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Can I use older camera lenses on newer digital bodies?



Question by Don B: Can I use older camera lenses on newer digital bodies?

I have a Canon F1 film camera with several very good/expensive lenses. Are there digital camera bodies available that I can use my non-digital camera lenses on?

Best answer:

Answer by umgrego2
Technically, yes. But really, no.

“Following the introduction of the EOS camera line, Canon briefly marketed an adapter which enabled FD telephoto lenses to be used on EOS bodies. The adapter contained high-quality corrective optics and functioned as a mild tele-converter; it could not be used on normal and wide-angle lenses. The adapter was produced in limited numbers, with the intent of easing the initial cost of conversion for professional users with expensive FD telephoto lenses. These adapters are now scarce and highly valued, selling for around $ 1000 on the second-hand market. (The original ‘new’ price was $ 250). Other inexpensive aftermarket FD to EOS adapters are available and can be used at the cost of greatly reduced image quality, particularly at large apertures.”

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  • Unfortunately no. The Canon F1 has the FD mount and all Canon’s digital SLRs feature the EF lens mounting which is physically incompatible.

    EF lenses intended for film SLRs can still be used with digital SLRs, but not the older FD ones.

  • The only digital bodies that I know of that you can use your lenses with are the micro 4/3rds bodies (by panasonic and olympus), and even then only with an adapter (the adapter has no glass so it would not ruin the image). I hope to get one of these bodies so I can use my FD lenses.

    The regular 4/3rds digital bodies will not work.

    I think 4/3rds adapters range from about $ 80 to $ 180.

    You can use those lenses on an eos body with an adapter but if that adapter has glass it will usually degrade the image (I say ‘usually’ because I’ve gotten some really nice sharp photos using a cheap adapter, but that is the exception, not the rule. Most of the pictures I’ve gotten with an FD lens and eos body have been poor. At the widest aperture they are really crappy.).

    They have adapters without glass, but then you can only use your lenses for macro work (which defeats the purpose).

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