Adapting a Canon FD 400 f/2.8 to mirrorless/EOS. Thoughts? Suggestions?

cayenne

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Mar 28, 2012
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Hello all,
I have a chance to score a FD 400 2.8 lens from a friend possibly. I've not seen it yet, but he says in pretty good shape.
We've not talked price yet.

First, as far as Canon bodies go, I'm still on my 5D3.
I've spent some $$ past year on some other bodies and systems....and right now saving up for maybe an R5, and possibly waiting to see what happens with the R1 if it comes out when I'm saved up and looking to drop the hammer.

So, I thought I'd understood that FD lenses either couldn't be adapted to EF cameras....at least in the past, but possibly now there are some adapters that can be used.

Can anyone with experience with FD on EOS bodies give me some input as to what your experience is, and what the better adapter(s) are to get?

Again, the Canon mirrorless system is in my future, and one thing I like about mirrorless, is resurrecting older vintage lenses on mirrorless with adapters.

At this time, my mirrorless cameras I have are my GFX100 and me Leica M10 monochrom.

I'm looking at adapters for those....but that's for other forums.

But when I look at vintage lenses, I'm looking to adapt them for as many of my camera systems as possible.

So, first questions here...adapting FD to EOS.....for my 5D3.

Next...is anyone familiar with this lens in general? What do you like/dislike about it?

What would be a reasonable price on a used FD 400 f/2.8?

Thank you in advance!!

cayenne
 

koenkooi

EOS 5D Mark IV
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Feb 25, 2015
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[..]
So, I thought I'd understood that FD lenses either couldn't be adapted to EF cameras....at least in the past, but possibly now there are some adapters that can be used.
[..]
The flange distance for FD is less than EF, so you'll need optics in the adapter if you want to keep infinity focus.
 

privatebydesign

I post too Much on Here!!
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Jan 29, 2011
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Whilst it is true most FD lenses can't be used on EF bodies the truth is lenses like the 400 can, though it isn't easy or cheap. There is a guy called Ed Mika who was doing top end very thin adapters that worked for many FD lenses that focused past infinity and there are also companies out there that will take off the FD mount and shorten the end of the lens (it is only a tube as the rearmost lens is set well inside the rear of the mount) and then they put an EF mount on it.

P.S. He now has a website with conversion kits on it https://edmika.com/product/fdn-400mm-2-8l/

P.P.S. Unfortunately it closed down!
 
Last edited:

Joules

doom
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So, I thought I'd understood that FD lenses either couldn't be adapted to EF cameras....at least in the past, but possibly now there are some adapters that can be used.
The problem is that FD lenses would need to go slightly into the camera body in order to maintain focus at infity. Just as the RF and EF-M mount flange distances differ by 2 mm (20 mm and 18 mm), EF and FD differ by 2 mm (44 mm and 42 mm).

As a consequence, you either use a simple adapter which just physically connects the body and lens, but give up focus at infity (doesn't make much sense for a Tele lens) or you use an adapter with glass in it which tries to compensate this. As extra glass introduces extra abberations and a one-fits-all solution can't be optimized for each particular lens you want to adapt, image quality is reduced by this solution.

As mirrorless is your end goal, using such an adapter in the meantime could be an option so long as you don't use it to judge the lens IQ.

Also, since your mirrorless purchase seems some time off, it may be Wort to check if someone made an RF-Fd adapter with contacts yet once the time comes. Apparently none are available yet. Those would allow you to not only use focus peaking for AF, but also have the focus guides displayed according to what I've read. Similar to how you only get the AF confirmation LED in DSLR when using a lens with contacts (even if they don't go anywhere).
 

zim

EOS 5D Mark IV
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Oct 18, 2011
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Has anyone tried this?

A bit OT but I have an fd 200 2.8 which i loved back in the day, got an fd-ef adapter (one of the half decent ones) and was disappointed in the results but do wonder if mirrorless would revive it.
 

cayenne

EOS R6
CR Pro
Mar 28, 2012
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Has anyone tried this?

A bit OT but I have an fd 200 2.8 which i loved back in the day, got an fd-ef adapter (one of the half decent ones) and was disappointed in the results but do wonder if mirrorless would revive it.
I too would be interested in the metabones FD to RF adapter....as that would be the future if I were to get this big FD lens.

My friend dropped it off for me to look at. The exterior has a lot of wear, and the hood around the front element has a pretty large "ding"....but so far the glass itself looks ok.

I'm going to clean the front and rear elements...and shine a flashlight around in it to see if anything like fog or fungus shows up.

Since it doesn't look practical to try to test this on my 5D3, I'll have to assume that it eventually would work for a RF mount.
IN the meantime, I found a fotodiox adapter that will allow me to mount this FD monster on my GFX100 and see what happens there.

But WOW....I knew this would be a large lens, but was really surprised how heavy it was...whew.

I found the compartment for the drop in ND filters....I opened it and there appears to just be a clear filter in there, no ND....

Anyway, I think I'll order the fotodiox FD to GF adapter and while that is coming in, will see if I can find an arca Swiss plate I can mount on the bottom food of the 400mm lens in preparation to mount it to a tripod.

Thank you for all the info and suggestions so far......

My friend is in no rush, which is good as that on B&H adapters look to have 2-4 weeks special order times....

cayenne
 

AlanF

Stay at home
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Aug 16, 2012
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I hope your friend didn't drop it off on your foot.
 

cayenne

EOS R6
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Mar 28, 2012
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I hope your friend didn't drop it off on your foot.

LOL...nope, I still have pretty good reflexes.

