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Thread: FD lenses with M4/3

  1. #1

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    Hi everyone,

    Thanks for reading this thread.

    I am no expert in cameras and I am certainly not verse in photographic equipments like FD lenses etc so kindly forgive me if the questions I ask is not acceptable to you.

    Im looking for buy either a Sony Nex 7 or a Olympus Pen (not sure what is the latest in the market, maybe the EP3)... This camera is for my dad who previously bought some FD lenses for his film EOS analog camera many years ago and the FD lenses are in the dry cabinet for donkey years now, recently we bought an adaptor for my 60D and we sense he is keen in using his FD lenses to shoot on a digital camera. My dad is 60+ and he doesnt like the bulk and weight of a dslr, also he loves the size and weight of a m4/3 which can give very good IQ... Also the Nex seem to have solid sensor at high ISO... but again we are not verse with any M4/3 camera..

    We would like to buy a m4/3 camera for his birthday but we are not sure which of the m4/3 camera can handle the FD lenses well... We watch some reviews on youtube - digitalrev and though they are not fd lenses but its interesting to see that the Sony is really good (Nex 3)...

    I am not sure which of the m4/3 will 'marry well' with the FD lenses, I believe most m4/3 can use an adaptor to fit those lenses but not sure which can handle the FD (very old) lenses well esp its a 'competitor' brand...

    I have google for the answers but they are mostly camera owners who usually say their gear is good and mostly is the positive feedback (of cos its good since they paid money for it).. anyone has any links to recommend will also be helpful... We are no experts in photography or its equipment so thats why I posted here.. Would like to ask if anyone here has any experience to share with Nex or Pen with FD lenses, whether you tested it or owned it or have friends who do, will really really appreciate your feedback and kind sharing (such as does it perform well in sense that it can focus properly on live view and is the image quality being compromised by such lenses). Thanks all for your kind time and feedback..

    Thanks so much for all your help... Looking forward to May Day holiday... Have a great week everyone and thanks for reading till the end...
    Last edited by meganut; 30th April 2013 at 01:00 AM.

  2. #2

    Default Re: FD lenses with M4/3

    Hi meganut,

    I am a Sony NEX-5N user, and have only 2 autofocus Sony lens, and more than 10 manual-focus lenses from various eras. I had also played with a Canon FD 28mm F2.8 on my camera too.

    The first thing I want to reiterate is that Sony NEX cameras are NOT m4/3 cameras. The sensor on the Sony NEX is APSC size, which is about the same as your Canon 60D. M4/3 cameras' sensors are smaller. However, this does NOT mean that they are any less suitable for use with old FD lenses like your Dad's.

    The second thing is that there are tonnes of adapters on sale online, so it's not an issue adapting the FD lenses on any camera, at least in the physical sense.

    Next thing you may want to consider in the use of such legacy lenses is the crop factor. As FD-era cameras are full-frame, the smaller digital age sensors will 'crop' the actual image from the lenses (sorry I'm not very good at explaining this). Effectively, it means that a Canon FD 50mm lens will become a 75mm lens on a Sony NEX (APSC sensors have a crop factor of x1.5), while on any m4/3, the same lens will become a 100mm lens (m4/3 cameras have a crop factor of 2x). Basically, m4/3 cameras will be 'longer'. Not saying this is good or bad, but it does change the way that you use certain lenses.

    Another thing are the camera features. Does your dad want to use a viewfinder, like on his old EOS, or is he comfortable with the LCD screen 'live view' on most NEX and m4/3 cameras ? that will have an impact on the model you want to choose, like for Sony NEX series, only the NEX 6 and NEX 7 have electronic viewfinders, while the rest you will have to use the LCD screen, unless you buy a separate viewfinder accessory. Similarly, an Oly OMD has a viewfinder, but not the EPMs.

    Sony NEX cameras also have this feature called focus peaking, so that it is easier for manual focusing. This feature helps by highlighting on the screen the areas of the image which are 'in focus'. It is not super accurate, but good enough to help you focus.

    When legacy lenses are used, all forms of image stabilizing are disabled, for Sony and Panasonic, but Olympus M4/3 cameras have this feature called IBIS (In-body Image Stabilisation) which helps in stabilizing the legacy lenses when shooting. This helps in reducing motion blur at low shuttle speeds, enabling the photographer to shoot sharp images even at low shutter speeds.

    Some people like the grip on Sony NEX better, some dont like, and prefer the smaller bodies (generally) of M/43 cameras. Oh, since I am on this pt, the legacy lenses like Canon FD are usually heavy, and there will be some balance issues you have to get used to when using legacy lenses on small mirrorless bodies. see:






    Last but not least, you have to just go down to the shop to try the interface la. Some people will prefer the many buttons eg. Panasonic GH3, some people like clean interface and dont mind going into LCD menus. You also have to consider issues like cost, etc....

    just sharing my 2 cents worth...

  3. #3

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    Wow... thanks brother...

    your explaination really helped a whole lot and I really appreciate you taking time to share with me.

