Trying to decide on FD Lenses

Discussion in '35mm Cameras and Accessories' started by agphotography, Feb 5, 2011.

  1. agphotography

    agphotography Member

    Messages:
    664
    Joined:
    Mar 17, 2010
    Location:
    Orange County
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Hey guys!

    I recently acquired an A-1 kit which came with lots of stuff overall. I'm only keeping some of it and the rest will be sold. What I'm trying to decide though, is what to keep, what to sell, and what (if anything) to buy.

    Here's what I have right now:

    2x A-1 bodies (one is getting sold to a friend for sure)
    Winder A2 (I actually like the way the Winder A looks better and I don't need the motor drive)
    2x 50mm f/1.8 (one's going with the camera being sold)
    28mm f/2.8
    100mm f/2.8
    35-105mm f/3.5
    60-120mm f/2.8 (Tokina)

    I was planning on selling both zooms and the 50mm and buying a 50mm f/1.4 and calling it a day with the 28/50/100 kit.

    I've heard good things about the 35-105 and I do like it, it's built really well, but it's pretty large and I'm just not sure if it's worth keeping for me.

    However, as a side note. I am also a Digital Micro 4/3 user and all of these lenses can be easily adapted onto my camera which would be fun as well.

    I'd love to hear some opinions from you guys, I know the L lenses are the ones to get, but I spend my money on the EF L lenses for my DSLRs, I just want decent lenses for the times I still want to shoot film.

    Thanks!

    - Abram
     
  2. DWThomas

    DWThomas Subscriber

    Messages:
    2,899
    Joined:
    Jun 13, 2006
    Location:
    SE Pennsylvania
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Well we're all different, but for years all I had or felt the need for was the 50mm 1.4 and the 35-105 f/3.5 macro and I would lean strongly toward keeping the latter. I later added the 35-70 f/3.5-4.5 which is cheap, light and compact; while a great walk-around/snapshot lens, it has considerably more distortion than the 35-105. I have a third party 35mm and a Canon 50mm 1.8 but those were inherited, along with an AE-1, and I don't really use them.

    My 2 cents
     
  3. MattKing

    MattKing Subscriber

    Messages:
    16,807
    Joined:
    Apr 24, 2005
    Location:
    Delta, BC, Canada
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    I'd shoot with them all before deciding.

    You may find that the ergonomics suit you, or the bokeh appeals to you, or the colour rendition is attractive to you, ....
     
  4. darinwc

    darinwc Subscriber

    Messages:
    2,450
    Joined:
    Dec 14, 2003
    Location:
    Sacramento,
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    The 50mm f1.4 is a great lens and you should be able to find one on the cheap.

    The 28mm and 100mm lenses are also excellent and will suit you well.

    That will give you a great 3-lens kit.
     
  5. agphotography

    agphotography Member

    Messages:
    664
    Joined:
    Mar 17, 2010
    Location:
    Orange County
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Does anyone else share my opinion that they like the look of the Winder A better than that of the "newer" Winder A2?

    Thank you for the advice thus-far. I haven't had a chance to shoot any film in the cameras yet because I didn't want to use them until I could replace the light seals and mirror baffle. Didn't want to risk damaging anything.

    I don't think I'd really use the 60-120mm much because it's kind of an odd range for me. I can definitely see myself using the 100mm prime far more often.

    I guess my only debate is wether to keep the 35-105 or not. It's a pretty big lens on the A-1 w/o the Winder attached. Kind of awkward to hold that way. Almost like my 5DmkII w/ 24-70mm f/2.8L and no battery grip. Very front heavy.
     
  6. 2F/2F

    2F/2F Member

    Messages:
    8,004
    Joined:
    Apr 29, 2008
    Location:
    Los Angeles,
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    That is what I was going to suggest! I would sell both 50mm 1.8's, though, and get a 1.4.

    I'd also suggest picking up an EOS film body. They are dirt cheap, and it would be a shame to let all that great EF glass be used only for digital. I got my EOS 3, which I consider to be one to the two best Canon AF bodies ever made, in near-new condition for under $200 shipped through these classifieds.
     
  7. Mainecoonmaniac

    Mainecoonmaniac Subscriber

    Messages:
    3,958
    Joined:
    Dec 10, 2009
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    I got 50mm f1.4 from eBay for cheap

    I love that lens. Nice Bokeh wide open. I wanted one 25 years ago, but can't afford it because it cost hundreds of dollars. But now it's a different story.
     
