Canon FD 20/2.8 Lens : LUSENET : Canon FD : One Thread

I would appreciate hearing comments and remarks about the quality of this lens--sharpness and contrast--in comparison to other Canon lenses from anyone who has used it. Are the edges of images made with it at, say, f8, fairly sharp, or are they disappointingly soft? Thanks.

-- Bill Wheeler (, December 01, 2000


I have an SSC version from about 1978. The center of the field is very sharp at all apertures. The edges are less sharp but not to the point of being 'soft' at apertures below f5.6. At f8, they are still less sharp but it would be hard to say with a typical landscape that there was much difference. Of any of the primes, this lens (& the 17) show the greatest variation from center to edge. But like all primes, it is so much better than just about all non-L zooms.

I have found that SSC lenses tend to be less snappy or contrasty than the new FD (bayonet) lenses. This lens is quite good but doesn't have quite the same snap that the 20-35L does. A new FD 20 uses the same optical formula as the SSC but with improved coatings so hopefully it should perform a bit better.


-- Duane K (, December 04, 2000.

I sold one midle 80`s version, very good at close distances, soft at 2.8 but good enough at 4.

-- rwatson (, February 09, 2001.

With these ultra-wides, I've found it depends in part on how you use the lens. I had an old Tokina 17/3.5 that was unacceptably soft for landscapes below f:8 or thereabouts, but fine for interiors at larger apertures, where the edge of the frame would often be nearer than the center (one situation in which curvature of field might work in your favor).

I have the new FD 20/2.8, but have not yet used it enough to make any generalizations. Thus far, I have no major complaints, using it mostly for interiors.

-- David Goldfarb (, February 09, 2001.

The FD 20mm f2.8 is one of Canon's very best wide angle lenses and I tend to use mine as a standard lens most of the time. Great performance wide open and tack sharp prints. The first time I used this lens the results were obviously superior on 6 x 4 prints. I have spoken with others who rave about this model. I would prefer the new FD version over the old. A great optical performer and wonderful side angle effect.

-- chris hayden (, May 19, 2001.

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