Best Canon FD Lenses 2019 – These 10 Might Be Worth Sampling Out

There’s no denying that the Canon FD lenses represent some of the best glasses ever made. They tend to do an outstanding job, especially if one is familiar with the manual focus lenses.

But obviously, different lenses come with different specs. And also, there’s nothing like an all-in-one lens that suits everyone’s needs.

Therefore, in the review below, we’ll break down all the facts for you, hoping to help you make an informed choice.

10 Best FD Lenses for Canon on the Market – Comparison List

First off, here is a quick list to help you familiarize with some of the lenses discussed in the in-depth reviews further below.

Picture
EDITOR'S CHOICE
Canon 50mm f/1.4 FD Manual Focus Lens
Canon Zoom Lens FD 100-300mm f5.6 for Canon A-1...
Canon FD 70-210mm f/4.0 Zoom Lens
Canon FD 35-105 mm F3.5 MF Macro Zoom Lens
Canon Lens FD 28mm 1:2.8
Canon 100-200mm f5.6 FD 11150
Product Name
Canon 50mm f/1.4 FD Manual Focus Lens
Canon Zoom Lens FD 100-300mm f5.6 for Canon A-1...
Canon FD 70-210mm f/4.0 Zoom Lens
Canon FD 35-105 mm F3.5 MF Macro Zoom Lens
Canon Lens FD 28mm 1:2.8
Canon 100-200mm f5.6 FD 11150
Dimensions
6.1 x 3.9 x 3.7 inches
14 x 6 x 6 inches
6.8 x 2.9 x 2.9 inches
5.5 x 3.6 x 2.9 inches
9 x 8 x 4.9 inches
10.3 x 4.6 x 3.8 inches
Weight
11.2 ounces
6.4 ounces
26.4 ounces
29.6 ounces
37.6 ounces
15.2 ounces
Prime Status
-
-
-
-
-
-
EDITOR'S CHOICE
Picture
Canon 50mm f/1.4 FD Manual Focus Lens
Product Name
Canon 50mm f/1.4 FD Manual Focus Lens
Dimensions
6.1 x 3.9 x 3.7 inches
Weight
11.2 ounces
Prime Status
-
Check Latest Price
Picture
Canon Zoom Lens FD 100-300mm f5.6 for Canon A-1...
Product Name
Canon Zoom Lens FD 100-300mm f5.6 for Canon A-1...
Dimensions
14 x 6 x 6 inches
Weight
6.4 ounces
Prime Status
-
Check Latest Price
Picture
Canon FD 70-210mm f/4.0 Zoom Lens
Product Name
Canon FD 70-210mm f/4.0 Zoom Lens
Dimensions
6.8 x 2.9 x 2.9 inches
Weight
26.4 ounces
Prime Status
-
Check Latest Price
Picture
Canon FD 35-105 mm F3.5 MF Macro Zoom Lens
Product Name
Canon FD 35-105 mm F3.5 MF Macro Zoom Lens
Dimensions
5.5 x 3.6 x 2.9 inches
Weight
29.6 ounces
Prime Status
-
Check Latest Price
Picture
Canon Lens FD 28mm 1:2.8
Product Name
Canon Lens FD 28mm 1:2.8
Dimensions
9 x 8 x 4.9 inches
Weight
37.6 ounces
Prime Status
-
Check Latest Price
Picture
Canon 100-200mm f5.6 FD 11150
Product Name
Canon 100-200mm f5.6 FD 11150
Dimensions
10.3 x 4.6 x 3.8 inches
Weight
15.2 ounces
Prime Status
-
Check Latest Price

Top 10 best canon FD lenses in 2019

1. Canon f/1.4 50mm Manual Focus Lenses

The FD 500mm from Canon is probably one of the sharpest yet affordable lenses. You only need to familiarize with its manual focus system and you’ll be good to go.

One thing we like about this lens is that it’s quite well-balanced and compact. What’s more? When it comes to performance, this rig offers a pretty good level of flair-resistance.

The icing on the cake is that this lens’ resolution is quite high. And for that reason, you can get some pretty sharp images at f/1.4. However, as you progress toward f/2.8 you are likely to realize that the image will get a little sharper in the center.

And at f/5.6 you may start to notice the corners getting a little blurry. So, we think this is best suited for shooting at maximum aperture.

Pros

  • Sharp images
  • Well-balanced, compact design
  • Durably built
  • Reasonably priced

Cons

  • Below-par performance at f5.6 and above
  • A bit of distortion and vignetting

2. Canon 100-300mm FD Zoom Lens

This one here is a highly versatile zoom lens. In fact, its closest focusing distance is 2 meters which is a significant improvement from its predecessor that had a 2.5-meter minimum distance.

