VINTAGE $100 Lens vs NEW $1000 Lens! Using CHEAPER Film Lenses with DSLR’s and Mirrorless Cameras

In this video I test a vintage manual focus lens versus a top of the line lens…and the results are surprising!
The adapters linked below will allow you to attach old Canon FD manual focus lenses to your camera…

Canon DSLR Adapter
Nikon DSLR Adapter
Sony E-Mount Adapter
Fujifilm X-Mount Adapter
Panasonic/Olympus M43 Adapter

The adapter shown in the video around the 0:53 mark is a pricier Canon FD Metabones “focal reducer” adapter. I mixed up the two adapters that I had on hand when filming b-roll for this video. Sorry about that. However, the photos of my sister Summer around the 2:01 mark were taken with the much more affordable Fotodiox adapter for my Fuji camera which I linked to above. I’m still doing some testing, however, the biggest difference between the two is that the more expensive Metabones adapter reduces the focal length and increases the maximum aperture, turning the Canon FD 135mm f/2 into a 95mm f/1.4 “full frame” lens. I plan on doing some comparison videos in the future to see if it’s worth the added cost.

The price of used lenses fluctuates wildly depending on condition and demand. Here are some Canon FD lenses that are priced well and fantastic for portrait/street/lifestyle…

Canon FD 200mm f/2.8 – Used around $80-120
Canon FD 135mm f/2 – Used around $200-350 (I got mine for $100, see below)
Canon FD 135mm f/2.8 – Used around $50-100
Canon FD 100mm f/2.8 – Used around $80-100
Canon FD 50mm f/1.4 – Used around $80-120
Canon FD 35mm f/2 – Used around $100-200

Having purchased three Canon FD lenses on ebay, I have a couple tips. Firstly, I recommend asking the seller about the glass to see if it’s free from fungus or strong haze. Don’t worry if the exterior is in rough shape. My version of the FD 135mm f/2 was pretty beat up with dings and scratches, but the glass was clean, apart from some internal dust which is normal for its age. Secondly, contact the seller, especially if it’s a “Buy it now” listing and make them an offer. That’s what I did with my 135mm. It was listed “as is” for $175 and I made an offer of $100 and the seller accepted. Lastly, look for auctions that end at odd hours (like late at night or early morning). I won my FD 50mm f/1.4 at a good price because it ended at 4am and there wasn’t a bidding war.

Watch my tutorial on manual mode here…

I do plan on creating a follow up video that dives in deeper to manual focus, especially with moving subjects. One technique for manual focus is to use a “focus trap” where you focus on a spot, wait for the subject to enter the frame and then fire off a quick burst of images using continuous shooting.

Intro – Justen Williams, “Gameboy Remix”
Background – BlueFoxMusic, “Make it Happen”

7 Comments - Add Comment