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Adapter for Canon FD 28mm, is it worth it?

Discussion in 'Adapted Lenses' started by Dave in Wales, Apr 26, 2016.

  1. Dave in Wales

    Dave in Wales Mu-43 All-Pro

    Nov 5, 2011
    West Wales
    I'm considering an Oly 25mm to give me a nifty-fifty, but I thought a cheaper way might be to get an adapter for a NOS Canon FD 28mm that I have to give ma a 56mm.

    Do adapters work as well on WA lenses as with other lenses.

    Advice appreciated.
     
  2. Klorenzo

    Klorenzo Mu-43 All-Pro

    Mar 10, 2014
    Lorenzo
    I have an adapted Nikon Ai-S 28/2.8 and found no particular problems. It's bigger, heavier, slower and I'd expect a worse IQ for matching apertures than the O25. And manual focus of course. Probably minimum focus distance is bigger too. You have to remember to set the IBIS correctly if you use different adapted lenses.
    Manual focus is a true mechanical one and is excellent. The sigma 30/2.8 or 19 are quite close, but you "loose" the opportunity to get a fast prime (like the P25/1.7 for example): low light, isolation, etc. A 50/1.8 can be more interesting, if you need that focal length.

    As you already have the lens I'd give it a try, the adapter ($10?) can be used for a 50/1.8 or a 100-135/2.8 too.
     
  3. pellicle

    pellicle Mu-43 All-Pro

    Feb 10, 2010
    Southport, OzTrailEYa
    pellicle
    they do, although as you've allueded too a 28 is no longer a wide on m43 ... by essentially only capturing the center portion it becomes a standard.

    now IFF (that's if and only if) you are interested in other legacy lenses then my answer is YES an adapter will work well. Then you will be able to use that adapter to leaverage other FD lenses.

    However ... consider these points:
    • at f2.8 the FD does not provide you with as much DoF as you'd like and hardly differentiates its self from a 14-45 zoom at the same focal length (I know this from experience)
    • the requirement of accuracy of the adapter goes up as the focal length goes down. A 50mm lens extends more in focus than does a 28. So fractions of a millimeter mean the difference between infinity focus and not. When I say fractions, I mean tiny fractions ... my first adapter did not infinity focus on my FD28, I made it work by gently carefully rubbing back the adapter length with 2000 grit emery paper ... yes that tiny a change
    • unless you intend to use more legacy lenses just give up on the idea and get a 20mm f1.7 or a 25mm f1.8 ... to me the bottom line has been that (now that I have both those lenses) I find the 20mm a better focal length than 25mm and I was "stuck in a 35mm world rut" of 50mm because quite frankly there was no 40mm available.

    I chased the "shallow normal" from 2009 when I first got into m43. I believe I was one of the earliest bloggers on this subject and I have explored this idea and written a few posts.

    I hope the following will be fruitful reading.

    When the 20mm was first released I wrote this in 2010
    in my view ...: the Panasonic 20mm: do I really need one?

    Then later I ended up with a Oly 28mm (as well as the FD mentioned above), which I also used on my OM1 with film and found still that 2.8 wasn't enough but it convinced me that the Sigma 30mm brought nothing to my table (and so I sold that lens).

    Then I actually bought the 20mm and wrote this comparing it in more detail to the 28mm:
    in my view ...: The Panasonic 20mm f1.7 (now I own one)

    Note that with such a critically small difference in focal length (20 vs 28) the "zoom with your feet" IS totally applicable.

    Lastly when the 25mm came out in f1.7 I bought one and this is my post on that:
    in my view ...: Panasonic 25mm f1.7 (the m43 Shallow Normal I've been waiting for)

    To my surprise I find that I've hardly used my 25mm and still reach for my 20 ... its a more versatile lens as a "standard" ... its kinda a Goldilocks lens ... not too wide, not too telephoto ... and as you may have seen in my above blog posts quite compact making it just right (for a compact camera like my GF)

    The 20 works very well as a general lens where that extra bit of width is nice:
    in my view ...: the Rabbit Proof Fence
    ...affording good subject isolation if desired:
    rabbitProofFenceL.

    and making a good "general picture" lens
    towardTheSea.

    as well as working pretty well in "across the table" shots in low light:
    21223249921_62f1c85e90_o.
    that isn't too tight (like the 25mm would be).