Yet another benefit of this powerful rig is that it provides lots of focal magnification. This is all thanks to a new compensation lens system which decreases overall length.

We also like the fact that this 100-300mm FD lens has a well-made focusing ring. It has a grippy texture providing you with even more focusing power.

And don’t let its monstrous design fool you, this is actually a lightweight lens which can be used conveniently, all day long.

Pros

  • Light in weight
  • Well-made focusing ring
  • Ideal for long-range shorts
  • Can be used for portrait photography
  • Good value for money

Cons

  • Huge in size hence bulky

3. Canon FD f/4.0 70-210mm Zoom Lens

If you’re looking for a zoom lens that can still be used to capture some up-close shots, the Canon FD 70-210mm would be your best bet. It has a minimum focusing distance of 0.44 meters and still packs a 3X zoom ratio.

The first highlight of this lens comes from its sharpness. Indeed, this device delivers some awesome and sharp images. And unless you are really keen, you may not even notice some of the chromatic aberrations it leaves behind.

It’s also important to note that this lens comes with a macro feature. Indeed, at the 70mm end, this camera still captures some awesome shots. That said, the lens’ images may not look as ones captured through a lens with a purpose-built macro lens.

Pros

  • Incredibly shot, closest focusing distance
  • Above-average optical performance
  • Great zooming power

Cons

  • Chromatic aberrations

4. Canon FD 35-105mm Marco Zoom Lens f/3.5

For close to 4 decades, this lens has carved a niche for itself as a non-L zoom lens that can be relied on to do a great job. And unlike other typical zoom lenses, this one has a relatively fast shutter and awesome aperture.

Given its specs, we find it to be an awesome bet for both outdoor and indoor photography assignments.

Its build quality is quite great. Generally, the lens feels quite solid and stable. And unlike other common zoom lenses, this one comes with a two-touch system complete with zoom and focus rings

And even though it doesn’t have such an awesome macro-mode, it can be fully relied upon whenever one is out and about.

Pros

  • Great for outdoor photography
  • Can be relied upon for portrait shots
  • Compact is design
  • Relatively light in weight

Cons

  • May add a blue-haze to the pictures
  • Aperture doesn’t seem to shrink further past f/5.6

5. Canon Lens 1:2.8 28mm

Truth be told, for a lens to be impeccable it doesn’t have to be gorgeous. That seems to be the clarion call as far as the Canon 1:2.8 FD lens goes.

This particular rig may seem minimalistic, but the truth of the matter is that it is made from a really strong polycarbonate. Yup, it’s made of plastic but interestingly doesn’t seem cheap at all.

Polycarbonate is one of the toughest forms of plastic. And, therefore, this lens seems perfectly suited for different kinds of tasks even in a rugged environment.

What’s more? Its built-in optical stabilization features go a long way in enhancing the quality of your shots. Indeed, distortion is almost non-existent in this particular lens.

On top of that, this is one of the few lenses that seem to have permanently dealt with the issue of spherical aberration.

Pros

  • High-quality shell
  • Awesome image stability
  • Consistent in quality
  • Awesome as a wide-angle lens

Cons

  • Distortion can be detected when the subject is in close proximity

6. Canon f/5.6 100-200mm 11150

If you are really on a tight budget but would still be interested in bringing a good looking lens home, the Canon 100-200mm would be your best bet. There is nothing really outstanding about it except the fact that it’s a good Canon FD lens under 50.

It may, however, struggle with low-light photography since its maximum aperture is at f/5.6. It does a relatively good job when used for outdoor photography although its images aren’t necessarily sharp.

We also find it to be a bit too large and bulky. And, therefore, we’d only recommend it to anyone who doesn’t have a lot of gear to carry around.

Pros

  • Reasonably priced
  • Relatively good, and satisfactory pictures
  • Durably built
  • Respectable zooming power

Cons

  • Bulky
  • Nothing stellar about its photo quality

7. Canon f/4 FD 35-70mm Lens

This is one of the old lenses that have remained at the very top of the market. And even though it was originally manufactured in the 1980s this 35-70mm continues to stun.

It has a maximum aperture of f/3.5 and that’s at 35mm or f/4.5 at 70mm. As such, it may not be the best choice for indoor or concert photography, especially where lighting is an issue.

On a positive note, the lens is quite light in weight. Weighing in at just over 200 grams, this one is convenient to handle and use, all day long in our view. And that’s in addition to it having a fantastic 0.5m minimum focus distance which makes it highly versatile.

Pros

  • Feels well-made though mainly made up of plastic
  • Light-in-weight and ideal for all-day carrying
  • Focus rings made from quality grooved rubber
  • Sharp images especially at f/8.0

Cons

  • Distortion can be noticed at lower focal lengths
  • Low contrast

8. Canon FD Telephoto Zoom Lens 80-200mm

With an incredible zoom ratio of 2.5x, this Telephoto lens stands out as a flexible lens suited for all-day use. But just how good is it when put to the test?

