Canon FD 50mm f/1.4 35mm Primes

FD 50mm f/1.4

The optical concept of this lens originated with the FL50mm f/1.4 II and FD50mm f/1.4. It achieves more compactness and higher contrast simultaneously. It has been called "the standard lens of standard lenses", because of its high image quality. It has an excellent color balance, which is virtually identical to the ISO recommended reference value.

User Reviews (15)

Showing 1-10 of 15  
leo   Intermediate [Jul 04, 2011]
Strength:

Small, still working after all these years, got a second live now on a Sony Nex.
F1.4.
Nice colors and contrasts, sharp.

Weakness:

Not so good at 1.4 but much better at 1.4 then the Canon EF 50 mm F1.4
Bokeh is nervous, my main complaint.

I own a lot FD lenses and just bought a Sony Nex with FD adapter. I love the little lenses and I own a new FD 50 mm F1.4.

With a corner of * 1.5 not so allround as ment to be, but still nice. Sharpness and color are really good.

Customer Service

Not needed, it's Canon :)

Similar Products Used: FD 24mm ,FD 28mm, FD 35mm, FD 100mm and so on.
OVERALL
RATING
4
VALUE
RATING
5
coa75   Intermediate [May 14, 2008]
Strength:

Good sharpnes and contrast, even on corners. True colours. Slight distorsion.

Weakness:

Heavy.

Classic 35mm SLR lens. I used in many situation, best for portraits.

Similar Products Used: Zuiko 1,4/50mm
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
John Falkenstine   Expert [Jan 16, 2007]
Strength:

Smooth. Well-made.

Weakness:

None.

I got my 50mm 1.4 FD mount along with a 28mm FD and a 100mm FD as a package deal which "happened" to include a beautiful Canon T90 Camera. I have used the 50mm and found it to be a very, very good lens. Even with snapshot film such as Kodak Gold 200, image quality is noticeable. Despite the age of the lenses, all of them look and function like new. Just turning the focus on the 50mm sends the message: "I am a well-made piece of machinery." Attached to a nice piece of equipment like the T90, they are STILL an excellent piece of performance equipment in a digital era. The whole thing cost me a song on Ebay.

Similar Products Used: Minolta 50mm, Fujica 50-55mm, Olympus 50mm. Canon EF 50mm 1.8.
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Christiano   Professional [Oct 24, 2004]
Strength:

sharp sharp and sharp good blur good bokeh good good colour ..oh my god

Weakness:

nope

in my humble opinon the best 50 mm lens ever made(together with the leica summicron and the nikon ais japan made version short barrel) this one rules and i am so astonished from the prints i get from this true classic and pearl! wau buy it

Customer Service

nope

Similar Products Used: all
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
taylorje84   Intermediate [Mar 25, 2004]
Strength:

Optics. Weight. Handling. Looks. Price. Arguably better than the faster f/1.2 version and certainly an improvement over the earlier f/1.4 breechlock version.

Weakness:

If there were any I would list them here, but there are none.

Mine is the later version of the 50mm f/1.4, but I once owned the earlier S.S.C Breechlock version which I found to be one of the heaviest lenses I have ever owned. The later version I own now is much less bulkier, plus the focusing is not as stiff and it looks and handles much better than the old version too. Of course, if you can afford it, buy an f/1.4 instead of an f/1.8 (or even the faster f/1.2), it will be money very well spent. I feel that every photographer should own a good standard prime lens such as this f/1.4, even though people disregard it as too short for portraiture and too long for landscapes, there is certainly a strong element of truth in that but most of the people who say this tend to use zoom lenses and the optics are inferior to any prime lens. The zoom lenses that are of any discernable quality cost immense sums of money and are only suited to professional sports or press photographers who can afford them. I believe it is the lens which makes the camera, so I can live without zoom lenses. I stick to using primes, such as my 50mm f/1.4.

Customer Service

None.

Similar Products Used: 50mm f/1.4 S.S.C Breechlock, 50mm f/1.8, 70-210mm f/4, 28mm f/2.8.
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Philip Canard   Expert [Feb 17, 2002]
Strength:

Optical quality and build quality beyond reproach. You can beat the hell out of these lenses and expect them to keep working and putting out excellent quality images. Big, tough lenses for big, tough people and rugged use.

Weakness:

Too big and heavy for my tastes. I eventually sold all my FD lenses after Canon decided to cheapen their lenses for the new AF crap. The Zuiko lenses I now own are just as good in the optical quality and build quality departments, with a considerable load taken off my shoulders.

