CANON LENS FL 50mm 1: 1.8. Review from the reader Radozhiva

Review of CANON LENS FL 50mm 1: 1.8 (second version, with straight lines of DOF marking) specially for Radozhiva, prepared Alexey Ovoshchnikov.

CANON LENS FL 50mm 1: 1.8

CANON LENS FL 50mm 1: 1.8

Greetings to all amateur photographers interested in rare lenses! I want to immediately notice that there is a Radozhiv website review of a slightly newer version of this lens, and my version is just a real rarity!

CANON LENS FL 50mm 1: 1.8

CANON LENS FL 50mm 1: 1.8

This lens is not a collector's rarity, but it is unique in its own way and is rarely found on sale at online auctions. This optics was developed for the Canon FL system and cannot be used on modern Canon EOS SLR cameras without a special adapter. I used this lens on mirrorless cameras from Sony. For this, it is enough to purchase an inexpensive FD-NEX adapter on AliExpress (the name may vary slightly) Lens Adapter Ring for Canon FD FL Lens to Sony E Mount.

CANON LENS FL 50mm 1: 1.8

CANON LENS FL 50mm 1: 1.8

I want to note that this lens is worthy of review and more interesting than many other 50 mm lenses that I had. I believe that the lens has two main indicators of quality. The first is a picture in general, that is, color reproduction, the nature of the blur (bokeh), vignetting (darkening at the edges and corners), as well as distortion. The second most important indicator is the sharpness of the lens at different aperture values.

CANON LENS FL 50mm 1: 1.8

CANON LENS FL 50mm 1: 1.8

I want to note that this optics was published more than 50 years ago, and the quality shows to this day.
I compared head-on not with another worn-out manual, but with the recently released professional and expensive fifty-fifty Carl Zeiss Sonnar FE 1,8 / 55 ZA T *. Here review of it in my own performance.

CANON LENS FL 50mm 1: 1.8

CANON LENS FL 50mm 1: 1.8

CANON LENS FL 50mm 1: 1.8

CANON LENS FL 50mm 1: 1.8

CANON LENS FL 50mm 1: 1.8

CANON LENS FL 50mm 1: 1.8

But back to the old Canon FL.

Brief technical specifications

Optical design. 6 elements in 4 groups
Started production: 1968
lens enlightenment - no accurate information
Focal Length 50mm
Maximum Aperture - f1.8-f16
Diaphragm design - of six non-rounded petals
MDF - 0.6 meters - (macro 1: 10)
Hood type - threaded (not presented in the review)
The diameter of the filters used - 49 mm
Weight - 228 grams
Length - 40 mm

CANON LENS FL 50mm 1: 1.8

CANON LENS FL 50mm 1: 1.8

The lens is convenient to use after several minutes of working with it. A bit annoying is the unusual aperture ring. It is located in front of the lens. I have never seen such a thing before, but what can you do at that time they could not have contrived for the sake of realizing an engineering plan. Despite the fact that the lens was used countless times, it did not have any defects or obvious flaws.

If we talk about the minuses of this miracle of optics, then I note that the lens is fonit! Yes, the glass in the lenses is not easy, but almost golden. It has pronounced yellowness and with dosimeter measurement we we have this. Well, how do you feel? Someone may not know that there are such lenses. Perhaps the most popular of radioactive lenses is Super Takumar 50mm f1.4.

I did not immediately find out about the presence of such nasty things in this lens and I am glad that I almost never used it before. Radiation comes from the rear lens towards the photographer and the camera can only partially stop it. I do not have a dosimeter, and have not measured my copy of the lens, but there is no reason to doubt the reliability of the video. The forums are full of information about the presence of thorium glass in some (very old) lens models. I found a video on youtube with a complete list of such technical wonders. By the way, these are all good lenses in terms of optics. It's funny ... what sacrifices the manufacturers were willing to make in their time ... the health of potential customers. Write your thoughts on radioactive lenses in the comments.

I got a lot of beautiful photos paired with a full-frame mirrorless. I note that I shot on camera JPEG and the photos are shown without processing. Also, the lens was perfect for shooting video interviews with a blurred background and shooting a concert in a room with low light.

