OLD FD mount and New FD mount

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I am looking for a "used" Canon zoom for my FTb. I understand the "old" mount is the friction fit metal ring (my 50mm lens) have this. I match the red dots and twist it on.

A lot of EBAY advertised FD mounts do not have the metal ring, and some are advertised as the new FD mount. Looks like a black ring, red dot, and a push button affair. Will these lenses work on my FTb. How are they mounted and removed?

Also, I'm interested in the FD 75mm-200mm or the FD 70-200mm zoom. They advertise as having a macro feature (how does this work?).

My interest is in nature photography (forest animals, etc. plus some close ups of flowers, etc.) will these zooms suit me?

Is the "old" FD mount better than the "new" FD mount? thanks

-- Tom Koman (hiramm@us.ibm.com), May 04, 2000


Oops.... I've noticed in the forum a good explanation of "old" and "new" FD mounts.

Looks like I can use either on a Canon FTb.

-- tom koman (hiramm@us.ibm.com), May 04, 2000.


Yes, you can use either on your FTb, and both styles have their pluses and minuses.

The biggest thing is the for the range of 24 - 100 mm, the filter sizes are the same for each mount, 52mm for new FD, 55mm for old FD.

-- Terry Carraway (TCarraway@compuserve.com), May 05, 2000.

Not to duplicate what you've already learned, but either mount fits interchangeably. There is a difference in filter sizes. "FD" lenses have the silver breech lock ring, "New FD" lenses have the black mount with release button--align the dot, press, twist the barrel until it clicks. The only functional difference is that the rotating part is on the outside on the old, and "inside" on the new. I have all New FD's, and I broke a mount one time when the strap let go and the bottom corner of the camera hit the concrete as I caught it. Conventional wisdom is that the old mount is stronger, but nothing would have survived this impact, and my lens that day was the very inexpensive 35-70 zoom, which is 98% plastic. It actually still works fine with a bit of epoxy for repair and careful use!

New FD's are often a bit lighter, smaller, and some have different optics. I love mine, even buying several more on eBay recently rather than "modernizing."

"Close focusing" is more accurate than "macro" for the zooms you mention. It's fine for nature, but not so meticulously corrected for extreme close up and copying as the "real" macro lenses. It also won't go as close as the macro lenses. Handy, though!

I seem to remember being told about 15 years ago that the New FD 70- 210 was a better lens than the 75-200. My dad has the former, and it seems fine.

I have a 100-300 zoom, and I use 300 a lot for animals. I have some frame filling images from the local zoo made at 300mm, but "wild" images of birds or small animals are disappointing to me at 300. I'm shopping for a 400/4.5.

eBay notes: I've had no problems with sellers, after checking their feedback. I don't bid on a lens without a good picture available. And, some FD lenses sell for MORE than you can buy them from KEH, inspected and warranted. Compare prices before bidding!

-- Alan Swartz (swartz@tyler.net), June 05, 2000.

I had a Canon FD 75-200mm f/4.5-5.6 zoom with the dubious 'macro' feature. To use it there's a separate ring you twist that locks it into macro mode. It hardly qualifies as a macro since the magnification ratio is only about 1:4 and since this is only at the short end, 75mm, you can accomplish the same magnification without the macro mode by close focusing at the 200mm end.

But the lens isn't good at close ups either way unless stopped down to at least f/8 or so.

Overall the lens is a mediocre performer. The 70-210mm f/4 may be better and the 80-200mm f/4 is well known to be excellent.

The only other Canon FD tele-zoom I've worked with is the 100-300mm f/5.6 (non-L series). It has a true close focusing design - no separate macro ring to twist - that works from 100-200mm. While still not a true macro - magnification is somewhere around 1:3 or so at 200mm - it is excellent for close ups and the zoom is overall an excellent performer from 100-200mm. Beyond 200mm you have to watch for flare and stop the lens down to at least f/11 for best performance. It's a clumsy design with the long push-push one-touch mechanism, but a far better zoom than the 75-200mm f/4.5-5.6.

For a lot less money look for the old Vivitar 70-210mm (or was it 75-210mm?) f/4.5 zoom. This isn't the Series 1 version, just an ordinary zoom that runs about $50 at pawn shops. It's very compact, uses a push-pull one-touch design that doesn't affect the length of the lens, and close focuses to 1:2 magnification at 210mm, which is a lot handier than macro at the short end. While I haven't tried this particular zoom I have tried other Vivitars from this era and they're solidly built, good performers. I have my eye on one for $40 at a local pawn shop.

If good, inexpensive macro performance is important to you consider Vivitar's macro focusing 2x teleconverter. Besides being a high quality teleconverter it makes an excellent 100mm f/2.8 macro out of your 50mm f/1.4 normal lens. I'm not blowing smoke here - in photos of a Jackson note (which I can't reproduce for obvious reasons) you can clearly read the tiny lettering around the portrait, and the entire image is crisp and free of distortion all the way to the edges. Best $125 you'll ever spend on your camera, and you can often find 'em used for around $50.

-- Lex Jenkins (lexjenkins@hotmail.com), June 09, 2000.

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