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Compatibility between EOS 35mm lenses & Digital Rebel

KC Dougherty , Feb 02, 2004; 05:11 p.m.

I have heard (and read) a lot about the digital Rebel using the existing 35mm EOS lenses and some say you can use the 35mm lenses and some say you can't. The differences in focal length aside (I understand that part), are there lenses that can be swapped between the two and others that can't? Can the standard lens meant for sale with the digital Rebel be used on a 35mm EOS? I had heard someone say something about a rear element that protruded too far back into the camera body.

From what I had read, I thought that most lenses were cross- compatible but there were exceptions (as there almost always are for some lenses that are for a special purpose).

Thanks for any information you can give to clear up this confusion.

KC

Responses


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Hyun Yu , Feb 02, 2004; 05:18 p.m.

You can use EVERY SINGLE Canon EF lenses on the Digital Rebel--anything from the $60 50mm f/1.8 to $$$$$$ 1200mm telephoto lens. You can't use the 20+ years old Canon FD mount lenses.

The kit lens that comes with the Digital Rebel, the EF-S 18-55mm lens, can only be used on the Digital Rebel. It will interfere with the mirror movement on any other Canon EOS bodies.

KC Dougherty , Feb 02, 2004; 05:42 p.m.

I had heard that about the kit lens but I wasn't sure. The person who told me that also miscontrues the laws of physics so I wanted to ask someone else. Thanks.

Scott Aitken , Feb 03, 2004; 12:45 a.m.

Canon has made 3 broadly used mounts for their 35mm SLR cameras. There are a couple others that are not really relevant to this discussion.

Up through 1986, Canon SLRs used "FD" mount lenses. These were all manual focus cameras.

In 1987, they developed an autofocus system, and introduced a new line of lenses which were incompatible with the older cameras. These are "EF" mount lenses.

Last fall, when they introduced the Digital Rebel, Canon also introduced the new "EF- S" lens mount. The EF-S mount is similar, but not exactly the same as the EF mount. At this time, the Digital Rebel is the only camera that is compatible with the EF-S mount, and the one EF-S mount lens can only be purchased in a kit with the D-Rebel. Presumably, future Canon DSLRs will also be compatible with the EF-S mount, but that is just speculation on my part.

A digital Rebel can use all Canon EF mount lenses made since 1987, plus any EF-S mount lenses (currently, just the one).

There are a lot of older FD mount lenses floating around on the used market, and a lot of Canon manual focus aficionados still using them. You can not use these FD mount lenses for the digital Rebel (or any other EOS body, for that matter).

While all Canon EF mount lenses will work with the digital Rebel, there have been numerous reports that not all 3rd party lenses with the EF mount work, such as Tokina, Sigma, etc. Many of these can be returned to the 3rd party manufacturer, and they will re-chip them to work.

From a historic perspective, this is a different tactic than Nikon took. Nikon also developed their own autofocus system at about the same time. However, they didn't create a new lens mount. Therefore, Nikon SLR bodies can use the older manual focus lenses or the newer autofocus lenses, because the lens mount is the same. This caused a lot of hard feelings among Canon users in the late 1980s.

Bill Van Antwerp , Feb 03, 2004; 01:05 a.m.

Scott: I think that you probably know this but you can easily buy an adapter that lets the older Canon F-mount lenses be used on EOS cameras. Of course you don't get autofocus but for macro work that is not a problem. There are some mounts that have an optical element so that you get infinity focus and the distance scales work. If you have a bunch of older lenses this is a nice alternative.

Bill

Steven Clark , Feb 03, 2004; 12:00 p.m.

On the other hand you don't just loose AF, but you loose aperture stop-down control. And on some of the FDn lenses the stopdown lever doesn't lock so you might even lose aperture control completely.

Scott Aitken , Feb 03, 2004; 11:31 p.m.

Bill: Yes, I am aware that adapters exist for FD lenses. Personally, I find idea a bit cludgy, however, and have never tried one. I imagine the target market for adapters is photographers who have owned Canon gear for some time, and already have a large investment in FD mount lenses. For someone starting from scratch, such as KC, it makes more sense to buy EF or EF-S mount lenses that are meant to be used with the new camera. I was trying to keep my answer simple.

However, if you need an old FD lens for something and can't find a EF mount lens appropriate for the job (I can't off hand think of such a circumstance), or if you inherit a bunch of FD lenses, then you are right. An adapter might be the perfect gadget.

Andrew Robertson , Feb 04, 2004; 02:48 a.m.

I hear most adapters are really crappy with the exception of the official Canon FD-EOS adapter. It's actually a 1.26x teleconverter. I doubt you'll find one for less than $500 though.

Stick to genuine Canon EF lenses. If you need to cheap out, do it with your automobile ;-) !!!!

KC Dougherty , Feb 04, 2004; 04:57 p.m.

I didn't know that there was an adaptor for FD to EOS. There have been a lot of posts on Nikon vs. Canon digital cameras that have been very interesting. My system of choice since late 1989 has been Nikon because of the lens mount and I'm torn between the choice of making the leap to Canon digital or staying with Nikon. Nikon is behind Canon but I like the flexibility of being able to use my older lenses (which would have to be in manual on the D100) on both digital and film bodies. The playing field will probably change a lot by the time I have the $$$ to really go digital but I'm doing okay with my scanner and my cameras. At least with a good scanner, I can digitize my Rollei and 4x5 negs.

Austin Van Campen , Feb 06, 2004; 12:12 a.m.

Ok, I have been experimenting with different glass on my 300d. I got the camera and was so incredibly dissapointed with the images that I almost sent it back.. I then took a 35mm pentax super tak screwmount lens and held it to the canon lens mount frame, looked through the viewfinder and made an eposure. I loaded the image on to my computer and bam! This is what I wanted. Color was better sharpness was better resolution was better. Cool. I immediately went to the machine shop made some calculations and made an adapter. They are available online for 15-30 dollars but I couldn't wait. I have been using the pentax lens set exlusively ever sense. You loose auto focus but with the screwmount lenses of many types you can lock it on manual and shoot metering through a stoped down lens open up with the lever focus and stop down to shoot. Automatic depth of feild preveiw too. This is slow but cheap and I still think that the pentax lenses were so good that I am happy. I shoot the way that this system works for me. Here is a shot. This shot has a aprochromatic screw on macro filter over a pentax super takumar 50 1.4


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