Canon New FD 50mm 1:1.2 lens review.

After getting a new lens, I always take a few technical shots to understand its strengths and weaknesses – usually it helps me a lot to start using unknown lens with much less of doubt. One day I decided that my data might be interesting for someone else and this site has been made.

FDN5012_exterior__29.jpg

Canon nFD 50mm f/1.2 parameters:

Canon museum link

Marketed December 1980
Original Price 52,000 yen
Lens Construction (group) 6
Lens Construction (element) 7
No. of Diaphragm Blades 8
Minimum Aperture 16
Closest Focusing Distance (m) 0.5
Maximum Magnification (x) 0.13
Filter Diameter (mm) 52
Maximum Diameter x Length (mm) 65.3 x 45.6
Weight (g) 315
Canon New FD 50mm 1:1.2 optical design
Canon New FD 50mm 1:1.2 optical design

Lens exterior:

(Please, forgive me the dust on the lens, I never have the patience to clean objects for close-up photo sessions)

 


Lens code name – Rinko Ogasawara  小笠原綸子:

Rinko Ogasawara (小笠原綸子 Ogasawara Rinko) is one of the supporting characters in the SHIROBAKO anime series. Rinko is working at Musashino Animation as a star key animator, character designer, and the general animation supervisor of Exodus.

 


Sharpness – close distance:

Test description: target is a 10×15 cm picture (printed, glossy photo paper), fixed on the wall by scotch. Distance – 1.7m. Camera Sony A7II (24mpx, full frame) was fixed on the tripod and managed remotely with computer display as a viewfinder. All groups of shots were repeated 3 times for every target position on all apertures from fully opened up to F16, ISO-200, WB – same for all shots. SteadyShot – OFF. Focus was manually corrected for each shot. After all needed shots have been taken for one target position – I moved  the target to the next place. Main idea – to exclude the field curvature affect on so close distance. Of course, I can’t be absolutely accurate, but test results looks correct.

Finally, pictures were converted from ARW-files in Capture One with default settings (Some single files have a slight light correction, for better visual convenience in comparison), then cropped for 300×200 px elements, combined into diagrams and exported into JPEG-files

Original target image (printed in horizontal orientation on 10cm X 15cm glossy photo paper)

Scene preview:

FDN5012_b_res_close_previewNEW.jpg

Test results:

FDN5012_c_res_close.jpg


Sharpness – long distance:

Test description: Camera Sony A7II (24mpx, full frame) was fixed on the tripod and managed remotely with computer display as a viewfinder. Targets (buildings) were fixed by gravity power on the distances in more than 200 meters. All shots have been taken with apertures from fully opened up to F8. ISO-50. Shutter Speed – depends on light (camera A-mode), WB – fixed and the same for all shots. SteadyShot – OFF. Focus was manually corrected for each shot to exclude focus-shift affect.

Finally, pictures were converted from ARW-files in Capture One with default settings (Some single files have a slight light correction, for better visual convenience in comparison), then were cropped for 300×200 px elements, combined into diagrams and exported into JPEG-files.

  • Bad weather is better for this test – because low-light is required for wide-opened apertures to slow down shutter speed.

Scene preview:

FDN5012_FDN5014_MD5012_e_far_preview.jpg

Test results:

FDN5012_e_res_far.jpg


Vignetting:

(frames scaled – 300×200)

FDN5012_f_vignetting.jpg


Geometric distortion:

(frame scaled 1200×800)

FDN5012_geometry.jpg


Coma aberrations:

(100% crops – 300×200)

FDN5012_h_coma_aberr_.jpg


Chromatic aberrations:

(100% crops – 300×200)

FDN5012_i_chrome_aberr_.jpg


Long distance bokeh:

Test#1:

Test conditions: lens was focused on to minimal distance 0.45m, houses were fixed in infinity distance on the ground.

Such scenes can’t be meet often, so this is demonstration of extreme conditions. In most cases of real life photography the blur level will be less, see the next Test#2.

(frame scaled 1200×800)

FDN5012_k_bokeh_far_minimal.jpg

Test#2:

Test conditions: lens was focused on 2m – ‘portrait distance’, houses were fixed in infinity distance on the ground.

(frame scaled 1200×800)

FDN5012_k_bokeh_far_middle.jpg


Light dots long distance bokeh:

Test conditions: lens was focused on to minimal distance 1m, lights were fixed in more than 200m.

Such scenes can’t be meet often, so this is demonstration of extreme conditions. In most cases of real life photography the blur level will be less.

(frame scaled 1200×800)

FDN5012_m_dots_far.jpg


Other resources with reviews:


My overall conclusion about the Canon New FD 50mm f/1.2:FDN5012_Avatar.png

This Canon New FD is very popular and well known manual F1.2 lens – not expensive and has a quite good IQ among other ultra-fast lenses around 50mm. I don’t need to speak many – diagrams with results of tests are enough to get understanding of this lens possibilities. Yes, it may shows too many aberrations on opened apertures, actually, I expected a little bit better resolution and little bit less softness on F1.2-2.0 diapason from the lens of early 1980-x from so famous company, but it looks like auctions prices are reflecting possibilities of sharpness of this lens, and it makes this lens very attractive for people who wants to try a good 50mm f:1.2 without selling of grandmother’s jewellery. Thus, the main achievement: it gives us a magic of slim DOF if wide opened and it can be bought for absolutely reasonable price as for lens with such characteristics, so this is very balanced item. Of course, I can’t say that it’s ‘must-have’ tool – to be honestly, list of ‘must-have’ ultra-fast lenses is very short, especially after digital cameras began to be good on ISO3200, huh.. , but I’m sure that owner who knows how to use classical F1.2 will get a lot of beautiful photos – rendering / bokeh of this lens is amazing even on technical-tests shots. Additionally, lens is well-built with quality perfect materials, lightweight and small. Finally: the sum of all the properties of this lens allows it to become the only lens in the bag of the photographer.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s