Which Canon FD 50mm f/1.4 ?

Discussion in '35mm Cameras and Accessories' started by Brad Bireley, Apr 11, 2009.

  1. Brad Bireley

    Brad Bireley Subscriber

    Messages:
    624
    Joined:
    Mar 14, 2006
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Which Canon FD 50mm f/1.4 is the best, the breach lock(SSC) or the newer one?
     
  2. tcboucher

    tcboucher Member

    Messages:
    15
    Joined:
    Mar 3, 2008
    Location:
    Regina, SK,
    Shooter:
    35mm
    well i have one of the newer ones and its sharper than my 24-70 and my 17-40 L series... and from what i was reading earlier today they old ones were stupidly heavy so most people preferred the newer 1.4 or the 55mm f1.2
     
  3. 2F/2F

    2F/2F Member

    Messages:
    8,003
    Joined:
    Apr 29, 2008
    Location:
    Los Angeles,
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    What do you mean by "best"?

    IMO, take whichever one you can get for a good deal and forget worrying about the minor differences. They are all good.

    I have the S.S.C. a bit beat up and with fungus, and the new FD version in like mint condition. Both are fine. I prefer the S.S.C. over all, however.

    I also find S.S.C. lenses quicker and easier to mount and dismount, and find the aperture rings easier to use.

    The S.S.C. is as sharp as I need it to be, even with fungus around the edges. A repair man told me he could fix it for $45. I said forget it. It is worth maybe $20 best case scenario, and it is perfectly sharp!
     
  4. Jeff Kubach

    Jeff Kubach Member

    Messages:
    6,930
    Joined:
    Sep 29, 2007
    Location:
    Richmond VA.
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Both are great, I agree with 2F/2F that on the older one the aperture ring is easier to use.

    Jeff
     
  5. darinwc

    darinwc Subscriber

    Messages:
    2,459
    Joined:
    Dec 14, 2003
    Location:
    Sacramento,
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    The SSC and FDn types have better coatings that the older SC and FL lenses.
    But they are all great quality lenses and a bargain price. Imho the SSC lenses have a better build quality but the FDn lenses are lighter. Both are super easy to mount/unmount compared to other brands.
     
  6. benjiboy

    benjiboy Subscriber

    Messages:
    8,598
    Joined:
    Apr 18, 2005
    Location:
    U.K.
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    I have both and find no optical difference, the breech lock SSC version takes 55mm filters the new type takes 52mm, I tend to use the new one more because most of my other lenses are the new type,so I don't need to use a stepping ring.
     
  7. Mackinaw

    Mackinaw Member

    Messages:
    390
    Joined:
    Jan 2, 2005
    Location:
    One hour sou
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Early FD lenses were built during a time when Canon said spared no expense to build a top quality lens, both optically and mechanically. They are heavier than the later sometimes plastic FDn lenses, but are substantially more robust. I've long since traded my FDn lenses for the earlier FDs'.

    Jim B.
     
  8. darinwc

    darinwc Subscriber

    Messages:
    2,459
    Joined:
    Dec 14, 2003
    Location:
    Sacramento,
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Speaking of the fd 50mm f1.4...
    I'd like to mention that I really like it. I think it gives a very nice 3d look to the prints. Moreso that the f1.2.
    Does anyone else feel the same?
     
  9. Mark Layne

    Mark Layne Member

    Messages:
    920
    Joined:
    Jun 9, 2003
    Location:
    Nova Scotia
    And the old SC is smoother than any
    Mark
     
  10. white.elephant

    white.elephant Member

    Messages:
    197
    Joined:
    Apr 5, 2008
    Location:
    Pittsburgh,
    Shooter:
    35mm RF
    I love my 'newer' 1.4 quite a bit.
     
  11. FilmOnly

    FilmOnly Member

    Messages:
    550
    Joined:
    Jul 3, 2008
    Location:
    Southeastern
    Shooter:
    35mm
    I highly recommend the pre-S.C. 50/1.4. This 50/1.4 tested better than any of its 50mm siblings (with the exception of L-series lenses, I gather), with near-perfect performance almost throughout the aperture spectrum. From f/4 and beyond, it is superb in all three critical catergoies (vingetting, resolution, distortion). I have two pre-S.C. 50/1.4s. The build quality is spectacular. Many Japanese photographers actually prefer non-multi-coated lenses, particularly for black and white photography.

    P.S.: When cleaning a pre-S.C. lens, you will also note the buttery-smooth character of the glass.
     
