Thursday, June 7, 2012

Canon FL 55mm f1.2 Samples

Here is another Canon FL f1.2 lens in 55mm focal length.  We looked at the FL 58mm f1.2 last time, and the bokeh leaves much to be desired. It's also not very sharp wide open, compared to other Canon f1.2 lenses.  The FL 55mm f1.2 was a replacement lens for the 58mm f1.2.  It has better multi-coating, but not the Super Spetra Coating (S.S.C) on the later lenses, but a precursor of it.  The look and feel is very similar to the FL 58mm f1.2.  Even though both lenses have an 8-blade aperture, the FL 55mm f1.2 is more rounded whereas the FL 58mm f1.2 is edgy.  That probably has something to do with the (slightly) better looking bokeh of the 55mm f1.2.

Three Doors -- NEX-5N & Canon FL 55mm f1.2 @ f1.2. Click for larger.

Optically, the FL 55mm f1.2 is quite sharp wide open. Again, not as good as the later 55mm f1.2 S.S.C or the nFD 50mm f1.2, but better than the FL 58mm f1.2.  From f2 on, the lens is very sharp.  From experience, most of these fast lenses are very good when stopping down only one stop.

Bokeh -- NEX-5N & Canon FL 55mm f1.2 @ f1.2. Click for larger.

I do enjoy using this lens.  It's not as big or heavy as the FD 55mm f1.2 S.S.C and focuses very smoothly.  It also has a A/M switch for the aperture, not that it's important when used on EVIL cameras, as the adapter would always engage the lens in stop-down mode, essentially having a built-in manual aperture switch.

A nice lens to shoot in low lights, for sure.

Pigeons on grass -- NEX-5N & Canon FL 55mm f1.2 @ f1.2. Click for larger.


  1. Can you tell me which adaptor you are using to mount the canon 58mm f1.2 to the sony nex camera?. Thank you for your time

    1. The adapter I have was the cheapest I could find on eBay. It's just a generic adapter. I tend to buy only cheap adapters and they have worked well so far.

  2. Hi All,

    I have picked up several Canon FL and FD lenses, plus Nikon and Konica-Hexanon and use them all enjoyably with my Sony Nex-5. I am using Canon adapter with integral tripod mount from "rainbowimaging" on eBay. My Nikon and Konica AR adapters were from "qualitylens" on eBay. All adapters are nicely made in rigid black aluminum with chromed brass mount plate and work just fine.

    My complete legacy lens list:
    Canon FD 24mm 1:2 SSC (sharpest 24mm outside Leica)
    Canon FD 24mm 1:2.8 SSC
    Vivitar 28mm 1:2.5 AR Mount
    Nikon Nikkor-N 35mm 1:1.4 (thorium)
    Nikon Nikkor-O C 35mm 1:2
    Konica Hexanon AR 40mm 1:1.8 (pancake)
    Canon FL 50mm 1:1.4
    Canon FD 55mm 1:1.2 SSC
    Canon FD 85mm 1:1.8 SSC
    Canon FD 135mm 1:2.5 SC
    Vivitar Series 1 28-105mm 1:2.8-3.8 (macro focusing)
    Vivitar Series 1 70-210mm 1:3.5 (macro focusing - constant aperture)
    Konica Hexanon 80-200mm 1:3.5 (constant aperture beast w/tripod mount)
    High quality Vivitar 2x-4 macro extender and 3x-7 range extender
    Sigma 300mm 1:4.5

    I also have the Sony OSS kit lens 18-55mm 1:3.5-5.6 though used seldomly.
    I truly love my legacy lenses and prefer them over the Sony E-mount lenses.
    To think I bought all my legacy lenses for less than Sony's NEX 18-200mm

    - Peter

  3. Hi
    Love the combination of latest technology body plus timeless quality optics.