The 5 Best Canon FTbn Camera Lenses

Best Canon FTbn Lenses

´╗┐The FTbn is an amazing 35mm film camera.

This article will discuss the top 5 lenses to use with the FTbn camera.

More details are below, however if you’re in a hurry, here is the list:

  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)

Kit Lens and Standard Primes

Canon FD 50mm f/1.8

Canon FD 50mm f/1.8 Lens

The Canon FD 50mm F/1.8 lens was the “kit Lens” often sold with the FTbn. The 50mm f1.8 is inexpensive, widely available used, and has very good picture quality.

  • The “classic” setup as it can be considered the original kit lens.
  • Unbeatable value.
  • Light and compact.
  • Widely available and easy to find in good condition.
  • Uses 55mm filter threads.

Check a variety of places to find the best condition and price. Copies of the lens can be found on eBay, Amazon, KEH, and Adorama.

A 50mm camera lens is an excellent choice for several types of photography. The aspects of photography consist of landscapes, portraits, travel, everyday use, architecture, and street. This is the most widespread focal length that is combined with the FTbn.

The lens is well balanced, small, and light. The lenses weigh anywhere from 170-305g, with older versions being heavier. The new FD version, which was the last to be made, is the lightest.

Canon also made two faster 50mm lenses for the FD camera mount.

Canon FD 50mm f/1.4

Canon FD 50mm f/1.4 Lens

The Canon FD 50mm f/1.4 is 2/3 of a stop faster, but that comes at the cost of additional weight. It is only slightly more expensive when compared to the f1.8.

  • Excellent image quality.
  • Optical multi-coatings.
  • Fairly easy to find in good condition.
  • Larger and heavier than the f/1.8.

You can find four different copies of the 50mm f/1.4. The “new FD” variant is the newest and lightest out of the choices.

Copies of the lens can be found on eBay, Amazon, KEH, and Adorama.

A big, heavy, and challenging to focus lens. Expect soft pictures when shot wide open. Stopped down, you aren’t going to notice a huge difference between it and the f/1.8 or f/1.4.

The two versions of the lens are high-priced. The cost of the lens is because of collectibility and rarity, not optical performance.

Alternative Standard Lenses

If you have a preference for other focal lengths, here are some other possible choices. Expect to have to spend a greater amount than you normally would for a 50mm lens of equivalent speed.

  • Canon FD 35mm f/2 SSC
  • Canon FD 35mm f/2.8
  • Canon FD 35mm f/3.5
  • Canon FD 55mm f/1.2

Wide Angle Lens

Canon FD 28mm f/3.5

Canon FD 28mm f/3.5 Lens

A favored focal length for street photography is 28mm. However, lenses that are wider than 28mm are typically the most popular for landscape and architectural photography.

  • Great combination with a 50mm lens.
  • Optical multi-coatings.
  • Inexpensive and widely available.
  • Small and light.
Copies of the lens can be found on eBay, Amazon, KEH, and Adorama.

My top pick is the Canon FD 28mm f/2.8 as a result of the cheaper price, ease of finding a copy, and superb optics.

Alternative Wide Angle Lenses

In terms of price, the correlation is straightforward. The wider the field of view, the less affordable the lens will likely be. Lenses with larger apertures also sell for significantly more.

Weight will differ based primarily on the characteristics of the lens. You’ll find lenses from 170g to 500g. Faster apertures will also mean that those lenses will physically be large and will make the camera more difficult to handle.

  • Canon FD 7.5mm f/5.6 Fisheye
  • Canon FD 14mm f/2.8L
  • Canon FD 15mm f/2.8
  • Canon FD 17mm f/4
  • Canon FD 20mm f/2.8
  • Canon FD 24mm f/1.4
  • Canon FD 24mm f/2
  • Canon FD 24mm f/2.8
  • Canon FD 28mm f/2
  • Canon FD 28mm f/2.8

Portrait & Telephoto Lens

Canon FD 100mm f/2.8

The 85mm lens wasn’t as significant when the FTbn was first introduced to the market. Instead, the 135mm focal length was a more popular lens for portraits.

  • Excellent portrait lens.
  • Less expensive 85mm alternative.
  • Great value.
  • Inexpensive.
Copies of the lens can be found on eBay, Amazon, KEH, and Adorama.

For shooting portrait photos with the FTbn, there are a bunch of short telephoto lenses to select among. The 100mm f/2.8 lens is one of the most economical selections readily available.

An 85mm lens will be the most expensive, with 135mm lenses sitting in the middle of the price range.

Since all of the Canon FD telephoto lenses are manual focus, they are smaller sized than modern versions. As you can imagine, professional lenses like the Canon FD 85mm f/1.2L will be big and hefty because of the quantity of glass in the lens.

