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10-05-2010, 06:28 PM   #1
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Nikon[Ai F] & Canon[FD] to Pentax adapters: a few questions

My Situation:

Currently, [as a college student with a low budget] I have been shooting exclusively with my kit 18-55 and an old rebadge 80-200 tele/macro [which lacks infinite focus for some reason] and have been managing fairly well.

However, I am a staff photographer for the newspaper at my school which has an array of good Nikon zooms/teles.

Additionally, a relative has given me his old Canon A-1 [FD mount] with 3 lenses [wide, 50, tele].


My Goal:

Obviously, I would love to be able to use these lenses on my k-x. I have done my research and have found the adapters for these two mounts [Canon FD, Nikon AI]. Here are the links to these items:

Canon FD
Nikon AI

As I mentioned, I have done my research; and currently from all that i've read, there is no way to mount any of these lenses [with adapter] to my k-x without losing infinite focus. But in the descriptions, both adapters claim to be capable of infinite focus [thanks to a multi-coated correctional element]. So..

My Questions:


1: Have you [or anyone you know] tried either of these adapters?
2: If so, what is your/their opinion of them? And..
3: Do these adapters [with correctional element] allow the user to focus to infinite?



Thanks in advance
-Pat

10-05-2010, 07:11 PM   #2
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I have the Canon FD adapter. The adapter does allow infinity focus, but acts as a 1.42x tele-extender. This makes a 28mm a 58mm on a crop sensor and a 50mm a 105mm on a crop sensor. It also ads 1 1/2 stops to the aperture.

The optical element reduces sharpness wide open.

FD 50 1.4 @ f/1.4


FD 50 1.4 @ F/8


FD 50 1.4@ f/1.4


FD 50 1.4 @ f/8


FD 50 1.8 @ f/1.8


FD 50 1.8 @ f/8


Vivitar 28mm 2.8 @ f/8 (I think)
url=http://www.flickr.com/photos/benmcgann/4544364514/][/url]

Last edited by boriscleto; 10-05-2010 at 07:26 PM.
10-05-2010, 07:20 PM   #3
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Manual focus lenses work quite well with DSLR cameras and I prefer the adapters that have a chip to confirm focus. Takumar lenses are outstanding and in my limited opinion the M42 mount can not be beat. Nikkor lenses are also wonderful.

I would stay away from adapters that have glass in them.

With used lenses (Nikkor, Takumar, Olympus, Contax/Yashica, Zeiss) you can buy them and then sell them and not loose much if any money - think of it as a loan unless you decide to hold on to them - worth more than reselling your text books at the end of the semester!

This was taken with a 1964 Takumar 135 3.5 Preset lens (about $50 on eBay). The lens works better than the photographer!



If you want to use multiple lens mounts than you may want to consider a different camera body. Cannon bodies will take C/Y, Nikkor, Pentax K, M42, Olympus - lots of nice glass.
10-05-2010, 08:57 PM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by TAP Quote
My Questions:

1: Have you [or anyone you know] tried either of these adapters?
2: If so, what is your/their opinion of them? And..
3: Do these adapters [with correctional element] allow the user to focus to infinite?
1. I have a Nikon one but mine has a multiplier factor. It's about 1.25-1.3x
2. I don't use it.
3. Mine focuses to infinity.

Just to expand on 2. I haven't done exhaustive tests but what the above pictures demonstrate (terrible wide open, ok'ish stopped down) was my experience too. Combined with the need to stop-down meter (or histogram inspired guesses) and manual focusing I have not been enthused to use it.

10-06-2010, 12:17 AM   #5
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@Boriscleto: Thanks for the detailed response w/examples. Just curious; does your adapter allow for aperture control?

@Stover98074: Thanks, I appreciate the input. If I had the money for a nice Canon body, I wouldn't need these adaptors xD. I am extremely interested in the M42 adapter though. I've heard amazing things about those Takumars and old screwmounts
10-06-2010, 12:52 AM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by TAP Quote

1: Have you [or anyone you know] tried either of these adapters?
2: If so, what is your/their opinion of them? And..
3: Do these adapters [with correctional element] allow the user to focus to infinite?



