Friday, October 31, 2014

Canon FD 24mm f/2.8 and Metabones Speed Booster versus Sony 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 OSS

Here is a simple (simplistic?) comparison of the Canon FD 24mm f/2.8 from 1978, attached through and Metabones FD/E Speed Booster to the Sony Kit lens, 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 OSS.

This test was performed on a Sony NEX-F3 (borrowed) camera.  This is a 16 MP APS-C sensor.

Here are the full res images:

Canon FD 24mm f/2.8 with Speed Booster, shot at f/8 (becomes 17mm at f/5.6), 1/2000 sec, ISO 200

Sony 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 at 18mm, f/8, 1/400 sec, ISO 200

The camera metered differently for these two shots.  The shot with the Sony kit lens was 0.8 stops too bright--I adjusted it down in Lightroom to match (more or less) the Canon FD image. The white balance was also different.  You can also see (maybe) that the 24mm lens (which gets reduced to a focal length of 17.14mm) is a bit wider than the 18mm kit lens.

Here are 640x480 100% crops of the red aircraft navigation light on the 8th floor of Wilson Hall (at Fermilab):

Canon FD and Speed Booster

Sony Kit lens

Here are two images inside, a bit closer to the camera (less than 1 meter):

Canon FD 24mm at f/2.2 (effective)

Sony Kit lens at 18mm, f/3.5

Canon FD 24mm at 100% crop

Sony Kit lens at 100% crop

To my eye, the Canon FD is sharper.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

What's next for my photography equipment?

Being a highly successful sports photographer for (ahem!), I have some money I need to spend on camera equipment (business expense = tax deduction).  I am considering:

Canon EF 300mm f/4L IS USM
Great for sidelines sports (Used price is $1100 or maybe less)
Canon 7D Mark II
Ultimate APS-C sports camera; released next week
Sony a6000 kit

16-50mm kit lens
A tiny walkaround lens.  Could alternately opt for a fast prime.
To fit all my old Canon FD lenses to this body, see below
Metabones Leica-E adapter
Mechanically fit my Leica lenses to this body

The Sony Kit does not help much for sports, although it would be a good backup camera (and may be quite adequate given that it can do 11 frames per second, although the AF at this speed is not nearly as good as the 7D-II).  It would be great for travelling and for day-to-day use (I like to have my camera with me all the time--I have never taken a good picture without my camera.)

The Metabones Speed Booster allows me to put my old Canon FD (manual) lenses on the Sony and it boosts their aperture by one stop!  Here are the lenses I own and how they get transformed by the Speed Booster:
·         24mm f/2.8 à 17mm f/2.0
·         50mm f/1.4 à 36mm f/1.0 (!!)
·         200mm f/4.0 à 142mm f/2.8

(The idea of the speed booster is that reduces the image circle of a lens by a factor of 1.4 (which fits the APS-C sensor but not a 35mm ("full frame") sensor) and increases the amount of light in that circle by a factor of 1.4, which is one stop.)

Note also
  •  This opens up the possibility for me to buy some inexpensive FD lenses, e.g. this 500mm f/8 telescope lens for $40 (which would become a 312mm f/5.6)
  • the Sony and its kit lens are very highly regarded and very small;
    •  Small is really important, I think--it is so much easier to carry smaller equipment every day.
  •  I can also use my Leica lenses, although there is not a Speed Booster (just a mechanical adapter)

Obviously, I am enamored with the idea of getting the Sony kit.

Comments are welcome.