Canon New FD 50mm f/1.8 AC

Year 1985
Lens Groups 4
Lens Element 6
Aperature Blades 5
Minimum Aperture f/22
Closest Focusing 0.5 m
Max. Magnifcation 1:6.7 (0.15x)
Filter Size 52 mm
Diameter x Length 74 x 48 mm
Weight 210 gr (0.46 lb)
Hood -


Fast, sharp with accurate autofocus on most subjects
Bulky due to the autofocus mechanism

This lens only works with the Canon T80, more or less Canon's first autofocus SLR. Canon had already put out some autofocus point and shoots in the late 70s and an autofocus lens (Canon's first entry into autofocus was the AF 35-70mm f/4 zoom lens which had a focus button on the lens). The lens being reviewed has an FD-AC mount that enables autofocus by slightly depressing the shutter button (as one does on the EOS line and various digital models). Setting the lens to "one shot" it is fast, sharp, and focuses well considering it was such an early autofocus model. It only struggles to autofocus with low contrast subjects or series of vertical or horizontal lines, but Canon EF lenses today often struggle with low contrast subjects. The lens can be set to One Shot, Servo, or Manual focus. As mentioned, One Shot is accurate and fast to focus on most subjects. Servo was a nice idea that needed a lot of refinement. It works fairly well when the subject is moving either left to right or right to left in front of you with slight variations in distance. It works okay when the subject is moving away from you. It rarely works well when the subject is moving quickly towards you. Again, that should not come as a surprise as modern EF lens have difficulty with that as well. Manual focus is controlled with a knurled wheel at the front of the lens. Even with manual focus the T80 offers focus assist. This is a strange looking lens as the autofocus mechanism is on the side of the lens. But it is still fairly lightweight as it is built with similar polycarbonate materials as the nFD lenses. I put this at least on par optically with the nFD 50mm f1.8 and maybe even the f1.4 (a lens I love). I recently bought the FD 35-70mm f3.5-4.5 AC for under $12US. I will review that one once I put it through its paces.