    Will check out the Nex 6 and 7 cos I think he might like the option of a E-view finder as well. I believe the EVF will be able to show if the lens is not focusing right? Sorry if that sounded lame cos Im not verse in this electronic stuff as Im still primitive. But the wide LCD is good for my old man LOL...

    Good to also know the Sony Nex is a mini size DSLR cos the crop factor is smaller (1.5 vs 2).. Thanks for sharing.

    Really really grateful. Have a good week ahead

  4. #4

    Default Re: FD lenses with M4/3

    sorry not to be pedantic but FD Mount cameras then , are not EOS cameras. EOS cameras all use EOS mount, regardless of EOS digital or EOS film
    宁愿遇见丢失幼崽的母熊,也不愿碰上做蠢事的愚人

  5. #5

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    Quote Originally Posted by meganut View Post
    Wow... thanks brother...

    your explaination really helped a whole lot and I really appreciate you taking time to share with me.

    Will check out the Nex 6 and 7 cos I think he might like the option of a E-view finder as well. I believe the EVF will be able to show if the lens is not focusing right? Sorry if that sounded lame cos Im not verse in this electronic stuff as Im still primitive. But the wide LCD is good for my old man LOL...

    Good to also know the Sony Nex is a mini size DSLR cos the crop factor is smaller (1.5 vs 2).. Thanks for sharing.

    Really really grateful. Have a good week ahead
    I would recommend to only use manual primes on these cameras, especially if you end up getting those without evf. But when it comes to focusing, nothing beats the focus peaking on NEX cameras. They are your best bet.
    hi

  6. #6
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    Default Re: FD lenses with M4/3

    Am using FD lenses on M43 body with adapter.

    FD lenses are used on Canon's FD mount camera bodies such as T90, AE1, A1, F1-N, etc...

    On M43 detail focusing is not an issue since a button on camera body can be configured to magnify the LCD image for you to do critical focus.

    You may prefer this to the Sony Nex method of "peaking" where the screen will display red highlights over large parts of the LCD image.

    If I am not wrong, the Pentax K-01 digital SLR (only $299 brand new in a past offer) has a peaking method that is superior to Sony.

    It highlights only the specific thing in white edges that you want to be in focus and shows the peaks.

    OMD (with built-in EVF) is better than EP3.
    Last edited by ricohflex; 30th April 2013 at 11:03 PM.

  7. #7

    Default Re: FD lenses with M4/3

    Quote Originally Posted by ricohflex View Post
    Am using FD lenses on M43 body with adapter.

    FD lenses are used on Canon's FD mount camera bodies such as T90, AE1, A1, F1-N, etc...

    On M43 detail focusing is not an issue since a button on camera body can be configured to magnify the LCD image for you to do critical focus.

    You may prefer this to the Sony Nex method of "peaking" where the screen will display red highlights over large parts of the LCD image.

    If I am not wrong, the Pentax K-01 digital SLR (only $299 brand new in a past offer) has a peaking method that is superior to Sony.

    It highlights only the specific thing in white edges that you want to be in focus and shows the peaks.

    OMD (with built-in EVF) is better than EP3.
    sorry, just want to correct this. For Sony NEX, on top of focus peaking, there is also a button to press to magnify the LCD image for you to do critical focus ... for Nex 5N, this feature is on the touchscreen, so it gets even easier to magnify, as you touch where you want to do focus and it magnifies immediately. So when it comes to focusing, it's not a matter of "preferring the M43 detail focusing to the Sony NEX peaking" as quoted above, but a matter of preferring NEX's dual (critical focus n focus peaking) ways of assisting manual focusing as compared to M43's only critical focusing method. Critical focusing, though it helps to do detailed focusing, is not helpful for fleeting moments when you need to get the shot off quickly using manual lenses, but have no time to zoom in and focus.. such situations require a quick and dirty way like focus peaking.

    and I think TS had already stated that the dad is not looking at a DSLR, so K01 is out of the picture. Also, the focus peaking of the NEX has 3 levels of sensitivity, I usually go for low, so that only small parts that are in high contrast shimmers, unlike what Ricohflex had said about large parts of the LCD shimmering. And you can set red, yellow or white. Please get the facts right before you criticise any camera.

    Focusing aside, I do think that the IBIS in M43 Oly cams, esp the OMD, is really useful for stabilising manual lenses. gorgeous and useful camera, the OMD is.
    Last edited by metranquility; 1st May 2013 at 04:28 AM.

  8. #8

    Default Re: FD lenses with M4/3

    Thank you guys!! Really really helpful! <3 <3 <3

    Thanks Silvermoon, Metranquility for your kind advice.

    And Ricohflex you are correct, my dad has the Canon T90 hence the FD lenses.. Thanks for your help

    Will go check out the OMD as well.

  9. #9

    Default Re: FD lenses with M4/3

    You may want to check out the specification of the new olympus EP-5, which comes with focus peaking feature, and some improvement over the olympus OMD, which will be useful for the FD lenses.

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