Short review of CANON LENS FD 50mm 1:1.2

According provided by lens CANON LENS FD 50mm 1: 1.2 many thanks to the store FOCUSFILM (subscribe to INSTAGRAM). There you can find many interesting film cameras and manual lenses.

CANON LENS FD 50mm 1: 1.2

CANON LENS FD 50mm 1:1.2. increase.

In short

CANON LENS FD 50mm 1:1.2 (1980 version of nFD) is a manual high-aperture fifty dollars from a bygone era. There is a whole family of similar fifty-fifty and 'near-fifty' lenses from Canon, which includes almost 20 (!) main models (see the 'History' section below).

The review shows CANON LENS FD 50mm 1: 1.2, which is most often called nFD. This the last manual especially high-aperture fifty kopecks from Canon, later this line acquired autofocus. Unlike all other similar lenses from Canon, this CANON LENS FD 50mm 1: 1.2 uses an optical design with 7 elements in 6 groups. All other earlier solutions used the scheme either 7/5 or 8/6.

In our time, CANON LENS FD 50mm 1: 1.2 is interesting for its huge relative aperture, which can be used for artistic purposes. At F / 1.2, the lens is quite suitable for use on modern digital cameras. This is one of the best old F/1.2 manual fixes I've used. True, there is no escape from strong chromatic aberrations. In parallel with CANON LENS FD 50mm 1: 1.2 was produced CANON LENS FD 50mm 1: 1.2 L with aspherical elements in the optical design, which was optically even better.

This CANON LENS FD 50mm 1:1.2 belongs to Canon's NEW FD (nFD) series lenses with FD mount. FD/nFD series lenses are the easiest to use on mirrorless cameras. It is difficult to use this lens on Canon EOS EF SLR cameras - to be able to focus on infinity, you definitely need corrective lens adapter (which degrades the image quality).

CANON LENS FD 50mm 1: 1.2

CANON LENS FD 50mm 1: 1.2


Canon has vast experience in creating such extremely fast lenses. All 58/55/50 1:0.95-1:1.2 class lenses are listed below:

  1. CANON LENS 50mm 1:1.2 Canon Camera Co., INC., 7 / 5, RF, September 1956
  2. CANON LENS 50mm 1:0.95 Canon Camera Co., INC., 7 / 5, RF, September 1961
  3. CANON TV LENS 50mm 1:0.95, 7 / 5, C mount 1961
  4. SUPER CANOMATIC LENS R 58mm 1:1.2 Canon Camera Co., INC., 7/5 February 1962
  5. CANON LENS FL 58mm 1:1.2 Canon Camera Co., INC., 7/5, March 1964
  6. CANON LENS FL 58mm 1:1.2 Canon Camera Co., INC., 7/5, March 1966 (differs in marking color)
  7. CANON LENS FL 55mm 1:1.2 Canon Camera Co., INC., 7/5, March 1968
  8. CANON LENS FL 55mm 1: 1.2, 7/5, 1969 (without 'Camera Co., INC.')
  9. CANON LENS FD 55mm 1: 1.2, 7/5, March 1971
  10. CANON LENS FD 55mm 1:1.2 Aspherical, 8/6, March 1971
  11. CANON LENS FD 55mm 1:1.2 SSC, 7/5, March 1973
  12. CANON LENS FD 55mm 1:1.2 Aspherical SSC, 8/6, March 1973
  13. CANON LENS FD 55mm 1:1.2 SSC Aspherical, 8/6, March 1975
  14. CANON LENS FD 50mm 1: 1.2 L, 8/6, October 1980
  15. CANON LENS FD 50mm 1: 1.2, 7/6, December 1980
  16. CANON LENS EF 50mm 1: 1.0 L ULTRASONIC, 11/9, September 1989
  17. CANON LENS EF 50mm 1: 1.2 L USM, 8/6, January 2007
  18. CANON LENS RF 50 mm F1.2 L USM, 15/9, September 2018

The names of lenses are indicated according to the inscriptions on their body or near the front lens.

CANON LENS 50mm 1:0.95 Canon Camera Co., INC. in history became the first free-market photo lens with f / 0.95. Yes, and a record CANON LENS EF 50mm 1: 1.0 L ULTRASONIC still unbeaten and lasts more than 30 years! This is the fastest autofocus full-frame lens.

Main technical characteristics of CANON LENS FD 50mm 1:1.2:

Review Instance Name CANON LENS FD 50mm 1:1.2 16539
Basic properties
  • FD - Canon FD mount
  • manual focus only
  • aperture control ring
  • 'A' - automatic iris control on respective cameras, ring lock button in position 'A'
  • bayonet type hood
  • lens suitable for full-frame cameras
Front Filter Diameter 52 mm, metal thread for filters
Focal length 50 mm
Zoom ratio 1 X (this is a fixed lens, it does not have a zoom)
Designed by for film cameras with a frame size of 24 x 36
Number of aperture blades 8 petals. Petals dark matte
  • focusing distance scale in meters (white) and feet (green), there are values ​​in meters: 10, 5, 3, 2, 1.5, 1.2, 1, 0.8, 0.7, 0.6, 0.5 and infinity mark
  • depth of field scale for f / 4, 8, 11, 16
  • red dot for infrared work
  • aperture value
  • two bayonet markings (red raised dot and red engraved dot)
  • green label 'A' for automatic iris control
Diaphragm from f / 1.2 to f / 16.

The lens has an aperture control ring.

On the aperture control ring there are marks for F / 1.2, 2, 2.8, 4, 5.6, 8, 11, 16 and an 'A' mark for switching to automatic aperture control mode. In position 'A', the aperture control ring is locked. To exit the 'A' mode, press the special release button located to the right of the 'A' mark.

