The 5 Best Canon New F-1 Lenses

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

The Canon New F-1 is an outstanding film camera. If you don't have a lens or desire a new lens, this article will talk about the top 5 lenses to use with your Canon New F-1.

Additional details are below, however below is the list of lenses 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)

Below the top Canon FD camera lenses, are categorized by focal length and price. Many impressive camera lenses available used, a handful of them are even collectible.

Kit Lens and Standard Primes

Canon FD 50mm f/1.8

If you don't already have it, your first lens should be the original "kit lens" for the New F-1, the Canon FD 50mm f/1.8. The 50mm f1.8 is widely available used, has excellent image quality, and is low-priced.

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

The 50mm focal length is a terrific choice for many kinds of photography. The areas of photography consist of landscapes, portraits, travel, everyday use, architecture, and street. This is the most frequently found focal length that is used with the Canon New F-1.

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

Additionally, Canon released 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

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 the difference is minimal.

The 50mm f/1.4 comes in 4 variants. The "new FD" variant is the newest and lightest 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 big, heavy, and tricky to focus lens. Shot wide open, images will be soft. If you stop the lens down to f/1.8 or f/1.4 you will not notice much of a difference between it and the other lenses.

The two versions of the lens are pricey. The cost of the lens is as a result of collectibility and rarity, not optical superiority.

Alternative Standard Lenses

If the 50mm focal length isn't what you want, here are some other options. Count upon having to pay additional money 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 popular 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 cheaper price, ease of finding a copy, and top-notch optics.

Alternative Wide Angle Lenses

In terms of price, the correlation is easy to understand. The wider the field of view, the pricier the lens ıs going to be. Larger apertures also go for a whole lot more.

Weight will change based upon 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 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 big of a deal in 1981 when the New F-1 was first introduced to the market. Rather, the 135mm focal length was a more popular lens for portraits.

If you want to capture portrait photos with the Canon New F-1, there are a bunch of short telephoto lenses to choose among. The 100mm f/2.8 lens is one of the least expensive options available.

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

Since every one of the Canon FD telephoto lenses are manual focus, they are much more compact than autofocus versions. Clearly, something like the Canon FD 85mm f/1.2L will be big and hefty due to the amount of glass in the lens.

Expect to see affordable prices for the Canon FD 100mm f/2.8. There's a 100mm f/4 macro version of the lens. It will probably be more expensive and is not the ideal choice for portraits as the lens ought to be stopped down.

Alternative Telephoto Lenses

An alternative option, the Canon FD 135mm f/2.8 is one of the most inexpensive prime lenses you can buy. You will have to dig through a large number of results for third-party 135mm lenses that are not anywhere close to as good as a Canon lens.

There are many 85mm lenses available. The best is the Canon FD f/1.2L lens. A less expensive choice is the Canon FD 85mm f/1.8 lens, but it is still noticeably more expensive than the various other telephoto lenses above.

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 New F-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 benefits of partnering a Canon New F-1 along with a zoom lens is tempting. Getting to use a range of focal lengths without having to swap a lens is great.

Take note that these are older zoom lenses.

  1. Image quality will not be very good unless stopped down.
  2. Either or possibly both ends of the zoom range may have a significant amount of lens distortion.
  3. Zoom lenses contain significantly more parts when compared to primes, so they are more susceptible to damage.
  4. Zoom lenses are usually heavier and larger than lenses with fixed focal lengths.

Alternative Zoom Lenses

In terms of prices, almost all older zooms will likely 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

Komine produced both of the suggested macro camera lenses in Japan. The lens was also released under assorted brand names. Elicar, Quantaray, Panagor, Spiratone, and Rokunar are brands you may 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 superior choice since it has a greater working distance.

The 55mm focal length lens is ideal 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 regularly changing. For the past 3-4 years, the desirability of film photography has been growing. Consequently, the price ranges have steadily increased.

To end up with the best price, review a number of online stores. Immediately purchase a great deal when you see one since it can be a very long time before more appears.

What Lens Mount Does the Canon New F-1 Use?

The Canon New F-1 uses the Canon FD lens mount. Canon used the FD mount for film cameras manufactured from 1971-1992.

Here is a page of every one of the cameras that have a Canon FD mount.

The Canon FL mount was replaced by the FD mount, which was implemented between 1964 and 1971. FL mount lenses will work with the New F-1, 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.

Employing a standardized filter thread size is smart since you are only required to get hold of and carry one set of filters.

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

FD vs FL Lens Mount

Front and back of a lens with a Canon FL Lens Mount

The Canon FL lens mount was made prior to the FD lens 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 do not have the feature to do auto stop-down metering. As a result, FL mount lenses will need to be stopped down by using the depth-of-preview switch to enable the New F-1's light meter to show the proper reading.

FD vs new FD Lenses

Original FD Mount Lens compared to a New FD Lens Mount

The whole new FD lens rotates to lock onto the New F-1. Compared to original FD lenses which have a breech-lock ring at the rear of the lens that must be rotated to be able to mount a lens.

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

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

The modification in the design of the breech-lock ring was owing to complaints. A small group of customers had lenses getting stuck on an FD camera mount.

If you have not mounted an FD lens to a camera body, don't fret. Just simply take it slow and do not force anything.

Telling FD and FDn Lenses Apart

You can quickly 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 original version of FD lenses have a metal ring that needs to be rotated after the lens is attached to lock it into place.

More Canon New F-1 Resources

That finishes the best Canon New F-1 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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