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Canon 7D With Older FD Mount Lenses

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Jim Biffle
Canon 7D With Older FD Mount Lenses
on Apr 3, 2011 at 7:00:23 am

To Everyone,

Recently my father sent me a couple of FD mount lenses he had for a Canon FTQL camera that I want to use with my Canon 7D. I have an adapter that enables me to mount these older lenses to the 7D. I want to use them in conjunction with the kit lens (EF 28-135 mm). They seem to work fairly well but I have a couple of questions I hope someone will know the answer to.

1. Has anyone out there used these older lenses and if so what is your take on them?

2. Can using these lenses damage the camera in any way?

3. The focus ring is stiff on the Canon lens, is there a way to loosen it up without sending it off?

I thought these might be some good primes until I can afford some newer ones. The two lenses he sent are a Canon FD mount 50 mm. (58 mm. diameter) f/1.4 and a Focal brand 28 mm wide angle (55 mm. diameter) f/2.8 lens.

Any info on these older lenses would be very appreciated!

Thanks!

Jim


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Albert Solan
Re: Canon 7D With Older FD Mount Lenses
on Apr 4, 2011 at 9:17:46 pm

yes, I'd like to hear about this too.
I've seen those lenses selling cheap on the web and I'm curious about them being used with a Canon DSLR.


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Jim Biffle
Re: Canon 7D With Older FD Mount Lenses
on Apr 5, 2011 at 10:18:23 pm

Albert,

I shot some stuff last week and the initial results were promising. However, I need to reshoot in a more controlled environment for consistancy with lighting. I shot outdoors around sunset to really test the low light capabilities of the lenses but the sun set faster than I thought so the results aren't consistant. Also, I needed to clean the lenses better. Once I reshoot I will post it if you or anyone else is interested.

Thanks,

Jim


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Albert Solan
Re: Canon 7D With Older FD Mount Lenses
on Apr 5, 2011 at 10:20:36 pm

Sure Jim,
that'd be great.
Thanks.

Albert


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Jim Biffle
Re: Canon 7D With Older FD Mount Lenses
on Apr 9, 2011 at 11:50:04 pm

Albert,

Here are a couple of links to the results. There are two versions. One with a color grade and one without. Let me know what you think. I definitely need to invest in some lens hoods and other things if I'm going to use these but I think they have potential.

Enjoy,

Jim

No Color Correction:


With Color Grade:


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Albert Solan
Re: Canon 7D With Older FD Mount Lenses
on Apr 21, 2011 at 7:17:19 pm

Hi Jim,
sorry for taking a while to reply, I've been busy as hell.
thanks for sharing your videos of the FD lenses in use.
You're right, I think they have potential. I'm not sure if my eye is fooling me or not but it looks like the focus is a bit sharper with the EF lenses, but nevertheless the FDs do a great job.

The color correction definitely makes both look nice.
I'll consider getting one of those FDs to have a try.

Thank you Jim,
have a nice day.

Albert


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Jim Biffle
Re: Canon 7D With Older FD Mount Lenses
on Apr 21, 2011 at 8:32:01 pm

Albert,

No worries on getting back to me. I understand the busy thing. You're right on the sharpness of the EF lens. I'm not sure if it's the glass itself, the age or whatever but the newer lens is definitely sharper. In the next couple of weeks I plan to do some more tests outside now that I have a fader ND filter and see how they react to that.

One issue I'm having with the Canon FD in particular is when I open it up to 1.4 the color is so bright that I can't really get anything in focus. I've never used a lens that fast so I don't know if it was something I was doing wrong or something in the lens. It seems that both the Canon FD and the Focal FD work best at 2.8.

One word of caution Albert. The Canon FD lens has a tight focus ring when going from close up to about halfway to infinity (90 degree rotation). Then it loosens up and even turns smoothly in the other direction for the full rotation. Probably just age but it has wrecked havoc on my follow focus setup. So just know that the focus ring might be tight. A very small amount of gun oil and setting it in the car on a sunny day for about two hours seemed to help but it still gets tight on the same spot. Just not as tight.

Hope this info can be of good use to you.

Jim


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Albert Solan
Re: Canon 7D With Older FD Mount Lenses
on Apr 21, 2011 at 10:17:33 pm

Thank you Jim, I'll bear in mind what you say if I decide to get an FD to play with.