The aperture control ring rotates with clicks. There is one intermediate value between all pairs of numbers.

MDF 0.5 meters

Maximum magnification ratio 1:7.7

The weight 311 grams (measured)
Optical design 7 elements in 6 groups

CANON LENS FD 50mm 1: 1.2

The lens does not use special optical elements in its optical design.

Lens hood Bayonet, marking unknown
Manufacturer country LENS MADE IN JAPAN (lens made in Japan)
Period since December 1980, later supplemented with autofocus models. This is the last particularly fast fifty dollars with an FD mount. In the future, the company switched to the EF mount.
Price About $ 200 for used option. Current prices can be look at EBAY.

Prices for modern Canon lenses can be look at E-Katalog.

Despite the lack of SSC marking, the objective lenses have high-quality multi-coating. Since a certain time, Canon has ceased to indicate the type of enlightenment of its lenses.

CANON LENS FD 50mm 1: 1.2

CANON LENS FD 50mm 1:1.2 and 7Artisans 50/0.95

Assembling, focusing

CANON LENS FD 50mm 1:1.2 is well built.

The focus ring is rubberized and rotates approximately 180 degrees (1/2 of a full turn). The movement of the ring is smooth and pleasant. During focusing, the front retractable part of the body frame does not rotate. Focusing occurs by moving the entire lens block. The bayonet hood is attached to the retractable lens trunk.

CANON LENS FD 50mm 1: 1.2

CANON LENS FD 50mm 1:1.2 and 7Artisans 50 / 0.95

Sample photos (Full Frame)

Pictures in the gallery were obtained using legendary camera Canon EOS-1 Ds Mark II (Full Frame, 17 MP) and a homemade adapter Canon FD -> Canon EF with a far focus limit of around 1 meters. Converting and processing raw RAW files with the original Canon DPP4 utility.

RAW '.CR2' original photos can be download / watch this link (20+ photos).

Sample photos (APS-C)

All photos in the review are shown without processing. Photos on a cropped camera were prepared by a photographer Natalia (Instagram). Camera used Sony NEX-6 (16 MP Sony Exmor APS-C HD CMOS sensor) and adapter FOTGA Canon FD -> SONY E/FE/NEX. All photos are JPEG taken in camera.

Original JPEG '.JPG' photos can be download / watch this link (15 photos).

How to use FL/FD/FDn mount lenses

To use a Canon FL, Canon FD, or Canon FDn mount lens on modern mirrorless cameras, you should use the appropriate adapter:

The adapters are suitable for FL, FD and FDn mount lenses, these mounts are backwards compatible. But using lenses with a Canon FL / Canon FD / Canon FDn mount on SLR cameras is difficult due to the long working distance. In such cases, a corrective lens adapter must be used, which will degrade the image quality.

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Material prepared Arkady Shapoval. Training/Consultations | Youtube | Facebook | Instagram | Twitter | Telegram

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Comments: 7, on the topic: CANON LENS FD 50mm 1:1.2 overview

  • Natalia

    The lens gives a nice picture

  • Oleg

    thanks! Informative, including interesting photos!

  • Matthew

    Before the review, I looked at the prices for this lens on Avito. I will say this, with such prices there is no point in buying at all)))

    • Dmitry Kostin

      There are few FDs on Avito, but there are few in decent condition and the prices are surprising, there is such a thing.
      (this is from the category of how they sometimes ask for more for a manual Nikkor 28/2 than for a boxed Nikkor 28 / 1.8G)

  • aidah

    Review not worthy. I'll try ten times shorter and ten times better.

    Overcompact 50/1.2 with ideal ergonomics and traditional F1.2 compromises in IQ.

    In the middle is the brightness of the bokeh on the vіdkritіy. Chudov at F1.8. One of the best averages of all half a month on F2.
    High unevenness of bokeh brightness as a result of overcompactness and correction of komi. The rest is just a day: the bula was sacrificed to the deities of luminosity.
    Visible contrast on the screen, allowing easy focusing.

    Zavdyaki contrasts that ergonomic equal “god”, the most favorite slope for rent in the dark. For such minds, rather than with a boot, I don’t hit the target in any way.
    Like and be-like older (and not more) F1.2 slo - we can recommend only to those who are ready to live / deal with problems in post-probation.

    Album with signs:

    • B. R. P.

      Bravo! Telegraph style guru! "Sister to talent" worked, zmіstovnіst, tim more than 10 times - nі.

  • Martin

    This is a quite nice lens, when used on a Canon RF Camera (not a DSLR). There are adapters for it, without a glass element. I did not do any tests, but from viewing usual images, the colors are good, neutral, subdued somewhat, sharpness is good, but – there is lacking of contrast. Definitely the images do not look as clear, as bright and as contrasty as with a modern lens. But it could be a feature, not a bug - when you want it.

    Compared to other average 50mm of that era the lens is nothing special, it is pretty bad actually. Again, I am not talking about shooting brick walls, just going through a bunch of pictures shot on a sunny day. And I am talking the usual f-range, say, from f2.8 to f8.0

    At f1.2 it excels though. The images are very nicely balanced, soft, low contrast and creamy bokeh, but sharp nevertheless. Very pleasant look overall – like a romantic painting maybe. Romantic, yes, but sharp :-) Not so sure about the latter when it comes to an OM-Zuiko 50mm f1.2 from Olympus, which I happen to have as well.

    If you think paying big $$ for it will give you a perfect lens for the universal use in the digital era – no, not in this case. For occasional portraits at f1.2 it might be worth checking out.

    I dont know how the prices on the market are at the moment, but for tons of money I would not buy it, it is simply too special. Nice to have, but too special. Better buy any f1.4 or f2.0 instead

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