What Cameras use Canon FD Lenses?

By Nathaniel Stephan
Last Updated: August 22, 2019
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Camera that use Canon FD lenses

Finding a 35mm film camera that has an FD lens mount can be difficult if you don't know what models to look for. The Canon AE-1 camera is the best known, but there are plenty of other options.

Or perhaps you have found or were given a camera and are not sure if you can use FD lenses on it. Your answer is below.

FD lenses are interesting because they use a breech lock mechanism to mount onto a camera. This is far less common than the bayonet mount used on almost all other cameras and the FD's replacement, the Canon EOS mount.

FL Mount Cameras

Canon FXCanon FPCanon Pellix
Canon Pellix QLCanon FT-QLCanon TL-QL

FD Mount Cameras

Canon F-1Canon FT b-QLHigh Speed Motor Camera (1st)
Canon FTbNCanon EFCanon TLb
Canon TXCanon F-1nBell & Howell FD35*

*The Bell & Howell FD35 is a re-branded Canon TX.

New FD Mount Cameras

Canon AE-1Canon AT-1Canon A-1
Canon AV-1Canon AE-1 ProgramCanon New F-1
Canon AL-1High Speed Motor Camera (2nd)Canon T50
Canon T70Canon T80Canon T90
Canon T60

Mount Differences

The FL, FD, and new FD (FDn) mounts are all compatible with each other. What changes between the cameras and lenses are the features that are supported.

Canon FL Mount

Canon FT QL Camera Review

This is the predecessor to the FD mount and used from 1964-1971.

These camera bodies and lenses do not support full-aperture metering but do have automatic aperture stopdown.

In order to take a light reading, the lens must be stopped down to the aperture the image will be taken at. This can be done manually, or the cameras can be set to keep the lens stopped down when focusing.

Canon FD Mount

Canon AE-1 Camera

The first iteration of the FD mount was used on lenses and cameras from 1971-1981.

An advancement over the FL mount is that these lenses and cameras are capable of full-aperture metering. Meaning the camera can meter for any f-stop with the lens wide open.

Why this feature is important is because you get the most light possible in the viewfinder, while also having fewer manual steps.

In addition to that, the inclusion of signal pins made automatic exposure possible. This feature first showed up on the F-1 in 1971.

New Canon FD Mount

These lenses were produced from 1981 until the discontinuation of the FD mount in 1992.

The notable difference with the previous versions is how the lens mounts onto camera bodies.

Instead of having to mount the lens and then rotate the locking collar, the entire new FD lens is rotated and there is a lock controlled by a small button on the barrel of the lens.

New FD mount lenses feel similar in use to a bayonet mount lens. I personally like this as I am not a fan of the complexity breech-lock lenses introduce.

One comment on “What Cameras use Canon FD Lenses?”

  1. Canon FL and FD mounts had with 42 mm the shortest flange to film distance of all the periods cameras except the Leica screw mount. That meant that you could put nearly all others makes of objectives on a Canon body (with a suitable adapter) and still focus to infinity.

    The Canon breech lock had an important asset: Where bayonet locks may wobble a bit after long wear and tear, a breech lock will always fit tight, the ring gradually turns a few degrees more.

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