Film Camera Lenses From Canon AE-1 on Digital Cameras

by Mark
(Wimberley,TX. USA)

My Canon AE-1 Camera<br>Canon FD 50mm Lens

My Canon AE-1 Camera
Canon FD 50mm Lens

Mark Wrote:

I have a canon AE-1 ~ 35mm film camera. When digital came out I put it up. It had multiple lenses that I would like to be able to use on a new camera since I'm looking to get a new digital camera now. I was hoping to find one that would take them, or an adapter that would work as an in between for the two. I could use some help on this to make a smart decision.

Hi Mark,

Thanks for your question on using a older "film" lenses from your Canon AE-1 on a digital camera. It's a very complex question because of the many variables involved. The quick answer is yes, you can use your Canon FD mount lense on a newer Canon digital camera. The deeper question and more complicated answer revolves around whether you really want to or not.

Should you use a Canon FD mount lens on a new Canon Digital Camera

My disclaimer is that I have no personal experience with using an adapter to use film camera lens on a digital camera. I was using medium format (Not Canon, of course) for my professional work when I gradually switched over from film to digital. My first digital was a NON interchangeable lens camera (ILC) made by Olympus and my first Canon was just a point and shoot.

The two issues that can arise are a lack of sharpness in the corners and focusing at infinity. The maintenance of auto focus and auto exposure is also a question that individual photographers have to answer for themselves with the specific combination of film lens and digital camera they are using together. Some photographers purposely seek out that "vintage" look of an older lens.

Whether you're buying new for sure or perhaps considering used to save some money if you're just beginning in digital is a huge part of the decision, as well as the specific lenses you have and the specific Canon digital camera you're talking about. For some, the use of adapters is not a great experience.

Another factor that comes into play is the potential for mirrorless digital cameras to completely take over the market. Canon has totally focused their efforts on new lenses for their mirrorless, and have all but abandoned their efforts on EF and EF-S lenses recently. I don't know what your long term photography goals might be.

The newer digital lenses are certainly superior for image quality than the older film lenses and are designed to direct the light to the sensors perpendicularly, whereas the film camera lenses focused the light on the film at various angles.

I know this is not a direct answer to your question, but I hope it at least gives you some food for thought to help you with your transition to becoming a Canon digital shooter.

Please let us know how you proceed, as there are many other readers of this blog that would benefit from your experiences as you go forward.

Thanks!
Bruce
My Canon Resources
Cheap Canon Lenses



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Author Bruce Lovelace
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Bruce Lovelace is the publisher of Canon Camera Geek. Read more about him on the About Page. He also publishes how to articles and camera gear reviews at the Photography Tips website.

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