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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.