Best 35mm FD lens for Canon

Discussion in '35mm Cameras and Accessories' started by 5stringdeath, May 2, 2010.

  1. 5stringdeath

    5stringdeath Member

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    So in your collective infinite wisdom, what is the best 35mm prime lens I could stick on my Canon AE-1 .... Between all my different camera bodies, I am lacking a good 35mm lens so figured I'd stick one on the old girl, as she's freshly CLA'd and wanting work :D

    Canon or 3rd party, doesn't matter to me .... I love good contrasty lenses though.

    Thanks!
     
  2. loman

    loman Subscriber

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    canon 35mm f2 in any of it's versions is hard to beat. The earlier ones are supposedly sharper. I had a late one which was absolutely stunning. In my mind you can't go wrong with any of them.
    Regards
    Mads
     
  3. David A. Goldfarb

    David A. Goldfarb Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    I had the FDn 35/2 and recommend it very highly. It was one of my favorite lenses when I had it. I sold it only because I wasn't shooting so much 35mm any more and was using medium format for the kinds of subjects I'd otherwise shoot with the 35/2.

    Eventually I got a Zeiss 35/2 Distagon in ZS (M42) mount, which I think is an even better lens (sharper, great bokeh, though the FD 35/2 also has nice bokeh), if that's in your budget, and you'll be able to use it with almost any 35mm SLR camera body as well as the ones that we don't talk about on APUG.
     
  4. jmcd

    jmcd Member

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    I have a 35/2 breach lock with the concave front element. It is super sharp, and the contrast is super high across the aperture range. For me it is actually has too much contrast for some general work, in that at larger apertures it has such a 3d popping effect that the isolated subject looks cut out and glued on. Really, a precision tool that must be used with care and consideration with much potential.

    I would like to try one of the newer 35/2 in bayonet, thinking it might have the smoother look of the 50/1.4.
     
  5. 5stringdeath

    5stringdeath Member

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    Cool thanks .. I actually have access to borrow a 35/2 so I'll check it out.
     
  6. benjiboy

    benjiboy Subscriber

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    I have all three of these lenses and the later FDn 35mm f2 indeed has the smoother look of the 50mm f1.4, the original breech lock chrome nosed 35mm f2 concave front element Thorium lens would have been an "L"lens I.M.O but pre dates them by quite a few years, mine as made in 1971.
     
  7. 5stringdeath

    5stringdeath Member

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    Does FD"n" mean "new" as in the all black lenses?
     
  8. benjiboy

    benjiboy Subscriber

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    Yes, the new type bayonet mount ones with the plastic barrels.
     
  9. 5stringdeath

    5stringdeath Member

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    Great, that's the one I'm going to borrow.
     
  10. If you can swing it, find an FD 35/2 (the newer black one) in the best condition possible. You'll be glad you did; it's a fine lens to use. I too, used an AE-1 for years and years. Recently, I found an immaculate F-1N (w/AE finder). The 35/2 is lens I use most often with it.
     
  11. Jeff Kubach

    Jeff Kubach Member

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    Like the rest I'll go with the FD 35/2.

    Jeff
     
  12. Excalibur2

    Excalibur2 Member

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  13. benjiboy

    benjiboy Subscriber

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    Last edited by a moderator: May 2, 2010
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  15. David A. Goldfarb

    David A. Goldfarb Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    Posted wirelessly..

    The f2 is better than the f2.8, but the 2.8 is the most compact lens in the FD line.
     
  16. Excalibur2

    Excalibur2 Member

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  17. benjiboy

    benjiboy Subscriber

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    I agree you probably can't on a monitor or an A4 print, but I don't own a scanner or make ink jet prints I shoot slides and project them on a 50"X50" screen and I can, if the O.P had asked "which is the best value for money , I would have replied the 2.8 lens, he asked "which is the best ?".
     
    Last edited by a moderator: May 2, 2010
  18. Excalibur2

    Excalibur2 Member

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    Ah the best? Distagon, Nokton, with adapter :wink:
     
  19. 5stringdeath

    5stringdeath Member

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    Thanks again all for the *passionate* help :smile:
     
  20. Paul Jenkin

    Paul Jenkin Member

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    How about a good short-range zoom? I have the 20-35mm f3.5 L which is attached to the front of my F1-N 95% of the time. I also have the 24mm f2 and 35mm f2.8 (which although not the quickest, seems very sharp). S'pose it depends on the intended target but there's a lot of good stuff out there. Difficult to get it wrong....
     
  21. 5stringdeath

    5stringdeath Member

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    Nope, i'm a prime lens kinds person. Never met a zoom I liked.
     
  22. Excalibur2

    Excalibur2 Member

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    ...or cheaper is the Tamron SP 28-70, which is very good, and indeed it's difficult to get it wrong as:- the computer screen, consumer printers, Photoshop and add ons, scanners, have equalised the results from many lenses.
     
  23. andrewkirkby

    andrewkirkby Member

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    I like the 35mm 2.8 New FD. Sure, it would be nice to have f2 or the 1.4L but the 2.8 has better performance all over and is considerably less expensive in price and weight.
     
  24. benjiboy

    benjiboy Subscriber

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    Andrew the FDn is a very good lens I have owned and used one for more than fifteen years but since I got the Chrome nosed 35mm f2 Thorium lens I have never used it, and I also have the newer FDn 35mm f2 and aperture for aperture the chrome nosed lens ,(mine was made in 1971) outperforms all of them .
     
  25. 5stringdeath

    5stringdeath Member

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  26. Athiril

    Athiril Subscriber

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    The 800/5.6L goes for ~$1k.

    Not quite the lens youre after... but its a unique oppurtunity to have such a high quality and fast supertelephoto inexpensively.

    The rear barrel could also be shortened if you ever wished to convert it to other mounts.