Canon FD SSC 50mm f1.4 VS FDn 50mm

Discussion in '35mm Cameras and Accessories' started by darinwc, Sep 13, 2011.

  1. darinwc

    darinwc Subscriber

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    Does anyone know if the
    Canon FD SSC 50mm f1.4 is different than the Canon FDn 50mm f1.4 optically.

    When I put the two next to each other, one looks longer than the other and I swear I see different reflections.
     
  2. 2F/2F

    2F/2F Member

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    Canon said of the new FD:

    "The optical concept of this lens originated with the FL50mm f/1.4 II and FD50mm f/1.4. It achieves more compactness and higher contrast simultaneously. It has been called "the standard lens of standard lenses", because of its high image quality. It has an excellent color balance, which is virtually identical to the ISO recommended reference value."

    The S.S.C. and the FDn have the same number of elements and groups, and it sounds like the basic design goes back to the 50mm f/1.4 FL lens. Maybe they just made the FDn one a bit smaller. I know they take 52 filters instead of 55's. And I can never tell the difference between the images made with each, even with my S.S.C. being full of fungus.
     
  3. Jeff Kubach

    Jeff Kubach Member

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    I have the old S.S.c. 50 f/1.4. Never compare to the new one, but still an excellent performer.

    Jeff
     
  4. Pumalite

    Pumalite Subscriber

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    I have both. I can't tell them apart when pictures come.
     
  5. hpulley

    hpulley Member

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    The plastic mounted one has newer coatings, hence the 'reflections' look different. In high flare conditions you might notice higher contrast in images taken with the newer one but in essence both are in fact the same as the old FL 50mm f/1.4 and the newer autofocus EF 50mm f/1.4 as well. Canon got a lot of mileage out of what is essentially the same optical formula.
     
  6. benjiboy

    benjiboy Subscriber

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    I have both and I prefer the new type with the bayonet fitting and plastic barrel because they are lighter it takes 52mm filters like my other FD lenses, and they are a lot less fiddly to change quickly.
     
  7. Pumalite

    Pumalite Subscriber

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    I prefer the old type. Call me "Old Fashioned"
     
  8. brucemuir

    brucemuir Member

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    How do any of these iterations do wide open @ 1.4?
    I'm always looking for one that performs well wide open.

    Most fastish 50's (1.4) I've tried usually are just passable wide open.
    The canon EF version does sharpen up quickly (1.8-2.2) though.
     
  9. hpulley

    hpulley Member

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    The FD versions also sharpen up quickly but I've found the FD and EF (unrelated designs) of 1.8 are actually sharper by f/4 or f/5.6. The f/1.2 models are even softer generally in my experience.
     
  10. dynachrome

    dynachrome Member

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    This is a very old question. I have two 50/1.4 New FD lenses and three 50/1.4 FD SSCs. Both the older and newer lenses are very good. If one works better today it is because of condition and not design.
     
  11. benjiboy

    benjiboy Subscriber

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    Assuming that every new example of the lenses performed identically when they were manufactured after 25-35 years of use and misuse how can you compare the performance of one lens that I have with one that someone at the other side of the World has ?.
    The Canon FD 50 1.4 lens was an industry standard in it's day all kinds of official bodies, government and military organizations used them, if you buy either the breech lock or the bayonet fitting version in good condition you won't be disappointed.
     
  12. Focus No. 9

    Focus No. 9 Member

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    i don't understand. the fd is both breech and bayonet
     
  13. dnjl

    dnjl Member

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    I can't speak for the breech-lock lens, but my FDn is a very good performer wide open. I found it much sharper at f1.4 than the much-praised FD 85mm f1.2L at f1.2 or 1.4. I don't know if that comparison is worth much, just wanted to mention it.
     
  14. benjiboy

    benjiboy Subscriber

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    On reflection I've owned a Canon FD 50mm f1.4 breech lock lens for almost forty years and don't think I've ever used it wide open, and rarely at f2.8.
     
  15. lxdude

    lxdude Member

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    The "bayonet" lenses are cleverly modified, so that the lens attaches with an action similar to that of a bayonet mount type of lens. Instead of mounting the lens and then twisting a breech lock ring to tighten it, the lens is mounted and the lens body turned to tighten it. They are still breech lock lenses; the way the lock is actuated is different.

    I find the "bayonet" type to be a little faster and easier, as it's all done easily one-handed, where with the original design a third hand to hold the camera would have been useful at times. The original design, though, is simple and widely considered more rugged, as the new design is, by comparison to it, complex and delicate.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 19, 2011
  16. 2F/2F

    2F/2F Member

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    The breech lock lenses are cocked, and the ring spins by itself most of the way; then you just need to tighten it a bit. They are easy as pie to put on with one hand. OTOH, I find having to press the silver button on the later ones to be a PITA.
     
  17. Trask

    Trask Subscriber

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    I can remember that Canon's advertising back in the day for the breech-lock system highlighted the fact that as the mount wore through years of use, the user could still assure solid contact between lens and lens mount by tightening the lock ring just that little bit more. This, presumably, was in contrast to Nikon and other mount lenses that bayonet into place -- were the lens mount to wear, there's no way to tighten the lens/body contact beyond the end stop of the bayonet.

    I've got both breech lock and twist to lock Canon lenses, and I'll confess that I do worry a tiny bit about vibration loosening the breech lock as I'm walking along. It has never happened, perhaps because I keep tightening the breech lock out of paranoia.
     
  18. benjiboy

    benjiboy Subscriber

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    How many thousand times do you need to change lenses on an 18/8 gauge stainless steel lens mount to wear it, my engineering training tells me this is advertising agency bull shit.
     
  19. Excalibur2

    Excalibur2 Member

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    Well I bought a Canon lens at a boot sale with the mount abused (someone must have tried to force the lens on a different camera) and after filing and straightening was pleased the breech lock design took up the slack....... re "I can remember that Canon's advertising back in the day for the breech-lock system highlighted the fact that as the mount wore through years of use, the user could still assure solid contact between lens and lens mount by tightening the lock ring just that little bit more. This, presumably, was in contrast to Nikon and other mount lenses that bayonet into place -- were the lens mount to wear, there's no way to tighten the lens/body contact beyond the end stop of the bayonet."
     
  20. benjiboy

    benjiboy Subscriber

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    This is irrelevant because how many people buy FD lenses whose mounts have been filed down ? I repeat my question regardless of what Canons advertising copywriters write, how many thousands of times does an FD lens need to be mounted and dismounted to cause any significant wear to either the lens or the 18/8 gauge stainless steel camera mount ? probably more than you can do in a lifetime.
     
  21. Excalibur2

    Excalibur2 Member

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    erm just shows the breech lock was basically a good design, although I find it annoying as some of my lenses don't seem to click into place easily before rotating the collar.