Canon FD 85mm f/1.2 on the Fuji X-Pro1 By Axel Friberg

Canon FD 85mm f/1.2 on the Fuji X-Pro1

By Axel Friberg

Dear Steve,

This spring I bought the Canon FD 85mm f/1.2 from Ebay and a Metabones adapter for my Fuji X camera. Not the speed booster one. I wanted to get something close to a 135mm full frame equivalent on my APS-C sized sensor. A 90mm lens would have been ideal, but most 90mm’s out there have an f-stop of f/2.0 and I wanted something faster. I started looking at different 85mm lenses which would give me a 127,5mm FF equivalent. After some research, I decided to go with the Canon FD lens – The predecessor of the first generation Canon EF 85mm f/1.2L lens. Since I wouldn’t be able to use autofocus anyway, I went with the non-AF version. Here are some of my favorites so far:

Best regards!


1-250s, f-1.2 ISO1600 (overexposed by 1 stop)

1:125s f:1.2 ISO500

1:125s, f:1.2 ISO500

1:160s, f:1.2 ISO2500

1:850s, f:1.2 ISO200

1:4000s, f:1.2 ISO200



Related Post


  1. I have owned my Canon FD 85mm 1.2L lens for 20 years and it still gives results that put a smile on my face and “wows!” from my clients! I have also used this lens (via adapter) on my Micro 4/3 Panasonic G1 which effectively transforms it into a 170mm F1.2 super-fast telephoto and the results are equally impressive. It is a VERY good optic, even by todays standards. Requires special care with focusing due to extremely shallow depth of field at full aperture, but of course this is one of its endearing qualities. I know that anyone lucky enough to own this lens will concur… It is the perfect manual focus portrait lens.

  2. Bad bad focusing skills Mr Huff. Get real when giving smples of such great lens. Low class images.

    • Mr. Huff? Can you not read? I did not write or shoot anything for this article. So get real and read the post correctly. Thank you. BTW, I do not tolerate any rudeness here.

  3. Hi Axel, I have a couple of FD L lenses, and I have a problem to focus them to infinity with the cheap FD-FX adapter I have. Can you focus to infinity with your FD-FX adapter? Thanks a lot, Miklos

  4. Very nervous bokeh (sometimes), sloppy framing (sometimes), non-interesting shots (sometimes), but I can see what you’re trying to do.

    Stop the experiment, get serious. Show us what you really want to do.

  5. Wow !!! Sorry Leica (GMBH) but as you can see…You get what you pay for in Leica lens R and D but for us lesser mortals (non pro-inde artists) I’ll have to say this is close to Higer end Look.
    I have a very soft spot for low Available light low light changing aspects of Concert lighting I bought off E-bay from UK a recent version of Pana-Leica 1.2 equivalent ?
    For me D ISO of 800 or higher with rebranded (more on this later S Huff camera fans!) “Leica” lens mostly Machined into Minolta 35mm MF primes I have a late 70’s and Mid 80’s to Late 90’s with 50-135 down to 1.2 (RF Cannon early 60’s from a HK grad student.
    I also kept a Sony NEX to Leica LTM adaptor-Can ANY Sony user recommend a decent model D Video to buy in second hand.
    Great shots by the way and as always good luck shooting folks may all your Hippy shots be fun and Learned.
    Fall in Light

  6. Great shots! You have a good eye for portraits. I use the FD 85mm f/1.2 on the Sony A7 (…and on a Canon F1N, of course. Usually loaded with Portra 400 🙂 ), and love it too. It makes me think the EF version must be something special if it’s an improvement!

  7. Nice…i just have one very small pet peeve! I dislike seeing images where the hands have been cut off unnecessarily ( pic 4 ) The same could be said for the tire in pic 1 also. Especially considering the negative space at the top of both said images.

  8. Great picks !!! subject isolation is amazing !

    and the whole post right on time, I am considering same lens for my x-e2 !! and was wondering vs. voigtlander 75 1.8 or samyang 85 1.4 vs. a few other … but ‘magic’ of 1.2 is just too tempting … 🙂
    Do you have any website/flickr…. with more picks from 85 1.2?
    Are those wide open ?
    How is manual focusing ? very difficult ?

    • Thank you!

