Canon FDn Lens Brochure

Brochure for the New FD lenses.

Canon FDn Lens User Manual

FDn User Manual C-CE-132B

FDn Series of Lenses

When we talk about FD lenses we have to distinguish between the FD mount and the FD lens. From its introduction on the original F-1 camera in in March of 1971 the FD lens mount did not change until it was finally phased out with the end of New F-1 production in 1992. In the 21 or so years of production the FD mount was the same. That cannot be said, however, for the FD lenses.

In June of 1979 Canon began introducing a changed design for the mount on the back of the lenses themselves. Lenses with this new mounting method were called New FD lenses, or for collectors, FDn lenses.

This new system was completely backward compatible with existing FD camera body mounts. All FD and FDn lenses will fit and function on all FD bodies from the F-1 through to the T60. They will even fit on an FL body although they will function only in manual mode. 

On FD bodies these FDn lens work in exactly the same fashion. The user will see no difference in operation. So why did Canon make this change?

Quoting from the Canon Museum“… the development of an easy and quick mounting system was the challenge for the New FD lens. In the previous series, the lens was tightened with an outer breach-lock ring, but an increasing number of professional and advanced-level amateur photographers who frequently used interchangeable lens cameras showed dissatisfaction with the mounting system and requested for a new one which provided a feel of complete lock. To meet the demand, Canon developed an instantaneous fit-and-lock mount system that retained interchangeability with earlier cameras and incorporated in the system into the New FD lens. The product markings were the same as those of FD lenses, but to differentiate them from the conventional FD lenses, “New” was added.”

 

Rather than explain the function of the buttons and levers have a look at pages 4 and 5 of the User Manual above.

 

I have used FD lenses for many years and I have always found the silver lock ring on them to be an awkward thing to use. I am sure Canon received complaints about it. The truth is that the competition were all using bayonet mounts and they were easier and more convenient to operate which was probably costing Canon sales.

But there is another thing to notice as well: comparing the two kinds of lenses there is generally less weight and more plastic in the construction of the FDn lens. And they generally appear to be smaller and more compact. This was probably a result of wanting ever cheaper manufacturing methods to keep the Canon gear competitive in the marketplace.

 

Canon FDn 50mm f/1.8 Lens

This is the front of an FDn 50mm f/1.8. Notice that the name ring no longer specifies the lens coating. This lens is smaller than the equivalent FD lens and the filter diameter has been reduced from 55mm to 52mm.

Canon FDn 50mm f/1.8 Lens

The rear of the FDn has not changed from the FD lenses and no more lens-body communication is possible with this lens than the FD versions.

 

The lens body and the communication pins on the rear surface of an FDn still do not move during mounting or dismounting. There is too much “stuff” on the rear of the lens that must align precisely with the body to allow for this. You will see it said that neither of the contact surfaces between the body and lens nor the signaling mechanisms rotate against each other when the lens is mounted and that this prevents any mechanical wear on the mating surfaces, which could conceivably reduce the very precise lens-to-film distance or introduce communication errors between lens and body. (Of course experience tells us that to appreciably wear these surfaces based on average lens mounting and dismounting frequency would take about a thousand years!) 

On FDn lenses the coating type was no longer specified on the lens name ring. All of these lenses received S.S.C. coating, with the sole exception of the 50mm f/1.8 lens. These lenses are mounted like bayonet-mount lenses in that the photographer twists the entire lens body to mount and dismount the lens, though the actual mating surfaces still remain fixed. There is a square silver metal button at the base of the lens that unlocks the lens when you decide to remove it from the camera. This new arrangement retained the advantages of the breech-lock mount while providing the convenience of a bayonet.

A minor operational difference between New FD and earlier lenses occurs only when using a Canon New F-1 body with the AE Finder FN in aperture preferred AE mode. The New FD lenses’ aperture rings were placed closer to the rear of the lens so that the aperture value is visible in the new F-1’s viewfinder, via an optical prism. Earlier lenses’ aperture scales do not align properly with the prism, and are therefore not visible.

 

FD autofocusing Lenses 

Before the FD mount was obsoleted by the EOS system, Canon built four autofocus lenses. Of these, only the FD 35-70mm f/4 AF was capable of autofocus on all FD cameras. The others, known as AC lenses, offered autofocus only on the T80 camera. The FD 35-70mm f/4 AF contained an entirely independent autofocus system and was among the world’s first autofocus zoom lenses (the Pentax ME F was the first). The autofocus system was activated by a button on the side of the lens, and involved no communication with the camera body. It was reasonably accurate with still subjects, but was too slow to be a practical solution for moving subjects such as sports.

Further development produced the AC derivative of the FD mount. Three AC lenses were manufactured, the AC 50mm f/1.8, AC 35-70mm f/3.5-4.5, and AC 75-200mm f/4.5. All were released in April, 1985 alongside the Canon T80 camera, which was the only camera ever manufactured to take advantage of the AC lenses’ AF capabilities.

