mm so there is nor generally extra weight involved.
     
  19. Poki

    Poki TalkEmount Hall of Famer

    Aug 30, 2011
    Austria
    But the question is: Do you really need more than one 50mm lenses? IMHO it's enough to carry a 50mm macro and, if you really want portraits with super shallow depth of field, a longer, faster portrait lens. That way you don't need to decide which lens to take with you can are always ready to shoot just about everything.

    And you might be right that it's not too expensive nor too heavy if you consider legacy lenses, but not everyone chooses old lenses. I, for example, am going to buy the 50mm Touit, which will cost somewhere around €1000. I don't think a legacy 50mm f/1.7 lens will come close enough in quality that I'd ever use it instead of the Touit, and paying another grand just for a one stop speed improvement (and another lens to carry around) isn't worth it for me.

    But that's probably a personal preference question, I guess.
     
  20. xXx1

    xXx1 TalkEmount All-Pro

    Jan 15, 2013
    These are preferences. I use 50mm/1.4 occasionally indoors as it makes possible faster shutter speeds. For subject isolation 1.7 is enough for me, usually 2.0 in 50mm and even 2.8 isn't too bad if the background is ok. I wondered a long time between Samyang 85mm/1.4 and Contax Zeiss 85mm/2.8 Sonnar but did choose Zeiss because I don't need that kind of isolation but will benefit from sharpness.

    As a stellar 50mm/1.7 I am talking about Contax Zeiss 50mm/1.7 Planar. I can't afford 1.4 and am willing to sacrifice performance in dark. Besides new sensors will provide much better high ISO performance.