Micro 4/3 Legacy Lenses Overview (Canon FD, Nikon E, Vivitar)

Micro 4/3 Legacy Lenses Overview (Canon FD, Nikon E, Vivitar)

I found this video above some time ago, in fact it was posted in 2010 before I even got into vintage lenses, so hats off to bradjudy for doing this great overview of the lenses he uses with his Panasonic GH1 camera. Most of the lenses n the video if not all, could also be used on Sony NEX cameras, but unfortunately not with Canon EOS. The very nice value for money Canon FD lenses are not compatible with Canon EOS cameras. I think this is partially the reason why Nikkor lenses gained some much popularity with the Video DSLR revolution. It all started with Canon 5D MKII, which ruled out Canon FD straight away, leaving the great competitor Nikkor to pick up the title of most popular & affordable vintage lens of choice.

So the lenses that stood out to me are:

Canon FD 50mm f/1.4 : I have 2 of them and will be comparing it with my current 50mm 1.4 lens of choice, Olympus Zuiko. I’ve used my 50mm f/1.4 a few times already, some examples can be seen in this video  most of the mid shots and closeups are shot with this lens and I must say it performs quite well for the money.

Canon FD 50mm f/1.8 : Very similar looking lens to 1.4 version. A stop slower, but also much cheaper. Still really fast at 1.8. I should definitely run some tests to see how 1.4 compares to 1.8 version at same f-stops.

Canon FD 50mm f/3.5 Macro : While this might be the slowest it’s also the most expensive lens out of 3. Why? It’s a macro lens and they are always more expensive. It’s a bit of specialty lens, so might not be everyone’s cup of tea. If you need an affordable macro lens for your special project, this could be a good choice for you.

Canon FD 28mm f/2.8 : This lens could compliment a Canon 50mm really well. Quite cheap too. I will be testing this lens against the other vintage 28s very soon.

Canon FD 17mm f/4 : Being a 17mm lens, this lens falls into a different price range. In vintage lens world, anything wider than 28mm tends to get quite expensive. While every kit lens on modern DSLRs will be as wide as 17mm if not wider, this prime is in a different league to the cheap plasticky kit lenses.

Nikon E 50mm f/1.8 : This tiny pancake 50mm lens, reminds me of Rikonon 50mm I’m currently giving away (feb 2013). I’ve used this 50mm and for it’s size and price it is a really good lens.

Vivitar 90mm f/2.8 : This is a very popular and highly regarded macro lens. I’ve been looking to get one for a long time now. Unfortunately not as cheap as I would prefer, but as far as manual macro lenses go, this is one of the best value for money options out there.

I try my best to make this website a great resource people interested in vintage lenses for video use, so I hope you’ve enjoyed this post and it will help you save some money on your future lens investments. I’ve joined the ebay partnership program to help me run this website and fund my monthly lens giveaways, so if you found this post useful and would like to help me produce more similar content, please use the links in this post if you’re planning to buy one of these lenses or use this link if you want to buy anything else on eBay. You will not be spending a penny more using these links, while still helping me as I will get a small percentage from any purchase or successful bid you make. A win-win solution for everyone!

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