Canon FDn 35mm f/2
Center 100% crops:
Zone A – 100% crops:
Zone B – 100% crops:
Zone C 100% – crops:
Canon FDn 35mm f/2 has shown some very good results here. Wide open, it is very sharp in the center with just slightly softer corners. CA is also not significant, neither is distortion. Well corrected is also spherical aberration.
Lens doesn’t have most pleasing bokeh, and MFD could be shorter, but otherwise, there isn’t much to complain about.
In some respect, this lens is similar to Sony SEL 3518, delivering above average results in most departments, but failing to give some uniqueness.
If its recent price wouldn’t attack 200 USD border, I will strongly recommend it. But if you have to spend over 200 USD, than you might save a bit more for SEL 3518 and enjoy all pampering of AF and OSS in even lighter package.
Canon is maybe slightly better optically than Sony, but only you can say – what is more important – pixel peeping or AF 🙂
Buy this lens if:
a) You want very good, moderately fast 35mm for around 200 USD
b) You already have FD-NEX(M43, Fuji EX, etc.) adapter.
c) You shot RAW, and know how to take most out of a resolution
d) MF is your second name
e) You feel home at parties, and street demonstrations
Don’t buy this lens if:
a) You don’t understand the difference between aperture and focus ring
b) You shot JPEG and want in-camera lens corrections
c) You are looking for oneness in rendering
d) The first word you learned about photography, was bokeh
e) You like to get very close to your subjects
Here are links to other 35mm lens tests:
Sony SEL 35mm f/1.8 OSS E
Carl Zeiss Planar T* 35mm f/2 (Contax G)
Canon FD 35mm f2 (Thorium)
A.Schacht Ulm Travegon 35mm f3.5 R
Voigtlander Nokton Aspherical 35mm f/1.2 II
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I think your headline should read, “Boring Lens” and you said it when you stated; “but failing to give some uniqueness” a polite way of saying”boring”. If a lens has one significant short coming it’s what people want to know. After the flaw they want to know to the strong suits, then it is all up to them to determine if they can work around short comings and capitalize on the strong suits? So failing to be unique, boring, or not standing out ….incredibly important observations. I sold mine because in real world use (trees, landscapes, dramatic close ups with blurry backgrounds, and not charts ….this lens is just typical meaning it doesn’t rise above any. HOWEVER, it does produce some interesting bubble bokeh that can be used quite effectively….
I tend to agree with your comment, but those tests were all done on APS-C cameras and we should leave some space for making terminal conclusions. Many lenses that I tested on APS-C created entirely different rendering style on FF and vice versa. I didn’t find time to come back to this lens, but who knows, it might surprise positively.
So, what other 35mm you would suggest instead of this?