The 5 Best Canon FT b-QL Lenses

By Nathaniel Stephan
Last Updated: March 26, 2020
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Best Canon FT b-QL Camera Lenses

The Canon FT b-QL is an excellent film camera. The best 5 lenses to use one the Canon FT b-QL are going to be discussed on this page.

More information is further down, but if you are short on time, here is the list of the lenses:

  1. Kit Lens - Canon FD 50mm f/1.8 (eBay)
  2. Wide Angle Lens - Canon FD 28mm f/3.5 (Amazon)
  3. Portrait Lens - Canon FD 100mm f/2.8 (Amazon)
  4. Zoom Lens - Vivitar Series 1 70-210mm f/3.5 (eBay)
  5. Macro Lens - Vivitar 90mm f/2.8 (eBay)

Below the top Canon camera lenses, are divided by focal length and value. Large amounts of awesome lenses available used, a small number are collectible.

Kit Lens and Standard Primes

Canon FD 50mm f/1.8

The Canon FD 50mm F/1.8 lens was the "kit Lens" often sold with the FT b-QL. The 50mm f1.8 is inexpensive, easily found for sale online, and has very good picture quality.

Canon FD 50mm f/1.8 Lens

Canon FD 50mm f/1.8 Lens

  • The "classic" setup as it can be considered the original kit lens.
  • Phenomenal value.
  • Light and compact.
  • Widely available in good condition.
  • 55mm filter threads.

Check prices at: Amazon, eBay, KEH, Adorama

For a 50mm camera lens of photography, the 50mm focal length is an ideal choice. The types of photography encompass landscapes, portraits, travel, everyday use, architecture, and street. This is the most frequent focal length that is combined with the Canon FT b-QL.

In terms of size and weight, the lens is light, small, and well balanced. Depending on the version of the lens, it will weigh between 170-305g. The new FD version, which was the last to be designed, is the lightest.

Canon also created two faster 50mm lenses for the Canon FD lens mount.

Canon FD 50mm f/1.4

Canon FD 50mm f/1.4 Lens

Canon FD 50mm f/1.4 Lens

  • Outstanding optics.
  • Optical multi-coatings.
  • Widely available.
  • Be on the lookout for condition issues.

Check prices at: Amazon, eBay, KEH, Adorama

At the additional cost of weight, the Canon FD 50mm f/1.4 is 2/3 of a stop faster. It costs more than the f1.8, but the difference is not huge.

You can find 4 copies of the 50mm f/1.4. The "new FD" copy is the lightest and newest of the bunch.

Canon FD 50mm f/1.2

Canon FL 55mm f/1.2 Lens
This is the closest lens I have around.

Canon FD 50mm f/1.2 Lens

  • Has a large maximum aperture.
  • Large and heavy.
  • Not a good value.
  • Hard to find in good condition.

Check prices at: Amazon, eBay, KEH, Adorama

This lens is big, heavy, and challenging to focus lens. Shot wide open, images will be soft. Stopped down, you aren't going to see a sizeable difference between it and the f/1.8 or f/1.4.

Both versions of the lens are high-priced. Optical superiority is not the driver of pricing. People desire the lens stemming from rarity and collectibility.

Alternative Standard Lenses

If the 50mm focal length isn't what you like, here are other possibilities. Expect to have to pay additional money than you normally would for a 50mm lens of similar speed.

Canon FD 35mm f/2 SSCAmazoneBayKEHAdorama
Canon FD 35mm f/2.8AmazoneBayKEHAdorama
Canon FD 35mm f/3.5AmazoneBayKEHAdorama
Canon FD 55mm f/1.2AmazoneBayKEHAdorama

Wide Angle Lens

Canon FD 28mm f/3.5

Canon FD 28mm f/3.5 Lens

Canon FD 28mm f/3.5 Lens

  • Great combination with a 50mm lens.
  • Available in good condition.
  • Reasonably priced.

Check prices at: Amazon, eBay, KEH, Adorama

A 28mm focal length lens is often used for street photography. However, the most prominent use for wide-angle lenses are architectural and landscape photography.

My top choice is the Canon FD 28mm f/3.5 mainly because of the cheaper price, ease of finding a copy, and excellent optics.