To begin with, although this lens may not be as fast as the prime lenses, it is extremely reliable. In fact, it has a superb optical composition of 15 elements along with a relay and compensator capability.

And, therefore, if you’ve been facing challenges related to aberration when using your other lens, you might want to settle for this one instead.

What’s more? It has a close focusing distance of 1 meter which makes it ideal for portraiture as long as the scene is well lit.

Pros

  • Great depth of field
  • Versatile working mechanism
  • Durably built
  • No issues related to aberrations
  • Generally light in weight given that it’s a telephoto lens

Cons

  • Large and bulky
  • Slow focusing speed

9. Canon f/2.5 135mm Canon FD Zoom Lens

This is an incredibly light-weight and affordable lens which seems to excel in both landscape and portrait photography. What’s more? The camera’s build quality seems great going by modern-day standards.

But even with that said, it is worth noting that this prime lens is mainly made up of plastic. Obviously plastic is lighter than metal meaning that this lens is suitable for all-day handling.

Another thing we like about this medium-sized lens is that it is pretty well-balanced. And on top of that, its focusing ring operates smoothly providing you with awesome focus easily.

One of the major weaknesses we noted about this Canon lens is that it tends to deliver soft images at f/2.8. And if you want some really sharp shots, you’re better off stopping at f/5.6.

Pros

  • Light in weight and compact
  • Creates a pleasant bokeh
  • Comes with 8 aperture blades for added flexibility
  • Great results at f/5.6

Cons

  • Notable vignetting though not excessive

10. Canon FD f/4 200mm Lens

Made in Japan, this Canon FD prime lens is a strong contender for demanding tasks such as documentary work and fast-action sports. One thing we noticed about this lens is the fact that it incorporates a glass with a high refractive index.

Indeed, this lens boasts an incredible composition of 7 airspaced-elements. What’s more? Its focusing ring is quite smooth an easy to use.

Looking through the viewfinder of this 200mm lens leaves you with nothing but an exciting experience. And to top it all up, this lens’ focus system works smoothly and fast.

And so, if your next assignment involves capturing photos in fast-action events e.g. sports this would be a perfect bet. Also, at f/2.8, this lens has an aperture that’s large enough to be relied upon even when lighting is an issue.

Pros

  • Versatile lens
  • Well-built and easy to use
  •  Fast focus
  • Stable and sharp images in quality

Cons

  • Its aperture could have been larger to let in more light
  • Relatively large and seemingly bulky
  • List Element

How to Find the Best Canon FD Lenses

There’s no doubt that FD lenses are among the best ones that Canon has ever produced. But since quite a few of them exist, your best bet is to find take following recommendations into consideration.

Budget

From our perspective, wide angle lenses tend to be highly costly. So, unless you have some specific needs for wide angle lenses, you can always save by opting for an ordinary lens.

Aperture

Aperture is the allowance in your lens that lets light into your image processor. The large the aperture, the better the performance of the lens is likely to be even in low light.

However, you don’t always need a super huge aperture especially if you know how to light up the scene. Also, outdoor images captured when there’s enough light may not necessitate a large aperture.

Zoom vs Prime

There’s an age-old debate about which one of the two offers the best bang for the bucks. And well, in our view, this battle boils down to your style of photography.

Prime lenses tend to do a good job when the subject is nearby. They also tend to have larger apertures. Prime lenses are ideal for portraits, fast-action sports, and weddings.

Zoom FD lenses, on the other hand, seem to be work best when the subject is far away. That’s why they come with some zooming rings that you can use to draw closer to the subject.

They, however, have smaller apertures and also tend to be a little slow. But even with that said, they work best for recording documentaries, landscape photography, and news coverage.

Build Quality

A long time ago, most lenses were housed in metallic cases. Therefore, no one needed to worry about them being long-lasting.

However, times have changed and with manufacturers struggling to cut on cost and make the lens lighter, plastic housings have become all too common.

In that case, you want to make sure that your lens is housed in the best quality housing. If going for plastic, be sure to confirm that it’s polycarbonate plastic which is long-lasting and also good looking.

Which One Is The Best?

So, which one of the 10 Canon FD lenses reviewed above is worth your time and money? Well, the answer to this question may vary depending on who you ask.

But in our view, the Canon f/1.4 50mm Manual Focus Lenses. It’s quite versatile and comes with a large aperture for an incredible performance in low light.

Final Thoughts

We do hope that the guidelines above will help you zoom in to a Canon FD lens for the budget. Remember, there’s always something for everyone. So, don’t hesitate to adjust your choices based on your needs and budget range.

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