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Old May 23, 2015, 11:05 AM   #1
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Hello to this site. New here but not new to film cameras just new to digital. I had my own darkroom back in the 70s and want to get back into photography in my retired years. Want to go digital for a whole lot of reasons. The only system I kept when I got out of photography in the 80s was a 2 body Canon system with lens out to 600 MM. I understand all my old lens will not fit on a new Canon body and I am not dedicated to Canon that I want to stay with that brand. Been reading posts and just read where I may be able to still utilize my Canon Lens via an adapter. Where can I find more info on this subject and thank you all for what I have already read on this site.

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Just checked the site referenced in another post and come to find out a whole lot of my attachments can be made usable, from my bellows to my mirror lens. You all have already saved me much dollars and I thank you.

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Old May 23, 2015, 11:59 AM   #2
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I presume that the Canon system you had in the '80s used Canon's manual-focus FD mount, which would require an adapter to use on a modern dSLR. If your old Canon system used the autofocus EF mount, then those lenses and accessories could be used on new Canon dSLRs without an adapter.

The Canon FD mount has a 42 mm flange focal distance, which is shorter than is used in almost every modern interchangeable lens camera. That means any adapter would require its own optics in order to permit focusing at infinity. That limits the availability of adapters, and their optical quality limits the quality of images you can expect when using them.

There are a few exceptions, however. Interchangeable lens cameras from Olympus, Panasonic (collectively referred to as Micro 4/3), Samsung NX, and Sony E and FE (models with 1 digit ('Full Frame') and 4 digit (APS-C) model numbers) do not require adapters with their own optics to adapt FD lenses to them, so image quality is only restricted to the quality of the original lens.
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Old May 23, 2015, 12:52 PM   #3
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TCav, thanks for the additional update. As I read I may have stumbled across that fact but getting it "short hand" is all the better.

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Old May 23, 2015, 3:30 PM   #4
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In general, larger image sensors provide better image quality, but at the same time place greater demands on the lenses you use with them. The Sony A7 II, A7r, and A7s have 'Full Frame' image sensors which are the same size as a 35mm film exposure. (They are also the most expensive, by far.) The Samsung NX and Sony A3X00, A5X00 and A6000 all use the smaller APS-C size image sensors, and the Olympus and Panasonic models use the m4/3 sensors that are smaller still.

If your Canon lenses are top-of-the-line, mounting them on a Sony 'Full Frame' body will probably provide some excellent images, but if they're not you might be better served by one of the other options. Your current lenses won't AF or AE on any of the bodies I mentioned, so you'd probably also accumulate a small collection of native lenses as well, so you should take that into consideration as you shop. Sony's lenses for it's 'Full Frame' bodies tend to be expensive and /or not very good. Olympus and Panasonic both have a better selection of lenses than the other offerings.

Olympus has image stabilization in the camera body, so your Canon FD Lenses would be stabilized on an Olympus body. That's not true of any of the other choices.
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Old May 23, 2015, 5:13 PM   #5
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TCav, thanks again. I have been reading and absorbing as much as I can all day and as I stated above, thanks for the short hand. I have helped a whole lot of people in fishing and shooting sports doing the same thing, saving them dollars and I sincerely appreciate your input.

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Old May 24, 2015, 6:18 PM   #6
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There is something you should know about using film lenses on digital cameras. Digital image sensors are much more reflective than film, so something that happens occasionally is that when the lens projects an image onto the sensor it is reflected back at the lens, what happens then is the difference older film lenses and modern digital lenses. Modern lenses have antireflective coatings on the back of the lens, so the reflection doesn't affect the final image. Film lenses, however, have no such coatings, so the image can be reflected off the rear element back at the sensor. The result is a ghost image, or flare.

It mostly only happens with very bright images with a lot of contrast. In extreme cases, it may be visible in the viewfinder or even in the 'Live View'.
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