Canon 50mm f/1.4 FD Lens

Discussion in 'Canon Lenses' started by pendennis, Jan 1, 2018.

  1. pendennis

    pendennis No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    I've been wed to Nikon for most of my life, and have only used a couple of Canon film SLR's over the years.

    I recently decided to expand my film horizons and pick up a Canon SLR, or two, with the FD lenses. I bought an A-1, that came with a 50mm f/1.8 as the "standard" lens. I then added a Tokina 70-200 zoom and a Canon 24mm f/2.8 for my wide angle.

    I'm picking up a T90 tomorrow, and I've always liked the design as a sort of "Deco" manual focus film camera. The lines are beautiful. I'd also like to add another 50mm lens, this time in 50mm f1.4. There are several versions out there, some with the chrome breech lock ring, which are etched SSC on the face of the lens barrel, and some newer models which close down to f/22 and use the newer FD mount.

    I've read various opinions on the older models as being very soft wide open, and at f/4 have sharpened up considerably; and that the 50mm f/1.4 lenses in general, are not super sharp. I've also read that the 50mm f/1.4 was considered the "standard" by which others are judged.

    I'm not stuck on a 50mm f/1.4, and there are a couple other focal lengths that look interesting.

    Anyone have opinions, experience, etc.?


     
  2. dxqcanada

    dxqcanada Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    I had both the Canon FD 50mm f/1.8 and the f/1.4.
    I found the f/1.4 much better than the f/1.8 and I did not find any softness when shooting wide open.
    I can't tell you about the older versions.
     
  3. dxqcanada

    dxqcanada Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    The cheap used setup I had for my nF-1 was the FD 28mm f/2.8, 50mm f/1.4, 200mm f/2.8, and 400mm f/4.5 SSC.
     
  4. BigJason

    BigJason TPF Noob!

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    I own both the 50 1.8 and 50 1.4 and like them a lot. Build quality for both is solid. However, IMO the 1.4 is optically better just to look at it. You can see the coatings, something about the sheen alone is a pleasure to look through. The FD 50 1.4 is one of my favorite lenses. Therefore I have not used the 1.8 that much. In a gear walkthrough of the stuff I had, I admitted it's possible I maybe couldn't tell the difference between images taken with the 1.4 and the 1.8. I haven't used the 1.8 enough because I have the 1.4.

    It's a lovely lens, supposedly dreamlike wide open but nice and sharp at f/4 to f/8 which is where I usually use it.

    There's a tiny bit of shake in this image, which I took handheld after some rain, but clarity and color are amazing and two of my friends asked me for this image so they could have it printed it on glass. I brightened it up in post, one of the few I've done that with, but it lost the effect somehow. This is the original and despite it being dark I love it. I don't think I could have caught this image with another lens.

    [​IMG]

    You've made me want to take it out again heh heh. Normally because of crop factor I'm walking around with a 28mm when I'm doing landscapes but I think it's time the 50 1.4 got a run again. It's been a good 6 months.
     
  5. jcdeboever

    jcdeboever TPF Supporters Supporting Member

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    I absolutely love the FD 55mm f/3.5 macro. This puppy is handy. It's not talked about a lot but some have claimed and tested it to be their sharpest FD lens and I have to say, the last rolls I just scanned kind of blew me away. I really should use the Canon AE1 more, or that it what I say to myself every time a soup a roll. It's cheap too. The bokeh is pleasing, micro contrast is excellent, and it is sharp, corner to corner. Color and image rendition is excellent. Bonus is close focusing.

    I have a T70 if your interested, excellent condition. No lens, with it's mated flash, original eyepiece strap. PM me if your interested.
     

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