    All these are just my perspectives and analysis on the topic, so Your Milage May Vary.

    However if you do get an FD mount adapter then I suggest either go for the Ceicio7 one or one that has a mount to allow tripod fitting:
    in my view ...: (not just) another FD lens adapter review

    it'll help with lenses like 200mm if you end up going down that path (300's usually have tripod mounts) to take the weight off your body:
    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Apr 26, 2016
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  4. Dave in Wales

    Dave in Wales Mu-43 All-Pro

    Nov 5, 2011
    West Wales
    Very many thanks to you both, most enlightening.
     
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  5. dwig

    dwig Mu-43 Top Veteran

    621
    Jun 26, 2010
    Key West FL
    Personally, I do not think adapters are worth it unless:

    1: you already own the lens to be adapted

    and

    2: you like toying with stuff.

    Converted lenses are less convenient than native lenses (manual focus, manual or "pre-set" diaphram action, ...). Also adapting WA lenses (Normal or WA by m43 standards) doesn't usually work very well at all. "Normal" here is the classic "FL = image sensor diagonal measure or ~20mm on m43). Longer FL lenses can work decently. I personally use one of several excellent 50mm lenses from old film cameras (Jupiter-8, Takumar 50mm f/1.8, Leitz Summicron-DR, Leitz Summilux) on occasions but generally only when I need the shallower DOF (that's "less DOF") than I get with my excellent Pany 14-45. I also adapt an Oly 38mm f/3.5 Macro (true photomacrographic lens from Oly's medical division) for special things. I enjoy using the adapted lenses, but then I started out using cameras and flashes (like the one I'm holding in my Avatar) in ancient days (read: only a few years after the avatar pic was taken).
     
  6. pellicle

    pellicle Mu-43 All-Pro

    Feb 10, 2010
    Southport, OzTrailEYa
    pellicle
    Hi

    the avatar pic is too small for me to make out the camera ... what is it btw?
     
  7. tkbslc

    tkbslc Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Consider that you could get a used Sigma 30mm f2.8 for about $100.
     
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  8. pellicle

    pellicle Mu-43 All-Pro

    Feb 10, 2010
    Southport, OzTrailEYa
    pellicle
    To @Dave in Wales@Dave in Wales

    this is a good point and unless you have desires to fiddle with legacy lenses I'd put that as a much better option.

    This is a shot taken with the 30f2.8

    26601235686_809e93a7e3_b.

    I sold mine, not because it was in any way bad ... but somehow was just a little tighter than I really liked (same is also true of the 28mm legacys
     
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  9. pellicle

    pellicle Mu-43 All-Pro

    Feb 10, 2010
    Southport, OzTrailEYa
    pellicle
  10. tkbslc

    tkbslc Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    I like the 25mm f1.8, personally.
     
  11. HarryS

    HarryS Mu-43 Top Veteran

    918
    Jun 23, 2012
    Midwest, USA
    Adapters work as well on WA lenses as they do on long legacy lenses. But in general, WA lenses don't work very well on M43. Some of it is the standard of lens design 40 years ago. Some of it, as explained by Roger Cicala at lensrentals.com, is the layer of filter glass on an m43 sensor.

    If you already have a Canon FD 28mm lens, it might be worth $15 for an adapter. If it's a Focal or a Vivitar, I wouldn't bother. I have a Focal 28 and 35, and several Vivitar 28's. These are junk, in my opinion.
     
