Using an FD lens 50mm F1.4 and on a Sony A5000 and A6000

A lot has been made of the ability of mirrorless bodies to take old lenses and I decided to have a look at what all the fuss was about. I stuck the two Sonys in the bag and few of my favourite Canon FD lenses with my FD - NEX adapter  and off I set into the Irish countryside.


Looking out on lough gill at dooney rock. Out taking photos with fd lenses on a sony a5000

Yours truly @ Dooney Rock, Lough Gill, Sligo


Beazies Island, Lough Gill, Sligo A5000 with 28mm @ f11 (I was happy with this photo until I noticed the dust marks. They can be fixed in lightroom but I guess its something you run the risk of making lots of lens changes in a dusty area)


Here's a quick look at the lenses I brought;

Canon FD 50mm F1:1.4

Vivitar FD 28mm F1:2.8

Canon FD 100-200mm F1:5.6

For this experiment I used the FD-NEX adapter here. It is a fully metal adapter and seemed solid for every lens I tried it with.Obviously, these adapters increase the effective focal length of the lens and so that has to be taken into considerations when lining up compositions.

Immediately I found a drawback when using these lenses on an A5000. The lack of a viewfinder makes composing a shot extremely difficult as the screen must be used and in bright light, it is incredibly difficult to make out details. This is only the beginning of the issue with the A5000 and FD lenses. These lenses are all manual focus and in any kind of light, ensuring the image is correctly in focus using only the screen is nigh on impossible. I found myself taking multiples of ever composition just trying to find the focus. Granted, my A5000 screen has seen better days but I can't imagine a brand new screen would make a big enough difference to eliminate this issue.


(None of the images you are about to see are amazing or even good in any way!)

These 3 images below were all shot wide open on the fastest lens of the bunch. The colour of the images is lovely in my opinion and the lens gives nice smooth bokeh as usual. The images are nicely sharp in the centre and become softer as you move out. I was incredibly pleased with the performance of this lens on the A5000 and for the money (EUR 90 for the lens and EUR 15.99 for the adapter) its great value for money. For an autofocus Sony lens of anywhere close to this speed you would be parting ways with EUR 300-400. 


Canon FD 50mm @ F1.4 


Canon FD 50mm @ F1.4 


Canon FD 50mm @ F1.4 


The next lens I had a play around was the 100-200mm.

This shot was taken at around 100mm and at F5.6. I was reasonably happy with this and had intended to try longer focal lengths but I had not charged the Sony's battery and of course in the bitter cold, it died immediately after taking this shot!. I haven't had a chance to head back out with this lens again but I certainly will when I have a chance.

I was really please with the results of this little experiment.