Legacy Lens on GF1 (Canon 50mm FD f/1.4)

Afternoon Nap
I've been looking to experiment with legacy lenses for my GF1, micro four thirds (MFT) camera .  The other day I came across a fairly cheap Canon FD 50mm f/1.4.  It was about USD 100 and brand new (used copies are as low as 60 if you can find them).   I picked up an FD to MFT converter and I was ready to go.

The lens is a lot of fun.  The 50mm focal length on an MFT camera's cropped sensor is the equivalent of a 100mm lens on a full frame camera.  And the wide f/1.4 aperture opens up some interesting opportunities, provides beautiful bokeh, and is very handy in low-light.

There are some drawbacks.  Focusing is a challenge.  Any legacy lens will not be able to auto-focus on an MFT camera body and focusing on the LCD screen can be cumbersome and is likely to be inaccurate (especially if the subject is moving).  Most MFT cameras offer a magnified focus assist mode (on the GF1 you press the click wheel to enable it), but it doesn't exactly allow for very snappy focusing.  An electronic viewfinder would probably be helpful (and save some battery power too), so maybe I will try to get my hands on one.

The photo above was shot at f/1.4 at 1/800 with an ISO of 800 (a bit high but I had forgotten to change it after walking outside).  The lens does appear to be a bit soft wide open and there's definitely some chromatic aberration.

Continue below the fold for a another shot.

Joyce is Not Here on Saturday Night
This photo was also shot wide open at f/1.4 with an ISO of 800.  The exposure time was 1/60 seconds.  The light in the bar was very dim.

1 comment:

  1. Pretty interesting. I didn't realize you could mount these lenses on a MF camera. Curious to look at Nikon's new mirrorless products. Might be a nice walking around camera. Great photos.