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FD-mount lens not stopping down

Discussion in 'Adapted Lenses' started by EdH, Jul 11, 2015.

  1. EdH

    EdH Mu-43 Top Veteran

    629
    Jul 14, 2014
    Devon, UK
    Ed
    I've just bought a Soligor 28mm f2.8 in really lovely condition. It's Tokina made and is like new and came with it's Soligor case, also in good nick. It's my first FD-mount lens. I think it's the earlier breechlock type. I've bought a cheap Fotga adapter and after a bit of googling and fiddling I've worked out how to mount it, but it's not stopping down. The aperture ring does nothing.

    This seems to be a quite common problem, and I hope it's something to do with the adapter or the way I've fitted it, rather than the lens having stuck aperture blades.

    Anyone got any advice or tips?
     
  2. Klorenzo

    Klorenzo Mu-43 All-Pro

    Mar 10, 2014
    Lorenzo
    Remove the adapter and look at the lens mount: you should see two blades: one of those control the aperture. Try to move it gently with a finger and you should see the blades closing (unless the aperture is set wide open). A spring will move back the blade to the "open" position. In this way you check that the lens is working.

    Then on the adapters there is often some kind of switch (on/off, open-close) that controls that lever. Attach the adapter and look for some switch, moving ring that should control the aperture from wide open to the actual ring value.

    The reason for this is to allow to compose and focus getting as much light as possible, stopping down only when you are ready to take the shot.
     
  3. Yekim_Sicap

    Yekim_Sicap Mu-43 Rookie

    20
    Jun 5, 2015
    Frankfort, IL
    Michael
    I'm not sure if it's the same since I have a Fotasy FD to MFT adapter, but on the adapter there is an "Open" and "Lock" position. If I leave it in the "open position the aperture can be controlled by the adapter's ring. If it is put in the locked position, the aperture can be controlled using the aperture ring on the lens itself. I may be wrong but that's how I noticed how mine functions. I've also read that some like to use the adapter in the "open" position and use the ring on the adapter to change aperture when doing video because you won't hear the clicks of the aperture ring in the video. Good luck and I hope your issue gets resolved.
     
  4. Wab

    Wab Mu-43 Regular

    126
    May 27, 2015
    I've got a few fd mounts; the technical term is that you've got to 'fanny about' with the adapter to get them to stop down. There should be an 'on' and 'off' or an 'open' or 'lock' on the adapter, fanny about with that bit, turning it left or right while your lens is set to f/22 and it should stop down no problems.

    I always check, with the lens on the camera, that it's all working okay when I put a new fd lens on.
     
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  5. Turbofrog

    Turbofrog Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Mar 21, 2014
    Yep, lots of fannying about.

    The other thing is that your lens may have automatic aperture control (that relies on some sort of mechanical pin, or something, that obviously is not being engaged by either the adapter or the camera it was designed to work with). If this is the case, it will always remain wide open when in Auto mode. There is sometimes a toggle lever on the lens that will let you switch it from "A" to "M" or "AUTO" to "MAN." Make sure it's always in "M." My Super Takumar lenses have that, as does my Canon FD mount Vivitar 55/2.8 Macro. I was wondering why I couldn't get any depth of field with my macro lens one day, and it was because the auto aperture lever had been bumped in my bag.

    Does it look like this with a little toggle showing the M?

    DSC_3025-edited.
     
  6. dwig

    dwig Mu-43 Top Veteran

    621
    Jun 26, 2010
    Key West FL

    The FD mount can be a bit confusing, partially because there are 3 variants that act somewhat differently all called "FD" by the common forum posters. There are also some minor variations in non-Canon brand lenses.
    1. FD - the original meter coupled version that evolved out of the earlier FL mount. Breech lock mounting, chrome breech ring turns easily whether mounted or not, green circle for "auto" on the f/stop ring past the minimum aperture position.
    2. FDn (no official name difference) - Breech lock mounting, chrome breach ring locks in the open position until a small latch is pressed by the body flange during mounting, breech ring has a spring to slightly rotate it when mounting, green circle on f/stop ring replaced with an "A" and it now has a lock button.
    3. NewFD - bayonet mounting where the whole outside of the lens turns during mounting and there is a chrome lock button that must be pressed to release the lens for unmounting.

    Step one with all of them is to take the unmounted lens and turn the mounting ring (or the internal rear portion when dealing with a NewFD lens), set a small f/stop (~f/16), and press the larger chrome level on the rear of the lens sideways through its travel to see if the iris actually closes. If it doesn't close the lens needs service.
     
  7. Turbofrog

    Turbofrog Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Mar 21, 2014
    I thought FL and FD used the same breechlock mechanism, whereas FDn and NewFD were the same thing (with the same outside rotated mechanism)?
     
