The 5 Best Bell & Howell FD35 Camera Lenses

By Nathaniel Stephan
Last Updated: March 28, 2020
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The Best Bell & Howell 35mm Film Camera Lenses

The Bell & Howell FD35 is a fantastic film camera. It is actually a rebranded Canon TX.

The best 5 lenses to use with the Bell & Howell FD35 are going to be covered in this article.

More information is further down, but if you're limited on time, below 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 are the best Canon lenses, are split up by type of photography and price. Numerous superb camera lenses for sale, a handful of them are popular with collectors.

Kit Lens and Standard Primes

Canon FD 50mm f/1.8

The 'B&H/Canon FD Lens 50mm F/1.8 S.C.' lens was the "kit Lens" sold with the FD35. As long as you are not specifically looking for a lens with the Bell & Howell branding, the 50mm f1.8 is inexpensive, plentiful, and has superb image 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 lens of photography, a 50mm camera lens is a terrific choice. The areas of photography include portraits, street, architecture, travel, casual use, and landscapes. This is the most frequently found focal length that is paired with the Bell & Howell FD35.

The lens is light, well balanced, and small. The lenses weigh anywhere from 170-305g, based on on the version of the lens. If you want the lightest lens, search for a new FD version.

Canon also produced 2 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

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.

Canon made four versions of the 50mm f/1.4. The "new FD" version is the newest and lightest 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

A heavy, bulky, and challenging to focus lens. Shot wide open, photographs will not be sharp. 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. Optical performance is not the driver of cost. People wish to have the lens a result of collectibility and rarity.

Alternative Standard Lenses

If you have a preference for other focal lengths, here are a few other possible choices. You might have to pay more than you 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 popularly accepted focal length for street photography is 28mm. However, the most widespread use for wide-angle lenses is for landscape and architectural photography.

My top choice is the Canon FD 28mm f/2.8 thanks to the inexpensive price, wide availability, and impressive optics.

Alternative Wide Angle Lenses

In terms of price, the correlation is easy to understand. The greater the field of view, the higher priced the lens will likely be. Faster versions also sell for appreciably more.

Weight will vary based primarily on the qualities of the lens. You can find lenses from 170g to 500g. Faster apertures will also mean that those lenses will be sizeable and cause the camera to be front heavy.

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 widely used in 1974 when the FD35 was first made. Rather, the 135mm focal length was a more popular lens for portraits.

For capturing portrait photos with the Bell & Howell FD35, there are a variety of short telephoto lenses to choose from. The 100mm f/2.8 lens is one of the most affordable possibilities available.

An 85mm lens will have the highest price, with 135mm lenses sitting in the middle of the range of prices.

Seeing that every one of the Canon FD telephoto lenses will be manual focus, they are much more compact than EF versions. Not surprisingly, something like the Canon FD 85mm f/1.2L will be huge and hefty because of the amount of glass in the lens.

Expect low prices for the Canon FD 100mm f/2.8. There's a 100mm f/4 macro version of the lens. It is going to cost more and is not a good choice for portraits as the lens ought to be stopped down.

Alternative Telephoto Lenses

Additionally, the Canon FD 135mm f/2.8 is among the cheapest prime lenses you can get. You will be required to look through a great number of listings for thirdparty 135mm lenses that aren't going to be anywhere near as good as a Canon lens.

There are several 85mm lenses to choose from. The most expensive is the Canon FD f/1.2L lens. A more affordable pick is the Canon FD 85mm f/1.8 lens, but it remains substantially more expensive than the various telephoto lenses mentioned earlier.

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

Bell & Howell FD35 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 Bell & Howell FD35 with a zoom lens is appealing. Having the ability to use a range of focal lengths without the need to change a lens is wonderful.

Take into consideration that all these are older zoom lenses.

  1. Photo output will probably not be good unless stopped down.
  2. Either or both ends of the focal range may suffer from a noticeable amount of lens distortion.
  3. Zoom lenses are built with a whole lot more parts when compared to prime lenses, so they are more at risk of problems.
  4. Zoom lenses will be generally heavier and larger than primes.

Alternative Zoom Lenses

In regards to cost, nearly all vintage zoom lenses are going to be affordable.

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 recommended macro camera lenses were built by Komine in Japan. The lens was also released with many different brand names. Rokunar, Elicar, Quantaray, Panagor, and Spiratone 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 taking photographs at lifesize magnification (1:1), the 90mm lens is going to be the superior choice due to the fact that it has a larger working distance.

The 55mm lens is perfect for close-up and table-top 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

Prices are regularly changing. For the past 3-4 years, interest in film photography has been growing. As a result, prices have gradually increased.

To get the best price, check out a lot of websites. Instantly get a good price when ever you see one simply because the best deals are purchased the fastest.

What Lens Mount Does the Bell & Howell FD35 Use?

The Bell & Howell FD35 utilizes the Canon FD lens mount. Canon used the FD mount for film cameras created from 1971 - 1992.

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

The Canon FL mount was replaced by the FD lens mount, which was implemented from 1964 - 1971. FL mount lenses can be used on the FD35, 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.

Making use of a standardized filter thread size is nice since you only need to get and carry 1 set of filters.

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

FD vs FL Lens Mount

Front and back of a Canon FL mount camera lens

The Canon FL mount preceded the FD mount. You may use FL lenses on the FD mount, and FD lenses can be used on the FL lens mount.

What Canon FL mount lenses do not have the feature to do auto stop-down metering. This means FL mount lenses are required to be stopped down by using the depth-of-preview switch to ensure the FD35's light meter to display the proper value.

FD vs new FD Lenses

Original Canon FD Camera Lens Mount versus the New FD Lens Mount

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 rear of the lens that needs to be tightened in order to secure a lens.

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

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

The difference in the design of the breech-lock ring was on account of complaints. A minority of users suffered from lenses getting jammed on a FD camera mount.

If you are unfamiliar with mounting an FD lens to a camera body, don't sweat it. Just 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 will have a silver button located on the outside of the lens, near the mount.

The earlier FD lenses have a metal ring that is required to be rotated after the lens is put on the camera to lock it into place.

More Bell & Howell FD35 Resources

There is no more to add on the best Bell & Howell FD35 lenses. When more info on the camera is published on this website, links will be in this section.

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