Shot on a Sony A7, on-camera JPEG:

Shot on Sony Nex 3N:

How to use FL/FD/FDn mount lenses

To use a Canon FL, Canon FD, or Canon FDn mount lens on modern mirrorless cameras, you should use the appropriate adapter:

The adapters are suitable for FL, FD and FDn mount lenses, these mounts are backwards compatible. But using lenses with a Canon FL / Canon FD / Canon FDn mount on SLR cameras is difficult due to the long working distance. In such cases, a corrective lens adapter must be used, which will degrade the image quality.

A review prepared, with a health risk, Alexey Ovoshchnikov!

You will find more reviews from readers of Radozhiva here.

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Comments: 41, on the topic: CANON LENS FL 50mm 1: 1.8. Review from the reader Radozhiva

  • Rodion

    Thanks for the review.
    Thorium is an alpha emitter. Radiation is dangerous in direct contact with a radioactive part - the path of alpha particles is small even in air, what can we say about a solid medium. Alpha particles are delayed even by a sheet of paper. The main recommendation when working with thorium lenses is not to let the glass get inside and do not keep your fingers on the lenses for a long time :)
    Thorium dioxide was added to increase the refractive index of the glass at low dispersion. Old thorium optics turn yellow - alpha particles have a high recoil energy and destroy the material at the microlevel when emitted.

    • Alexey

      Thanks for the information! I am not very versed in radiation, but the video clip from YouTube available at the link shows that there is also gamma radiation ...

      • Rodion

        There are, of course, gamma photons. However, the whole point is their share in the decay energy. Still, it is the alpha particle that carries the greatest energy, and not the photon.

        • ñ

          elementary UV filter will solve all problems with harmful radiation))

  • ZI ZI TOP

    For some time I had his close relative FL 50 / 1,4, a bit larger in size, I tried it through an adapter to Sonya's b / c - a heavy, brutal and well-assembled old man drew very well ... Except that the aperture blades are not enough on the bokeh covered for even circles and blur the background, well, the fixed switching of the aperture value for the video is not ice ... I gave it all the same for sale, worth fifty dollars and there are so many in the collection. These, so to speak, are the ancestors of the subsequent lines of FD-glasses from Canon (adapters for one bayonet) ... Read more about them here: http://www.mir.com.my/rb/photography/companies/canon/fdresources/fllenses/index.htm
    As for radioactivity, opinions are different, but I think it's better to play it safe ...

  • 1Ds_mk3

    You do not know why you will die.
    It is interesting to read about all such pondering lenses. Preferably a list, so as not to buy.

    • RussTamblyn

      We have already said above, I repeat: having a strong ionizing effect, alpha particles have a very small range in the air, since they quickly waste all their energy, therefore, they are absolutely safe for the body until they get inside. That is, it is not recommended to eat these lenses. Of course, alpha decay is always accompanied by gamma radiation, but it is probably so small that it is not even worth considering it. Surely, one eaten banana can be irradiated many times stronger than from any “glowing” lens.

      • 1Ds_mk3

        I don't particularly want to test it myself. Well, you know - we live once and not for long, back to volume. And you don't want to glow green at night.

        • Onotole

          Then one passenger recently stated that his thigh is itching when he wears a bag with one luminous lens on his shoulder for 1 day))

      • RussTamblyn

        Another question is how the matrix will respond to the constant bombardment of beta particles.

        • Rodion

          This, by the way, is interesting - “terrestrial” semiconductors do not like ionizing radiation very much. On the other hand, if the mirror is lowered on the CZK, then it will be enough to protect.

    • RussTamblyn

      A mistake came out: judging by the video, the glass emits beta, not Alpha particles. They ionize, of course, weaker, but the penetrating power is higher. To protect against beta radiation, a sheet of paper is no longer enough - you need either a sheet of metal or glass. So it is not recommended to look at the rear lens without glasses - the pupils are irradiated with a beta particle. But if the lens is on the camera, it is safe.

