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The 5 Best Canon FD Lenses (Reviewed & Compared)

Canon is that it brings to the table whatever you may need considering the cameras and camcorders! Well, this brand can not stop when it comes to lenses!

This article will find the best Canon FD lenses that work perfectly, especially with Canon cameras in general. In case you doubt or don’t know what the letters FD mean, FD on a lens means Fully Automatic Diaphragm.

A Quick Look At My Favorite Canon FD Lenses

ImageProductFeaturesPrice
Best Zoom
CANON FD 135mm F/2.5 S.C. MF
CANON FD 135mm F/2.5 S.C. MF
10
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Best Portable
Canon FD 35-70 mm F/4 MF
Canon FD 35-70 mm F/4 MF
9
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Best For General Use
Canon Lens FD 28mm 1:2.8
Canon Lens FD 28mm 1:2.8
8.6
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Best Overall
Canon FD 50mm f/3.5 S.S.C
Canon FD 50mm f/3.5 S.S.C
8.5
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Key Takeaways

  • Both Canon, as a brand and the maker of the lenses, consistently provide top-notch goods.
  • Since FD lenses are flawless and perform well, mainly when used with any Canon cameras, Canon also performs a fantastic job with them.
  • The Canon FD 50mm f/3.5 S.S.C. would be my first and best choice if I had to buy an FD lens for my camera.
  • The Canon Lens FD 28mm F/2.8 is the one to choose if you want a lens that you can use for everything without any restrictions because it is the greatest for general use.
  • The greatest thing you can do is to use a lens, and Canon FD lenses are the best lenses you can utilize for great results.

Without losing too much time, let’s get straight to the lenses that I chose for you!

The Top Four Best Canon FD Lenses

4. CANON FD 135mm F/2.5 S.C. MF – Best Zoom

What I Like

  • Great wide apertures
  • Amazing rendering
  • Well built

What I Don’t Like

  • Heavy

This Canon FD lens is one of the first FD lenses that Canon made. It is a great telephoto lens which means that it has a longer focal length than other ones and brings to you a narrower field of view.

Starting it off with the looks firstly; it is a lens that is covered fully in black. It has a strong build in general, and it measures 6.7 x 4.4 x 3.4 inches. When it comes to the weight the lens is a lightweight one weighing 1.1 pounds. It has a compact body in general and based on that it is a great portable lens. S.C on this lens means that it owns a single coating which Canon calls Spectra Coating.

This lens is packed with 6 elements that are divided into 5 groups and its focal length is fully fixed. It is 135mm and it is one of the favourite focal lengths by those that shoot portrait photography. It can be used greatly for headshots or wider portraits.

The focus of this lens is manual, which means that you can choose whatever you want to be focused on the photography that you are about to take, and the closest focusing works at 1.5m while the maximum magnification works at 0.14x. Particularly, this lens is great when used in low light.

The aperture is an 8-blade diaphragm that works at a range of f/2.5. It works in a way with a bokeh effect, which helps you during portrait photography.

Why should you buy it?

This lens has a compact body in general and based on that it is a great portable lens.

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3. Canon FD 35-70 mm F/4 MF – Best Portable

What I Like

  • Edge to edge sharp wide open
  • Lightweight
  • Affordable

What I Don’t Like

  • Filters are hard to use

This next lens from Canon differs from the other one already mentioned since it is a standard lens. That can mean only one thing; this lens is a normal one that can be used for anything that you want.

Even though on a first look it may look old, the lens is quite sturdy and owns a very solid build and it is a very durable lens. The measurements of this lens are 6.8 x 4.5 x 3.4 inches and its weight is 15.2 ounces; a super-lightweight lens. At the front part of this lens, you will notice that it uses a filter and it should be no more than 52mm big.

The elements that this lens features are fully 8 and they are as well divided into 8 groups. The focal length that we encounter on this lens works from 35mm p to 70mm, meaning that it is not fixed and allows you to zoom in or out.

The focus, on the other hand, just as you can see on the name of the lens, MF; is a manual focusing that works super good. The focus range works from 0.5m as the closest, and the maximum magnification goes on to 0.15x.

The aperture blades on this lens are 6 in number, while its aperture range works at f/4. What is special about the f/4 aperture is that it can be more used during outdoor photography in general, since it can not work perfectly in low light.

Why should you buy it?

The focal length is not fixed, meaning that it is not fixed and allows you to zoom in or out.

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2. Canon Lens FD 28mm F/2.8 – Best For General Use

What I Like

  • Great wide angle
  • Lightweight
  • Short MFD

What I Don’t Like

  • Flare resistance

As the next one appears a great wide-angle lens which would be the best companion while taking pictures of landscapes or street photography.

The build of this lens is the best thing that you could see! It is a super small lens that measures only 2.05 x 2.28 x 2.05 inches and it is a very compact lens that could come with you everywhere! The part of the portability is also related to the weight which is 6.9 ounces. It is known as a light and small lens, considering FD lenses. It is also a lens that accepts a filter of 52mm, the same as the one above.

In the construction of this lens are also added its elements. It is packed with 7 elements at 7 groups; a very balanced number. As long as the focal length is concerned, on this one, it is fixed and works at a range of only 28mm; making it a wide-angle lens.

Focusing with this lens also requires adjustments because it is a manual focus. However, even though manual, it delivers the closest focusing distance of 0.3m and the maximum magnification is at 0.13x.

