The 5 Best Canon TLb Lenses

By Nathaniel Stephan
Last Updated: March 26, 2020
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Best Canon TLb 35mm film Camera Lenses

The Canon TLb is an incredible camera. If you don't have a lens or are looking for a new lens, this article will go over the top 5 lenses to use with your Canon TLb.

Additional details are below, however here's the list if you're in a rush:

  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)

Down below the best Canon camera lenses, are separated by areas of photography and value. A great deal of wonderful lenses for sale, a few 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 TLb. The 50mm f1.8 is widely available used, has superb image quality, and is cheap.

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

A 50mm camera lens is an ideal choice for many different types of photography. The areas of photography include portraits, architecture, street, everyday use, landscapes, and travel. This is the most common focal length that is combined with the Canon TLb.

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

You can also find 2 faster versions of the 50mm lens in a Canon FD camera 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

The Canon FD 50mm f/1.4 is 2/3 of a stop faster, but that comes at the cost of additional weight. It costs more than the f1.8, but not by very much.

You'll be able to find 4 different versions of the 50mm f/1.4. The "new FD" copy is the lightest and newest out of the choices.

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 large, heavy, and very hard to focus lens. Do not expect sharp images when shot wide open. If you stop the lens down to f/1.8 or f/1.4 you will not see much of a difference between it and the other lenses.

Both versions of the lens are pricey. The cost of the lens is because of rarity and collectibility, not optical performance.

Alternative Standard Lenses

If you like other focal lengths, here are other options. You should expect to pay more than you normally would for a 50mm lens of equivalent 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 popularly accepted focal length for street photography is 28mm. However, the most common use for wide-angle lenses are architectural and landscape photography.

My top pick is the Canon FD 28mm f/3.5 mainly because of the low price, ease of finding a copy, and top-notch optics.

Alternative Wide Angle Lenses

In terms of price, the relationship is simple. The greater the field of view, the higher priced the lens ıs going to be. Faster versions also go for noticeably more.

The weight will vary depending on the qualities of the lens. You will see 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 hold.

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 significant in 1974 when the TLb was originally made. Rather, the 135mm focal length was the first choice for a portrait lens.

If you want to capture portrait photos with the Canon TLb, there are a number of short telephoto lenses to select among. The 100mm f/2.8 lens is one of the most cost-effective choices readily available.

An 85mm lens will cost the most, with 135mm lenses making up the middle of the price range.

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

Expect to see very affordable prices for the Canon FD 100mm f/2.8. There is a 100mm f/4 macro version of the lens. It probably will cost more and is not a good choice for portraits as the lens needs to be stopped down.

Alternative Telephoto Lenses

Additionally, the Canon FD 135mm f/2.8 is among the most inexpensive prime lenses you can get. You will be required to dig through a large amount of results for third-party 135mm lenses that are usually not anywhere close to as good as a Canon lens.

There are a bunch of 85mm lenses available. The most desirable is the Canon FD f/1.2L lens. A lower-priced choice is the Canon FD 85mm f/1.8 lens, but it will be appreciably higher in price as opposed to the other telephoto lenses 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 TLb 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 usefulness of partnering a Canon TLb with a zoom lens is appealing. Having a range of focal lengths with no need to swap a lens is advantageous.

Bear in mind that all these are older zoom lenses.

  1. Picture results will probably not be sharp unless the lens is stopped down.
  2. One or possibly both ends of the focal range may have a significant amount of distortion.
  3. Zooms have a greater number of parts than primes, so they are more inclined to problems.
  4. Zooms will be usually are heavier and bigger than lenses with fixed focal lengths.

Alternative Zoom Lenses

With regards to pricing, just about all vintage zoom camera lenses will probably be inexpensive.

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 two recommended macro lenses were produced by Komine in Japan. The lens was also released under many different brand names. Panagor, Spiratone, Rokunar, Elicar, and Quantaray are brands you might 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 capturing photos at lifesize magnification (1:1), the 90mm lens is likely to be the superior pick due to the fact that it has a larger working distance.

The 55mm focal length lens is great 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

Pricing changes on a regular basis. During the past few years, interest in film photography has been growing. Subsequently, prices have steadily increased.

The smartest option is to obtain prices from different sites. Quickly snap up a good price in the event that you find one because the best deals are purchased the quickest.

What Lens Mount Does the Canon TLb Use?

The Canon TLb uses the Canon FD lens mount. Canon used the FD mount for film cameras created starting in 1971 and ending in 1992.

Here is a page with all the film cameras that use a Canon FD mount.

The Canon FL mount was preceded by the FD mount, which was implemented between 1964 - 1971. FL mount lenses are compatible with the TLb, but you will be required to use stopped down metering.

Standard Lens Cap Size

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

Making use of a standardized filter thread size is smart because you just need to get and carry one set of filters.

A handful of telephoto and zooms have larger filter ring thread diameters because they have large front lens elements.

FD vs FL Lens Mount

Front and Rear of a Canon FL Mount Lens

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

What Canon FL lenses do not have the feature to automatically do stop-down metering. What this means is that an FL lens needs to be stopped down with the depth-of-preview switch to ensure the TLb's light meter to display an accurate value.

FD vs new FD Lenses

Original Canon FD mount lens versus a Canon New FD mount lens.

The whole new FD lens rotates to lock onto the camera. As opposed to original FD lenses which have a breech-lock ring at the back of the lens that has to be rotated in order to secure a lens.

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

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

The improvement in the design of the breech-lock ring was caused by complaints. A small number of people endured lenses getting stuck on a camera mount.

If you are unfamiliar with putting on an FD mount lens to a camera, don't be anxious. Simply take the process slow and do not force anything.

Telling FD and FDn Lenses Apart

You can quickly tell new FD and FD lenses apart. New FD lenses are going to have a silver button on the outside of the lens, near the mount.

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

More Canon TLb Resources

There is no more to add on the best Canon TLb lenses. Once additional info on the camera is put onto the site, you will be able to find links in this section.

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