      • Rodion

        Everything is correct. Beta particles can indeed be detected - there are beta emitters in the thorium-232 series. As for this radiation, these are high-energy electrons. Those. their mass is 10000 times less than the mass of an alpha particle, but their speed is much higher. Against beta particles, the best protection is a thin aluminum (lead is impossible - there will be braking gamma radiation) leaf)))) Considering the fact that the lens is aluminum, and between the lenses and the eye there is another layer of plastic, textolite, silicon, glass and others camera components - beta radiation poses no threat. However, about “looking with an eye is not recommended” ...
        In thorium, the half-life is huge, in fact, secular equilibrium is practically achieved. Those. at 1 point in time, very few short-lived nuclei emitting beta particles are formed and their total activity is not higher than that of the original thorium (it is enough to smell the detector, but not enough to cause harm during the conventional hour of admiring the lens).

      • RUSLAN

        Are the pupils irradiated?))) The pupil is a hole.)

        • RussTamblyn

          Laugh. Every year I take exams in radiation and nuclear safety. I know the radiation standards for the skin and eye pupils.

  • Peter Sh.

    I highly recommend asking what dose of radiation passengers in an airplane receive in flight.
    A real, full dose for the whole body. And to compare with all the nonsense emitting it is not known what and where is unknown.
    Before killing horror against the wall, I recommend looking for research on what happens to living organisms when they are completely deprived of the background radiation.

    • zengarden

      During the flight, a person receives at least an annual dose of normal radiation.
      And what can we say about the astronauts ...
      The lens is harmful, as Rodion noted above, if it is pushed and swallowed.

      • Denis

        google it. found how a man with a dosimeter flew in an airplane. on average, his device showed 250 micro-roentgen per hour there. this is dangerous radiation. a person measured a maximum of 400 microroentgen per hour for the entire flight.
        the background writes that 20 micro-roentgen per hour
        total no more than 20 times
        therefore, for a flight at 4 o'clock the dose will be as in 80 hours on the ground ... this is 3 days
        What 365 days on earth are we talking about?

        • Peter Sh.

          The dose of radiation depends on the altitude and time of day. There, the non-linear relationship with the usual everyday irradiation is calculated in some tricky way. My friend the nuclear physicist sent me an article when I was very worried about the consequences of Fukushima.

          • NE

            The main danger now is the spiers

          • Denis

            OK. interested in the maximum possible value. to prove to a person that there is no annual dose per flight :)

            • Peter Sh.

              Household dosimeters at high altitudes do not measure the radiation background. There cosmic radiation is much larger than on earth, and differs in its composition. For this, complex devices and special models for calculations are used. The entire Internet is clogged with stupid measurements, sitting on an airplane with a dosimeter in hand.
              I don’t remember exactly, it seems that at an altitude of 10 km the background will be somewhere around 10-15 μSv / h. During solar activity, the background is several times higher.

    • Rodion

      And you can drop here the studies (their DOI indices will arrange), found through WoS or Google Scholar, about what happens to living organisms when they are deprived of the radiation (are we talking about ionizing radiation, not UV?) Background? There is no need to fall into obscurantism, but on the other side ...
      This is roughly from the category of myths about the safe share of alcohol (which - spoiler - not).

      • Peter Sh.

        I can throw off research and anything.

        Radion, what obscurantism? I am talking about elementary things that are understandable in all languages. My task is not to be smart, but to come up with an idea. No more, but no less.
        And you for some reason immediately got into the bottle.

        Eh, Rodion. I thought better of you ...

        • Rodion

          I understand your goals perfectly, but this phrase is still with the smell of the yellow press:
          "Before killing yourself with horror against the wall, I recommend looking for research on what happens to living organisms when they are completely deprived of the background radiation."
          A bottle, not a bottle - I just wanted to transparently clarify this point. Everything.

          • Denis

            I read somewhere that living organisms need both calcium and strontium. maybe, of course, this is game, but anyway, inside a person there is some kind of radiation background from isotopes (the same potassium). therefore, if we are deprived of radiation from the outside, nothing bad will happen, because we have our own :)
            and alcohol also has its own)))

            • Rodion

              It is true, we have only one potassium-40 and carbon-14 how much ... Only even this natural background spoils the body, the question is whether the immune system can cope with the elimination of active particles or broken cells / proteins /…. / Or not. It is the same with endogenous alcohol - it exists, but it is not a vitamin at all.

              • zengarden

                Again, Fukushima - there every day is dumped into the sea, I don't remember exactly how many tons of radioactive water - tens, hundreds. Already half of the Pacific Ocean has traces of radiation contamination (I saw a map somewhere). And we sometimes eat fish from there. Life is generally harmful.

