Canon FD 28mm f/3.5 (chrome nose)

Canon FD 28mm f/3.5 (chrome nose)

Year 1971
Lens Groups 6
Lens Element 6
Aperature Blades 6
Minimum Aperture f/16
Closest Focusing 0.4 m
Max. Magnifcation 1:11.9 (0.084x)
Filter Size 55 mm
Diameter x Length 64 x 43 mm
Weight 290 gr (0.64 lb)
Hood BW-55B


Solid, well built, but compact in comparison to other FD lenses.
Slow, limited aperture range

Back when the Canon FL lenses were top of the line, Canon advertized that in the family there were both "professional" lenses, and less expensive, slower, "amateur" lenses. They dropped this when the FD lens line came out, I suspect because whether you were a pro or an amateur you didn't want to admit that a given lens was somehow inferior to others.

Still, Canon did include an "economy" group of lenses along with professional optics because they wanted to sell something to every one. Thus our compact, f3.5 aperture 28mm wide angle. Now, f3.5 really isn't that slow, and it helps the designers make a quality optic since they don't have to worry about making something from large lens blanks. Also, 28mm was a popular focal length because it was a true wide angle, but not so wide angle that you would have to worry about distortions or aberations like you would with a wider wide angle lens. In short it was regarded as a general purpose wide angle. This was especially true back when John Hedgecoe and others were advising people to equip there SLR camera's with a 28mm wide angle, the 50mm normal, a 100 mm short telephoto and a telephoto zoom lens with a range between 70-210mm. Consequently, a lot of 28mm lenses were sold. I have one of these myself, which like the picture, has a chrome ring on the front. That makes it a certifiable original FD lens. Also, though there is no S.C. or S.S.C on the filter ring, this lens does have Canon's standard single layer coating. Still, perhaps because of manufacturing developments, Canon eventually replaced this lens with an f2.8 model. And when the New FD lenses were introduced, all standard model lenses were f2.8 models, zoom lenses excepting. As it is, a surviving FD 28mm f3.5 is a good lens for a collector, especially if it is a chrome ring model. Just keep it clean, and use it when you can and you will still get good pictures. ENjoy