Canon New FD 35mm 1:2.0 lens review.

After getting a new lens, I always take a few technical shots to understand its strengths and weaknesses – usually it helps me a lot to start using unknown lens with much less of doubt. One day I decided that my data might be interesting for someone else and this site has been made.

FDN3520_exterior__28.jpg

Canon FDn 35mm F2.0 parameters:

Canon Museum link

Marketed December 1979
Original Price 39,500 yen
Lens Construction (group) 8
Lens Construction (element) 10
No. of Diaphragm Blades 8
Minimum Aperture 22
Closest Focusing Distance (m) 0.3
Maximum Magnification (x) 0.17
Filter Diameter (mm) 52
Maximum Diameter x Length (mm) 63 x 46
Weight (g) 245
Canon New FD 35mm f2.0 optical design
Canon New FD 35mm f2.0 optical design

Lens exterior:

(Please, forgive me the dust on the lens, I never have the patience to clean objects for close-up photo sessions)


Lens code name – Erika Yano  エリカ矢野:

Erika Yano (エリカ矢野 Yano Erika) is one of the supporting characters of the SHIROBAKO anime series. She is working at Musashino Animation as a production assistant.


Sharpness – close distance:

Test description: target is a 10×15 cm picture (printed, glossy photo paper), fixed on the wall by scotch. Distance – 1.7m. Camera Sony A7II (24mpx, full frame) was fixed on the tripod and managed remotely with computer display as a viewfinder. All groups of shots were repeated 3 times for every target position on all apertures from fully opened up to F16, ISO-100, WB – same for all shots. SteadyShot – OFF. Focus was manually corrected for each shot. After all needed shots have been taken for one target position – I moved the target to the next place. Main idea – to exclude the field curvature affect on so close distance. Of course, I can’t be absolutely accurate, but test results looks correct.

Finally, pictures were converted from ARW-files in Capture One with default settings (Some single files have a slight light correction, for better visual convenience in comparison), then cropped for 300×200 px elements, combined into diagrams and exported into JPEG-files

Scene preview:

FDN3520_b_res_close_previewNEW.jpg

Test results:

FDN3520_c_res_close.jpg


Sharpness – long distance:

Test description: Camera Sony A7II (24mpx, full frame) was fixed on the tripod and managed remotely with computer display as a viewfinder. Targets (buildings) were fixed by gravity power on the distances in more than 200 meters. All shots have been taken with apertures from fully opened up to F16. ISO-100. Shutter Speed – depends on light (camera A-mode), WB – fixed and the same for all shots. SteadyShot – OFF. Focus was manually corrected for each shot to exclude focus-shift affect.

Finally, pictures were converted from ARW-files in Capture One with default settings (Some single files have a slight light correction, for better visual convenience in comparison), then were cropped for 300×200 px elements, combined into diagrams and exported into JPEG-files.

Scene preview:

FDN3520_e_far_preview.jpg

Test results:

FDN3520_e_res_far.jpg


Vignetting:

(frames scaled – 300×200)

FDN3520_f_vignetting.jpg


Geometric distortion:

(frame scaled 1200×800)

FDN3520_geometry.jpg


Coma aberrations:

(100% crops – 300×200)

FDN3520_h_coma_aberr_.jpg


Chromatic aberrations:

(100% crops – 300×200)

FDN3520_i_chrome_aberr_.jpg


Long distance bokeh:

Test#1:

Test conditions: lens was focused on to minimal distance 0.45m, houses were fixed in infinity distance on the ground.

Such scenes can’t be meet often, so this is demonstration of extreme conditions. In most cases of real life photography the blur level will be less, see the next Test#2.

(frame scaled 1200×800)

FDN3520_k_bokeh_far_minimal.jpg

Test#2:

Test conditions: lens was focused on 2m – ‘portrait distance’, houses were fixed in infinity distance on the ground.

(frame scaled 1200×800)

FDN3520_k_bokeh_far_middle.jpg


Light dots long distance bokeh:

Test conditions: lens was focused on to minimal distance 1m, lights were fixed in more than 200m.

Such scenes can’t be meet often, so this is demonstration of extreme conditions. In most cases of real life photography the blur level will be less.

(frame scaled 1200×800)

FDN3520_m_dots_far.jpg


Other resources with reviews:


My overall conclusion about the Canon FD New 35mm F/2.0:

FDN3520_Avatar.png

Close to the ideal and ready for any case – very low aberrations, great resolution, smooth bokeh. This Canon FDn 35mm F2.0 (and her elder sister FD 35/2 SSC) is not in vain became the one of the most popular 35mm lenses among those who understand. It has great sharpness even if wide opened without any noticeable softness. Ready for landscapes from F5.6 and totally sharp over the whole frame at F8. It can draw nice bokeh and good in flare resistance. I like the feeling and design of the Canon New FD lens line, except the camera-mount construction of course, and this 35/2 is no exclusion – built as rock. Can be easy recommend for photographers who prefer ‘wider than fifty’ as one single lens in the bag. Still isn’t overpriced for today and can be meet in auctions, on the other hand popularity or may be rarity is growing, so I prefer to don’t call it as the lens which can be easy find by reasonable price, therefore, I advise you not to delay with the purchase.


This lens took part in the battle:

FDN3520_MD3518_Battle__Avatar.png

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