  • zengarden

    Good old man (I'm talking about the lens), I like these :)
    It seems like thorium yellowness is removed with hard ultraviolet; but it is not exactly.

    • Rodion

      Yes, they say it works. But I haven't tried it myself and haven't found an explanation yet - why it works. It would be interesting to hear if someone is fumbling about the topic.

  • Michael

    Arkady, typos:
    “Who can not tell what lenses are”
    “Perhaps the most popular of radioactive lenses”
    Well and not agreed proposals:
    “I would like to point out that I shot in on-camera JPEG ...”
    “I must say right away that the lens from this review gives out all this perfectly and even better.” This is not consistent with the previous statement.
    Thanks to Alexey for the review!

  • Sven

    The picture is good. And the colors and bokeh and, sorry, skinton - I liked it as an amateur!
    Alexey - thanks for your work!

    • Alexei

      Thank you, glad to try hard. The colors here are more the merit of the camera. The fact is that if you shoot in RAW and convert it as it is, then the color will be oh what bad ones on the A7. For this reason, and not only I sold this camera, but I gave this lens as a gift)))

  • dragon yes not snape

    The lens is not bad, but if it is thorium, then it will naturally be spat out. In addition, any review of the thorium lens inevitably turns into a radiological srach. But my problem is much wider. The vast majority of old lenses in good condition are sold by sellers from Japan. Where is the guarantee that the old lens sold in Japan did not visit the Fukushima radiation contamination zone before? Then you already need to call all the old Japanese from Japan with a dosimeter.

    • Pokemon

      The lens must then be sold from the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant or from the exclusion zone nearby, or bathed in heavy water from the power plant. All of the above - Anril.

    • zengarden

      Yes, this garbage is radiation from glass; much worse is a Japanese fungus devouring the antireflection layer. It’s Japanese, which you’ll get horseradish later.

  • Pawel

    If radiation were really dangerous, then there was already a noise about it all over the world, there a person got sick with radiation sickness, then he died of cancer, etc. It seems to me that this irradiation is akin to fluorography, it is also not useful, but it must be done once a year (in St. Petersburg). It’s up to you to decide if you believe that the radioactive background can harm you, it’s better not to take it, if you think it’s nonsense like I take pictures and don’t worry how many old photographers lived to old age, and they obviously took off with such lenses. In short, take a walk with the dosimeter along the promenade in St. Petersburg, you will learn a lot of new things))

    • Denis

      it is everyone who chooses it

  • Marina

    Hello, what do you advise to take to replace this lens with a crop (canon 1100d), you need an inexpensive lens for portrait shooting, with a focus on ff in the future. I am considering a YN 50mm 1.4, canon 50 mm 1.4, canon 85 mm 1.4, where the picture is sharper, will it be juicy? And I understand correctly that sharpness depends not only on the lens, but also on the camera itself (matrix). Does it make sense to replace these models with lenses with variable fr?

    • Roman

      If you are really looking at the 85 / 1.4 (which is L and with stabilizer) and not the 85 / 1.8 - this is the best lens of the three, it's in a higher class. Ideal is perhaps the harshest of the three. But, a) it is expensive and b) it is too long, especially for a crop, it needs a street, in the room it will only be a front close-up portrait.

      85 / 1.8, much cheaper and with a successful copy is comparable, especially covered up to 2.2 - 2.5, while it has the fastest autofocus, but no stub.

      Yonga ... Tempting at the price, but potentially so many problems I wouldn't contact. And focusing slow, and can smear.

      The method of elimination remains 50 / 1.4. In principle, before the release of 50 / 1.8STM, I would recommend it - a good compromise option in terms of sharpness, picture quality and bokeh.

      https://petapixel.com/2019/08/29/crop-sensor-portrait-shootout-24m-vs-35mm-vs-50mm-vs-85mm-vs-135mm/ - here is a good video at different focal lengths on crop and full frame. You can evaluate perspective distortion and bokeh + the desired distance to the subject at different focal lengths. You already have fifty dollars, it is quite possible that you want to try something else. Then you should look to the side or 35 / 2IS, or 85 / 1.4L IS - 85 / 1.8

  • Dmitry

    It's impossible to read the comments. A gang of semi-literate people lecture each other.

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