Opinons on Canon FD Lenses I Bought

Discussion in 'Adapted Lenses' started by tjdean01, May 8, 2015.

  1. tjdean01

    tjdean01 TalkEmount Regular

    43
    Jan 14, 2015
    The local camera store is having trouble unloading its vintage glass so they were super happy when I took a few off their hands at bargain prices! (appx half off eBay pricing....I wish they had some f1.2s!). I'd like to know how these lenses perform wide open on the A7? (I ask about wide open because stopped down I think they're all going to be good.)

    Canon FD 85/1.8 - I want a fast, smallish portrait lens that can blur the heck out of the background. Wide open the FD 100/2 has just as shallow DOF, but I hear it's sharper and less dreamy. 100mm is fine for me, so should I be looking for the 100/2 instead?

    Canon FD 135/2.5 - I have a Pentax 135/3.5, Konica Hexanon 135/3.5 and 135/3.2, Vivitar 135/2.8 and 135/2.8 Macro. The macro is worth the most but performs the worst wide open. I pretty much shoot all of these at f4 so my favorites are the small ones. I wonder how the Canon will compare?

    Canon FD 28/2 - I already have the Vivitar 28mm f2.0 which is a very, very good lens. But for $40, I couldn't resist. The Canon is smaller but Vivitar focuses closer. Now the question is, which one do I keep?

    Canon FD 50/1.8 - I have both Pentax 50/1.7 and Konica Hexanon 50/1.7 which are both superb. The Canon ($15) is pretty small though. How does it hold up to the competition wide open?

    Vivitar 70-210/2.8-4 (Komine, FD mount) - Another steal at $40. Very big lens but supposedly highly sought after. I actually have one in PK mount too that I haven't found time to try yet!
     
  2. bobbill

    bobbill TalkEmount Regular

    129
    Oct 27, 2017
    Would like to see some BW pics taken with the FD 1.8...I am Nikkor lover, but as I recall, the old Ftb with a 1.8 50 was one of the best lenses I ever used. What goes around comes...back to haunt sometimes.
     
  3. WNG

    WNG TalkEmount Hall of Famer

    Aug 12, 2014
    Arrid Zone-A, USA
    Will
    Canon FD 85 f/1.8: Excellent portrait lens focal length. Should blur the bokeh well enough, as the older lenses can't compare to modern designs at f/1.4. I think the 100mm f/2 is more rarer.

    Canon FD 135 f/2.5: I have the ones you listed except the Vivitar 135-f/2.8 Macro. But that model is essentially a 1:1 macro, not a tele prime like the rest.
    Of those, the Konica Hexanon AR 135-f/3.2 is the best performing. And better than the Canon counterpart, FD 135-f/3.5, which I also own.
    As for the f/2.5, if it is an updated 6:4 formula of the previous FL, then it should be excellent. My copy of the FL 135-f/2.5 has great center sharpness and bokeh wide open. You can check out some shots in the 'Fun with Adapted Lenses' thread, I recently posted.
    EDIT: Just checked and the FD 135-f/2.5 is a 6:5 formula so it's a different lens than the FL.

    Canon FD 28-f/2: I find this f/2 to be my best manual focus 28mm prime. I like it better than all my f/2.8. Sharp, vivid and faster. I have the Kiron version of the 28-f/2 as well, but no experience with it because the lens' aperture is stuck open and I tried to take it apart and screwed up. Need to concentrate on getting it fixed. But having the Canon makes it a low priority. :)

    Canon FD 50-f/1.8: One of my least liked and used nifty-fifty. It's a single-coated, 5 bladed nFD version of the previous S.C. I didn't get any satisfactory results at f/1.8.
    The two you listed leave it a distant third. The Pentax-M is more colorful and better bokeh wide open, and the Konica f/1.7 is probably the sharpest vintage 50. Yes, the Canon f/1.8 is small and light, but the Olympus OM Zuiko 50-f/1.8 is smaller, better built, and outperforms it in every way, for the same asking price. These are all multi-coated and have 1 more aperture blade. I'm not a fan of this one, but of course, my copy could be compromised.

