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Archive 2012 · Optical Adapters for Canon FD and Minolta MC/MD
  
 
Gunzorro
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p.1 #1 · Optical Adapters for Canon FD and Minolta MC/MD


Please feel free to contribute your images, questions, or opinions about optical adapters in general.
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What's a guy to do when he has a bunch of Alt lenses, or lenses such as Samyang that can be Alt as soon as they are mounted to a body other than the one intended?

In the case of my burgeoning Minolta MC/MD, and lately, Canon FD, for the M4/3 bodies, the answer is to try violating one of the last IQ taboos: Never use a tele-converter-type adapter. That "law" has kept many people from trying these short flange distance lenses on their Canon digital bodies.

I took the plunge a couple weeks ago with a Canon FD 85-300 lens, with adapter for M4/3 and another for EOS mount. The results were good enough that I bought two more FD lenses, and Minolta MD to EOS optical mount.

I worked with various lenses today, concentrating on the FD 50/.3.5 Macro and the MC 50/1.7.

The FD worked better at the initial stages with much better IQ overall. The MC was sloppy (side to side rotation) and "tilty", which I remedied but expanding the flange slots with a jeweler's screwdriver -- nice and snug. Then the Minolta did much better -- about as good as the FD 50 macro in the image center, which is very good. But spherical aberration causes rapid image deterioration about 1/2 way out from center on FF. So, I switched to 1D2 with its 1.3X crop and had a better result. Next I'll try the 1.6X APS-C crop.

All these lenses work great on the M4/3 bodies, so I know any optical IQ is adapter related.

Here are a few MC 50/1.7 on 1D2 from today, all shot at f/5.6 setting on the lens.

























Aug 01, 2012 at 09:14 PM
buggz2k
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p.1 #2 · Optical Adapters for Canon FD and Minolta MC/MD


I would guess almost anything is okay for web sized display images?
I too have tried an EOS/Minolta SR mount adapter, it had glass, Fotodiox.
Shrug, it worked okay with the Rokkor 28/2, and a Spiratone 135/1.8 on my 5DMkII.
They are posted here somewhere.
I never critically looked at the images, was using it for just playing around, until I could get the mounts converted, but now that they were stolen, sigh...

Oh... I do have video of our rescue kitties using the Rokkor 28/2 and 5DMkII somewhere, have to find those again...



Aug 01, 2012 at 09:36 PM
Gunzorro
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p.1 #3 · Optical Adapters for Canon FD and Minolta MC/MD


Sorry buggz2k, I really should have made some 100% details.

Of course, you're right, anything could look good on web sizes. Keep in mind these are from 8MP RAW files from a 1.3X APS-H sensor, so they're somewhat limited in detail, and crop out the very worst of the image circle, but I'm surprised how well they hold up in these enlargements.























Aug 01, 2012 at 11:12 PM
buggz2k
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p.1 #4 · Optical Adapters for Canon FD and Minolta MC/MD


Those do look good, hope you didn't think I was insinuating otherwise.
What adapter are those?
My Fotodiox Canon EOS/Minolta SR adapter caused vignetting with the Spiratone 135/1.8, as I remember...

Edited on Aug 02, 2012 at 01:16 AM · View previous versions



Aug 02, 2012 at 12:03 AM
 

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Gunzorro
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p.1 #5 · Optical Adapters for Canon FD and Minolta MC/MD


No, you are absolutely right to be skeptical, especially having had prior experience.

Coincidentally, this is also the Fotodiox brand, purchase used on eBay (in great shape). I don't want to run too far ahead of myself, but I also got an FD to EOS optical adapter (Zykkor brand, made in Japan), and it had its idiosyncrasies.

This Fotodiox has very sharp center, covering almost 1/2 the image area of FF sensor. Outside of that central circle, things get unsharp very quickly due to what I take to be spherical aberration, and curvature of field toward infinity on the sides. Not much vignetting to speak of. This adapter has more CA than the Zykkor, which has relatively little, as these things go. The Fotodiox has relatively low contrast and general hazy flare throughout without any light sources shining directly in.

