Hard to find lens for Canon FD... anybody?? Voigtlander SL in FD Mount

Discussion in '35mm Cameras and Accessories' started by holmburgers, Apr 29, 2010.

  1. holmburgers

    holmburgers Member

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    Hi all,

    So a ways back, I did a search for Canon FD pancake lenses. It's generally known that the smallest FD lens is the 50mm 1.8 FDn, but there is a smaller and much rarer one. The Voigtlander SL 40mm f/2 Ultron.

    http://www.cameraquest.com/Voigt SL.htm

    This link will show you it, and then tell you it's discontinued. I've looked for it, it's never on eBay, and I don't know if I've even seen an example on flickr. (as there's an EF version, searching is confounded)

    Anyways, does anyone have one or has anyone even seen one? I can't afford it probably, but I'm just curious how much it's worth and where I could theoretically, someday, buy one. It seems like a sweet lens. Also, I'd love to see examples of it's imaging-capabilities!

    Thanks!
     
  2. frobozz

    frobozz Subscriber

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    I've never quite understood the fascination with pancake lenses - is it purely a weight/size thing? Most of the FD bodies are big and heavy enough to start with, that adding a normal sized lens on them doesn't seem like too much more.

    Having said that, part of the reason is that the 50/1.8 FDn is such an utterly piece of crap lens. I can certainly see the appeal of this 40/2 lens, regardless of its size and weight! Good luck on your quest, I'm sure you'll turn one up eventually. One trick to finding obscure stuff on ebay: search the ebay sites of the countries where more of the item were sold. So a few European country ebay searches might turn one of these up sooner than just US eBay searches. Your login info will be the same. Of course you might need to translate some stuff, and you need to make sure the seller is willing to ship to the US, but it's amazing what you can find with such wider searches...

    Duncan
     
  3. holmburgers

    holmburgers Member

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    That's a good idea. The eBay part of it.

    For one, the 50/1.8 is by no means an "utter piece of crap". I mean, it's no brilliant piece of optical genius, but I've taken many pictures with it that are indistinguishable from my 50mm 1.4 SSC. But I digress....

    I think a pancake would be pretty sweet just because I could put it under my jacket w/o having a chest boner (sorry) sticking out. Plus, it sounds like a pretty slick lens. I mean, 40mm, f2, aspherical.... c'mon! :wink:

    And on an AE-1 Program it'd be a pretty small/lightweight setup. However, based on the EF prices, I could probably find something better to spend $500 on.
     
  4. John Koehrer

    John Koehrer Subscriber

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    All you need is a Nikon, they've still got the SL ll versions available.
     
  5. holmburgers

    holmburgers Member

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    I know.... I wish my dad had bought a Nikon in the 70's..... then I wouldn't have been started along the *dark path of Canon*. However Canon FD lenses sell for cheaper than Nikon's since they can't be used on their modern DSLR's.

    Though you raise a good point, when I'm ready to drop $500 on a lens, I can probably afford a $100 body to go along with it.
     
  6. darinwc

    darinwc Subscriber

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    NONE of the FD cameras are small enough to bother with a pancake lens. Get a little rangefinder or a P&S if you want something in your pocket.
     
  7. holmburgers

    holmburgers Member

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    "Well that's like... your opinion man.." - the Dude (Big Lebowski)

    ....just joshing.... Now, although you raise a good point, I asked this question not because I'm crazy about getting a pancake lens, but mainly because I'm curious where all these lenses are.
     
  8. elekm

    elekm Member

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    It's a cult thing. Optically, many are a Tessar design, because they need to be compact. Nothing wrong with a Tessar, but beyond that, they're nothing special optically.

    I shoot on occasion with the Pentax 40mm pancake lens, and it's a decent lens. I like much better the photos taken with the standard f/2.0 50mm.

    And on the Pentax K10D, the lens is difficult to use because the focusing ring is just 1/4-inch high, maybe less.
     
  9. domaz

    domaz Member

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    Buy up the cheap FD lens while you can. There are now DSLRS that can use them (Panasonic Gx series).
     
  10. Excalibur2

    Excalibur2 Member

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    erm Change your camera and get a Hexanon 40mm f1.8 pancake lens.
     
  11. holmburgers

    holmburgers Member

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    Very true
     
  12. Darkroom317

    Darkroom317 Member

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    There are adapters already for FD-EF. I've got they can be found on Ebay, though I would not say it's the best quality item. For some reason it works on all of my DSLRs but not my Elan 7e.
     