  12. tjdean01

    tjdean01 Mu-43 Top Veteran

    842
    Feb 20, 2013
    As far as adapted lenses vs m4/3s I can give you some background. My first lens was a 14-42 kit. Then I got a 50/1.7. That 50/1.7 is still my favorite lens although I have around 30 lenses. The thing is, however, that I don't really think any adapted lenses under 50mm are worth getting. I used to ALWAYS use my Vivitar 28/2 which I believe tops my Canon FD 28/2 but that was before I got the 20/1.7. I used to use the Sigma 30/2.8 too but now I never use that either. A 25/1.7 or 25/1.8, however, I would use. I would also use a 42/1.7 or 45/1.8. I only use my Konica 40/1.8 and my nifty fifties because I still haven't bought a 42mm. If I had the O75/1.8 I doubt I would use my Canon FD 85/1.8. I do like my 135/3.5 lenses that adapt well, however, if there were a nice native option for cheap....native would win out I think. I like the idea of adapting lenses. I like the metal and manual focus. But after a few years of playing around I more often than not grab for a m4/3s lens. BUT, that's because I have saved money to buy them. On a Sony a7 I would definitely recommend manual because of how expensive those lenses are!
     
  13. tjdean01

    tjdean01 Mu-43 Top Veteran

    842
    Feb 20, 2013
    The Komine made Vivitar 28mm f2 is one of the best 28mm lenses ever made. Mine rivals my Sigma 30 in sharpness at equal apertures. Those two lens make the images look like you've slid the "sharpen" slider too much to the right on editing software! The P20/1.7, which is also sharp, doesn't give this effect.
     
  14. HarryS

    HarryS Mu-43 Top Veteran

    918
    Jun 23, 2012
    Midwest, USA
    You're right, tjdean1. At least 16 different manufacturers were contracted to manufacture Vivitar lenses. Some of them did very good work. Others must have just wanted to keep their production lines busy. The two 28's I own are a Tokina f2.8 which is alright at f8 and a Tokina f2 which never sharpens up.

    .
     
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  15. LowriderS10

    LowriderS10 Monkey with a camera.

    May 19, 2013
    Canada
    Sure, it's worth it...adapters are cheap, and once you get the adapter, all Canon FD lenses will fit. Among my many adapted lenses I have a Canon FD 28...I don't think it's all that spectacular, but I never liked the 50-ish range anyway...but that's personal preference. From a subjective point of view, it was well worth adapting...it's sharp and fun (it's also big and heavy haha). When I go FD, though, I usually use my 50 1.4. ;)
     
  16. kurtwist

    kurtwist Mu-43 Veteran

    330
    Feb 6, 2011
    Southern Calif.
    This is one instance in which a higher priced adapter - specifically the ones from Poland -is much better. Most Canon FD adapters have a flimsy pin to actuate the aperture. These have a machined arm -won't break. Check e bay.
     
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  17. pellicle

    pellicle Mu-43 All-Pro

    Feb 10, 2010
    Southport, OzTrailEYa
    pellicle
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  18. walter_j

    walter_j Mu-43 Veteran

    364
    Sep 10, 2013
    Hagwilget, B.C., Canada
    Walter
    I've got a few Canon FD lenses, and the Kipon adapter is the one I use when I need to reach infinity. I have a few cheap adapters from Ebay (for Canon and Konica) but those are pretty much garbage. Poor fitting and don't reach infinity. One of them I worry the lens will fall off the adapter, and the other may damage the camera it's so tight. You aren't saving money with the cheap adadpters imho. If your lens is sharp, get a good one. The 28mm focal length is a nice length I think, and you might use it often.
     
  19. LowriderS10

    LowriderS10 Monkey with a camera.

    May 19, 2013
    Canada
    I've had some garbage adapters, but my K&F Concept ones off eBay (I have 3 or 4 of them) have been serving me very well and they're very cheap...well made and have never let me down. :)
     
  20. kurtwist

    kurtwist Mu-43 Veteran

    330
    Feb 6, 2011
    Southern Calif.
    I have a few 'premium' adapters and lots of pretty inexpensive ones. The only difference (except for Ceicio7 as mentioned earlier) that I could detect was packaging and external finish. I have at least 60 adapters and never have I had one that would not focus to infinity.