  8. white.elephant

    white.elephant Member

    Messages:
    197
    Joined:
    Apr 5, 2008
    Location:
    Pittsburgh,
    Shooter:
    35mm RF
    I'm also a fan of the 35-105, but as you say, it is a bit heavy.
     
  9. 2F/2F

    2F/2F Member

    Messages:
    8,004
    Joined:
    Apr 29, 2008
    Location:
    Los Angeles,
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    I would keep a zoom only if you shoot with one camera and are stuck in one place often. Otherwise, why use a heavier, larger, slower, and less technically sound lens?
     
  10. David A. Goldfarb

    David A. Goldfarb Moderator Staff Member Moderator

    Messages:
    17,940
    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2002
    Location:
    Honolulu, Ha
    Shooter:
    Large Format
    The 35-105/3.5 constant-aperture lens is a real classic, and it's a good zoom range for event photography, where you're likely to be switching between single portraits and photographs of people in groups quickly and won't have time to change lenses, and if you're also using non-TTL auto flash, you'll get fairly consistent exposures. If you don't do that kind of photography, then sell it, and you can buy another nice FD lens. A lot of the top of the line FD lenses like the 50/1.2L or the 85/1.2L are real bargains, considering what they can do. I'm personally a fan of the 35/2.
     
  11. David's absolutely right. Although I've never used the 35-105/3.5, I'd trust anyone who's had experience with it, or comparable lenses. Personally, I don't use a zoom -- just don't have the need, for my purposes. I've been using the following FD lenses (they're the only ones I own) with great satisfaction with my F-1N: 35/2, 50/1.2L, and 100/2. They accommodate just about every situation encountered.

    Good luck with your A-1 purchase, and have fun!
     
  12. agphotography

    agphotography Member

    Messages:
    664
    Joined:
    Mar 17, 2010
    Location:
    Orange County
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Thanks so much everyone for chiming in!

    I do have one EOS film body left at present, it's a 630 which works alright for my intent. I do all of my event and professional work digitally now (I know.. I know..) but I refuse to totally let go of film because it's my background!

    I don't see myself shooting events or anything that would require a zoom, that's left to my digital gear. So I think I'll go ahead and sell the 35-105 as well. Does seem like a nice lens though.

    I know the 28 f/2.8 isn't the most highly regarded lens, but is there another prime option that isn't that costly?
     
  13. frobozz

    frobozz Subscriber

    Messages:
    1,362
    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2010
    Location:
    Mundelein, I
    Shooter:
    35mm
    The 24/2.8 is in my opinion the best affordable all around FD wide angle, and they can be had pretty cheaply if you're patient.

    Avoid the ones with the green circle instead of the green A at the auto position (the oldest breechlock ones) unless you can inspect it personally first, as I've seen a lot if those with element glue separation in the rear element.

    Duncan
     
  14. Sponsored Ad
  15. Jeff Kubach

    Jeff Kubach Member

    Messages:
    6,930
    Joined:
    Sep 29, 2007
    Location:
    Richmond VA.
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    I never had a bad FD lens, all of them are good!

    Jeff
     
  16. Excalibur2

    Excalibur2 Member

    Messages:
    410
    Joined:
    Sep 15, 2008
    Location:
    UK
    Shooter:
    35mm
    ****I know the 28 f/2.8 isn't the most highly regarded lens, but is there another prime option that isn't that costly? ****

    The fdn 28mm f2.8 is a very good lens, ok maybe not the best 28mm in the world but my copy has produced an excellent 16"X20" print.
     
  17. agphotography

    agphotography Member

    Messages:
    664
    Joined:
    Mar 17, 2010
    Location:
    Orange County
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Sounds good to me! Doesn't have to be the best, but just good enough :D

    I listed all the extra stuff on eBay today so I'm going to be on the hunt for a FDn 50mm f/1.4, Unless anyone has a spare?
     
  18. tony lockerbie

    tony lockerbie Subscriber

    Messages:
    2,363
    Joined:
    Feb 16, 2006
    Location:
    Merimbula NSW Australia
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Sounds like you have a good kit, especialy if you combine it with the 50mm 1.4. I have used both (and still have) the 28mm 2.8 and 28mm 2, can't really see much, if any difference in image quality between the two. The 2.8 may seem a bit poverty pack, but all the examples I have used produce really sharp images.
     
  19. Focus No. 9

    Focus No. 9 Member

    Messages:
    243
    Joined:
    Feb 22, 2010
    Shooter:
    35mm
    I just purchased this lens and I don't know if it works. The blades don't move when adjusting aperture. Either on or off the camera. I tried the lens on a T50.
     
