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FORUMS Canon Cameras, Lenses & Accessories Canon EF and EF-S Lenses 
Thread started 13 Apr 2012 (Friday) 22:22
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Just got a new (and rare) L!

 
Jman13
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Apr 13, 2012 22:22 |  #1

Hello everyone...it's been quite a while! As some of you may know, the reason I haven't posted in many moons is because I did a complete switch from my 1Ds II kit with a bag full of L glass to Micro 4/3 last year. I've been really happy with the switch, though I still use a little bit of Canon, though nowadays, it's adapted FD lenses. :)

Today I got my first L in FD mount, a rather rare lens that I frankly didn't even know existed until just recently.

IMAGE: http://www.jordansteele.com/2012/50-300_ring.jpg

It's the Canon FD 50-300mm f/4.5L. It's a relatively large and very dense lens. It weighs in at nearly 4 lbs. I got lucky on this guy. As I mentioned, it's a pretty rare lens. (Mine was one of the first 500 manufacturered) It typically goes for between $750-$1100, and I managed to snag one for $550, and while there are a few minor nicks like on most old lens bodies, the glass is absolutely perfect. Not a mark on either the front or rear element and looking into the lens, I don't even think there's a speck of dust. It is flawless. Zoom and focus actions are smooth. Aperture blades are clean and snappy. The only thing that is slightly off is that the aperture ring is a little stiff near the wider apertures. It's not the aperture itself (as you can easily snap the blades open and shut with the lever on the mount without any hint of stickiness), but the actual aperture ring. I'm wondering if just sticking a little graphite in there will help smooth it out a bit. But, it works fine, so it's not much of an issue.

I'm using the lens on micro 4/3, so it's field of view equivalent to a 100-600mm lens, at a constant f/4.5 aperture (though, of course depth of field will be two stops greater for the same framing and aperture vs a 100-600 on full frame).

The lens with my GH2 (sorry for the shallow DOF...I was too lazy to go get my flash, and well, this lens was on my tripod).
IMAGE: http://www.jordansteele.com/2012/50-300_1.jpg

Optically, I'm rather impressed, frankly. It's not as good as the very best fixed focals I've used or the very best of the modern Canon L-series zooms like the 70-200/2.8 IS II, but it's still very good throughout the entire zoom range as far as sharpness goes, and color is very pleasing. It is rather sharp wide open at all focal lengths, even with the very high pixel density of the GH2, and stopping down to f/5.6 makes it very, very sharp. I'm actually rather astounded by the relative sharpness. The GH2's pixel density is equivalent to a 64MP full frame body. My guess is that looking at this lens on a 5D II would yield sharpness on par with most any modern high-end lens.

The biggest thing, especially given the age of the lens and the fact that it's a zoom, is that is controls CA and purple fringing EXTREMELY well. There is virtually no CA at almost all focal lengths (every once in a while a very slight blue/yellow CA is visible, but is very easily corrected.) PF is very well controlled...a huge improvement over something like my FD 200/2.8. See, a lot of older legacy glass, especially relatively faster glass, has a real problem with PF and longitudinal CA when used on modern digital cameras, but not so with this guy. Bokeh is generally pleasing, with it getting a little busier the further you're focusing.

Overall, I'm very pleased. It's a BIG lens, but since on m4/3, it's basically a 100-600mm super zoom at constant f/4.5, It'll work (Yes, I know DOF is not like a 600 f/4.5 on full frame). It's definitely a monopod lens, as handholding becomes tiring after about 5-10 minutes, but that's fine. I will likely only use it for situations where I really need a long lens, and I generally won't mind the size for those types of shoots.

Of course, focusing requires extreme precision. Focusing at 50mm is actually somewhat difficult, as it's a slow lens at 50mm (how many 50mm f/4.5's do you know of?), and at 300mm on close subjects, the DOF is razor thin (I'm actually glad for the slightly deeper DOF from shooting it on m4/3), but when I do my job (which I did pretty well for the most part today), the images are quite good. I have to say, the very large zoom range makes it an awesome lens to shoot with. I was generally trying to shoot stuff between 200-300mm most of the time, but when the opportunity to back out a bit was needed, it was really nice to have leeway to do so.

Some samples from the 30 minutes I had to shoot with it today:

At 300mm, f/4.5:
IMAGE: http://www.jordansteele.com/2012/50-300_goose.jpg

At about 120mm and either f/5.6 or f/8:
IMAGE: http://www.jordansteele.com/2012/50-300_reflection.jpg

At 300mm, f/4.5 and near MFD:
IMAGE: http://www.jordansteele.com/2012/50-300_close.jpg

And my favorite of the day, at 300mm f/4.5 with bounced flash:
IMAGE: http://www.jordansteele.com/2012/50-300_chloe.jpg

Jordan Steele - http://www.jsteelephot​os.com (external link) | https://www.admiringli​ght.com (external link)
---------------
Canon EOS R5 | R6 | TTArtisan 11mm Fisheye | Sigma 14-24mm f/2.8 | RF 24-105mm f/4L IS | Tamron 35mm f/1.4 | RF 35mm f/1.8 | RF 50mm f/1.8 | RF 85mm f/2 | RF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS | Sigma 135mm f/1.8