  8. dwig

    dwig Mu-43 Top Veteran

    621
    Jun 26, 2010
    Key West FL
    Prior to the EOS, all Canon SLRs use the same body flange. The differences in the various lens mount vairants involve only the details of the mounting method and the diaphram and meter coupling.

    True beech lock mounting:
    • R - Semi-auto diaphram. Body closed iris when fired, but iris wasn't reopened until the body was wound. These lenses are not compatible with later bodies as the length of the stopdown pin and the presence of the recocking lever clashed with newer non-R-series bodies.
    • FL - introduced full auto diaphram. The lenses also have their own A/M switch for the auto diaphram with doubled as the depth of field preview on bodies with TTL metering. TTL metering bodies must use stopdown metering.
    • FD (original) - introduced full aperture meter coupling and a "secret" autoexposure aperture setting on the f/stop ring which is marked with a green circle and has a stiffer click detent. It also moved the manual A/M function to a snap detent on the autodiaphram stopdown lever on the rear of the lens which could only be accessed when the lens was off the camera. This wasn't an issue
    • FD (newer style, sometimes "FDn") - improved the mounting experience by adding a latch that kept the mounting ring in the open "off camera" position until in contact with a body flange and added a spring to partially close the mounting ring when the latch was released making one handed mounting practical (for most users read: "possible"). It also revealed the "secret", remarking the autoexposure aperture setting with an "A" and adding a lock to prevent accidental disconnect. These appeared after Canon introduced the AE finder for the original F-1 and as they were preparing to release the Canon EF.

    Bayonet mounting:
    • New FD (some refer to these as "FDn" confusing everything...) - whole outer lens barrel rotates during mounting and there is a chrome latch on the side of the barrel to release the lens for unmounting. These lenses no longer allow latching the diaphram in the "closed" position by moving the stopdown level to then snap at the end of its travel. Canon sold a little plastic "adapter" to hold it in the stopdown position for use with non-autodiaphram bellows, extension tubes and reverse adapters. They also sold a rear lens hood (really a bottomless rear lens cap with an extra tab) that performed the same stopdown function when lenses were used on a reversing ring.
     
  9. Turbofrog

    Turbofrog Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Mar 21, 2014
    Ahh...plain as mud! But thank you the explanation, it's useful.

    I have a handful of FD-mount lenses and enjoy them, and I bought an FD-mount focal reducer because it was the most versatile for me (allowed me to use FD as well as M42 and Nikon lenses. And Minolta MD, if I could just get my DIY adapters to work...). But I have to say, it is the goofiest, least intuitive, least pleasant mount to use. I've fiddled with them enough times that I'm pretty sure I'm doing it right most of the time. But it's always frustrating compared to standard bayonets. Guess it's no surprise that Canon (and everyone else) switched away from the breech lock design, despite it's theoretical engineering advantages.
     
  10. jcivello

    jcivello Mu-43 Rookie

    13
    Jan 5, 2015
    Santa Rosa, CA
    I'm struggling with this same issue. I purchased a Canon FE 85mm lens and can't seem to get the aperture control to work. I've watched videos online and read the above, but I'm still stuck. Fortunately the aperture is wide open, so i can still take some nice pictures. here's a picture of the mount. Any ideas? Also, now I can't remove the adapter from the lens, even if I unlock the adapter.
    Capture.PNG
     
  11. EdH

    EdH Mu-43 Top Veteran

    629
    Jul 14, 2014
    Devon, UK
    Ed
    Thanks for all this info, I'll keep on fiddling although it feels like I've tried everything. I've gone off FD-mount lenses a bit though! Think I might stick to simpler mounts in future...
     
  12. HarryS

    HarryS Mu-43 Top Veteran

    918
    Jun 23, 2012
    Midwest, USA
    When the adapter is attached, there is a metal pin sticking out perpendicular from the side of the adapter. It is connected to the adapter ring that says "LOCK-OPEN". This pin has to be positioned so it can move the corresponding lever on the lens.

    Move the LOCK-OPEN ring so the pin slides the lever counter clockwise. Now the aperture is unlocked to follow what the aperture ring says.

    A common mistake is you can mount the adapter with the pin on the wrong side, in which case the aperture will stay wide open.

    fd_adapter_2.

    Note that some adapters may be labelled "LOCK-OPEN" and others "OPEN-LOCK". This is part of the charm (or is it a curse) of the small manufacturers that make and copy adapters.
     
    Last edited: Jul 12, 2015
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  13. dwig

    dwig Mu-43 Top Veteran

    621
    Jun 26, 2010
    Key West FL
    The adapter's OPEN<>LOCK control should have nothing to do with removing the lens from the adapter. The chrome ring on the lens, unless it's the New FD variant, needs to be turned to bring its red dot to the top 12 o'clock posiiton to release the lens from the adapter.