  20. Excalibur2

    Excalibur2 Member

    Messages:
    410
    Joined:
    Sep 15, 2008
    Location:
    UK
    Shooter:
    35mm

    Another VG lens is the FDn 35mm f2.8, everybody raves about the f2 ver which is supposed (I don't own one) to be superior and the f2.8 is ignored and can be bought quite cheap. The only FD Canons that don't impress me are the FDn 200mm f4, the FDn70-210 f4 and the cheapy FDn 35-70mm kit lens....maybe I have bad copies :sad:
     
  21. hpulley

    hpulley Member

    Messages:
    2,214
    Joined:
    Oct 6, 2010
    Location:
    Guelph, Onta
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    I wasn't that impressed with my 70-210 f/4 zoom either so I sold it.

    I had a 28 f/2.8 but the 28 f/2 really is better for wide open work -- if you are always stopped down to f/8 or so then the f/2.8 version is fine.

    Never owned the 35mm f/2.8 but the f/2 version really is that good, it deserves all the praise it gets.

    24mm f/2 is another great one.

    50 f/1.4 is still soft until you stop it down a fair bit. The f/1.8 is actually sharper in my experience though colder and without as much contrast or saturation.

    200mm f/2.8 is very good. 300mm f/4L is good but really not that much better than the 300mm f/4 version.
     
  22. agphotography

    agphotography Member

    Messages:
    664
    Joined:
    Mar 17, 2010
    Location:
    Orange County
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    I actually have a 200 f/2.8 from the AE-1 kit I bought that turned out to be in pretty poor shape so I sold it on eBay.
    I'm not much of a telephoto shooter, I think the 100 would be fine for my desires with this camera.
    Wide angles however, that's my game for sure. I'll look into the 24/28/35 f/2 versions if I can find one of them for a decent price. 35mm is definitely one of my favorite focal lengths as well.
     
  23. 2F/2F

    2F/2F Member

    Messages:
    8,004
    Joined:
    Apr 29, 2008
    Location:
    Los Angeles,
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    I love my 200 2.8's. All three of them! One is the older new FD model that I got in a pawn shop for $90. A bit beat up, but great images. Then came a like-new IF model as part of a kit on which I scored on E-Bay (F-1, FTb, 55mm f/1.2, 17mm f/4, 50mm f/1.4 nFD, 200mm f/2.8 IF, motor drive MF, low light Booster for FTb, Haliburton case, and more for $350). Unfortunately, I took that one out of commission by dropping it on a rock on the west bank of the Mississippi River on my way to the inauguration of the prez a few years ago. I dropped the camera, and the lens went flying while the mount stayed on the AE-1. Ouch! Once in Washington, I bought a used replacement from a local camera shop the night before the inauguration, since I did not have time to have my old version shipped to me. I cannot tell any difference in image quality between the two lenses. The IF is smoother and faster to focus, though it looks a little goofy with its straight and skinny body and wide front end.

    I mostly got my broken one back together. Only the mount broke. The glass is fine, and the body just has a scratch or two. I think I must have lost a part in the mud, though, as I cannot get these two parts of the internals to link up the way they should.

    Anyhow, good build quality, and good image quality. I'd highly recommend one of these. I find 200mm to be an extremely useful focal length sometimes. I knew I needed one at the inauguration for some of what I wanted to shoot, so I bit the bullet and dropped an unplanned-for $200. On the plus side, I had a nice Metro ride to get to the shop!
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 6, 2011
  24. agphotography

    agphotography Member

    Messages:
    664
    Joined:
    Mar 17, 2010
    Location:
    Orange County
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Wait which version is which? How do I know which one I had? It was pretty worn and had some element separation or haze or something in the front element but it sold on eBay for only $56. I hope I didn't miss out haha
     
  25. 2F/2F

    2F/2F Member

    Messages:
    8,004
    Joined:
    Apr 29, 2008
    Location:
    Los Angeles,
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    It is easy to tell the difference, because they are shaped differently; and one uses internal focusing. The IF version has a straight barrel and a notable step outward to the larger diameter front part of the lens. The earlier one's barrel is tapered outward as you move away from the camera, and transitions smoothly into the wide front portion of the lens. Both have built-in retractable hoods, but the IF screws into place in the extended position.
     
  26. agphotography

    agphotography Member

    Messages:
    664
    Joined:
    Mar 17, 2010
    Location:
    Orange County
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Ah ok I must have had the previous version then.