The 5 Best Canon AT-1 Lenses

By Nathaniel Stephan
Last Updated: March 27, 2020
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Best Canon AT-1 35mm Film Camera Lenses

The Canon AT-1 is a great camera. This page will talk about the top 5 lenses to use with the Canon AT-1.

More details are further down, however below is the list of lenses if you are 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)

Listed below the top Canon camera lenses, are divided by type of photography and cost. Numerous impressive lenses are available second hand, a few are popular with collectors.

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 AT-1. The 50mm f1.8 is widely available used, has very good picture quality, and is inexpensive.

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 lens is a very good choice for many different kinds of photography. The areas of photography encompass everyday use, travel, landscapes, portraits, street, and architecture. This is the most frequently found focal length that is combined with the Canon AT-1.

It is a small, well balanced, and light lens. Based on the version of the lens, it will weigh between 170-305g. If you want the lightest lens, look for the new FD version.

Additionally, Canon produced two versions with bigger apertures 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 is a small amount more expensive when compared to the f1.8.

You can find 4 different variants of the 50mm f/1.4. The "new FD" copy 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 hefty, large, and difficult to focus lens. Shot wide open, photos will be soft. If you stop the lens down to f/1.8 or f/1.4 you will not see a notable difference between it and the other lenses.

There are a couple of versions, both are pricey. Optical quality is not why the lens is expensive. People desire the lens due to collectibility and rarity.

Alternative Standard Lenses

If you have a preference for other focal lengths, here are a few other options. Expect to pay a greater amount 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 may be used for street photography. However, lenses that have a larger field of view than 28mm are widely used for landscape and architectural photography.

My recommended pick is the Canon FD 28mm f/3.5 on account of the cheaper price, wide availability, and impressive optics.

Alternative Wide Angle Lenses

In terms of price, the relationship is straightforward. The larger the field of view, the pricier the lens will likely be. Faster versions also sell for considerably more.

The weight will vary based upon the characteristics of the lens. You can find lenses from 170g to 500g. Faster apertures will also mean that those lenses will physically be large and will make the camera more challenging to control.

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 1978 when the AT-1 was initially introduced. Instead, the 135mm focal length was the go-to lens for portraits.

For shooting portrait photos with the Canon AT-1, there are a number of short telephoto lenses to select among. The 100mm f/2.8 lens is one of the most affordable choices obtainable.

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

As every one of the Canon FD telephoto lenses will be manual focus, they are smaller than EF versions. Not surprisingly, something like the Canon FD 85mm f/1.2L will be huge and heavy because of the quantity of glass in the lens.

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

Alternative Telephoto Lenses

An alternative option, the Canon FD 135mm f/2.8 is just about the lowest priced prime lenses you can find. You will be required to dig through a good number of 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 out there. The priciest is the Canon FD f/1.2L lens. A lower-priced option is the Canon FD 85mm f/1.8 lens, but it will be a great deal more costly than the numerous other telephoto lenses in this article.

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 AT-1 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 flexibility of pairing a Canon AT-1 along with a zoom lens is enticing. Having the ability to use a range of focal lengths with no need to swap a lens is wonderful.

Be aware that all of them are vintage zoom lenses.

  1. Photo results will not be very good unless the lens is stopped down.
  2. One or possibly both ends of the focal range often have a significant amount of lens distortion.
  3. Zoom lenses contain a greater number of parts when compared to prime lenses, so they are more at risk of problems.
  4. Zoom lenses are bigger and generally heavier than prime lenses.

Alternative Zoom Lenses

In terms of price, practically all vintage zooms will likely be cheap.

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 lenses were made by Komine in Japan. The lens was also released with several brand names. Spiratone, Rokunar, Elicar, Quantaray, and Panagor 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 taking pictures at lifesize magnification (1:1), the 90mm lens will most likely be the better pick due to the fact that 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

Prices are continuously changing. For the past several years, involvement in film photography has been increasing. Because of this, price ranges have steadily increased.

To get the best price, check a lot of sites. Instantly pay for a really good price in the event that you find one mainly because the best deals are purchased the quickest.

What Lens Mount Does the Canon AT-1 Use?

The Canon AT-1 makes use of the Canon FD lens mount. Canon used the FD mount for film cameras produced from 1971 through 1992.

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

The Canon FL mount was preceded by the FD lens mount, which was used from 1964 - 1971. FL mount lenses can be used on the AT-1, but you should be prepared 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 smart since you only need to pick up and bring just one set of filters.

Several telephoto and zooms have bigger filter ring thread diameters due to the fact that they have sizeable front lens elements.

FD vs FL Lens Mount

Front and back of a Canon FL mount camera lens

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

What Canon FL lenses lack is the ability to automatically do stop-down metering. Therefore FL mount lenses will need to be stopped down by using the depth-of-preview switch to ensure that the AT-1's light meter to show an accurate reading.

FD vs new FD Lenses

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

The body of the new FD lens rotates to lock onto the AT-1. As opposed to original FD lenses which have a breech-lock ring at the rear of the lens that is required to be rotated to be able to mount a lens.

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

Occasionally you will see new FD lenses referred to as FDn lenses.

The improvement in the design of the breech-lock ring was on account of complaints. A small group of users experienced lenses getting stuck on a camera mount.

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

Telling FD and FDn Lenses Apart

You can instantly tell FD and new FD lenses from one another. New FD lenses have a silver button on the outside of the lens, near the mount.

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

More Canon AT-1 Resources

That finishes the best Canon AT-1 lenses. When more info on the camera is published on Outside the Shot, you will be able to find links here.

Best Film for the Canon AT-1

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