Expect affordable prices for the Canon FD 100mm f/2.8. There is a 100mm f/4 macro version of the lens. It is going to cost you more and is not your best option for portraits as it should be stopped down.

Alternative Telephoto Lenses

An alternative option, the Canon FD 135mm f/2.8 is just about the cheapest prime lenses you can find. You will need to search through a large number of listings for thirdparty 135mm lenses that are not going to be anywhere close to as good as a Canon lens.

You will find many 85mm lenses to pick from. The most expensive is the Canon FD f/1.2L lens. A inexpensive pick is the Canon FD 85mm f/1.8 lens, but it is a great deal high-priced when compared to the various other telephoto lenses in this article.

  • Canon FD 85mm f/1.2L
  • Canon FD 85mm f/1.8
  • Canon FD 100mm f/2
  • Canon FD 135mm f/2.5
  • Canon FD 200mm f/2.8
  • Canon FD 200mm f/4

FTbn Zoom Lenses

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

Canon 35-105mm f/3.5 Zoom

The usefulness of partnering a FTbn along with a zoom lens is enticing. Getting to use a range of focal lengths without having to switch a lens is advantageous.

Remember that that all of these are older zoom lenses.

  • Haze and or Fungus
  • Large amount of dust in the lens
  • Loose or tight zoom ring
  • Loose or tight focus ring
  • Oil on the aperture blades
  • Decentered lens elements
Vivitar 70-210mm f/3.5 Zoom

Additionally, you need to keep in mind the drawbacks the lenses have even when in excellent condition.

  1. Image quality will not be good when shot wide open.
  2. One or both ends of the focal range may suffer from a large amount of distortion.
  3. Zoom lenses are larger and generally heavier than primes.

Alternative Zoom Lenses

When considering pricing, many vintage zoom camera lenses will probably be cheap.

  • Canon FD 70-210mm f/4
  • Canon FD 80-200mm f/4L
  • Canon FD 28-85mm f/4

Macro Lens

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

Vivitar 90mm f/2.8 Macro Lens made by Komine
  • My favorite vintage macro lens.
  • Available in multiple lens mounts.
  • Incredible value.
  • Sharp corner-to-corner at f/8.
Copies of the lens can be found on eBay, KEH, and Adorama.
Vivitar 55mm f/2.8 Macro Lens manufactured by Komine
  • 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.
Copies of the lens can be found on eBay, KEH, and Adorama.

Komine made the two suggestted macro camera lenses in Japan. The lens was also sold under different brand names. Panagor, Spiratone, Rokunar, Elicar, and Quantaray are names you will probably find 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 probably be the better pick because it has a larger working distance.

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

Alternative Macro Lenses

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

Used FD Camera Lens Prices

Prices change continuously. For the past 3-4 years, involvement in film photography has been increasing. Because of this, prices have gradually gone up.

Your smartest option is to check prices from different online stores. Instantly pay for a incredible price when ever you see one due to the fact that the best deals are purchased the quickest.

What Lens Mount Does the Canon AE-1 Use?

The FTbn works with the Canon FD lens mount. Canon used the FD mount for film cameras produced starting in 1971 and ending in 1992.

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

The FD lens mount superceded the Canon FL mount, which was used between 1964 - 1971. FL mount lenses will work with the FTbn, but you will have to use stopped down metering.

Standard Lens Cap Size

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

Having a standardized filter thread size is smart since you only need to obtain and carry 1 set of filters.

A few zoom and telephoto lenses have larger filter ring thread diameters as they have huge front lens elements.

FD vs FL Lens Mount

Canon AE-1 Lens Mount FD

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

What Canon FL lenses lack is the ability to do auto stop-down metering. This means the an FL lens have to be stopped down by pressing the depth-of-preview switch to ensure that the FTbn’s light meter to show an accurate value.

FD vs new FD Lenses

Canon AE1 Lens Mount

The whole body of the new FD lens rotates to lock onto the camera. As opposed to original FD lenses which have a breech-lock ring at the rear of the lens that must be tightened to be able to secure a lens.

FD and new FD lenses are interchangeable with one another. There are no compatibility issues.

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

The switch in the design of the breech-lock ring was as a result of complaints. A small number of camera owners had lenses getting jammed on a camera mount.

If you have not put on an FD mount lens to a camera body, don’t sweat it. Simply take the process slow and don’t force anything.

Telling FD and FDn Lenses Apart

You can easily tell new FD and FD lenses from one another. New FD lenses are going to have a silver button located on the barrel of the lens, where the lens mounts to the camera.

The original version of FD lenses have a ring that needs to be rotated after the lens is mounted to lock the lens into place.

More Canon AE-1 Camera Resources

That concludes best FTbn lenses. As more info on the camera is published on the site, you will be able to find links in this section.