• New camera hunt.

  • Discussion of photography and videography techniques, equipment and technology, and links to personal railroad-related photo galleries.
Discussion of photography and videography techniques, equipment and technology, and links to personal railroad-related photo galleries.

Moderators: nomis, keeper1616

  by 3rdrail
Shortly, I think that I'll go on the prowl for a new digital camera to get my photography into the 21st Century. I'd like to buy a Canon that will accept my bayonet lenses from my old non-digital Canon F-1. Is that possible ? Any suggestions re: that and stores, greatly appreciated.
  by MEC407
There are adapters that will allow old Canon FD-mount lenses, such as the ones you have, to mount on an EF-mount camera (which includes all of Canon's digital SLRS and all of their film SLRs since 1987); however, these adapters do have limitations.

1. Metering becomes a bit more complicated. You have to keep the aperture at the widest setting in order to meter, and then when you want to take the picture, you have to manually set it back to the desired aperture. This is in addition to focusing manually, of course. Then you have to repeat the process every time you take a shot. Needless to say, this adds a couple of extra steps that you wouldn't have had to do with your F-1... which means that taking a shot is going to take longer... which means that it's not going to be ideal for moving subjects. For still life, however, it's not so bad. My Pentax DSLR allows me to use lenses dating back to the 1950s. The "stop down metering" process, as described abovep, takes a little getting used to, but for things like flowers and plants and architecture, it's not bad. I'd never bother with it for trains, sports, kids, or things like that.

2. Because of the size differences between the old FD mount and the newer EF mount, there are two types of adapters available. One adapter does not contain any additional glass optics, which means it offers the best image quality, but the catch is that you won't be able to focus to infinity. This isn't so bad when you're focusing on objects that are close to you, but for things that are far away, you're screwed. The other type of adapter contains additional glass elements that allow the lens to focus to infinity. The catch there is that you're degrading the image quality somewhat. Your super-sharp Canon FD 50/1.4 might not be super-sharp anymore. The adapters that allow infinity focus can also be very expensive, sometimes costing more than what your lens is worth.

Long story short: what you're proposing is possible, but it isn't without limitations and compromises. Depending on what you're planning on taking pictures of, those limitations may or may not be bothersome. For example, taking macro closeup shots of flowers would be a very viable use of your old FD-mount lenses on a Canon DSLR. Landscapes and moving objects? Not quite as viable.

Here is an article that you might find useful. You'll note that in many cases, it's a bit easier to adapt non-Canon lenses to a Canon DSLR than it is to adapt Canon lenses. Quite the irony! http://www.bobatkins.com/photography/eo ... s_EOS.html
  by 3rdrail
Thank you for your informative post ! Probably the way to go is to buy a digital Canon with one zoom lens, I guess. I use the 50mm most often, but find the 35mm in tight places, so maybe a 35-50mm would be ideal (if they make it). (Or don't buy anything and say I did while continuing to use my old friend.):-D
  by MEC407
The 18-55 zoom that comes standard with many Canon DSLRs (or can be bought separately for under $200) is a good place to start. 18mm on a Canon DSLR is equivalent to 28mm on a film SLR, so it still gives you a pretty wide angle at the short end. 55mm on a Canon DSLR is roughly equivalent to 90mm on a film DSLR, which puts you in moderate telephoto territory. They also make an affordable 55-200 zoom that makes a good companion for the 18-55 and is great for capturing subjects that are too far away for the 18-55.
  by 3rdrail
Thanks again, buddy. I'm going to print out your posts and bring them to the camera store with me.
  by MEC407
Happy to be of service! :-D

I would recommend looking at the Canon Digital Rebel XSi, which is a very good and very affordable (relatively speaking) camera. Expect to pay about $550 to $600, which includes the 18-55 lens. If buying from a camera shop, make sure you're getting the "IS" (image stabilization) version of the 18-55, which is superior to the non-IS version.

http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/5 ... _k_a_.html

If you can afford it, I would also recommend adding Canon's new 55-250 IS lens, which sells for under $300 and is quite a bit better than their old 55-200.

http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/5 ... _6_IS.html

Those two lenses give you an equivalent range of 28mm to 400mm on a film camera.
  by 3rdrail
Would the Digital Rebel give me the quality that I'm used to with the F-1, or should I buy up ?
  by mrtransportation
How much can you spend? Do you want a crop 1.6x or do you want a full frame(1.0) camera from canon?

Got check Canon.com site to compare there cameras that they offer to get idea, reviews and what you get and price idea as well. Then go www.bhphotovideo.com and do the same with reviews and prices. Also you can go to this canon forums site http://photography-on-the.net/forum/ to get more information on canon products, reviews, etc. Also don't forget to go to http://www.dpreview.com/, http://steves-digicams.com/ and www.cnet.com for more information. Hope that helps you.
  by 3rdrail
Really price is no object. I'm just looking for sharpness and detail (for railways) equivalent to or better than my F-1 film camera.
  by mrtransportation
Well if price is not a problem I would go after on Canon EOS 5D Mark 2 or EOS-1Ds Mark III for full frame. Anyone of these Canon EOS-1D Mark IV, EOS-1D Mark III, EOS 7D Digital, EOS 50D Digital are not bad. Well if I had money to spend right now to get a camera I would get EOS 5D Mark II Digital Camera Kit with Canon 24-105mm f/4 IS USM AF Lens at BH for full frame, EOS Movie Full HD,Megapixals, features, etc. That's my two cents if I was in your shoes... :-D :wink:
  by 3rdrail
Thanks, Mr. T ! Are all those Canon ?
  by MEC407
Every digital SLR currently on the market -- even the least expensive ones -- are capable of producing beautiful, sharp, extremely-detailed images. You really can't go wrong with any of them. You can spend $8000 on the top-of-the-line Canon, but unless you're printing larger than 20"x30", you're not going to see any difference in image quality, and that's a fact.

In my opinion, the best reason to choose one of the higher-end models would be for enhanced durability. The Canon 7D is moisture-resistant and is a bit more capable of taking a beating. But, again, you're not going to see a massive difference in image quality compared to the lower-end models, because that's just how good the lower-end models have gotten.

It also depends on the lenses you use. Just like in the old days, the quality of the final image has very little to do with the camera itself (which is basically just a light-proof box) and is mostly dependent on the quality of the lens and the type of film you're using. The sensors in today's digital SLRs are capable of producing detail similar to what you'd get from high quality film -- provided that you're using a good lens. If you buy Canon's $8000 DSLR and put a junky lens on it, you may not get good images. Conversely, put an excellent lens on one of their entry-level DSLRs and you'll get images with sharpness and detail that will blow your mind.

The good news is that Canon's entry-level lenses such as the 18-55 and 55-250 are very good, and are in a completely different league compared to the entry-level lenses of five or ten years ago.
  by mrtransportation
Your Welcome.

Yes. All are Canon EOS cameras. Also forgot canon still makes best glass(lens) for 35mm cameras, but you might of known that for owning a canon F1.
  by RailBus63
For the sharpest images, I would recommend getting a 30mm to 35mm prime lens for your DSLR.