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Canon FL vs Canon FD
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PostPosted: Sat Feb 25, 2012 3:42 pm    Post subject: Canon FL vs Canon FD Reply with quote

Hi folks

My experience of Canon FD lenses has been that they are pretty mediocre (2.8/28, 2.8/35, 1.4/50 SSC, 1.8/50, 3.5/135) but my sole experience of Canon FL glass (2.5/35) was highly positive.

So what I'm wondering, are Canon FL lenses better that the later FD ones?


PostPosted: Sat Feb 25, 2012 5:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I find FD lenses excellent: great colors, contrast and resolution. FD 50mm/f1.4 in any incarnation is definitely up there with best 50's one can buy short of aspherics. FD 35/f2 and FD 85/1.8 are one of the very best in their focal length as well. FD 28/f2.8 is a super bargain.

FL lenses have much weaker coatings and smoother rendering (due to more aberrations), which often is great for portraiture. I prefer FL lenses aesthetically: they are slimmer and look more elegant, front aperture ring is cool and A/M switch is great. However, FDn lenses are more practical: lighter, great coatings, a bit higher contrast, much more common filter size (52mm v 48mm).

Overall, I don't think the differences are dramatic, coatings and aesthetics being the greatest one.

Oh, yeah, FL 35mm/f2.5 is a daddy of 35mm/f2 SSC and a granddaddy of 35mm/F2 FDn, these are all great lenses, no wonder that you liked it.


PostPosted: Sat Feb 25, 2012 6:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Canon FD normals, 50/1.8, 50/1.4, 55/1.2 are their immediate FL predecessors in FD mount. Optically identical. Coatings were revised with the advent of the S.C. and S.S.C. designations. The 135/2.5 FD is a new optical design and only shares specification with the FL equivalent. The 28/3.5, 35/3.5, 135/3.5 may also be direct carryovers in the new mount, but I'm not certain without checking the Canon Museum site. Just about all the others are new designs with the possible exception of the very long teles.

I own many R, FL and FD lenses and consider them all very good. No stinkers. Your opinion may vary.


PostPosted: Sat Feb 25, 2012 6:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks guys.

Sounds like my question should have been 'which other Canon lenses are as good as the FL 2.5/35?'

Which is a cracker...



PostPosted: Sat Feb 25, 2012 7:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I found the 100/2.8, 35/2 and 20/2.8 to be excellent in FD mount. The 20/2.8 in particular, which blew away the CZJ Flektogon 20/2.8 for sharpness Shocked

Hate the mount though Laughing


PostPosted: Sat Feb 25, 2012 9:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

iangreenhalgh1 wrote:
Thanks guys.

Sounds like my question should have been 'which other Canon lenses are as good as the FL 2.5/35?'

Which is a cracker...


I can definitely say FD 35/2 (concave front element or not) is very good, and I think better then 35/2.5. The main donwside for me was it's size; but I loved it on my nex-5.


PostPosted: Sat Feb 25, 2012 10:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Cheers guys. I happen to have my eye on an FL 2.8/100 so that's good to know.

I also hate the mount...
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