The 8 Best Canon FD Lenses

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This wiki has been updated 19 times since it was first published in August of 2018. While technology may be marching forward, savvy photographers and filmmakers often look to the past for glass that can deliver great optics at a reasonable price. Canon FD lenses are ideal for anyone looking to achieve top-tier image quality without breaking the bank, especially if you shoot 35mm film on any of the company's single lens reflex bodies from before the days of digital. When users buy our independently chosen editorial recommendations, we may earn commissions to help fund the Wiki.

1. 50mm f/1.4

2. 135mm f/2.5 SC

3. 28mm f/2.8

Editor's Notes

May 25, 2021:

As this list is a nod to Canon’s relatively static line of legacy glass, this update didn’t require many modifications on our part, although we did eliminate the company’s 24mm f/2.8 option, which previously held our top spot, but unfortunately has become unavailable since the last time we visited this list, and will likely remain so. If what you’re actually looking for a is a modern lens to go with your new Canon DSLR or mirrorless body, then go ahead and hop over to our current rankings for Canon lenses.

December 29, 2019:

Canon doesn't make any of these lenses anymore, so to say that it isn't a particularly fast-moving category would be something of an understatement. We did a small amount of reorganizing the list knowing that prime lenses are almost always going to provide users with sharper final results than zooms, simply because they only need to be calibrated for maximum sharpness at a single focal length. That pushed the likes of the 70-210mm f/4.0 a bit back on the list, but this felt warranted.

Ultimately, our reorganization focused on sharpness, aperture speed, and usefulness, with the 24mm f/2.8 providing the best balance of all these. True, it's a little wide for some applications like sports or event coverage, but those are fast-moving categories for which you should really be using lenses capable of autofocus. For just about every other application, this is a great length because you can shoot very wide, and if you need to get closer, you can use every photographer's built-in zoom tool: your legs.

We also found and added the 35-70mm f/3.5-4.5 Macro MF, which is about as close as you're going to get to the range of 24-70mm in Canon's holy trinity of digital optics. Of course, this glass is nowhere near the level of that, but its usefulness, especially for relatively new shooters or anyone who needs some versatility without getting too wide or too tight, is undeniable.

4. 85mm f/1.2 L

5. 35-105mm f/3.5 Macro

6. 70-210mm f/4.0

7. 200mm f/4

8. 35-70mm f/3.5-4.5 Macro MF

Will Rhoda
Last updated by Will Rhoda

After deciding that the pen was mightier than the pliers, Canadian electrical contractor William Rhoda abandoned his career and headed back to college, where he majored in marketing and advertising and won a scholarship along the way to earning a diploma in creative communications. His past career landed him a depth of knowledge in tools and hardware, while his current career schooled him in audio, video and camera equipment. During his leisure time, he’s learned lots about outdoor gear, and years of tiresome backyard maintenance have taught him all about pools and hot tubs. His recreational pursuits include rest, relaxation and revolutionary action, and his roommate’s a hairless cat.

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