My 50mm standard lens came with my EF camera reviewed in the camera section. This review is about old breech lock FD lenses in general, since other lenses in the FD line are sorely lacking on this site. Every FD lens I owned was a winner in the optical quality and build quality departments. I owned the 28mm, 50mm, 85mm, 135mm, and 200mm focal lengths. I will not repeat what others have said about the 50mm f1.4. My next most used lens was the 200mm f4 SSC which was surprisingly compact for an FD lens, almost rivaling the Zuiko 200mm f4. The 28mm f2.8 SC was the economy wideangle, but the performance was anything but. The 28mm, 50mm, and 200mm made an excellent traveling trio that could take 90% of any photos you would ever want to take in general photography. I used the 50mm and 200mm with a cheap 2X Vivitar teleconverter that wasn''t up to Canon standards. It allowed the 50mm to become a 100mm that filled the gap between it and the 200mm, as well as allowing a 400mm for great sunset photos when paired with the 200mm. It softened the 50mm and made it into a good 100mm portrait lens that hid minor skin flaws better than the razor sharp 100mm f2.8 would have done. Used FD lenses are a bargain on eBay. I once used Nikkor lenses professionally in the navy, but my personal gear was Canon because the FD lenses sacrificed center sharpness for better sharpness at the edges which resulted in a more even image, which I preferred. I am giving these lenses a 4 star rating due to my personal prejudice that almost all 35mm gear is overly big and heavy compared to Olympus/Zuiko. Otherwise, they deserve a 5 star rating if you like your lenses big and heavy for personal reasons. A Minnesota dairy farmer with fists the size of hams will appreciate the Canon/FD combo and never notice the extra weight. For us more frail folks, Maitani invented the OM System.

Customer Service

No FD lens I owned ever broke, so I cannot say. If one ever does, I expect it will be your fault, not the lens.

Similar Products Used: Zuiko 24mm, 28mm, 35mm, 50mm, 100mm, 135mm, 200mm, 65-200mm zoom, and more on the way. Several sizes of Nikkor lenses, but not nearly as many as Zuiko.
OVERALL
RATING
4
VALUE
RATING
4
HQ YAN   Intermediate [Nov 04, 2001]
Strength:

Extremely good color, resolution, high contrast for a Canon; very bright for manual focusing; corner is very good; (very)tolerant to over exposure(unlike Nikon);

Weakness:

at 1.4, quality decreses. Incompatible with any modern cameras, which have higher sync time.

Bought the lens in 1984 with A1. According to the photo magazines at that time, extensive testing across all parameters such as corner/center, aperture, for color rendition and resolution, this lens was the best 50mm around, better than anything else, such as Nikon, Zeiss.

Similar Products Used: FD 1.8, Nikkor 50mm/1.4
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
NikB   Intermediate [Sep 04, 2001]
Strength:

Clarity, speed, smoothness, weight, price nowadays (when you can find one).

Weakness:

Ummmm...geee...let me think...no, don''t rush me....I''m sure there must be one.....nope, can''t think of one

A great lens. Very few lens even today can measure up to this. Despite the fact that it''s manual, it''s silky smooth and a joy to use. The clarity is fantastic, and with a aperture range of 1.4 to 16 and minimum focussing distance of 45cm, you can use it anywhere, anytime.

Customer Service

Never needed it.

Similar Products Used: FD 80-200mm f4.0 FD 35mmm f3.5
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Vladik Sandler   Intermediate [Jul 16, 2000]
Model Reviewed: FD50mm f/1.4
Strength:

Well built lens. Very sharp, good color reproduction, no flare, no distortion, easy to handle,
silent.

Weakness:

None

It is probably the best lens I have ever used. I never part with it and tend to use it moe often than any other lens. Unfortunately, there are moments when even a greatest 50mm prime does not satisfy. 50mm is a miracle and a curse ...

Customer Service

Never needed

Similar Products Used: 28-105mm USM, 20mm USM, 100mm Macro
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Steven Worthy   Intermediate [Apr 06, 2000]
Model Reviewed: FD50mm f/1.4
Strength:

I own the 'new' FD 50 1.4( not breech lock). Sharp optics for the money (purchased mine used) and has replaced the 50 1.8 FD on my Canon A-1 as my most used lens. Good contrast and a great step up from the 50 1.8' if you can find a good used one. Great build quality. Feels solid and has been a workhorse for me.

Weakness:

A little stiff on the focus ring. Hey, its used!

If you can find one in good condition, whether is is breech lock or not, GET IT! It stays on my A-1 most of the time and used along with my 24mm and 70-210 f4 FD. A 50mm lens will help teach composition without relying on these cheapie (most of them) slow modern zooms made today. Best zoom lens is your feet! I rarely use it at the 1.4 end but seems to be a bit sharper than my 50 1.8FD. Most sharpest in the f5.6-f13 range. Delivers great contrast and sharpness when used to shoot slides and B&W. A great prime lens to have. There is a 50 1.2FD but why get it unless to impress? This is more affordable. Heck, even sharper than the 50 1.8EF type one prime lens. Its too bad Canon has abandoned the manual focus market because I believe the FD series lenses are by far superior, excluding the "L" series, to its EF equivalents. Who wants a 4-5.6 zoom with a plastic mount?

Customer Service

None

Similar Products Used: Canon 50 1.8
Canonet 17 40mm 1.7( rangefinder leaf shutter camera. Fixed lens)
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Showing 1-10 of 15  

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