    Poor machining of the adapter could cause some binding. It is often best to mount the adapted lens on a body and then remove the lens from the adapter. Having the body attached can make it easier to kept a balky adapter aligned with the lens while removing the lens.
     
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  14. jcivello

    jcivello Mu-43 Rookie

    13
    Jan 5, 2015
    Santa Rosa, CA
    Wow. this is enlightening. thanks for you help dwig & Harrys.

    So I've been able to remove the adapter from the lens.

    I found the pin in the adapter and it is in the same position as in your picture when I twist the lock/open ring ccw. Interesting that this position is labeled "locked" on my adapter. I think this is the charm part you mentioned.

    when I line up the red dots the pin is on the side of the lever as shown in your picture. I can now mount the lens/adapter on the camera and it clicks smoothly into place and "lock" the adapter to the lens my moving the ring to "open" :)

    But unfortunately, the aperture still is wide open and does not change when I adjust the manual aperture ring on the lens.

    Any suggestions?
     
  15. jcivello

    jcivello Mu-43 Rookie

    13
    Jan 5, 2015
    Santa Rosa, CA
    One other comment. The lens mounts smoothly on the adapter and click/locks into place when the silver ring is turned clockwise when looking down on it directly. I can also push a little button just inside mount of the silver ring near where the red dot is. this will unlock the silver ring, but in this position the lens will not seat properly on the adapter, nor lock.
     
  16. edmsnap

    edmsnap Mu-43 Veteran

    430
    Dec 20, 2011
    Edmonton, Alberta
    People struggle with the adapters a lot, so the only way to really know if the lens is in working condition is to mount it onto an FD camera and take a few shots to look and see if the aperture is working. If you don't have a test camera and your adapter-mounting is sound, then the likely cause would be that the aperture is frozen open. It's unfortunately a common problem with the FD lenses if they haven't been used for a while. The blades leak a little oil and then harden into position and never move again. If you maintain a collection of FD, you'll save a ton of money by opening and closing the blades a few times every couple of months.

    I'll just reiterate the proper mounting steps to be sure:

    1. Install adapter ring onto camera: align the red dot on the adapter and red dot on the camera, twist to close.

    2. Stop the lens down to its smallest aperture - NOT the "A" setting.

    3. On the adapter, there is a ring that controls the position of a pin that allows for aperture control. Facing the front of the camera, turn the ring to its most counterclockwise position (usually "open").

    4. Seat the lens on the adapter (align the red dots) and twist the lens (or silver ring) clockwise until it clicks (or stops snug) shut. Now turn the adapter ring to its most clockwise position ("lock").

    5. Now you should be able to rotate the aperture ring on the lens and see the aperture adjust. The ring on the adapter can also be manually rotated for clickless aperture adjustment, but fortunately it clicks to a shut position so you won't do it accidentally while shooting.
     
  17. jcivello

    jcivello Mu-43 Rookie

    13
    Jan 5, 2015
    Santa Rosa, CA
    Thanks edmsnap.

    Looks like the aperture is frozen. I got it from a guy who was selling his mother's camera equipment. She has now passed away. The lens had not been used for many years. I think that explains it.
     
  18. listers_nz

    listers_nz Mu-43 Veteran

    255
    Nov 22, 2013
    Christchurch, New Zealand
    Simon
    Generally a frozen aperture is repairable, with a bit of time and effort, provided you are comfortable working with such things (I realise it isn't for everyone). I've done a few, and usually the hardest part is getting the trim ring off the front! There are plenty of videos on youtube showing how its done, for example:
     
  19. dwig

    dwig Mu-43 Top Veteran

    621
    Jun 26, 2010
    Key West FL
    The lock pin's purpose is to keep the chrome mounting ring in the "open and ready to mount" position. When released and the chrome ring is turned, the lens can't be mounted.

    The purpose of turning the mounting ring while a lens is off the camera is to allow you to test the auto-diaphram stopdown function. When the lens is in the "open and ready to mount" state, the stopdown level doesn't function. It will move and can be latched at the end of its travel, but the iris won't close. With the chrome ring turned fully to the "mounted" postion, the iris will now close. If your lens doesn't close the iris when in the "mounted" state then the lens is defective and needs service. It is not uncommon for older lenses to have stuck iris blades. Dirt, and more commonly, lubricant migrated from the focusing helicoid are the usual culprits.
     
  20. HarryS

    HarryS Mu-43 Top Veteran

    918
    Jun 23, 2012
    Midwest, USA
    Before you decide the aperture is stuck, the lock-open ring on the adapter does not lock the lens to the adapter. You turn the breech ring on the lens counter clockwise (looking at the back of the lens) to secure the lens.

    Now you will turn the lock-open ring on the adapter counter clockwise, looking at the back of the lens, so that pin in my picture pushes the lever on the lens to the left side of the picture. When the lever is slid in that direction, if the aperture mechanism works, then the blades will follow the aperture ring.