Best Canon FD lenses

Started Nov 9, 2011 | Discussions
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nikonfan07 Regular Member • Posts: 135
Best Canon FD lenses

Hello,

I just picked up a Canon AE-1 and it came with a Canon 50mm f1.8 and a Canon/Albinar 80-200mm f3.9. Not sure how good the 80-200mm lens is. What I am looking for are good quality Canon lenses for this camera. I prefer prime lenses but wanted your opinion on other lenses that are not prime if they are good. I am a Nikon shooter but really wanted this camera when i was in high school and never bought it. Now I was able to get one in great condition and want to know what the best FD lenses are for this camera.

Thanks for your help,
Dan

mironv Veteran Member • Posts: 9,778
Re: Best Canon FD lenses
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WHY??? O WHY?? IT is a 2011. Are you masohist????
Mironv
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M Stewart Regular Member • Posts: 488
Re: Best Canon FD lenses

I think Canon offered a few "L" lenses in the FD range - long teles for example, and it was a 300 F/2.8 which got the shots of Kissinger's Secret memo at the UN.

"SC" & "SSC" were terms applied to the coating.

They did two versions of the FD 55 F/1.2. The higher cost version, FD 55mm F/1.2 AL, used hand ground aspheric surfaces, and worked much better at F/1.2.

The first version of the FD 35 F/2 had a concave front element, and is reputed to work better than the later versions with convex elements, but I'm not able to spot the difference. It also has an element of slightly radioactive thoriated glass which over time becomes tinted towards yellow/orange.

The 17mm F4 was described as an "outstanding design" at the time.

Check out the encyclopaedic Malaysian site for more info.

http://www.mir.com.my/rb/photography/companies/canon/fdresources/fdlenses/index.htm
--
M. Stewart
Milton Keynes, UK

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nikonfan07 OP Regular Member • Posts: 135
Re: Best Canon FD lenses

M Stewart wrote:

I think Canon offered a few "L" lenses in the FD range - long teles for example, and it was a 300 F/2.8 which got the shots of Kissinger's Secret memo at the UN.

"SC" & "SSC" were terms applied to the coating.

They did two versions of the FD 55 F/1.2. The higher cost version, FD 55mm F/1.2 AL, used hand ground aspheric surfaces, and worked much better at F/1.2.

The first version of the FD 35 F/2 had a concave front element, and is reputed to work better than the later versions with convex elements, but I'm not able to spot the difference. It also has an element of slightly radioactive thoriated glass which over time becomes tinted towards yellow/orange.

The 17mm F4 was described as an "outstanding design" at the time.

Check out the encyclopaedic Malaysian site for more info.

http://www.mir.com.my/rb/photography/companies/canon/fdresources/fdlenses/index.htm
--
M. Stewart
Milton Keynes, UK

Thanks for your help. I appreciate it. I normally shoot digital but do on occasion still enjoy shooting a film camera. I like to develop my own film. I do not have a darkroom but have access to one. This Canon AE-1 has a good 50mm lens on it but I am looking for a couple other prime lenses to shoot landscape. Thanks again.

Gautam Majumdar Forum Pro • Posts: 13,264
Re: Best Canon FD lenses

Dan

Canon & some independent manufacturers had some very fine lenses in FD mount. For landscape work Canon 28mm F2.8 & Kiron 24mm F2 were excellent. I had both. Your main problem will be to locate such lenses in very good condition.

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Gautam

ZoneV Regular Member • Posts: 209
Re: Best Canon FD lenses

Oh, there are many good FD lenses!
From what I own and like I could reccomend:
FD 24/1.4L, 50/1.4, 85/1.2L, 300/2.8L
I have converted these lenses, and use them on my EOS DSLR cameras:
http://www.4photos.de/camera-diy/Photo-DIY.html

Furthermore the long FD lenses like the 400/2.8L and 500/4.5L were exeptional good - I converted them to EF mount and had the chance to use them for some tests.

But the other FD lenses are not bad! All the L lenses seem to have a good reputation, but the non L lenses like the 50/1.4 or many others are good performers.

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Camera DIY repair and modification linklist:
http://4photos.de/camera-diy/index-en.html

Kelly M Jones Contributing Member • Posts: 603
Re: Best Canon FD lenses

I've found the Canon 80-200/4 L to be a great FD zoom. The 50/1.4 is great as well.

Jim Lee Senior Member • Posts: 1,044
Re: Best Canon FD lenses

Back in the day....... One of my favorite finds was the Canon 135mm f/2.5 SSC lens. It's an older style that was discontinued when they came out with the 135/2 and 135/2.8 lenses. 20 years ago you could find it used for about the same price as a used 135/2.8, and that sucker was sharp.

Some of my other favorites from back in the FD days were the 35/2. 24/2.8, 85/1.8 and 200/2.8.

I sold off all my FD stuff years ago. Sometimes I look at how cheap you can find these lenses and I'm tempted to buy some just for nostalgia (with maybe and original F-1 or an EF body.) But even if I got them for peanuts I'd probably never use them.

Jim Lee Senior Member • Posts: 1,044
Re: Best Canon FD lenses

And as far as "best" goes, even in the FD days the Canon 85/1.2 and 135/2 were amazing lenses.

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