    Vivitar Series-1 70-210 Komine: I have the same one in FD. Supposedly the best of the Series-1 versions. I find a bit of aberration/fringe wide open, but crazy sharp when stopped and it all goes away. Color rendering is superb. A collector's vintage zoom. I don't use it much due to the one-touch zooming and the weight. I prefer primes.
     
    Last edited: Dec 14, 2017
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  4. bobbill

    bobbill TalkEmount Regular

    129
    Oct 27, 2017
    WNG, Interesting and good info. I glean from comments you are a "bokeh-boy!" That aside, the old FD 1969 I had offered up some of the most contrasty and sharp images I have ever taken...of course the lenses vary in output...still good stuff to know.
     
  5. WNG

    WNG TalkEmount Hall of Famer

    Aug 12, 2014
    Arrid Zone-A, USA
    Will
    Yeah, I'm a regular attendee at Bokeholics Anonymous. And was awarded an honorary doctorate of bokehology from the University of Trioplan. :D
     
    • Funny Funny x 5
  6. bobbill

    bobbill TalkEmount Regular

    129
    Oct 27, 2017
    Good one! Dig! Wasn't chasing you...but good comment, made me spill my beer...and smile...like bokeh, need more humor...!
     
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  7. bobbill

    bobbill TalkEmount Regular

    129
    Oct 27, 2017
    So apparently, some photogs opine early Canon lenses (the FDs) are not so hot, compared to Nikkors, Takumars, Rokinons, Zuikos from Nippon, and even wonderkinds from Dresden and so on?

    I wonder. Some wonderment to be found in the old manual glass and some of these engineering marvels beat up the venerable Leicas in more ways than the prints, IMHO.

    Still, one has to wonder why there are not more Canon FD (for example) adapted lenses being used. After all, Canon FtB camera were one of the best cameras made and only succumbed to metal shutters and electronic metering, again, IMHO!

    So, this Nikkor fan wonders, where are the FDs?
     
    Last edited: Dec 15, 2017
  8. WoodWorks

    WoodWorks Super Moderator Subscribing Member

    Dec 12, 2012
    Ashland, OR, USA
    David
    I’ve owned the 20mm, 24mm, 50mm, and 85mm FD lenses, but when I eventually compared my copies to native FE glass, they all fell short, even against a fairly pedestrian zoom like the Sony 24-70 f/4. Flare, low contrast, comparatively soft. They may have other admirable attributes that some prefer, but I wasn’t smitten.
     
  9. bobbill

    bobbill TalkEmount Regular

    129
    Oct 27, 2017
    Very Interesting. I had read they were designed around BW film but so were the Nikkors...individual items and aesthetics notwithstanding. Very good.

    I have some old Canon 50/1.8 shots that a most contrasty...and sharp...
    And could have been the lens, but the old negatives still carry it...was shooting Tx 400 at 200, as now...if I remember to check stuff.

    Harder to stick with certain ASA now...have to watch the settings etc more.

    Very kewl...thanks for your opinion...will hold off my Canon part of the experiment a bit.
     
  10. bobbill

    bobbill TalkEmount Regular

    129
    Oct 27, 2017
    WNG, I succumbed and bought a FD 50mm 1.8. It got to me and had to compare (anal me) to my Nikkors and the Zuiko 1.8. I suspect the Nikkors will be there but pulled some old negatives shot with the 1.8 Canon and it got me going...sucker than I am. If this lens equals the former FD, it is a winner, especially at $25 $coots. Will figure out some test shots and put up here, if I can figure out how to post pics here...
     
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  11. bobbill

    bobbill TalkEmount Regular

    129
    Oct 27, 2017
    Too cold to go out...I succumb to frostbite...(good one eh?) But itchin to compare...IOW "play."