Last Saturday Bastian and I met up at Photokina and had a look mostly at new manual lenses. This time there have been so many interesting new things to look at, we weren’t able to cover them all. Anyways, here is our recap.
The Zhong Yi Mitakon 50mm 0.95 Speedmaster “Dark Knight” is a very fast 50mm lens with the staggering maximum aperture of 0.95. Compared to the Leica Noctilux this lens is very cheap, on absolute terms it isn’t, so find out whether this lens is worth the asking price!
The Meyer Trioplan 2.8/100 is one of the most hyped lenses of the moment and prices have exploded to absolutely crazy levels. But do you get anything special but that soap bubble bokeh for your money? Read on if you want to know.
|Filter Thread||49 mm|
|Close Focusing Distance from the sensor||1.2 m|
|Number of aperture blades||15|
|Elements/ Groups||3 / 3|
Check current prices at ebay.de or ebay.com (affiliate links).
This guide was written to give you a good idea what to expect from Canon’s older FD lenses, many of which still perform very well on modern digital cameras.
All tests are performed with the 24MP full frame Sony a7/a7ii. Our ratings are always based on using the lenses with these cameras, the evaluation will be a different one on a smaller sensor. To learn more about using manual lenses on the Sony a7 check our beginners guide.
Most of these summaries are based on our own experience but we also decided to also include lenses we haven’t used ourselves to pool useful information we found on the net which we have summarized based on our experience with reviewing lenses. We would also be very happy if you shared your own experience with Canon FD lenses we don’t have any reliable information on yet. We are quite picky with the information we use though. That’s because 95% of the information we come across is unreliable: Everyone has different standards, Person A might rate the very same lens as a great performer while person B thinks it’s total junk. So we are mostly interested in full resolution images taken with a fullframe camera including information on the aperture used.
If you purchase the lens through one of the affiliate-links in this article we get a small compensation with no additional cost to you.
Canon (n)FD 4/17
Status: Used by Jannik for a short time in the past
- At f/4 the center is quite good but…
- … I’d recommend to stop down to f/11 for usable sharpness across the frame although it never gets tack sharp, partially because of the very strong lateral CA.
- Very low distortion (the biggest quality of this lens, especially in the film era), bad flare resistance and 6-bladed aperture.
- Medium size, and average price/performance ratio.
- The age of this legacy lenses shows clearly when it iscompared to modern options. Nevertheless, it is pretty usable if you give the files some love in the post processing (remove CA’s and sharpening).
buy from ebay (affiliate link)
can you tell us a little bit about yourself and why you use manual Lenses?
Jannik: I am an automotive engineer from Wolfsburg, Germany. I started out with an Sony Alpha 200 in 2008 but I discovered photography as my passion when the first Sony A7 came out. I preordered it and was fascinated by the ability to revive all the legacy lenses, that were “dead” for a long time. My first manual lens was a Canon nFD 1.4/50 which was an eye opener for me. At this time, I only owned the Sony FE 3.5-5.6/28-70 kit lens and I was never really satisfied by it. The sharpness and the creative potential of the fast aperture combined with the bargain price (50€) were amazing. I added lots of Canon FD lenses soon and started to discover other systems like Olympus OM and especially Contax/Yashica as well. With some experience, I found the different rendering styles of specific lenses and I am happy that I can choose between several lenses depending on the look that I want to create.