  
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Jman13
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Apr 13, 2012 22:22 |  #2

And two more:

At 300mm, f/4.5:

IMAGE: http://www.jordansteele.com/2012/50-300_tree.jpg

At about 225mm, f/4.5:
IMAGE: http://www.jordansteele.com/2012/50-300_poles.jpg

Jordan Steele - http://www.jsteelephot​os.com (external link) | https://www.admiringli​ght.com (external link)
---------------
Canon EOS R5 | R6 | TTArtisan 11mm Fisheye | Sigma 14-24mm f/2.8 | RF 24-105mm f/4L IS | Tamron 35mm f/1.4 | RF 35mm f/1.8 | RF 50mm f/1.8 | RF 85mm f/2 | RF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS | Sigma 135mm f/1.8

  
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Jericobot
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Apr 13, 2012 22:27 |  #3

I just cut my eye looking at those razor sharp photos. Kudos


α7ii + (batis 25 f2 / zeiss 55 f1,8 / macro 90 f2,8)
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angelIV
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Apr 13, 2012 22:35 |  #4

those are really sharp images, great piece of L glass you got there. I wish i kept good care of my old fd lenses from my Ftb. Now there all with fungus and unrepairable.


Gear list: 7d, 50d, xti, EOS 66 film, Canon FTB,sigma 18-35 1.8 art len, EF 24-105L, 70-200f4. Manfrotto 190xpro, sirui g20x. BR metro.

  
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ElTigreBlanco
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Apr 13, 2012 22:41 |  #5

That's pretty sweet, looks like you got a great deal!


I like to shoot things...sometimes with a camera!

  
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j-dogg
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Apr 13, 2012 22:42 as a reply to  @ ElTigreBlanco's post |  #6

I believe there was an equally as rare EOS version of this. I know there was on the 50-200 f3.5-4.5L


5D / 400d / 70-200-4LIS / 50 Mk.I / 28-70
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Graphic View I 4x5 / Schneider 180 / Meyer 135 / Ektar 127

  
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Jman13
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Apr 13, 2012 22:49 |  #7

j-dogg wrote in post #14262539 (external link)
I believe there was an equally as rare EOS version of this. I know there was on the 50-200 f3.5-4.5L

There was a 50-200 f/3.5-4.5L, but the only 300mm zoom lenses in EF mount that have been made have been variable aperture with f/5.6 at the long end. When they did the super zooms, they went 28-300 and 35-300, both f/3.5-5.6.

I'm not sure how many total lenses have been made of the 50-300 f/4.5L, but my serial number is below 400, and the highest serial number I've seen so far while doing research for this lens is 1188. (started at 10001...so that last one was 11188). I'm thinking there were probably 5,000 or so copies of this lens made, but that's a total WAG. Most of the ones still in existence were mount converted for cinema use after the death of the FD mount. BTW...there is VERY little info available about this lens online. There's the FD lens work book that has a blurb about it, the Mir lens database page about it, and a few sporadic forum posts about it. Other than that, I've had a hard time finding anything. Perhaps I'll do a full review at some point on my blog.


Jordan Steele - http://www.jsteelephot​os.com (external link) | https://www.admiringli​ght.com (external link)
---------------
Canon EOS R5 | R6 | TTArtisan 11mm Fisheye | Sigma 14-24mm f/2.8 | RF 24-105mm f/4L IS | Tamron 35mm f/1.4 | RF 35mm f/1.8 | RF 50mm f/1.8 | RF 85mm f/2 | RF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS | Sigma 135mm f/1.8

  
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mek501st
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Apr 13, 2012 22:55 as a reply to  @ Jman13's post |  #8

Amazing shots!!!!bw!


Mek~
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500px: http://500px.com/mek50​1st (external link)

  
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Jman13
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Apr 14, 2012 06:04 |  #9

Thanks!


Jordan Steele - http://www.jsteelephot​os.com (external link) | https://www.admiringli​ght.com (external link)
---------------
Canon EOS R5 | R6 | TTArtisan 11mm Fisheye | Sigma 14-24mm f/2.8 | RF 24-105mm f/4L IS | Tamron 35mm f/1.4 | RF 35mm f/1.8 | RF 50mm f/1.8 | RF 85mm f/2 | RF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS | Sigma 135mm f/1.8

  
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Sirrith
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Apr 14, 2012 06:20 |  #10

Wow, great find! And great shots :)


-Tom
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F-Stop Guru review | RRS BH-40 review

  
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Foggiest
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Apr 14, 2012 07:12 |  #11

Great stuff , thanks for posting :)




  
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jbrackjr
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Apr 14, 2012 07:13 |  #12

An amazing find and beautiful work!


Jim
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phreeky
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Apr 14, 2012 07:19 |  #13

That's a cool looking lens, and a nice range too.

The mirrorless bodies have certainly made a whole lot of old FD glass useful again.




  
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rick_reno
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Apr 14, 2012 08:22 |  #14

what a find, a real gem.




  
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nightcat
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Apr 14, 2012 08:29 |  #15

Other than this, which of your FD lenses has the best IQ?




  
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