Oldies - but Goldies - Bringing old FD lenses back to life with MFT

March 10, 2013  •  Leave a Comment

Canon_AE1_oli1_800px_long.jpg

Canon AE1, Itorex FD 80-205 f/4,5, Kodak Tri-X 400

My first SLR camera was a Canon AE1 which I got in early 1979. The AE1 was my 3rd camera - prior to my entry into the SLR world  I had been using a Russian Leica wannabe - FED 2 rangefinder.

I really enjoyed the AE1 and it served me well for 13 years, until I got my first EOS SLR film camera and got stuck in Canon world with ever increasing investment in fancy and expensive EF lenses and Digital EOS cameras. I guess that I was not the only one that did dream of being able to use my FD lenses on EOS cameras, but we all know now that this dream never came true. Wether it was a deliberate marketing strategy to make those FD lenses obsolete or an unevitable result of technological progress is something I do not know. The only thing I know now is that the the least use of and old FD lens is to try to mate it with an EOS camera. 

I am a collector by nature, very reluctant to dispose of what I have aquired, and I do find cameras and other gadgets being hardest to part with.

Thus - my old AE1 along with several FD lenses have been sitting idle on my bookshelves for decades, serving as mantelpieces and reminding me of past days of film,  manual focus photography and mystical moments in the darkroom.

Although I do feel from time to time the  urge to once more load a roll of film into the AE1 and see my FD lenses in action once more, that urge has always been subdued and put to sleep by the fact that I've been spoiled by the comforts of a digital camera with a high quality autofocus zoom lens.

Enter the MFT ( Micro Four Thirds )

Having gradually accepted the fact that my old FD lenses were nothing else than memories of yesterday sitting on my bookshelf, this suddenly changed with the arrival of a new breed of digital cameras - mirrorless camera system that in the beginning was known by its ill fitted acronym "EVIL" ( Electronic viewfinder - Interchangable Lens ) - some of those cameras better known today as "MTF" og "Micro Four Thirds" by reference to a standard adopted by Olympus and Panasonic. 

Eager to use this new opportunity I bought myself  a Panasonic Lumix GF1 and ordered an FD/M43 adapter from Fotodiox.com. The GF1 has later been replaced by its successor, the more advanced GX1.

Using my old FD lenses on those cameras has been a real joy. The quality of the lenses really shine through, and they seem to work very well with the M43 sensor and the crop factor on those cameras.

As there is no communication between the lens and the camera, neither electrical nor mechanical, using them brings one back to the good old days of manual operation. Focusing has to be done manually, using the LCD display, and the lens has to be stopped down manually for the camera to be able to get correct exposure. To me, this is an added bonus, facing me with the challenge of shooting without the luxuries of the modern DSLR camera.

I'm really glad that I did not part with my Canon A series cameras and those FD lenses.

 

GF1-1020464

Panasonic Lumix GF1, Canon FD 135mm @ f/3,5

 Larger version here:  http://pallgudjonsson.zenfolio.com/p207052452/h57ab6e74#h57ab6e74

 

 

GF1-1020678

Panasonic Lumix GF1, Canon FD 35mm f/2,8

Larger version here: http://pallgudjonsson.zenfolio.com/p207052452/h57ab6e74#h57ab6e76

 

GF1-1020830-Edit

Panasonic Lumix GF1, Canon FD 50 mm f/1,8 SC

Larger version here: http://pallgudjonsson.zenfolio.com/p207052452/h57ab6e74#h57ab6e82

GF1-1040600

Panasonic Lumix GF1, Canon FD 50mm f/1,8 SC

Larger version here: http://pallgudjonsson.zenfolio.com/p207052452/h57ab6e74#h57ab6e8e

 

GF1-1040560 Panasonic Lumix GF1, Canon FD 50mm f/1,8 SC

Larger version here: http://pallgudjonsson.zenfolio.com/p207052452/h57ab6e74#h57ab6e88

 

GX1-1010619 Panasonic GX1, Canon FD 35mm f/2,8 @ f/2,8

Larger version here: http://pallgudjonsson.zenfolio.com/p207052452/h57ab6e74#h57ab6e9c

GX1_100-1000101 Panasonic GX1, Caon FD 35mm f/2,8 @ f/11

Larger version here: http://pallgudjonsson.zenfolio.com/p207052452/h57ab6e74#h57ab6e94

untitled-1010861

Panasonic Lumix GX1, Canon FD 50mm f/1,8 @ f/2,8

Larger version here: http://pallgudjonsson.zenfolio.com/p207052452/h57ab6e74#h57ab6ea2

 


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