The number of aperture blades on this goes down at 5. It owns the bokeh effect but still, you may have some problems and not quite clear when using it. What is important is that this lens has an aperture of f/2.8. The f/2.8 aperture helps you capture the sharpest images ever.

Why should you buy it?

This lens is a very compact lens that could come with you everywhere and is worth the purchase.

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1. Canon FD 50mm f/3.5 S.S.C. – Best Overall

What I Like

  • Solid construction
  • Incredibly sharp
  • Excellent close focus

What I Don’t Like

  • Long focus throw

Moving on, this lens is a macro lens. What a macro lens does, basically allows you to focus closer to a subject so that it can appear larger in the picture that is taken. You may have seen those great nature pictures of flowers and even insects appearing clear and sharp.

This lens is known as the one with an excellent build quality! It is very well built and has a super strong and very solid body. This lens is also small, measuring 2.9 x 2.4 x 2 inches and it has a weight of .3.99 ounces. It is the lightest FD lens that you can ever find and not only from Canon, but it is the lightest when compared to different FD lenses. That can not tell anything more than the lens is fully portable and unnoticed while mounted on a camera.

Packed with 6 elements divided into 4 groups, it has a focal length of 50mm (macro), which works perfectly during nature photography especially.

Being a macro lens, this one has a great focusing ability. The focus is manual again, but still, it helps you capture the best macro shots, and whatever you want to be focused on will be in the most perfect way. The closest focus works at 0.205m and the maximum magnification works at 0.5x, totally different from the lenses that I mentioned above.

The aperture blade is 6 in number and it works at a range of f/3.5. Photographers all around the world always advise people to shoot at an aperture of f/3.5 because it is the greatest.

Why should you buy it?

It is the lightest FD lens that you can ever find and not only from Canon, but it is the lightest when compared to different FD lenses.

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Frequently Asked Questions

What is a lens in the world of photography?

A lens is a tool that is used in order to bring light to a fixed focal point! They are known as camera accessories that would help anybody to take better pictures. When used with film cameras, a lens sends the light to the film strip while when we deal with the famous DSLR or mirrorless cameras, it sends the light to the digital sensor.

What are the types of lenses?

The lenses in general are divided into two types, based on the glass plates. There are convex lenses that are curved outward and concave lenses that are curved inward.

What are the types of lenses in photography?

The most basic types of lenses are the Prime Lenses the Zoom lenses. However, within these two types we deal with five more types of lenses:

  1. Macro Lenses – great for nature photography
  2. Telephoto Lenses – great for sports photography
  3. Standard Lenses –  for a variety of uses
  4. Wide-Angle Lenses – great for landscape or street photography
  5. Specialty Lenses – divided into Fisheye Lenses, Tilt-Shift Lenses, and Infrared Lenses. Great for unique shots

Are Canon FD lenses good lenses to be used?

Canon FD lenses at the moment are the most affordable lenses and the ones that have a high quality. They come in a variety of choices of focal length since there are many of them. However since the choices are dependent o your particular preference, what is else to say? Canon FD lenses are good lenses, yeah!

What are the most important characteristics of a lens?

Focal Length

The focal length is the measurement of the distance between the joining of the lens and the sensor that the camera owns. The focal length is measured with millimetres and that particular number tells you how much of a scene can your camera with the lens capture.

Aperture

The aperture is one of the most important things on a lens! It tells you hows big is the opening of the front part of the lens that lets the light come into the sensor. The aperture is expressed with f stops. You should also know that the larger the number of the f stops is, the smaller is the opening, and vice-versa.

Depth of Field

The depth of field in lenses tells the proportion of the distance or depth that is focused. It is fully linked with the focal length and the aperture, as well as it is linked with the focus of the lens.

Focus

Focus is again a very important thing that differs in different types of lenses. You may already know that there are two types of focusing; automatic and manual. That is used in order to make your shot more particular so that the subject that you are taking a picture of is shown sharper and clearer. What is important to know at this part is that the FD series of lenses from Canon all own a manual focusing ability.

Buying Guide – What should you consider before choosing the Best Canon FD Lens

Price

The price or the price range is the first thing that you should consider while trying to buy anything, not only lenses! Even though the Canon FD lenses that I chose above come as affordable ones, it is still important to keep an eye on the price.

Size and Weight

Depending on what type of photography you are more interested in, the size and weight always matter. This issue is as well related to the types of lenses that I mentioned above, and what are you going to use them for. If you are a traveller, more into street and landscape, you would need a smaller lens and one that is lighter in weight.

Compatibility

What if you choose a lens, and you see that it doesn’t work properly with your camera? There is no worse thing than that! Well, for compatibility, you should always look at the letters that are added to the name of the lens. Especially in this case, where I chose to tell you about the best lenses. Consider and research, if a lens is compatible with your camera.

Final Thoughts/ Verdict

Now, here we came at the end of this article. I think that I’ve covered every important thing that you need to know. As you can see, they are all affordable and I don’t think that you will have a problem with the price range! What I would like to mention is that FD lenses from Canon, don’t own image stabilization within either autofocus, but still, being affordable in a way make up for that.

Further Reading

What is great to know is that lenses are really important tools, especially if you want to become a professional photographer! If you don’t need Canon FD lenses, don’t worry at all, I have also prepared some other lenses, for example, you can find the best lenses for dental photography, best lenses for outdoor portraits, or even, making it more interesting you may also find the best lenses for boudoir photography and the best lenses for Astrophotography.

What can I say else besides, Have Fun While Using Them!

Alex Hampsink