FD 85L f/1.2: a real gem
/forum/topic/757502/0

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AlexTokyo
Registered: Jun 10, 2008
Total Posts: 231
Country: Japan

Just finished converting the FD 85L f/1.2L. Lots of work but worth it for a <$300 lens.

It is lighter than EF 85L, has fantastic manual focus, real easy to use w/ Live View (5D MkII) and surprisingly sharp at f/1.2.

See for yourself (f/1.2):






100% crop (21MP):






Apologies for the uninspiring pic, just had to try it on the first thing around. Doesn't do justice to the lens, hopefully Sakura/Hanami will fix that in Tokyo.


AlexTokyo
Registered: Jun 10, 2008
Total Posts: 231
Country: Japan

It is a portrait lens, so here is one. Again ... I just had to try it.

f/1.2:






Shuko
Registered: Mar 09, 2008
Total Posts: 358
Country: Finland

Convert one more and I'll buy it.



AlexTokyo
Registered: Jun 10, 2008
Total Posts: 231
Country: Japan

Shuko wrote:
Convert one more and I'll buy it.


Not everybody is OK with a lens not focusing to infinity ... Mine focuses up to ~10m or so because I choose to keep the same lens configuration as in the FD setup. It might be possible to adjust for infinity focus (i.e. Rokkor method), I just don't know how yet.

Best is to do it yourself (not really difficult and very self rewarding); if I have time I will post a how-to.



norrad
Registered: Mar 24, 2008
Total Posts: 457
Country: United States

congratulations on your project!

I would love to see a how-to post also.



hdan
Registered: Oct 01, 2004
Total Posts: 166
Country: United States

Great work. I would also love to see a how-to.



TheObiJuan
Registered: Jan 08, 2005
Total Posts: 1656
Country: United States

Oooh, nice!
I'd like one, but the cost to convert dissuades me.



Empire
Registered: Aug 02, 2008
Total Posts: 741
Country: Australia

norrad wrote:
congratulations on your project!

I would love to see a how-to post also.


+11111111



SJMD
Registered: Nov 13, 2004
Total Posts: 15294
Country: United States

congrats



JohnJ
Registered: Jul 09, 2005
Total Posts: 2007
Country: Australia

I'd love to see a proper comparison between this lens (FD 85 1.2 SSC or 'L') and either the EF 85 1.2L or maybe EF 85 1.2L II.

I had the FD 85 1.2 SSC and EF 85 1.2L and found no real optical difference between them but I never did compare them directly in a methodical way and I suspect this is the only way to show up minor differences.

I suppose I'm questioning if there is really any point in doing the conversion other than possibly saving some money. I don't mean to be critical, just qurious.

JJ



AlexTokyo
Registered: Jun 10, 2008
Total Posts: 231
Country: Japan

JohnJ wrote:
I suppose I'm questioning if there is really any point in doing the conversion other than possibly saving some money. I don't mean to be critical, just qurious.
JJ


Since it is a time consuming conversion, this is a very valid question. My motivation was:


    Weight: EF = 1,025g (2.3lb) ; FD = 680g (1.5lb)
    Compactness: EF = 84mm ; FD = 71mm
    Manual Focus of FD is great
    Cost: EF ~$1,000 / $1,500 ; FD = $300 for an E+ copy


The other reason was that it is a fun project.


hdan
Registered: Oct 01, 2004
Total Posts: 166
Country: United States

Alex,

You've mentioned that the conversion isn't difficult but still a lot of work and a time consuming process. What part of the process has been the most difficult? The most time consuming?

I wasn't as lucky as you, so I purchased my 85/1.2 SSC a bit on the high side. As a result, I want to make certain that I understand the conversion process thoroughly lest my ineptitude destroy the lens.



ewadler
Registered: Dec 22, 2005
Total Posts: 293
Country: United States

I haven't seen any fd 85/1.2's go for $300. Not saying there haven't been any, but it seems as though the going price is a little higher. If I am wrong please point me in the direction of some $300 FD 85L's, I want one.



hdan
Registered: Oct 01, 2004
Total Posts: 166
Country: United States

I've seen them go for $450-$500, but not in E+ condition.



dancam
Registered: Nov 13, 2008
Total Posts: 1638
Country: United States

Alt lens conversion is an idea I keep toying around with. I do currently have one FD lens and have considered and passed on others. This and the rokkors show the potential, I guess I'm still worried about the problems with clearances and focusing. What conversion kit did you use for your 85L? Any mirror problems?



AlexTokyo
Registered: Jun 10, 2008
Total Posts: 231
Country: Japan

hdan wrote:
You've mentioned that the conversion isn't difficult but still a lot of work and a time consuming process. What part of the process has been the most difficult? The most time consuming?


Most difficult: none really. I was just careful not to damage the rear element when resizing it and removing all the mechanical guts. Plastic/tape protection helped.

Most time consuming: figuring out how the aperture works, and measuring everything to keep the original FD configuration. Then, resizing rings/spacers with a file. I wanted to go slow to avoid big mistakes.

Here are some critical measurements (85L, not SSC) I made:






Hope that helps,
Alex


AlexTokyo
Registered: Jun 10, 2008
Total Posts: 231
Country: Japan

ewadler wrote:
I haven't seen any fd 85/1.2's go for $300. Not saying there haven't been any, but it seems as though the going price is a little higher. If I am wrong please point me in the direction of some $300 FD 85L's, I want one.


E-bay isn't always the best place to shop. I am lucky enough to live in Tokyo, so I go to fly market and used gear photo shops. $300 ~ $350 is quite common for a 85L.



AlexTokyo
Registered: Jun 10, 2008
Total Posts: 231
Country: Japan

dancam wrote:
Alt lens conversion is an idea I keep toying around with. I do currently have one FD lens and have considered and passed on others. This and the rokkors show the potential, I guess I'm still worried about the problems with clearances and focusing. What conversion kit did you use for your 85L? Any mirror problems?


This not a kit, this is pure DIY.

If you want infinity focus and original FD configuration, the rear element needs to be at 1.7mm above EF mount. Typically up to 1.2 ~ 1.5mm is OK before getting in Mirror issues. Mine is set at 0.7mm to avoid any problem. Next step is either to understand if we can adjust the lens infinity (a la Rokkor) or remove another 0.5mm to gain focus up to 15m.



JimBuchanan
Registered: Jan 11, 2006
Total Posts: 1453
Country: United States

AlexTokyo wrote:
This not a kit, this is pure DIY.

If you want infinity focus and original FD configuration, the rear element needs to be at 1.7mm above EF mount.


That sounds about right. My EOS/FD50L rear element is at about 2mm above the EF mount, and is pretty much exactly placed in relation to the main lens assembly at infinity.






AlexTokyo
Registered: Jun 10, 2008
Total Posts: 231
Country: Japan

JimBuchanan wrote:
That sounds about right. My EOS/FD50L rear element is at about 2mm above the EF mount, and is pretty much exactly placed in relation to the main lens assembly at infinity.


Here is where the 1.7mm comes from, given an EF mount total length at 6.67 mm, from mouth to ring base.

We want FD config, so according to the above diagram we want the rear element at 10.40mm "altitude" vs screw base. This gives:
- Screw base 0.00 mm
- Original spacer ring (after removing the little gouge) 2.00 mm
- EF mount total 6.67 mm
- Distance EF-RE X mm
- Rear Element 10.40 mm

=> Distance EF mouth / Rear Element X = 1.73mm



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