  13. benjiboy

    benjiboy Subscriber

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    Pancake lenses I have always found difficult to operate because they have such a low profile the focus and aperture rings are so narrow, and the Canon FD 50mm 1.8 lens Isn't "an utter piece of crap" I've used one for more than twenty years, it's a six element Sonnar type lens, and I've found It's capable of excellent results.
     
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  15. Jeff Kubach

    Jeff Kubach Member

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    I must admit the Canon FD 50mm is not 'an utter piece of crap'. I always thought that it was a good basic lens. Why people say this is beyound me!!

    Jeff
     
  16. holmburgers

    holmburgers Member

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    Yeah, it's a great lens. For years I never knew enough to even know there were "faster" lenses with "multi-coatings", I just loved the pictures I took with it. Ignorance is bliss I guess!
     
  17. domaz

    domaz Member

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    Those are optical adapters or non-infinity focus adapters. Much different than a non-optical adapter that retains infinity focus.
     
  18. benjiboy

    benjiboy Subscriber

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    That's right the FD 50mm f1.4 is overall a " better lens" and is multi-coated, I now have both the 1.8 and 1.4 versions, but for fifteen years only had the 1.8 one and was very happy with the results, the question I ask myself is, how many people are good enough photographers to tell the difference ?
     
  19. dynachrome

    dynachrome Member

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    The 50/1.8 New FD must be my least favorite of all the FDs. In the right situation it is a capable performer. The five blade diaphragm does not give it very good bokeh and the overall build quality is not impressive. My favorite of the 50/1.8 FD lenses is the black front FD SC with the aperture lock switch on the back. I also like the chrome front version. It must be the sturdiest of all. The 40/1.8 Konica Hexanon is really an excellent lens optically. Mechanically it's less well made than the 50/1.8 New FD. I also don't see the fascination with "pancake" lenses. I have a 45/2.8 GN C Nikkor which is very nice and which I have used on a F-1 with an adapter. If you don't need to shoot very quickly a GN Nikkor and an adapter might be good for you. If you really want to spend more money you can look for the more recent 45/2.8 Nikkor P lens. Will a 40mm f/2 "pancake" lens be sharper than a 50/1.8 FD SC with the aperture lock switch on the back? I would have to see the results for myself. You could get this Canon lens and also get a 35/2 New FD or 35/2 FD SSC (1st version) and have money left over. Either 35/2 Canon lens will give you someting wider than the 40 and very sharp. If size is an issue the 35/2 New FD is more compact and light than the 35/2 FD SSC and also does not have the color cast issue.

    I spent some time at the Botanical Gardens Of NJ in Ringwood today. My camera was an F-1N and lenses were: 24/2.8 chrome front FD SSC, 35/2 FD SSC, 50/2.8 Sigma macro, 100/2.8 Vivitar macro (22XXX...) and 200/4 FD SSC. I wound up not using the 35 or the 200. How heavy was the bag? Don't ask! Switching the 35 or the 50 for a 40 would not have made the bag very much lighter.
     
  20. David A. Goldfarb

    David A. Goldfarb Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    Posted wirelessly..

    I think I once determined that the most compact FD lens is the FDn 35/2.8.

    Another interesting thing is that the 50/1.8 is better than the 1.4 or the 1.2L reversed for macro use.
     
  21. benjiboy

    benjiboy Subscriber

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    I agree with David, the FDn 35mm f2.8 lens is the smallest and lightest of the FD lenses,and is 80g lighter than the f2 version and is a a good performer.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: May 3, 2010
  22. holmburgers

    holmburgers Member

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    Actually the 35mm f/2 (thorium!) is the next lens I want to get. The 2.8 sounds appealing, certainly for outside stuff, but I just seriously dislike anything slower than f/2. Call me spoiled...
     
  23. lxdude

    lxdude Member

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    I was waffling about a pancake :wink:(Pentax) but I decided I wasn't gonna pay that much for a lens just because it was small. Cult lens, indeed.
     
  24. holmburgers

    holmburgers Member

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    BRILLIANT! :wink:
     
  25. dances_w_clouds

    dances_w_clouds Subscriber

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    I have been using several Canon FL lenses on my Canon FD cameras in stopped down mode and am quite surprised on the final product.
     
  26. darinwc

    darinwc Subscriber

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    Nikon made a very nice pancake.. the 40mm f2.8 GN and the 40mm f2.8 AIP..

    the AIP is all chrome and has a really cool inward-facing hood.
    It was made for the FM3a. I think it is even chipped so it may work with some digital cameras. But again, most nikons arent as small as the little pentax's and olympus's.

    Something else to think about is that the pancake lenses on SLR's may be retro-focus designs. Whereas a similar focal length on a rangefinder, fixed-lens RF, or fixed lens P+S will be a normal design.