Canon FD lenses on an EOS mount

Camera lenses are expensive and if you’re like us, you can easily find really cheap lenses that your camera can’t use. [Sam] has a Canon EOS and a bunch of old-school FD lenses at his disposal. There’s one problem though: using these old lenses with an adapter means focusing at infinity is out of the question. Thankfully, he put up a few videos (part 1, part 2, and part 3) walking through the process of modifying an FD lens for his new camera.

To do the modification for the FD lens, all that’s needed is some epoxy, a screw driver, and an M42 to EF adapter. After disassembling the back of the FD lens, [Sam] mounted the M42 adapter on his camera and held the lens up to check the minimum focusing distance. A bit of grinding or a few metal shims ensure that the lens is in the right position.

The next step is making sure the aperture can still be controlled. [Sam] goes through this in part two of his video. A little bit of dremeling takes care of all the hard work. The lens is finally attached to the M42 adapter with a tiny bit of epoxy, and the conversion is complete.

While [Sam] could have put up a few close up pics of his build, he goes through every step of the process very well. Check out the embedded videos after the break.

Part 1:

Part 2:

Part 3:

Comments

  1. Jon says:

    part 2 and 3 are the same

  2. Avaviel says:

    Why not just get a M42 lens that does not require modification?

    • TJSomething says:

      That assumes that an M42 lens is cheaper, which would certainly not be the case if you already have the FD lenses.

    • retepvosnul says:

      I can not imagine that there isn’t a equal or better M42 counterpart for every FD lens ever produced. With every adapter ring, with which you want an AF confirm chip, you’d be set back 15 to 25 euro’s at least. Seeing as that is the price range for various solid M42 lenses which, in my opinion, often have better aesthetic qualities if not better all-round qualities. That and the time being saved should make this a no-brainer.

    • macona says:

      Better yet, use Nikon lenses with an EF adapter. Puts the lens at the perfect distance and the adapters are cheap. I use that with my Nikon 200mm F4 IF Macro and we only use Nikon lenses on all of our 5D Mark II’s at work.

  3. Sam says:

    I’m a Canon fan :p Compared to some of the stuff I do this is easy. I’l put up a part 4 with some test vids of the lenses. So far its afew 50mm 1.8’s, afew 28mm 2.8’s and a 135 3.5

  4. fartface says:

    Stop trying to go cheap with canon. use an adapter with Nikkor lenses and call it done.

    Honestly, I really regret going with the Canon platform now after seeing the top quality Nikkor lenses for Nikon and that they are priced right instead of priced to rob the end user blind.

    If you are just starting out in DSLR’s go Nikon. you end up with more for less money.

    • Peter says:

      If you think the AF Nikkor lenses are cheap, check the manual focus “classic Nikkor” AI lenses at KEH. You can get some great glass for not much coin, and it will work just fine on the new DSLRs.

    • macona says:

      Before we started production on the movie I am working on we looked at Canon, Nikon, and just about everyone else out there. Canon had the best support. Nikon would not even talk to us. So we bought 50+ 5D Mark IIs.

      Worth considering…

    • retepvosnul says:

      Considering the body proper of a DSRL there really isn’t any bad stuff out there. This purely comes down to taste. Perhaps indeed, as suggested below, support is something worth considering in special cases, but I do not feel this is a big issue for common use.

      I don’t know if Sam here also uses M42 lenses although his choice for the M42 adapter does seem to make that assumption reasonable. For M42 use canon is the better choice as it needs no adapter with a glass element to achieve infinity focus.

  5. kanchoblindside says:

    I’m not a photographer by any means, but even I know the pros wish Canon would listen to their customers when it comes to lenses.

    Learned quite a bit on my quest for tilt-shift lens photography (field of focus makes far shots look cartoony, like tiny figurines) and could find nothing but criticism for Canon’s lenses.

    This is an interesting hack, though.

  6. Assaf says:

    The main problem with using FD lens on EOS bodies is that the pictures are coming out really soft and the colors are not as vivid.

    I’ve done this and added a focus confirm chip (this also adds some data to the EXIF) – costs a few bucks on eBay.

    Anyway, camera hacks and mods are always welcome. Thanks for sharing!

  7. Skeltorr says:

    You’re better off with real lenses. Lack of af really hurts on non-staged shots.

  8. Whatnot says:

    The interesting thing is that apparently he’s doing that all from confinement in hostile hands.

  9. hdilla says:

    Which “M42 to EF adapter” do you recommend?

  10. M Larkin says:

    I’ve tried using an old FD lens on my Rebel T3i with a cheapy adaptor, and here’s what I’ve discovered: Cannot set frame rate to 24p in movie mode; cannot adjust white balance in movie mode; aperature cannot be adjusted = BIG PROBLEMS. I’m guessing this is all because the camera body doesn’t “see” the lens? Is that right?

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