I'd like to see more footage shot with it for sure, maybe you can go outside and shot some people, landscapes, towns, buildings and such things. Don't forget to stop by at some nice pub, rehydrate your self with a cold bear and hit the road again :O)

Regards,

Albert


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Jim Biffle
Re: Canon 7D With Older FD Mount Lenses
on Apr 25, 2011 at 2:28:39 pm

Albert,

Funny you shold mention people, buildings, landscapes etc. I was in San Antonio, TX this weekend and got lots of good stuff from the Riverwalk. I should have something put together this week and posted. The rehydration idea was a good one since it was hot down there and wearing a vest full of gear got tiring after a while. I'll let you know when it's online. I'm excited to dig into it because I was using a fader ND so I could run an f-stop of 2-2.8 and not have the shots completely blown out. Also, I got to experience the "incognito" effect of a DSLR. Even though I had a loupe attached to the back and a large lens hood on the front people mostly thought I was taking stills. More to come.

Jim


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Micah McDowell
Re: Canon 7D With Older FD Mount Lenses
on Apr 25, 2011 at 3:26:52 pm

Nice look you've got going there in your sample videos.
Just one note... you can't focus to infinity (distant objects) with the FD lenses and your adapter, correct? They may work great for close-up/macro photography like your samples, but for most other purposes, you can't utilize FD lenses on Canon EOS cameras. Keep that in mind before you get too heavily invested in them.


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Jim Biffle
Re: Canon 7D With Older FD Mount Lenses
on Apr 26, 2011 at 2:25:52 pm

Micah,

Thanks for the compliment! I thought the car would be an interesting subject. To answer your question about the adapter. It has two thin peices of glass that allow for more than macro work. I can remove them to do macro shots but I have a macro ring set so I don't even bother with the glass in the adapter. They can focus fairly far but there still seems to be a certain distance that is slightly out of focus or it's just me. I should have some more test video posted in the next couple of days. I'll let you and Albert know. I have noticed the chromatic aberration is worse on these older lenses in some situations. Once I get the money I will invest in some newer lenses but cash is tight right now. In the meantime these FD lenses will have to work and they do have a unique look.

Have a good one,

Jim


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Jim Biffle
Re: Canon 7D With Older FD Mount Lenses
on Apr 30, 2011 at 5:05:16 pm

Albert and Micah,

Here is some stuff I put together I shot in San Antonio last weekend. I used the FD lenses exclusively just for some more tests. My conclusion, they work excellent for a prime lens and do have a unique look as compared to the newer EF lenses. I don't think I will be using them for wide or landscaping shots though. What are your thoughts? Hope you guys enjoy.

Jim



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Albert Solan
Re: Canon 7D With Older FD Mount Lenses
on May 7, 2011 at 5:47:45 pm

Hi Jim,
again sorry for the delay.

I agree with you, the lenses seem to give an unique look to the shots, very subtle but noticeable, which is good in some way, isn't?

As for wide shots or landscape yes, they may not be that good, but since video creations are a matter of creativity, I think one may find situations where "weird" or "bad" looks stray out of the camera can be of use, think of music videos or experimental video art for instance.

Thank you Jim for taking the time to make the tests. I'd like to see your work whenever you want to share it.

By the way, really nice locations, and the Birdman is indeed a nice attraction ;o)

Oh, and if you see my post in other thread about glass protectors for my Canon 60D LCD and have some thoughts to share I'd appreciate it.

Have a nice day.
Albert


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Jim Biffle
Re: Canon 7D With Older FD Mount Lenses
on May 10, 2011 at 3:44:45 am

Albert,

Again, no worries for the delay. After putting the video together I thought they would not be good for landscaping type shots until I shot some stuff for work last week with an EF 18-135 lens that yielded almost the same results. I'm not sure if I'm doing something wrong or if it's just the glass but there seems to be a point that the lenses can no longer hold a crisp focus (about 50 feet or so).

I think the FD lenses do have a place in the HDSLR world. They do have a unique look (mainly the softer focus and chromatic aberration) the newer lenses don't have. I could see them being used for a nostalgic film look, music video or anything a director wants that isn't the "new hotness" look. I will keep them in my arsenal of glass even when I can afford some good primes. Plus, they are apparently going for fairly cheap on ebay and the like so if you need a unique look for your close up to medium shots the FD lenses sure fit the bill. I'm not trying to take away from the high end primes out there in any way.

As for your question on LCD protectors I will post something on that thread for you. It would be more appropriate there then on this thread. Thanks for taking the time to take a look at the videos. If you want to see anymore of my work just look on my Vimeo page, http://www.vimeo.com/jimbiffle

I love me some motion graphics and After Effects!

Have a good one,

Jim


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Jim Fink
Re: Canon 7D With Older FD Mount Lenses
on Sep 4, 2011 at 6:44:20 pm

nice looks there in SA Jim. Really like the range on the night shots..

Parrot guy is a trip.

remember the alamo.!!

j

Jim Fink

New Century Digital Media
Chapel Hill, NC
Avid|DS
(919) 929-5228 Voice or 423-4363 (Cel)

http://www.NCDM.TV

jim@ncdm.tv


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