Fotodiox FD to NEX Adapter Preview
As you may have noticed recently, I have become almost obsessed with my new Sony NEX 5n. With image quality surpassing most current prosumer DSLRs, the 5n is also a a fun camera to use because of its small size. Since I take the 5n everywhere, it also is allowing me to experiment with a number of different things. One product came up in some searches that looked really interesting, a Canon FD lens adapter for the 5n. At $22.95, the Fotodiox FD to NEX adapter would allow me to pull out my old Canon FD lenses that I used to use on my Canon AE-1 film camera.
Why would I want to do this? Why not? I have an investment in older lenses that have been sitting around collecting dust for years with very, very rare usage. These lenses are pretty decent as I have a 28mm f/2.8, a 50mm f/2.8, and a 100-300mm f/5.6. Since I have them, I might as well use them. With three more lenses to choose from, it would certainly open up my shooting options.
Is there a downside? Of course there is. Older FD lenses like these are manual focus. This presents a unique challenge, obviously not an impossible challenge as we did shoot with these lenses for many years and manual focus wasn’t an issue. The Canon AE-1 had an interesting means of helping with focusing with a small circle you would see in the middle of the lens, as you adjusted focus a split image would get further apart or closer together, when it became a solid image then you were in focus. This method worked extremely well but unfortunately is not available on the Sony NEX 5n.
Fortunately there is a solution with the NEX cameras called Focus Peaking. Focus Peaking will draw a color around an image to help you tell if it is in focus. In this image I have focus peaking turned to yellow and you can see that the love seat should be in good focus. The focus peaking is only part of the focusing tool. I like to use the focus peaking as a “rough focus” which will get me extremely close. To fine tune the focus, tap on the LCD screen for a 14x zoom into the image. With focus peaking and zoom, you can get extremely good results.
There is actually a bigger issue than focus…have you ever tried hand-holding a 300mm lens with no image stabilization?