Alternative Wide Angle Lenses

In terms of price, the relationship is simple. The larger the field of view, the costlier the lens will be. Lenses with larger apertures also go for noticeably more.

Weight will change based primarily on the qualities of the lens. You will see lenses from 170g to 500g. Faster apertures will also mean that those lenses will be sizeable and will make the camera more difficult to handle.

Canon 7.5mm f/5.6 FisheyeCanon 24mm f/1.4
Canon 14mm f/2.8LCanon 24mm f/2
Canon 15mm f/2.8Canon 24mm f/2.8
Canon 17mm f/4Canon 28mm f/2
Canon 20mm f/2.8Canon 28mm f/2.8

Portrait & Telephoto Lens

Canon FD 100mm f/2.8

Canon 100mm f/2.8 FD Mount Camera Lens

Canon FD 100mm f/2.8 Lens

  • 85mm alternative.
  • Great value.
  • Inexpensive and easy to find.
  • Light and compact.

Check prices at: Amazon, eBay, KEH, Adorama

The 85mm lens wasn't as important in 1971 when the FT b-QL was originally made. Rather, the 135mm focal length was a more popular portrait lens.

If you want to shoot portrait photos with the Canon FT b-QL, there are a bunch of short telephoto lenses to choose from. The 100mm f/2.8 lens is one of the most affordable selections readily available.

An 85mm lens will be the most expensive, with 135mm lenses making up the middle of the price bracket.

As every one of the Canon FD telephoto lenses will be manual focus, they are much more compact than EF versions. Clearly, something like the Canon FD 85mm f/1.2L will be sizeable and heavy because of the amount of glass in the lens.

Anticipate very affordable prices for the Canon FD 100mm f/2.8. Additionally, there is a 100mm f/4 macro version of the lens. It will cost more and is not the best option for portraits as the lens needs to be stopped down.

Alternative Telephoto Lenses

An alternative option, the Canon FD 135mm f/2.8 is just about the most affordable prime lenses you can find. You will need to dig through many results for third-party 135mm lenses that aren't going to be anywhere near as good as a Canon lens.

You will find a few 85mm lenses to pick from. The most lusted-after is the Canon FD f/1.2L lens. A more affordable option is the Canon FD 85mm f/1.8 lens, but it will be much higher in price than the various telephoto lenses previously mentioned.

Canon FD 85mm f/1.2 LCanon FD 85mm f/1.8
Canon FD 100mm f/2Canon FD 135mm f/2.5
Canon FD 200mm f/2.8Canon FD 200mm f/4
Canon FD 300mm f/2.8Canon FD 300mm f/4
Canon FD 400mm f/2.8Canon FD 400mm f/4.5
Canon FD 500mm f/4.5Canon FD Reflex 500mm f/8
Canon FD 600mm f/4.5Canon FD 800mm f/5.6

Canon FT b-QL Zoom Lenses

Canon FD 35-105mm f/3.5 & Vivitar Series 1 70-210mm f/3.5

Canon 35-105mm f/3.5 Zoom Lens

Canon FD 35-105mm f/3.5 Zoom Lens

  • Ideal focal length range for most photography.
  • Excellent value.
  • Physically large.
  • Hard to find in good condition.

Check prices at: Amazon, eBay, KEH, Adorama

Vivitar 70-210mm f/3.5 Zoom Lens

Vivitar Series 1 70-210mm f/3.5 Zoom Lens

  • Covers a popular focal range.
  • Great for portrait or wildlife photography.
  • A rare time when a third-party lens is the best.

Check prices at: eBay, KEH, Adorama

The ease of use of partnering a Canon FT b-QL with a zoom lens is appealing. Having a range of focal lengths without having to swap a lens is great.

Keep in mind that all of them are older zoom lenses.

  1. Image results will likely not be sharp when shot with the largest aperture.
  2. One or both ends of the focal range can have a large amount of distortion.
  3. Zoom lenses are built with a whole lot more parts when compared to prime lenses, so they are more inclined to problems.
  4. Zoom lenses will be generally are heavier and larger in size than lenses with fixed focal lengths.

Alternative Zoom Lenses

With regards to prices, virtually all vintage zooms will be bargain-priced.