  12. 2F/2F

    2F/2F Member

    Messages:
    8,003
    Joined:
    Apr 29, 2008
    Location:
    Los Angeles,
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Anyone who thinks the 55mm f/1.2 is lighter than the 50mm f/1.4 S.S.C. has another think coming! I have both of these lenses. The 55 is significantly more heavy, just by feel. I have never measured their weights, but I could if anyone is interested (and the New FD 50mm f/1.4, and the New FD 50mm f/1.8).

    Yes, I like FL lenses as well, and Nikon F lenses from before they multicoated them. (Nikon held off for quite some time before multicoating them; early-mid '70s, I believe.)
     
  13. benjiboy

    benjiboy Subscriber

    Messages:
    8,598
    Joined:
    Apr 18, 2005
    Location:
    U.K.
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    FD plastic barrels

    The breech lock lenses were indeed well made lenses,and I respect the fact that some people prefer them.In the days the B/L lenses were made them zoom lenses were much less prevalent, the reason they started manufacturing barrels of the new type lenses in a plastic material was to save weight that can be considerable if you are lugging several around.
    If you consider that all these lenses new type lenses are more than twenty years old, I have never heard of anyone having any problems because of the plastic barrels, and I used to handle all the camera repairs for a group of ten photographic stores for about twenty years.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 12, 2009
  14. FilmOnly

    FilmOnly Member

    Messages:
    550
    Joined:
    Jul 3, 2008
    Location:
    Southeastern
    Shooter:
    35mm
    My pre-S.C. 50/1.4 lenses are actually FD lenses, not FL lenses.

    The FLs do interest me, though. I am rather careful about thoriated lenses, though, and I am not sure which FLs had the radioactive coating. Yes, I know that the radiation levels are very low, but, since there are so many fine older lenses out there, I have decided to avoid those that use thorium.
     
  15. benjiboy

    benjiboy Subscriber

    Messages:
    8,598
    Joined:
    Apr 18, 2005
    Location:
    U.K.
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    The only Canon lenses as far as I know that used Thorium Salts added to the glass in the manufacturing process this was not a coating but added to make the glass low dispersion, were the 35mm f2 the one with the concave front element, the 55mm 1.2 AL, 55mm 1.2 SSC AL, 55mm1.2 SSC Aspheric , and the FL 58mm 1.2
    I have the FD chrome nosed 35mm f2 Thorium lens, and am saving up for some Lead lined boxer shorts
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 13, 2009
  16. Pumal

    Pumal Member

    Messages:
    580
    Joined:
    Mar 12, 2009
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    If you are going to worry about that; you couldn't use Super-Multi-Coated Takumars either and they are great lenses.
     
  17. 2F/2F

    2F/2F Member

    Messages:
    8,003
    Joined:
    Apr 29, 2008
    Location:
    Los Angeles,
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    The thorium in lenses will not hurt you. You are worse off being out in the sun.
     
  18. benjiboy

    benjiboy Subscriber

    Messages:
    8,598
    Joined:
    Apr 18, 2005
    Location:
    U.K.
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Yes, I agree, I had one of my sons who is a physicist look into this for me,and he said it was safe, and that many domestic products emit more radiation, in fact there was once a Thorium tooth paste made in Germany in WW11. http://www.orau.org/ptp/collection/quackcures/toothpaste.htm :surprised:
     
  19. FilmOnly

    FilmOnly Member

    Messages:
    550
    Joined:
    Jul 3, 2008
    Location:
    Southeastern
    Shooter:
    35mm
    I am aware of the thorium in certain Pentax Takumars, and have already sold all that contain thorium. I have purchased A-series Pentax lenses, and have found their performance to be comparable (if not superior in certian cases). The Takumars are a great deal, often selling for pennies on the dollar, but I would rather err on the side of safety.
     
  20. nicefor88

    nicefor88 Member

    Messages:
    249
    Joined:
    Mar 4, 2009
    Location:
    Bruxelles, B
    Shooter:
    35mm
    I use the FD and it gives splendid results.
     
  21. ozphoto

    ozphoto Subscriber

    Messages:
    1,329
    Joined:
    Apr 2, 2006
    Location:
    Bangkok, Tha
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    I've used both. The S.C. felt more solid than the FD I had.
    Both were nice and sharp and I was sad to see the S.C. go when I changed to EF.

    - Nanette
    www.nanettereid.com