Recently while online I came across a device that really caught my eye. It is an adapter ring allowing an old Canon FD film lens to be connected to a Canon RF mount. For some people that may seem strange, but I immediately knew I had to have it, and the best part is the cost is very low, less than $20 on Amazon.
So, I ordered the adapter and then had to wait the whole two days to get it.
While I was waiting, I went to the curio cabinet I have my “old” cameras in and got out my last film camera, my Canon AE-1.
Still mounted on it was my favorite lens, the Sigma 28-85mm 3.5- 4.5 This was when Sigma still made great lenses. I can still remember the thrill when I purchased this lens is in the summer of 1979. It was my favorite lens until I switched to digital.
Since I hadn’t really touched it for almost two decades, I thought it a good idea to clean it.
That was a good idea. Just a “bit” of dust. Everything on the lens seemed to be in working order, but would it work with the adapter? A 40+-year-old lens on a state of art digital camera?
I would know soon enough.
Once the adapter arrived, I immediately strapped it on my Full Spectrum Canon R5 and stepped outside to see if it worked.
And it did!
Now, you have to manually set the f-stop and manually focus the lens, but it did work.
So, how about Infrared?
My R5 is full-spectrum, the Sigma lens is 67mm, my filters are 77mm, …… and I don’t have a step-down ring.
I really don’t want to wait another 2 days to test this.
This is when luck kicked in.
The lens has been sitting for all this time with a Cokin “P” series filter holder on it and, amazingly enough, it holds (with a bit of work) a 77mm filter.
So, I can now shoot Infrared with my new/old lens.
20th century, meet the 21st.
So now I have a full spectrum Canon R5 with a 40-year-old film lens attached.
I’m ready to go out and shoot.
And then it rains for the next 3 days.
Finally, a nice sunny day to test out my old/new combination.
I picked a sunflower field. Sunflowers always look good in infrared and are fun to shoot.
I am used to manually focusing a lens since I am a brand ambassador for Lensbaby and love their lenses, so I felt fairly certain I could use this old lens.
The first thing I learned was that the infinity setting on the lens wasn’t quite accurate. When attempting to focus at infinity it felt a bit soft. I tried a few landscape images and the image above was the best of the lot. Not bad, but also not great.
So next I tried the sunflowers for some close-up shots.
This is where the lens really seemed to perform the best.
because of the difficulty of fitting the IR filter on the lens, I stuck to shooting Super Color at 590nm.
The more I worked with the lens, the better my results, but it was a little tedious.
My final decision was mixed.
Yes, it works and it was fun to use a very old lens on a new camera, . . .
If I wanted to go out again I would just grab one of my Lensbaby lenses and use it because the focus is sharper and the lens, in general, is easier to use.
So, if you want to try something like an art lens for a very little bit of money, consider ordering this convertor.
By the way, I found this on Amazon here .
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