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Best digital camera to use Canon FD lenses on

Glenn McCreery , Nov 28, 2010; 12:40 p.m.

I own a pile of excellent Canon FD lenses from the old film days (as well as a T90 film camera). I understand that there are adapters for 4/3 format cameras and for the new Sony a55, etc. I use a Canon 5d, which is not compatible with these lenses. I would like to ask what experiences others have had with using FD lenses and what they would recommend for a camera body and adapter.


Craig Dickson , Nov 28, 2010; 12:53 p.m.

The basic issue is that to have the lens focus to infinity while using an adapter that has no optics, the host camera's flange distance has to be less than the original Canon FD cameras (to leave room for the adapter). The only current digital cameras with interchangeable lenses that satisfy that criterion are the Four-Thirds, Micro Four-Thirds, and Sony NEX models. I've seen FD lenses used successfully on an Olympus E-P2 (Micro Four-Thirds). I don't know what adapter was used, though. The only cross-brand adapters I've used were to mount Nikon F and Pentax M42 lenses on Canon EOS cameras, and I found that Fotodiox adapters worked well. Novoflex is also well-regarded, but more expensive. There are also cheaper models, often with no brand name, that you can purchase through eBay, which are of inconsistent quality but work nicely if you get a good one.

JDM von Weinberg , Nov 28, 2010; 03:11 p.m.

At Bob Atkins' useful discussion of this at (link), you'll see that the problem is that the FD flange to focal plane distance was only 42mm. This made the FD Canons almost universal recipients in terms of adapting other mounts to them. Unfortunately, it makes it impossible to adapt FD lenses for infinity focus on most cameras without negative optics in the adapter.
That's why the sort of cameras (e.g., Olympus 4/3rds with flange distance of 38.67mm) that Craig and you have already mentioned are your options.

Stephen Lewis , Nov 28, 2010; 03:16 p.m.

Honestly you already own the best camera (IMHO) to use FD lenses on, the T90. Everything else takes away some of the features. Earlier this year I spent a lot of time on the micro 4/3 forum in the rangefinder forum (www.rangefinderforum.com) assessing how I could get maximum usage out of the FD lenses I have. After lots of reading of personal experiences trying to adapt the lenses to micro 4/3, and thinking about it, I decided to stick with the T90 for the FD lenses. BTW there are some awesome pictures out there with FD lenses on micro 4/3 cameras, especially on the macro side.

Richard Harris , Nov 30, 2010; 06:18 a.m.

Sony NEX.

Helge Schäfer , Dec 13, 2010; 04:42 p.m.

... And recently the Samsung NX System can be added... Personally I have only Experience using the FD lenses on my MFT bodies which was real fun. Especially thePanasonic GF1 with the is-System in the body was very capable Regards Helge

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