Thanks in advance
-Pat
hi there PAT, here are some answers to your query.

1.> Yes
2.> it's useful for your press photography and budget. but image quality would suffer and would depend on a lens to lens basis.the IQ is more for optimal quality use and pixel-peeping, so you don't have to worry about it unless you are shooting fashion or glamour photo ops. also, when using such lens, it is recommended that you stop down to f8 and lower. unless your lens is very good at wide aperture openings.
3.> Yes



QuoteOriginally posted by TAP Quote
@Boriscleto: Thanks for the detailed response w/examples. Just curious; does your adapter allow for aperture control?

@Stover98074: Thanks, I appreciate the input. If I had the money for a nice Canon body, I wouldn't need these adaptors xD. I am extremely interested in the M42 adapter though. I've heard amazing things about those Takumars and old screwmounts

the aperture control is controlled manually with the lens aperture ring. the adapter has a protruding screw that turns the the aperture lever on the rear part of the lens which allows you to close and open the aperture.

if you are using an FD lens, you will also need to use an FD body as well. FD mounts will not work with the new Canon EOS mounts. you will also need an adapter as well. and you would encounter the same IQ dilemma.

*note, if you really want to use an FD lens without any IQ compromises, the thing to go is buy the NX10/NX10 and Sony NEX 5/ NEX 3 or buy a micro 4/3 body.
you will still require an adapter, but atleast it will work as if it was meant for that camera and works perfectly. it does not suffer from IQ degradation and could use it perfectly in all apertures. the adapter focuses to infinity and does not require a correction element. the adapter is costly though.
10-06-2010, 02:33 AM   #7
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To answer the questions I have both the canon and nikon optically corrected adaptors They have magnifications of 1.45 and 1.25 respectively which means they behave like teleconverters. Both hold the lens to the aperture set on the aperture ring so you can use them in Av mode like screw mount lenses. I have tested both using 50 mm F1.8 lenses and stopped down they are acceptable but wide open both have considerable color bleed especially noticeable shooting white against any dark background

The combination of the crop factor and the converter magnification makes them useful for 50 mm and above IMO the softness wide open may have some artistic uses for portraits but the real use is somewhat limited. I got the nikon one to see if I could use my mothers old kit from her FE and the canon one in the event I trip over an old fast tele.

In the accessories forum there is a thread that covered these adaptors and many more and I have posted a comparative test here in the past. Do a search and you should find side by side photos using both adaptors
10-06-2010, 03:11 AM   #8
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Another consideration: Old Nikon lenses can be press-fit onto Pentax mounts with some success. Newer AF lenses... maybe not. The one Nikon AF lens I had, a long zoom, would (barely) press-fit onto my (plastic) ZX-M mount, but not onto my (metal) K20D mount. Maybe some of your school paper's Nikon teles/zooms might be usable on your Kx, maybe not. It doesn't hurt to check.

As mentioned, optical adapters diminish image quality somewhat, and might not make good economic sense. I had a pile of good Canon FD glass that I just sold on eBay (at a very nice profit) because the only way I could use those lenses would be to buy another camera. Folks with M4/3 and NEX bodies are snapping up all sorts of legacy glass. You might sell your FD gear and invest the proceeds in some good old Takumars.

10-06-2010, 08:23 AM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by TAP Quote
@Boriscleto: Thanks for the detailed response w/examples. Just curious; does your adapter allow for aperture control?

@Stover98074: Thanks, I appreciate the input. If I had the money for a nice Canon body, I wouldn't need these adaptors xD. I am extremely interested in the M42 adapter though. I've heard amazing things about those Takumars and old screwmounts
The FD adapter, and the Nikon F adapter, both allow for stop down metering. There is a ring on the adapter marked "LOCK - OPEN". The Lock position is for mounting the lens, then you turn it to Open and the screw pushes the aperture lever. You can then use the aperture ring to control the aperture.



Keep in mind that Canon Autofocus and DSLR bodies aren't compatible with FD lenses without the same kind of adapter. That's why the market for FD lenses is so weak. You can mount them without optical correction to an EVIL body. So if the market for mirrorless cameras ever grows beyond 1% FDs might be in demand again.
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