An Interesting Concept


K&F Concept adapter to couple the Canon FD lenses to the Sony A7r. The image was captured using a 50mm Canon FD lens mounted on an Olympus EM5 using a K&F Concept adapter.
K&F Concept adapter to couple the Canon FD lenses to the Sony A7r. The image was captured using a 50mm Canon FD lens mounted on an Olympus EM5 using a K&F Concept adapter.

Last year when I invested in a Sony A7r and Canon L series lenses, I posted a few thoughts about the adapter I was using. This was a Canon EF to NEX adapter which although poor for autofocus maintained the aperture link to the EF lenses. If you aren’t aware, the only way to control the aperture on a Canon EF lens is by coupling it to a camera that can talk to the lens. Everything is electronic and that keeps the price of these adapters high.

But at that time I also posted some thoughts about the Canon FD lenses a friend had begun to use. For anyone not familiar with the FD lenses, these predate the EF lenses. My conclusion following a little experimentation is that the centre of these lenses was marginally sharper than my new EF L series lenses.

In the end I did purchase a few FD lenses to experiment further with. A 28mm which is quite soft. A 50mm 1.4 which is sharp stopped down but soft wide open. And a 70-210 which is very nice at the 70mm end and goes off at the 210mm end. All need to be stopped down to around f/8.0 to really perform well but all have a wonderful feel and produce quite creative looking images. I think the most expensive of the lenses was the 50mm f/1.4 which I bought on eBay for £30. The other two were bought from Ffords Photographic for £24 and £28.

Now the adapter I bought for these lenses was the K&F Concept and cost me around £12 from Amazon. When I received the adapter I couldn’t believe the build quality for this price point. I was so impressed that I bought a second, but this time for the Canon FD to Micro 43 body. Here’s the link (http://amzn.to/1JQ22gk).

I love the eel of the Canon 50mm on the Olympus EM5, it seems to have been made for it. It also turns the 50mm lens into an amazing 100mm lens with virtually no depth of field. Just remember to keep away from the edges if you are using it wide open. Actually, forget that last comment. Use it wide open and embrace the quirky old school effects.

Is anyone else out there using old lenses on a Micro 43 camera? It would be great to hear your experiences if you are.

10 thoughts on “An Interesting Concept

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  1. I am glad that you are having good results with your legacy lenses. I too have a selection of FD’s (28, 50 macro), Minolta MC/MD (28 and 45). I use these on my GX-1 and a Fuji X-E1. The Canon 28 on the GX-1 is nice. I have not yet tried them on the Air 01. I am also considering Oly PenF lenses, they were designed for the half-frame system. So their image might more closely cover the m4/3 sensor. Thanks for your images and comments. Jerry

  2. Hi Robin,
    My 1973 vintage Canon F1 and its FD lenses have been sat in the bottom of the wardrobe for years. After getting a Lumix G3, I bought one of the cheap FD>M43 adapters from eBay to try out my old lenses.
    Like you, I found my 50mm F1.4 to be the best of the bunch and have had pleasing results using it with the G3 as a portrait lens. I would be interested to know how yours compares IQ-wise with your Ol;ympus 45mm.
    Cheers
    Dave

  3. This comment is not exactly on point, but relevant because of your use of the Sony A7. I bought a couple of adapters for use of Konica Hexanon AR lenses on my Sony E mount camera, and was really pleased with the results. As Sony and Zeiss brought out “native” lenses, I sold them off, . I used the 57mm f:1.2 which had some fringing wide open and was subject to flare, but was otherwise a great and cheap very fast lens. The 85mm f:1.8 performed well even wide open and the 200mm and 300mm f;4 telephoto lenses were a true bargain; I think I paid $300 for them both!

    1. Thanks for adding your experience Dennis. I wouldn’t say that this was off topic at all. I hadn’t thought about these lenses but looking them up on ebay you can buy them for less than the Canon FD. Something else for me to experiment with in due course I think.

  4. Hi Robin, I have an adapter to use my old Pentax K lenses (of which I have a full drawer) on my oly pm1. Only a few lenses make any sense though: the pancake 40 mm f:2.8, a 55 f:2 and a 50 f:1.7, a 28 f:2.8. All other are very heavy, and the focal distance is too long to be really useful.

  5. I haven’t had great results with lenses wider than ~35mm on M4/3, but I regularly use several legacy lenses with my GX7. In addition to the Super Takumar 50/1.4, my favourites are macro lenses – a Vivitar 55/2.8 and a Sigma 90mm/2.8 which are remarkable inexpensive, compact, and very sharp. They also double as convenient portrait lenses in a pinch.

    For even more fun, you can get a focal reducer for about $90 on eBay, widening your focal length by 0.71x, increasing light gathering by a full stop, and increasing resolution to boot (at least when at f2 or more). It’s almost like magic. I use one on a Canon FD 50-135/f3.5, giving me a very usable ~35-100/f2.5 that only cost $60 plus the adapter…

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