The Zykkor is sharp in the center, at least equal, or better than the Fotodiox. This adapter has very little (if any) negative effect on the contrast of the Canon FD lenses. No hazy flare except when the sun is shining directly into the lens. The Zykkor has a slower sharpness drop-off from the center area, so at f/5.6-8 it's really pretty good for about 2/3 the image area on FF -- and by that I mean better than what you are seeing here in my photos -- could be used on some commercial assignments with a lens like the FD 85-300. The Zykkor was tight and didn't need any adjustment like the Fotodiox. BUT, there is quite an abrupt vignetting area in the corners -- looks like a lens hood intruding on the 85-300, especially at 300, and slightly affects border areas at 85. This is obviously the adapter cutting into the image circle as the lens element shift in the lens body. The vignetting is not so intrusive with the FD 50 Macro or FD 24/2.8. Still -- not bad on the 1.3X sensor, and usable with cropping on FF. The lens is better suited to M4/3 bodies with non-optical adapter. It's quite a good lens actually.

The FD 24/2.8 is not such a good match with the optical adapter, probably because of the retrofocus design of wide angle lenses. I'll check some more WA FLs, but it seems likely to be best using optical adapters for normal and telephoto designs.

Yes, there are problems with both these optical adapters. No, the problems are not exactly the same, even though both feature multi-coated doublet lens elements. Still, they seem not to be the demons or bugaboos that we often read about, accused of destroying lens IQ.

Obviously, there is a lot of variation between these two brands, and this is the mid-grade selection with multi-coated elements. I imagine the cheapest uncoated "optical glass" would be problematic. It is possible the more expensive brands, such as Kipon, would be even better corrected and optically superior.

I'm interested to hear other people's experiences with various optical adapters and brands.



Aug 02, 2012 at 12:51 AM
buggz2k
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p.1 #6 · Optical Adapters for Canon FD and Minolta MC/MD


Quick snapshot from my brief play time:
Spiratone 135/1.8 - Fotodiox Canon EOS/Minolta SR adapter - Canon 5DMkII:



Aug 02, 2012 at 01:23 AM
Gunzorro
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p.1 #7 · Optical Adapters for Canon FD and Minolta MC/MD


In my first post, I was attempting to get decent performance out of the optical adapter and the massive FD 85-300, and to good effect, I'd say.

In this batch, I've tried to embrace the adapter's aberrations and find suitable expression with less DOF.

Lenses chosen are the normally fine FD 24/2.8 and FD 50/3.5 macro. To minimize edge fall-off and softness, I shot with two crop bodies: the 1.3X 1D Mark II, and the 1.6X 60D. Apertures were wide open, unless other wise noted. Average PP applied in LR, including enhancing the vignetting to -10 on most shots.

I can see applications for some portraiture, landscape or even close-up shots, using this sort of soft focus periphery to central area.

1D Mark II, 24mm, 2.8






60D, 24mm, 2.8






1D Mark II, 50mm, 3.5






60D, 50mm, 3.5






1D Mark II, 24mm, 2.8






60D, 24mm, 2.8






1D Mark II, 50mm, 3.5






60D, 50mm, 3.5






60D, 50mm, 3.5






60D, 50mm, 8.0







Aug 05, 2012 at 08:19 PM
Gunzorro
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p.1 #8 · Optical Adapters for Canon FD and Minolta MC/MD


Despite the fact this topic is a popular as a . . . I forge ahead.

Back to the FD 85-300, which is the best mate to the optical adapter. Today I rang the full range of apertures from f/4.5 to f/11.0 (to f/16 @ 300) on tripod with cable release on 60D. Because of the earlier mention of vignetting on full frame, I wanted to see how the crop APS-C worked. As I expected, from the good performance on APS-H sensor, the 60D is outstanding in this application. Best resolution, color and contrast were between f/8 and f/11. These three shots are all at f/11. If I was to choose "the best aperture" for this lens, it is f/9.5.

60D, FD 85-300, f/11, ISO 200. PP in LR4, mainly sharpening and CA/fringing.

85mm






300mm (not detail shots from above exposure)











I can produce some detail shots if there is any interest.

The quality is further confirmed as acceptable for profession work, if needed. I won't say it is up to the standards of the 300/4L lens, but for a fairly versatile zoom at $200, it is hard to beat. I no longer have the EF 70-300/4-5.6 IS, but I'd say this lens is as sharp, but lacks the super-close-focusing of the newer lens. Again, even here, this old FD is about 1/2 the price.

I realize this won't appeal to those looking for top gear like Zeiss and Leica, but it is an interesting option to explore.






Aug 07, 2012 at 12:51 AM





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