FD vs FL, some answers.

Discussion in 'Adapted Lenses' started by nianys, Oct 25, 2012.

  1. nianys

    nianys TalkEmount All-Pro

    Aug 23, 2012
    As some of you might know, I have a love/hate relationship with my Canon FD 50 F:1.8 lens.


    The reason for that is that it's optically fantastic, among the 3 best nifties I have (if not THE best, and I'm up to 6 of them, soon to be 7...), but mecanically and cosmetically it's atrocious. 80's black half matte plastic, pseudo modern Zeiss no frill design, but just truly ugly to look at, and hardly nice to operate. There is none of that glorious smoothness usually associated with legacy dampened focus rings.

    I even listed it on various sites for sale, but it's so common it didn't draw much interest, despite my copy being an official 1984 Olympic Games badged. Anyway, as much as I hate the feeling, I'm in love with the output of this lens, so I looked for a way to have best of both worlds. Keep the optical quality, but trade for a beautiful and pleasurable to handle alternative.

    Enters, Canon FL 50 F:1.8. I grabbed it at an attractive price off eBay UK, and a very good condition lens arrived at my door this morning.
    The metal barrel is typical older manual lenses, à la EE Hexanon series, SuperTak, etc... Beautiful to look at, a joy to hold, and a pleasure to use. The focus ring is very similar in looks to the one of my Tak 50/1.4, except it doesn't turn as freely, without being stiff in the least. It just gives a little more feedback, while the Tak requires a lighter touch. Both feel fabulous, and in practice I can't quite decide which feels best. I photographed them here together, with the plastic FD thrown in the mix for comparison's sake.


    I made a few test pics throghout the day, and the least I can say it that's it is, indeed, optically on par with its FD counterpart, while feeling and looking considerably nicer. All in all, I'm a happy camper. My FD can go back for sale ;) 

    Bokeh is notably nervous, but I can live with that. I have the OM 100/2.8 when I want creamy.

    Sharpness is excellent wide open, which I love. Color rendition is neutral and beautiful, contrast is very good. Flare seems well controlled.

    Now anxiously awaiting delivery of the 55/1.2 !!
  2. eno789

    eno789 TalkEmount Top Veteran

    Jan 1, 2012
    NoCal, USA
    Love the bunny!
  3. applemint

    applemint TalkEmount Veteran

    Sep 20, 2012
    How much are you wanting for the FD 50? :)  I have an FD to Nex adapter which is not getting any use and I don't mind the 'ugly' looks so much. Also a bit curious to see what it is like compared to my other 50's.

    I know there are dozens of these on ebay every day of the week, but I prefer to buy from a genuine photographer rather than some business seller or somebody who 'found' it in their Uncle's attic and knows nothing about it...
  4. nianys

    nianys TalkEmount All-Pro

    Aug 23, 2012
    It's this very one :
    Canon FD 50mm 1 1 8 Lens with Olympic 1984 Cap 829662127272 | eBay

    Canon FD 50mm F1 8 Prime Lens Olympic Games 1984 Pristine and Boxed | eBay

    I'd be happy to make it go to a board member, so let's say 60 bucks, alas you'd have to consider overseas shipping, which even if we split, would have to add, say 10 bucks. If you're comfortable using the gift option from Paypal (I've bought twice from Dixeyk here, and once from Cherrywood at m4/3user, they should be able to vouch for me), I'd sent it to you for 70. I'm sure there'd be cheaper units locally, but probably not in the limited series edition, and not tested and proven. My copy is just like new (I suspect it was, because only the box shows a bit of wear, the lens is pristine).
    I admit there's a certain appeal to gettting gear from a fellow photographer, or maybe I'm just way too sentimental ;) 
  5. markoneswift

    markoneswift TalkEmount Veteran

    Oct 17, 2012
  6. nianys

    nianys TalkEmount All-Pro

    Aug 23, 2012
  7. quezra

    quezra TalkEmount Top Veteran

    Aug 22, 2012
    Well thanks to this thread, I've just snapped up a Canon FL 55mm f1.2. Nianys this is all your fault!! ;) 
  8. nianys

    nianys TalkEmount All-Pro

    Aug 23, 2012
    Yes it probably is !! But I caught that bug from Dixeyk first, so he's just as guilty ;) 
  9. kevistopheles

    kevistopheles TalkEmount All-Pro

    Jun 18, 2012
    Mea Culpa
  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.