Canon FD 35-70mm f/4
Canon FD 35-70mm f/4. enlarge. I bought this one from this direct link to it at eBay; you may also be able to get them from this link to Adorama. It helps me keep adding this site when you get yours from these links, thanks! Ken.
This lens looks like my dog dug it up in the backyard, but before I threw it away, I tried it, and the Canon FD 35-70mm f/4 FD is an unusually good performer.
The 35-70mm f/4 is unusually sharp right out to the corners, even wide-open, and has little or no distortion throughout most of the zoom range.
The Canon FD 35-70/4 is also built tough; it's almost all-metal.
It's a two-ring zoom. There are no weird macro settings; it focuses directly down to 1.6 feet (0.5 meters) at all focal lengths as part of the regular focus range.
The 35-70/4 has one weirdness: for some unknown reason, the filter threads and front element move around inside the front outer lens barrel. To put on a cap or filter, you have to zoom to 35mm and focus to 0.5m to get the front part of the lens to come forward enough to reach the threads!
When new, it shipped with a rubbery plastic Canon cap that fit fairly snugly over the outer lens barrel.
Canon FD 35-70/4. enlarge.
Specifications with commentary top
Optics: 8 elements in 8 groups.
Diaphragm: 6 blades stopping down to f/22.
Close Focus: 1.6 ft (0.5m).
Maximum Reproduction Ratio: 1:6.7.
Filter Thread: 52mm, metal. Rotates only with focus.
Hood (optional): W-62.
Size: 3.42" (86.96mm) extension from flange x 2.48" (62.97mm) diameter.
Weight: 10.750 oz. (304.7g) naked.
Value: $35, USA, May 2009.
Rear, Canon FD 35-70mm f/4. enlarge.
The Canon FD 35 70 4 has strong barrel distortion at 35mm, and has no visible distortion at 50mm and 70mm.
For critical use, use these values in Photoshop's Lens Distortion FIlter:
© 2009 KenRockwell.com. All rights reserved.
* 7 ft (2m) at 35mm, 10' (3m) at 50mm, 14' (4m) at 70mm.
It works great; jut turn the rings. I've already explained the weirdness with with the hooded filter ring above.
Filters, Use with
As covered above, you have to dick with it to attach filters. The thread is not on the front of the lens; it's back inside the lens where it says "Canon Zoom Lens..."
The inner part with the filter thread moves in and out as you zoom, and rotates as you focus. Good luck trying to use a polarizer!!
Forget step-up rings; they won't fit inside the barrel.
Lateral Color Fringes
As seen on 3,600 DPI scans of Fuji Velvia 50, there is some very, very faint lateral color in the corners wide open, which goes away a stop or two down.
Here's the crazy part: the Canon 35-70mm f/4 FD is sharp at every setting! It's sharp even to the corners wide open.
Few lenses are this good, so this simple but tough lens stands out.
Considering that these sell used for about $35, if you want one, go for it.
I've always considered 35-70mm zooms as a product for the feeble minded; personally I prefer a smaller, faster, cheaper 50mm f/1.8 lens and I walk forward or back a few steps to zoom.
More Information: Canon Camera Museum.
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Thanks for reading!