Revisting the Leica-Canon Combo

The Canon FD 85mm f/1.2L ready for its Leica partner.

It’s been a while since I last used this combo and it reminded me of two things, it’s a fun lens with its own look and it is an absolute bargain, especially in the shadow of Leica’s recently released 75mm f/1.25 Noctilux that comes in at $12,795.

The previous write-up on this lens can be found here: A Dreamy Lens Combo

Late Night Crossing. Shot wide open at f/1.2 mounted to a Leica M-P Typ240.

There are obvious differences in build and I’m sure optics, BUT this lens is around $600 or approximately just 5% of the Leica’s price and returns some visually beautiful images.

Size comparison in relation to the 50mm Summilux.

Mounting and Usage

The lens requires a Canon FD/LM adapter. There are numerous ones on eBay of varying price, I chose a relatively inexpensive one that locks the aperture wide open or gives me the choice to change the aperture. It works perfectly. You’ll also need the EVF for focusing since there is no rangefinder activation. With the precise dof control at 85mm and f/1.2 it is actually quite handy to use the EVF and the 5X or 10X focus peaking.

At a pound and half (24oz/682g) it is a hefty lens.

So it is not an everyday lens for me, it is usually is the 28mm Summicron, but when the time comes it is hard to find a lens in this range and price that can compete with this little gem.

Night Crossing. Leica M-P Typ240 and Canon FD 85mm f/1.2L. Settings: ISO800-f/1.2-1/125.
Just outside of Taipei Main Station. Leica M-P Typ240 and Canon FD 85mm f/1.2L. Settings: ISO200-f/1.2-1/350.
Side Light. Leica M-P Typ240 and Canon FD 85mm f/1.2L. Settings: ISO2500-f/1.2-1/125.
Checking Messages. Leica M-P Typ240 and Canon FD 85mm f/1.2L. Settings: ISO3200-f/1.2-1/250.
Waiting. Leica M-P Typ240 and Canon FD 85mm f/1.2L. Settings: ISO800-f/1.2-1/90. (apologies for the EXIF data from this one, I hadn’t manually changed it from the 28mm Summicron I was previously shooting)

In the end, I can only say that if you are looking for some wildly thin dof control, an ultra-fast lens and don’t want to go $13,000 in debt, take a look at the Canon FD 85mm f/1.2L.

2 thoughts on “Revisting the Leica-Canon Combo

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