Getting Quality Glass for Little Money

I have spoken with a lot of the new students lately that are on tight budgets but need good quality glass. This week’s post is one of the best ways to accomplish this for the absolute least amount of money.

In 1987 Canon switched from their FD lens mount system to their current EF mount system for their current line of cameras. Now, how does this benefit you the student? Well FD lenses are easy to find and some of them are as good quality and image creation wise that they are still useful today.

How do you as a photographer make use of this information, well for one thing, you can find old Canon FD lenses in a lot of places, yard sales, pawn shops, old camera shops, even Craig’s List or eBay. The problem I am sure that you are asking is what good does an FD lens do me on an EF mount camera body? Enter the Fotodiox Pro Lens Mount Adapter, for Canon FD lenses. This little adapter allows you to mount your FD lenses on your EF camera body and the adapter only costs $34.95 on Amazon. One thing to remember is FD lenses are manual only, so you need to be comfortable shooting manually, which is something you need to be doing as it is how you will master your gear. This image is of my Canon EOS 1Ds with the Fotodiox FD to EF adapter.


The sample image I have included here is a white rose I shot on my neighbor’s rose bush and I shot this using my Canon EOS 6D and a Sigma 28mm F/2.8 FD lens and mounting it on my 6D using the Fotodiox adapter. Another thing to take into consideration is these lenses don’t register on your camera so your aperture will show as 00 and you will need to know how to calculate your ISO, and shutter speed to match up with your manually selected aperture on the lens and accounting for the available light to get a perfect exposure.


I personally think all this manual work is worth it as it makes you a better photographer in the end and makes you more of a master of your gear. F/2.8 lenses are generally not cheap, but now you are armed with the knowledge on how to obtain all the F/2.8 glass you want with little money, the Sigma 28mm F/2.8 that I used for the rose cost me $7 at a local pawn shop and they usually have tons of these lenses and are usually not able to sell them as everyone else wants EF mount lenses as they have no idea how to use an FD lens on their EF body. So get out there, find those cheap wide aperture lenses and make some great images.