Canon FD 70-210mm f/4 AmazoneBayKEHAdorama
Canon FD 80-200mm f/4LAmazoneBayKEHAdorama
Canon FD 28-85mm f/4AmazoneBayKEHAdorama

Macro Lens

Vivitar 90mm f/2.8 & Vivitar 55mm f/2.8

Vivitar 90mm f/2.8 Macro Lens made by Komine

Vivitar 90mm f/2.8 Macro Lens

  • My favorite vintage macro lens.
  • Available in multiple lens mounts.
  • Incredible value.

Check prices at: eBay, KEH, Adorama

Vivitar 55mm f/2.8 Macro Lens manufactured by Komine

Vivitar 55mm f/2.8 Macro Lens

  • My second favorite vintage macro lens.
  • An excellent choice for close-up photography.
  • It does not need an extension tube to reach 1:1 magnification.

Check prices at: eBay, KEH, Adorama

The 2 suggested macro camera lenses were manufactured by Komine in Japan. The lens was also sold under different brand names. Rokunar, Elicar, Quantaray, Panagor, and Spiratone are brands you might see on a copy of the lens.

There is a Vivitar 90mm f/2.8 Macro Lens Review and a Vivitar 55mm f/2.8 Macro Lens Review.

For photographing at macro magnification (1:1), the 90mm lens will likely be the better choice since it has a greater working distance.

The 55mm lens is top-notch for table-top and close-up photography.

Alternative Macro Lenses

Canon FD 50mm f/3.5AmazoneBayKEHAdorama
Canon FD 100mm f/4AmazoneBayKEHAdorama
Canon FD 200mm f/4AmazoneBayKEHAdorama

Used FD Camera Lens Prices

Lens prices are regularly changing. During the past few years, involvement in film photography has been growing. Because of that, prices have steadily increased.

To get the lowest price, check out several websites. Quickly pay for an incredible price the moment you come across one because it can be a long time before more is available.

What Lens Mount Does the Canon FT b-QL Use?

The Canon FT b-QL makes use of the Canon FD lens mount. Canon used the FD mount for film cameras created between 1971 and 1992.

Here is a list of all of the cameras that have a Canon FD mount.

The FD lens mount superseded the Canon FL mount, which was utilized from 1964 - 1971. FL mount lenses can be used with the FT b-QL, but you will need to use stopped down metering.

Standard Lens Cap Size

The standard lens cap and filter ring thread diameter for Canon FD lenses is 55mm.

Employing a standardized filter thread size is good since you just need to pick up and carry a single set of filters.

A handful of telephoto and zooms have bigger filter ring thread diameters due to the fact that they have enormous front lens elements.

FD vs FL Lens Mount

Front and rear of a Canon FL mount lens

The Canon FL lens mount was made before the FD mount. You can use FL lenses on the FD lens mount, and FD mount lenses can be used on the FL mount.

What Canon FL mount lenses lack is the ability to automatically do stop-down metering. Therefore FL mount lenses are required to be stopped down by using the depth-of-preview switch so that the FT b-QL's light meter to show an accurate value.

FD vs new FD Lenses

Canon FD versus new FD mount camera lenses

The whole new FD lens rotates to lock onto the FT b-QL. In contrast to original FD lenses have a breech-lock ring at the back of the lens that is required to be rotated in order to mount a lens to the camera.

FD and new FD lenses are interchangeable with each other. There are no compatibility issues.

Frequently you will spot new FD lenses referred to as FDn lenses.

The change in the design of the breech-lock ring was on account of complaints. A small group of users experienced lenses getting stuck on an FD camera.

If you are not familiar with attaching an FD mount lens to a camera body, don't get worried. Just take it slow and don't force anything.

Telling FD and FDn Lenses Apart

You can quickly tell new FD and FD lenses apart. New FD lenses have a silver button located on the barrel of the lens, where the lens mounts to the FT b-QL.

The first versions of FD lenses have a ring that is required to be rotated in order to lock the lens to the camera mount.

More Canon FT b-QL Camera Resources

That is it for the best Canon FT b-QL lenses. As soon as additional info on the camera is published on this website, you will be able to find links below.

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