Canon FD glass

Discussion in '35mm Cameras and Accessories' started by puketronic, Nov 13, 2012.

  1. puketronic

    puketronic Member

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    I'm interested in a Canon FD system:

    Here are the lenses that I am interested in,

    24mm f2.0
    28mm f2.0

    35mm f2.0
    50mm f1.4

    85mm f1.8
    100mm f2.0

    I'll probably pick a 3 lens kit from these focal lengths: 28/50/100 or 24/35/85. Or something like that. Ideally I would go by focal length, but I'm not familiar of the reputation of FD lenses. Is it safe to assume that all of these lenses are "good" or are any of them notorious for being duds. I do not care for superspeed and I'd prefer to keep things at the 52mm focal length. I like fast glass because i shoot in low-light often, but I do not feel that I would need a 50mm f1.2 over a 50mm f1.4, etc.
     
  2. Mustafa Umut Sarac

    Mustafa Umut Sarac Member

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    My cousin is an architect and shot all the Istanbul's Old Wooden Houses with Canon FD Glass Collection. He produced thousands of slides on Ektachrome and I am sorry to say I disliked canon.

    If you can , buy a Leica Mini Zoom with 35-70 Elmar glass , it comes from Keh 60 dollars and it beats all of the Canon FD.

    leica.jpg

    If you can , invest in Nikon if you disliked my idea.

    Umut
     
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  3. dnjl

    dnjl Member

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    All the lenses you picked are excellent. Make sure to get the 35mm with the concave front element and min. aperture of f16, it is thoriated and extremely sharp.
    If I were you, I'd leave out the 28mm and 85mm, because they are so close to the other focal lengths.
     
  4. BMbikerider

    BMbikerider Member

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    A personal preference would be 24-35-50-85 and 135. But if I were limited to 3 lenses they would have to be 24 - 50 - 100mm

    Canon did make a special glass back in the 70's which used something 'extra' in the elements of their better lenses, but I seem to remember that this glass was prone to deteriorate if it was allowed to be exposed ton the elements but when they were new their resolving power was better than anything else that other manufacturers could get close to. Does anyone else remember this. I seem to remember it was used in their 85mm F1.8 FD (with breech lock) lens
     
  5. Mustafa Umut Sarac

    Mustafa Umut Sarac Member

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    Leica used that thorium glass 40 years before Canon. Dont believe the myths , rent a Leica and Canon , shoot head to head and you will understand. For me , Canon is a tourist camera , no more and not every tourist uses it , if they dont want to have chromatic aberration , ugly colors , terrible bokeh and a body like an shoebox in your hands. I bought an EOS and when the trees comes blue , I sold it. Long story about an tard.
     
  6. benjiboy

    benjiboy Subscriber

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    I own all these lenses and I can assure you none of them are "duds", they are all stellar performers and much better lenses than I'm a photographer, which of them to choose I.M.O depends on what type of photograph you do. but for for general work I find the three most useful lightweight carry round ones 28 mm f2, 50 mm f1.4, and 100mm f2.
     
  7. lensman_nh

    lensman_nh Member

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    Have you been looking in my camera bag by any chance? :tongue:

    To that list I also have the 200/2.8. They are all stunning and whatever the OP chooses will serve him well.

    Add to that FD lenses seem to be a bargin since they can't be used on the later EOS bodies.

    J.
     
  8. PentaxBronica

    PentaxBronica Member

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    I'd imagine that the possible deterioration in the 35mm is due to the thorium yellowing the glass. It's also a problem with some Pentax screw mount lenses. It can apparently be fixed with exposure to strong UV light - your best bet is probably to build a lightbox with a UV light as that'll be much more reliable than trying to keep it in direct sunlight (a lot of the UV in sunlight is blocked by window glass anyway).

    The major problem with the "buy a Leica" mindset is cost and availability. A Leica M series worth owning seems to go for anything between £300 and £1000 here, some of those don't include a lens. I refuse to believe for one moment that they're six times as good as my Pentax MX and 50mm f1.7 despite being six times the price (at least!)
     
  9. dnjl

    dnjl Member

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    Every time I read your posts, I wonder about the traumas that affected your childhood.


    By the way, if you want to save some money, substitute the 24mm f2 for the f2.8, they're both excellent. I don't know the current price of the 100mm f2, but the 135mm f2.8 is likely to be cheaper.
     
  10. Jeff Kubach

    Jeff Kubach Member

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    You might consider the 100 f4 macro.

    Jeff
     
  11. PentaxBronica

    PentaxBronica Member

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    The other big advantage of using older gear:

    If you buy a lens or camera and don't get on with it then you can probably sell it on for at least what you paid (assuming you didn't pay over the odds). You may even make more as you'll presumably have film tested the camera, which will put it ahead of most of the others on ebay.

    In short, if it grabs your interest and the price is good then go for it.
     
  12. Nick Merritt

    Nick Merritt Member

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    Come on, you don't need to be insulting -- he's a Leica guy and entitled to his opinion (though the Mini Zoom arguably IS a "tourist camera"!). But I agree, Canon FD lenses are superb, and no duds whatsoever among the group he's considering. I would say 24 or 28 - 50 - 100 (or 135) will make a nice set. It's the old 35 vs. 28 question, and my reaction is that a 35 is the best choice if limited to only one lens. But it's a compromise.

