Using a different lens every week (ahmm… well) for 70+ weeks (or more)… ;)

Posts tagged “Canon

Canon and Nikon – Past Their Prime?

Kai Wong ist absolutely right here, I guess.

Canon Medium Format?

Rumors, just rumors?

Source for information about FD-lenses…



Definitely a nice read by Canon.

Week 14: Soligor C/D Zoom+Macro 3.5-4.5/28-105 MC

Another Soligor C/D lens.

As said in the last entry, the “C/D” lenses were for Soligor what “Series 1” was for Vivitar, “AT-X” is for Tokina, “EX” is for Sigma and “L” is for Canon.

When I was looking for this lens in the internet, I could not find anything about it that did not come from my own pen. It seems that nobody who writes in the net has ever owned or used this lens. Again, this is a pity. This 28-105 is really good. Unfortnately, I only have this lens in Canon FD-mount and thus can only refer to its performance on film or with a corrective EOS adapter. The latter would not be fair, so I concentrate on how I like this lens on my Canon FTb QL (see picture).

This Soligor lens is well built and offers with its one-touch-zoom a nice handling. The performance is good and it’s reasonably fast. I like the contrast it produces and on a Canon film SLR, it might be considered a highly recommendable “allround zoom”.

I do not own a FD-NEX-adapter; if I did, I could test it without a corrective lens on a digital sensor. Perhaps one day I can do that. 😉

This 28-105 has a rather huge front lens (72mm diameter) which helps to prevent vignetting but might trigger some flare, so you have to be careful with the position of the sun. But actually, I could not observe any particular flare dispositon of this lens.

If you shoot with a Canon film SLR, this lens can be the only lens you want (perhaps apart from a fast 50mm).

Week 10: Canon FL 3.5/135

(C) This FL lens is rather compact for a lens of that focal length. The FL lenses were the predecessors of the famous FD series by Canon.  I use this tele lens on my FTb QL (on film) or adapted to an EOS DSLR or even my NEX-3. But since you need an adapter with a corrective lens inside when you shoot this lens on an EOS body, the image quality can deteriorate. This adapter especially increases the chance for flares and thus can easily reduce overall contrast of an image. Such an adapter also seems to multiply the focal length by about 1.3.

Despite being a compact lens, it is a pretty heavy one and the built is great, very solid. And the results are very good on film. Even on the 5D (which is some kind of tough test for manual lenses) you can grab convincing images:

Canon FL 3.5/135 @ EOS 5D
Canon FL 3.5/135 @ EOS 5D

Canon FL 3.5/135 @ EOS 5D

So all in all this FL 3.5/135 is a very recommendable lens if you still like to shoot with your old Canon SLR.

Week 8: Canon FL 1.8/50

This lens is a rather old version of the standard 50mm SLR lens by Canon. The “FL” shows that it is the predecessor of the “FD” series. You can find excellent information about those lenses here.

The FL 1.8/50 is a beautiful lens with its slivery rings and black barrels. Here you can see some images of different FL lenses. The problem with those FL (and FD) lenses is that due to the shorter register distance, they cannot be easily adapted to EOS cams. If you want to use an FL lens on a digital cam, you have four choices:

1. Use a 4/3 or an EVIL cam.

2. Adapt the lens with an adapter that has an optical corrective lens inside. That’s the way I go.

3. Use the lens only for close-up work.

4. Rebuilt the lens mount. Here you can read how you can do that.

As said, I use a corrective adapter which influences the optical performance a little, not too bad in normal circumstances but it generates flare and thus reduces contrast quite often. I’m going to show some examples soon.

Built and handling are very nice, somewhat typical for manual Canon gear.

For the rest I’d like to quote a paragraph by Erwin Puts who knows much more about lenses than I do:

Canon 1.8/50mm FL and FD. Both are classical 6 element Double Gauss designs. Both show strong curvature of field, as can be seen from the figures. If you focus on the center of the image, the outer zones are quite soft and if you focus on the outer zones the center becomes soft. This is a classical dilemma for camera designers. Most lenses exhibit this form of aberration. A lens does project a curved image on a flat receiver (the film). So the designer can select a back focus distance where the tip of the curve intersects the front of the film plane: we have excellent center sharpness. Or the designer can select a distance where the outer parts of the curve intersect the film plane, giving a high quality in the outer zones with a weaker center part. You can count on film curvature to correct the center part, but in any case the designer has a choice here. For a normal standard lens it is important to have even coverage, so the second solution would be wise. for a high speed reportage lens, the first option may be advisable. The official approach in lens testing is to focus on the center part and use this position as an analyis base. Here it comes:
At 1.8 and on axis both lenses have a central disk of about 6mm radius (12mm diameter) of high resolution and low contrast. These lenses resolve easily 125 linepairs/mm but the contrast is very low and some flare can be seen on axis.
In the outer zones the resolution drops to about 20 lp/mm with a higher contrast, but now we see soft edges at the black/white borders. The lvel of astigmatism is very low, which is a major feat. There is low vignetting and some very small pincushion distortion.
Stopping down to f/2 and f/2.8 brings a slight improvement in contrast and it is at f/4 that the lenses start to show a punchy performance. At f8 we have excellent performance with high contrast, and good edge contrast (micro contrast) over the whole image field. The FD version shows a slight improvement in the outer zones, but overall both versions perform identical.There is no decentring: always a good sign of outstanding workmanship in manufacturing and quality control.
As the FL version is steel and glass, where the FD version already uses plastics, my preference would be for the FL version, but generally both are fine performers. There is some tendency to flare and overall contrast is low, giving the pictures a flat and dull appearance when uses wide open. Stopped down the perfomance is very commendable.

Week 7: Canon EF 1.8/50 II

This 50mm lens is one the few lenses I own that is still available in stores. With its Gauss-design it can produce top quality images despite the rather fast lens speed of f/1.8 and at a pretty low price. And even if it is – of course, I might say – softer wide open than stopped down, it can surely be used at f/1.8.

Stopped down this lens gets very sharp and resolves on a high level. The colours are neutral and optically there is not much left to be wanted. You, however, need to accept some drawbacks when you buy a fast lens at that price: the autofocus, though reasonably fast, is not 100% reliable, neither on the EOS 50e, nor on the EOS 40D, nor on the EOS 5D. Especially at f/1.8, when the DoF tends to be pretty narrow, the AF sometimes does not hit. If you know that, you can cope with it by either shooting at f/2.8 (if light allows) or using  focus bracketing – which EOS cams do not allow but which can be done by simply shooting a series at high speed settings. The normal movement of your hand will kind of automatically change the focus position.

The second and much worse drawback is the built quality of this lens. It feels like a plastic yoghurt pot! Nicknames such

as “plastic fantastic” proof that many users share this impression. I would not dare to use the EF 1.8/50 II in heavy duty surroundings. But this lens also is called “nifty fifty” which again is a rather nice nick, isn’t it?

The version II has, as you might have already thought, a predecessor, the EF 1.8/50. That lens uses the same optical layout, but sports a much more rugged body which leads to the strange situtaion that a used first version lens is more expensive than a new version II.

For more information, please check these three reviews:

Bob Atkins

And finally, some recent images:

Canon EF 1.8/50 II


Canon EF 1.8/50 II


Canon EF 1.8/50 II


Canon EF 1.8/50 II



Week 6: C.P. Goerz Dopp.Anastigmat 4.5/90

C.P. Goerz Dopp.Anastigmat 4.5/90 @ EOS 5DThere is not much to find about this lens in the internet. I got it from a photo friend and converted it to an EOS mount by using M42 belllows and an M42-EOS-adapter.

It works pretty well like this but, of course, it cannot be used like a new lens. Handling is slow and you need to be careful to focus correctly. Anyway, it’s fun to use such a lens on a modern DSLR body.

The images it produces are, due to the lack of coating, low in contrast but they show a nice “glow” at the highlights. Contrast is corrected easily in post production but that glow cannot as easily be produced if you want it, it’s a character of the lens. Old Leica lenses also are famous for such a glow and they have a huge fan comuunitiy exactly because of that.

Another photo friend of mine, from Budejky, Czech Republic, wrote: “Double-anastigmat and f/4.5… well, with the exception of super-exotic designs there are only 2 possibilities: it could be double-gauss lens or dialyte (currently better known as helioplan). I know Goertz used dialyte design under name “Dogmar”.

Anyway, both double-gauss and dialyte have 6 inner air-glass surfaces. That’s too much for uncoated lens – according to many collectors 2 inner air-glass surfaces produce good contrast (protar, dagor, ernon), 4 air-glass surfaces produce acceptable contrast (e.g. triplets, hektors, heliars, or early sonnars) and 6 air-glass surfaces are on the low side (double-gauss, dialytes – dogmar, helioplan, veraplan, unofocal…, planars) […] old uncoated Helioplan – I think it will produce very similar images to your Goertz lens.

Thanks “no-X” for that explanation.

Here are some (older) images I have taken with this lens on the EOS 5D:

If anybody knows more about this lens, please send me an email. I’d be grateful for any imformation.

Another guy…

…tinkered around with his cam – and manufactured a fullframe DSLR with a Canon FD mount. Wow!