He handed me the case and I was shocked at how heavy that darned thing was.

He said he's looking for about $400 ballpark price. I'm going some research to see what they go for. It is not in good cosmetic shape, it was obviously used a great deal in its lifetime....as I mentioned the metal around the front element has a rather serious and large dent in it.

But that's not all important to me....a 400mm 2.8 lens would be interesting, I think particularly with moon photography maybe, etc.

I'll look the next few days to see if I can tell if the optics are sound.

If anyone has experience with this lens, or even the more modern equivalent of the 400mm....please chime in and let me know your use cases for it.

C
 

zim

EOS 5D Mark IV
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Oct 18, 2011
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Old forum discussion but I thought it interesting.

Not sure if linking is allowed
 

cayenne

EOS R6
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Mar 28, 2012
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Old forum discussion but I thought it interesting.

Not sure if linking is allowed

Thank you...very interesting.
Well, I think I"m about to order up an adapter for this canon lens for my GFX mount camera and see what this thing can do.

I still need to shine a flashlight inside it, I've heard that is a way you can peer around inside and see the condition of the other elements, and if fungus is there, etc?

Is plain rubbing alcohol ok to use to clean the front and rear elements on a lens like this?


Thank you in advance,
cayenne
 

cayenne

EOS R6
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Mar 28, 2012
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Ok so far, the FD 400mm lens looks pretty clean as far as the optics go...I read that it HAS to have a filter in the ND slot, which it does...just a clear one.
I"m curious how expensive and how available darker ND filters for this are?

Anyway, looks good enough to warrant spending a bit of money on an adapter.

I'm going first to try the Canon FD lens on my GFX100. So,I"m trying this for $100:

Fotodiox Canon FD to Fuji GF Lens adapter

I found this FD to EOS adapter:

FotodioX Pro Lens Mount Adapter with Generation v10 Focus Confirmation Chip for Canon FD-Mount Lens to Canon EF or EF-S Mount Camera

Does my Canon 5D3 have this focus confirmation?
There appears to be an older version of this Fotodiox adapter without that chip for about $10 less.

Anyway, I"m new to this FD adaptation thing, if anyone has suggestions about this last one, of trying to adapt my 5D3 to the FD lens please chime in.


As always, thank you in advance,
cayenne
 

Joules

doom
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Jul 16, 2017
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Does my Canon 5D3 have this focus confirmation?
There appears to be an older version of this Fotodiox adapter without that chip for about $10 less.
The focus confirmation chip is what I refered to earlier when I said you want to check if an RF adapter with contacts exists by the time you make your purchase. The metabones one you linked earlier for example doesn't have it.

Wihtout such a chip / contacts, the camera doesn't even bother helping you with achieving focus. With it, it will at least blink the AF points when they are over a subject that is in focus. It will work with your 5D3, it's something all EF lenses with contacts do. In the case of the R5, with the chip you will get the focus guides that give you more information about focus than the focus peaking alone.

I have m42 adapters with and without the chip and the ones without it aren't fun at all since you need to rely on the 10x zoom in LiveView to confirm focus (unless you have switched the screen in your OVF of course, or use magic lantern to bring focus peaking to the 5D3).
 

cayenne

EOS R6
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Mar 28, 2012
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The focus confirmation chip is what I refered to earlier when I said you want to check if an RF adapter with contacts exists by the time you make your purchase. The metabones one you linked earlier for example doesn't have it.

Wihtout such a chip / contacts, the camera doesn't even bother helping you with achieving focus. With it, it will at least blink the AF points when they are over a subject that is in focus. It will work with your 5D3, it's something all EF lenses with contacts do. In the case of the R5, with the chip you will get the focus guides that give you more information about focus than the focus peaking alone.

I have m42 adapters with and without the chip and the ones without it aren't fun at all since you need to rely on the 10x zoom in LiveView to confirm focus (unless you have switched the screen in your OVF of course, or use magic lantern to bring focus peaking to the 5D3).
Ok thank you for the info!!!

I have both adapters on the way.

I've not played with the R cameras yet.
Like I mentioned, I have a GFX100 and a Leica M10M...both of those have focus assist, where when you look through the viewfinder, places in focus will light up....are you saying that the R5 and other R cameras don't have that and require an adapter chip to do focus assist?

Again, thank you for all the great feedback!!

What a great forum!!

cayenne
 

Joules

doom
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Jul 16, 2017
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Ok thank you for the info!!!

I have both adapters on the way.

I've not played with the R cameras yet.
Like I mentioned, I have a GFX100 and a Leica M10M...both of those have focus assist, where when you look through the viewfinder, places in focus will light up....are you saying that the R5 and other R cameras don't have that and require an adapter chip to do focus assist?

Again, thank you for all the great feedback!!

What a great forum!!

cayenne
The Canon DSLR will not light up the AF points unless a lens with electronic contacts is attached. I think that applies to all of them, certainly to my 600D and 80D. I just tried it with my two m42 adapters to confirm.

With the R bodies, I unfortunately haven't used one with any MF lenses yet, though eventually that is the plan for my assemble of manual lenses relatives have gifted me over the years.

I know for sure that without a chipped lens, you can still simply magnify the AF spot to visually confirm it's sharp, or use focus peaking which are colored dots highlighting the plane of focus. Then there is a third option, called focus guides, that is only available for chipped lenses and also allows eye detection. Canon has a good video demonstration:


As for the usual blinking of an AF point, I don't know if that is available on the R bodies. Couldn't find info on the internet quickly, hopefully an owner can chime in.
 
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