Using FD and FL Canon lenses with DSLR cameras
Hello, I was hoping that someone could help me out..

I've been trying to research old Canon lens, but it has been hard pulling all the right info together, so maybe someone here could help?.

Back when I was in college, I received an old Canon AT-1 from my uncle. It came with 3 lenses..

Canon FL 200mm f/3.5 Telephoto lensCanon FL 50mm f/1.4Canon FD 28mm f/2.8.

I used this when I was in college but then I moved to Japan and started using compact digital cameras as they were easy to carry and I could quickly take pictures as I wanted..

I currently use a Fujifilm F100fd and it works out well, but I am thinking of getting a DSLR. My question is: what are my choices when it comes to getting a DSLR that can use the old FL and FD lenses that I have?.

I've read that I can use adapters but wouldn't be able to use these lenses to their full spec. Also, most adapters I've read about seem to be FL/FD to EOS adapters. Are there adapters for using non-Canon mounts as well? Does anyone have information or experience on mount adapters for FL and FD mounts to modern DSLR cameras?.

The other option is just to forget the lenses I have and just go all new, right? I wonder if that may be the best route?.

I was thinking of posting this in the Canon SLR Lens Talk Forum but decided to start in the beginners forum for now..

Thanks in advance for any information!..

Comments (7)

The short answer is that the best route is to forget about those lenses. I've got a collection of useless FD lenses myself. FD lenses are dirt-cheap because there's no good way to use them on any camera made in the last 20 years..

A simple glass-less adapter can be used as an extension tube, giving you a macro lens..

The adapters with glass in them (not counting the unattainable Canon brand adapter) have cheap optics and give cheap results. It wouldn't be quite so bad on a long focal length, or if you stop down a ways. Bear in mind that in addition to the "crop" on most DSLRs, you'll also have an additional multiplier because these adapters act as about a 1.25x teleconverter. So your 300mm lens would have the field of view of a 600mm lens. Oh, and it's minimum f-stop goes up to about f/4.4 or so..

With or without glass, no adapter will give you automatic exposure except with stop-down metering, and of course automatic focus isn't going to be happening with manual focus lenses. Most autofocus SLRs have focus screens that are not conducive to manual focusno split image circle, no microprism ring, and no laser matte..

My advice is to keep the lenses with the camera, whether you store it away, give it away, sell it on eBay for bus money, or throw it in the trash...

Comment #1

Doug Pardee wrote:.

The short answer is that the best route is to forget about thoselenses..

This cannot be emphasized enough...

Comment #2

Keep your FD gear as it isn't worth selling. Once in a while you may want to shoot a roll of film through it. I have some bodies and lenses that take Canon FD mount. That gear is good optically, great handling, and has proven it's build quality. When I want to shoot 35mm film they are still enjoyable..

Move on. When I did, one factor I considered was will my equipment be abandoned in a few years. IMHO the two companies that are best with backward compatibility are Pentax and Nikon, at least so far...

Comment #3

Sorry, I forgot the Leica M series rangefinders regarding compatibility and build quality over many years...

Comment #4

When I decided to buy a DSLR. I not only have a nice collection of FD lenses, I have an even nicer collection of FL lenses! (I'm a slow learner, I guess) That's THREE different lens mounts in, what, a 15 - 20 year period?.

I mean, none of us can predict the future or what business conditons will force a company to do; but Canon's past performance in this area just isn't good enough IMO, to make me trust them.STOP Global Stasis! Change is good!.

Now that you've judged the quality of my typing, take a look at my photos..

And my non Photo blog:

Comment #5

I just saw a forum post on the four thirds forum (not here) where the fellow took a hexanon and an FD, dissambled the mounts and sacrificed the Hexanon so that the FD would fit on an Four Thirds camera..

I have trouble shaving 3mm of an aperture pin much less do major work like that. But people do carry such operations out..


Comment #6


I'll go along with the rest..

Save the FL and FD if you want to use film but the camera might cost a lot just to clean up. In which case you may have a decorative set of paper-weights and door stops..

Or you might like it enough to get the camera over hauled, in which case look for a Canon f/18 85mm lens in FD mount or FL. Or go all FD using ebay for the lenses..

In your shoes I'd look for the 85mm lens, CLA the body and shoot film with a pleasant outfit. Then start with a clean sheet for digital. There's enough problems going FL to FD....

Regards, David..

Comment #7

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This question was taken from a support group/message board and re-posted here so others can learn from it.


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