      I think they were all shot wide open, except maybe the 2:nd pic which could be f/2. Not sure. Aperture metadata does not get recorded.
      Manual focusing is pretty hard at f/1.2. I often use the 10x focus assist. It gets easier at f/1.8.
      For that reason I’d recommend the Canon FD 85mm f/1.8. It’s cheaper and lighter in weight.
      However, note that there will most likely be Fujinon 90mm f/2.0 coming out next year.
      The AF might persuade many to go for the f/2 instead of a faster f/1.4 or f/1.2.
      I would prefer the Pro zoom (50-140mm f/2.8) with IS and Weather sealing though.

      • Buyer’s Beware wrt the 50 f/1,8: The FD/FDn 85 f/1,2 L is optically quite a bit superior to the FD/FDn 85 f/1,8. And – at least on A7 and NEX-7 with proper peaking settings, and with a bit of experience – it ‘snaps’ into focus positively at wide aperture – an effect which I could observe to the same level of clarity only with the Leica Apo Summicrons and the Zeiss Otus…

        • … today is not my day, I produce too many typing mistakes… strike out 50 f/1,8 – replace it with 85 f/1,8…

  9. Nice photos, thanks for posting. I use the current 85mm f1.2Lii. The bokeh is a little bit smoother, I think. The FD version is a little “nervous” with the bright highlights. But for the price, I see around $800-$1000 on Ebay, great deal. Focusing (auto) sucks on the current one, and hard to manual focus because of the electronic focusing. I would imagine the focusing mechanism on FD version is superb. You can some images on the 85mm current on my fashion website at

    • I agree. The bookeh of your pics taken with the EF ii version looks smoother.
      Some of the photos outdoors look a bit flat and out of focus though. Maybe you should consider calibrating your lens.

      • Yeah, if you are referring to the ones on the street, that was shake and movement. It was quickly done on the street, I used a slower shutter speed to balance the night light. There was enough ambient light, so the flash was blended with it. My hand is pretty steady, but I was also low, framing the lights in the background.

        By the way, how did you get the aperture to work on the FD? My understanding is that the aperture can only be adjusted on a Canon (non EOS) body. They just stay wide open and the aperture ring is not engage unless on the Canon body. Also, why did you settle for the FD vs a Rokinon f1.4?

        • Hello Franzis,

          whilst I am not Axel, I may have to add some insight here as well, being a user of the Canon FDn 85 f/1,2 L with adapters to E-mount, MFT and EF-M.

          The lens is _way_ superior to the Samyang/Rokinon/Walimex/Vivitar 84 f/1,4 Asperical – it is in the same league as the current Zeiss/Sony 85 f/1,4 (the new 8 lens in 7 groups optical formula with floating element, that is much better open and close by than the old 6/5 fixed configuration) and close (but not quite draw) to the Leica Apo Summicron 90 f/2. The Samyang – whilst not bad on its own right – it holds up well in comparison to many fast primes from the 1970ies and 1980ies – needs to be stopped down to f/4..f/5,6 to become usable – the Planar ZA and the Apo Summicrons are usable without much degradation fully open.

          Operating the diaphragm of FD/FDn lenses is not a problem with most current adapters – these have a pin operating the FD/FDn mount’s lever for operating the diaphragm. In one position of the corresponding ‘control ring’ the diaphragm stays open independent of the aperture (f-stop) setting on the lens, in the other the diaphragm closes and follows the aperture setting ring on the lens.

          Summary: Stunning lens, and its diaphragm works for all aperture settings.

          Try it – you will not be disappointed.


          PS: On the A7, the lens out-resolves the sensor already at f/2, and it makes good use of the NEX-7 sensor at f/4..f/5,6. At f/1,2..f/1,4, the lens is a bit low contrast in the field, but the centre of the image is very good even at f/1,2

          • Thanks, and sorry for not responding sooner. I sort lost touch, and I thought I would get some kind of feed back when there is a response.

            Nice to know such info on lenses. I know that many lenses were made better in the past than now, but tracking the information on them is kind of hard. That is why blogs like these are so great. The collective wisdom and knowledge of real photographer concerned with truth.

            Do you think Canon of today would tell us that their past lenses may be better than their current one? Also nice to know that Canon FD are usable. I have been avoiding them. I have bought some old Pentax lenses and they are great!

  10. Hi Axel,

    very nice set of pictures they got the right mood.

    I am using a NEX 6 with a manual Nikon Nikkor 85mm f/2 AI-s and I am very happy with the results I am getting in daylight situations. I think an 85mm lens on a body with no mirror movement is quite easy to handhold even with lower speeds. f1.2 is of course very tempting for the low light shots like the one with the chapeau claque. Did you use a monopod or are all of the shots done handhold?

    Thanks for sharing.

    Best regards

    Erik Neu

Comments are closed.