Having just got my hands on a new (well new to me) 5D Mk2, my first thought was – how does my favourite MF lens perform on the full frame body? It’s a bit of a star on a crop frame 60D (review with lens specs here) so I’ve high hopes. Here’s a first test batch of lightly processed shots all shot at 100 ISO with a ‘Neutral’ colour profile :-
Focussing is pretty easy at f2 just using the default focussing screen – just make sure your viewfinder dioptre adjustment is correct (it’s the small wheel to the top right of the viewfinder when the camera is viewed from the rear).
The same mount adaptor as the previous test has been used – a cheap M42 to Canon EF from Ebay which cost £10. As it’s so cheap (and so am I apparently) the lens doesn’t align properly (see above). Not that it matters…
The 5D’s metering is more confused by this lens than the 60D – exposures were all over the place using centre weighted and evaluative modes. If you’re going to try this make sure you shoot in RAW as there’s going to be quite a lot of post processing involved. All the images will need a substantial contrast boost and a manual ‘levels’ adjustment as a simple ‘auto levels’ isn’t enough.
The major difference between using this lens on a full frame sensor vs a crop APS-C sensor is that it now has a proper 85mm focal length, not a 135mm equivalent. Where you can easily fill the frame with a subject on the 60D, on the 5D you need to get closer, and for the first time the minimum 80cm focus distance becomes a restriction.
So time for a proper mini test and back to the mill : –
So – pretty much an identical performance as on the 60D which is a surprise, especially at the edge of the frame which the cropped frame 60D doesn’t ‘see’. The odd orange tint seen on the 60D wasn’t present in any of these shots.
It’s very useable for general photography past f5.6. At f2 – f4 it excels as a specialist lens for producing ‘portrait mode’/narrow depth of field/soft bokeh images – just what it was designed for 50+ years ago! What’s encouraging is that it still does a cracking job on full frame digital which means I’d better do a few tests on my old Zuiko collection…..
If you’re interested in using other MF lenses on your DSLR have a look at the other reviews on the film, camera and lens review index tab.
Thanks for looking, hope you find this useful.
Great review, thanks. I may be tempted to look into these helios lenses, as I am a cheapskate 🙂
Thanks James – Nothing wrong with being a cheapskate!
A very interesting post!
Thanks Chillbrook, I was genuinely surprised how well this lens did!
I have the Canon 85mm 1.8, the first prime lens I bought for my 5D2 – it wd be interesting to compare the bokahs? I shall do a similar flower shot!
Hello Lesley – looking forward to seeing the results. Some close distance shots at 1.8 would be interesting!
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Thanks Lesley – I’m honoured! That looks really good, and reminds me of the Zuiko 85mm f2 but without the colder colours. Rob
had a go at last Rob, here you go: http://latreloar.wordpress.com/2014/07/22/bokehdelicous/