    I chuckled a bit when the orginal poster said he's not going for "super speed" -- but for 24 or 28, an f2 is quite fast (and not really necessary) -- stick with the 24/2.8 or 28/2.8 (both fine lenses) and save some money. The original poster didn't indicate which camera body he's got or plans to get, so I'll be interested to hear his thinking there.
     
  13. puketronic

    puketronic Member

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    I do not have any camera. I have an OM but I feel that it is a bit too small. I handled a new F1 and I like it but I think I might opt for the old one because I want mirror lock up and do not care about a meter. I just want a simple, rugged, mechanical camera with glass that is relatively inexpensive and available. Pentax/Minolta/Konica seems harder to find. Nikon and Canon come to mind and since I have no incentive in going digital I was thinking Nikon non-Ai or Canon FD. I'm just exploring the Canon Option.


    I guess f2 aperture is quite fast but what I meant is that I'm not really looking for any L glass which is much more expensive, larger, and fast. e.g. 24mm f1.4L, 50mm f1.2L, 85mm f1.2L, etc.
     
  14. My personal setup is 28mm f/2.8, 35mm f/2, 50mm f/1.4, 135mm f/3.5 and a 70-210 f/4. All are sharp, contrasty and well made. Just as an aside, I have shot FD Canon's since 1977 when the police department I worked for bought AE-1's for basic crime scene photography. I have found FD to be way more than a "tourist camera". If you are interested - you can see some of my results for Canon FD in my gallery. The link here is a shot with the 70-210mm at 210mm. I wanted to compress the scene and the telephoto made that happen.

    http://www.apug.org/gallery1/showimage.php?i=69292&catid=member&imageuser=46549
     
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  15. PentaxBronica

    PentaxBronica Member

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    Pentax and Minolta really aren't that hard to find, although the fact that all K lenses will fit their DSLRs (and the final design of Minolta mount fits Sony DSLRs) tends to push prices up a bit.

    TBH it comes down to design philosophy and how you use the camera. Different brands took different approaches, it's up to you to find the best fit.
     
  16. Paul Howell

    Paul Howell Member

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    In the past I shot with Nikon, Konica, and Leica. I sill shoot with Pentex, Sigma and Konica. Last year a bought a T90 and a set of FD primes. Canon glass is very good, the FD lens are as good as any of the times including Nikon and Leica. I sold my canon kit only because I had too many camers.
     
  17. PentaxBronica

    PentaxBronica Member

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    The other thing to try with that OM (assuming that it does everything else you want) - look for the matching winder.

    A motor winder can often make a small camera much easier to get on with. I nearly always use one with Pentax M series bodies as they just give you a bit more to hang onto and better balance with larger lenses.
     
  18. benjiboy

    benjiboy Subscriber

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    Why do photographers worry so much about the quality of their hardware ?, when they should worry much more about if their work is good enough to justify owning the equipment.
     
  19. Excalibur2

    Excalibur2 Member

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    Ah!..... but with a very good:- lens, film (and it's properly developed) and camera body (working properly)....if you get poor results you have only yourself to blame :smile:
     
  20. PentaxBronica

    PentaxBronica Member

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    Because nobody gets the best results they're capable of if they're fighting awkward poor quality kit all the way.

    I also rather resent the implication that people should somehow only be "allowed" top spec cameras if they've been deemed worthy of them!
     
  21. benjiboy

    benjiboy Subscriber

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    On the other hand PentaxBronica the majority people of think that "if only I had a better camera I could take better pictures", you only have to look on this and other forums to prove this most of the posts are about the equipment not photographs, and the most prevalent idea is that photography is a problem that can be solved by throwing money at it by buying more "stuff", when many of the photographers who are now considered great became so with cameras that most rank beginners these days would scoff at.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 17, 2012
  22. tony lockerbie

    tony lockerbie Subscriber

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    I use Canon FD gear a lot and have most of their lenses. Really can't say that there are any duds at all amongst them, despite the negative comments that you sometimes hear. The advantage of FD lenses over the Nikon counterparts is price, Canon stuff is undervalued these days...which is great!
    Starting with the 50's, I mostly use the 50mm 1.2L, a lens that is still a bit pricey these days, but I also have a few different versions of the 1.4, and all are fine. Same with the 28's. I have owned the 2.8 and now use the F2 version, both are fine lenses...ditto the 24mm.
    Also have the 100mm F2 and 135mm F2 with the 135mm being a standout...this is a really great lens, but quite large and heavy. The 100 is very compact and also very sharp, except at full aperture where it is a bit soft...Canon deliberately made it that way for portraits.
    The 35mm F2, as others have stated, is one of Canon's finest, try to find a SSC version. If you need wider there is the 20mm 2.8, which, despite some reviews, is really great also.
    I also have the 85mm 1.2, which is as good as it's reputation, plus it looks really great. The downside is the weight and cost, one of the few FD's that doesn't come cheap! The 100 could serve the purpose just as well, though the wide aperture performance of the 85 is unbeatable.
    My choice if you are on a budget would be a 24mm 2.8, 50mm 1.4, 100mm 2 (or 135mm 2.5), hope that helps.
     
  23. benjiboy

    benjiboy Subscriber

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    The only Canon FD lens that I know is reputed to be poor, and to be avoided is the 100-200 mm f 5.6 zoom, speaking generally all F.D. lenses are more than twenty years old and the quality of the results they are capable of like all lenses of that age depends to some degree (regardless of the original specifications) on how the previous owners have treated them, and the conditions they have been stored in.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 19, 2012