 

The lenses communicated with the T80 via a modified FD mount with added electrical contacts. They lacked an aperture ring, and were therefore usable only in automatic-exposure modes. They were otherwise identical to the FD mount and could be manually focused on those FD-mount cameras that could control the aperture. The AC line proved to be a dead-end development in light of the EF series development, and Canon would abandon the capability in the three remaining FD-mount cameras it produced, the New F-1, T90, and T60. 

Canon FDn 50mm f/1.8 Lens

The name ring on the FDn (right) has dropped mention of the S.C. coating and the filter thread diameter has been reduced from 55mm to 52mm. In fact, all FDn lenses received the S.S.C. coating except for the 50mm f/1.8, the one shown here,  which only had the S.C. coating.

Canon FDn 50mm f/1.8 Lens

The rear of the two lenses appears, at first look, to be identical. Of course the silver lock ring is gone and we have a Lens Release Button instead. Notice the dates. The FD on the left was manufactured in January of 1979 according to the Date Code and the FDn was made in June of that year.

When Canon introduced the FD lens mount in 1971 on the original F-1 camera it was an evolution and not a revolution. There already existed a wide variety of R series and FL series lenses that were compatible, or nearly compatible, with the new mount. FD added sufficient communication with the camera body to enable metering of a scene at full aperture. The FD Series alone makes for an impressive list of lenses. They were overtaken eventually by the need for autofocus capability and the EF lens mount in the early 1990’s.

New "FD" Series Lenses by Date of Introduction
 Name Released Min.Aperture Blades Groups Elements Filter Weight
New Fish Eye 7.5mm f/5.6 Jun 79 22 6 8 11 365gr
New FD 24mm f/2 Jun 79 22 8 9 11 52mm 285gr
New FD 24mm f/2.8 Jun 79 22 6 9 10 52mm 240gr
New FD 28mm f/2 Jun 79 22 8 9 10 52mm 265gr
New FD 28mm f/2.8 Jun 79 22 5 7 7 52mm 170gr
New FD 35mm f/2.8 Jun 79 22 5 5 6 52mm 165gr
New FD 50mm f/1.4 Jun 79 22 8 6 7 52mm 235gr
New FD 50mm f/1.8 Jun 79 22 5 4 6 52mm 170gr
 New FD Macro FD 50mm f/3.5 Jun 79 32 6 4 6 52mm 235gr
New FD 85mm f/1.8 Jun 79 22 8 4 6 52mm 345gr
New FD 100mm f/2.8 Jun 79 32 6 5 5 52mm 270gr
New FD 135mm f/2.8 Jun 79 32 8 5 6 52mm 395gr
New FD 135mm f/3.5 Jun 79 32 6 4 4 52mm 325gr
New FD 200mm f/2.8 (Closest Focus 1.8m) Jun 79 32 8 5 5 72mm 700gr
 New FD 200mm f/4 Jun 79 32 8 6 7 52mm 440gr
New FD 300mm f/4 Jun 79 32 9 6 6 34mm 945gr
New FD 300mm f/5.6 Jun 79 32 8 5 6 58mm 635gr
New FD 35-70mm f/4 Jun 79 22 6 8 8 52mm 315gr
New FD 70-150mm f/4.5 Jun 79 32 6 9 12 52mm 530gr
New FD 80-200mm f/4 Jun 79 32 8 11 15 58mm 765gr
New FD 100-200mm f/5.6 Jun 79 32 6 5 8 52mm 610gr
New Macro FD 100mm f/4 Sep 79 32 6 3 5 52mm 455gr
New FD 28-50mm f/3.5 Sep 79 22 8 9 10 58mm 470gr
New FD 35-70mm f/2.8-3.5 Sep 79 22 8 10 10 58mm 545gr
New FD 17mm f/4 Dec 79 22 6 9 11 72mm 360gr
New FD 20mm f/2.8 Dec 79 22 6 9 10 72mm 305gr
New FD 24mm f/1.4 L Dec 79 16 8 8 10 72mm 430gr
New FD 35mm f/2 Dec 79 22 8 8 10 52mm 245gr
New FD24-35mm f/3.5 L Dec 79 22 6 9 12 72mm 495gr
New Fisheye FD 15mm f/2.8 Jan 80 22 6 9 10 460gr
New FD 100mm f/2 Jan 80 32 8 4 6 52mm 445gr
New FD 85mm f/1.2 L Mar 80 16 8 6 8 72mm 680gr
New Reflex 500mm f/8 Mar 80 3 6 34mm 705gr
New FD 135mm f/2 May 80 32 8 5 6 72mm 670gr
New FD 300mm f/4 L May 80 32 9 7 7 34mm 1060gr
New FD 100-300mm f/5.6 May 80 32 8 9 14 58mm 835gr
New FD 50mm f/2 Jul 80 16 5 4 6 52mm 170gr
New FD 50mm f/1.2 L Oct 80 16 8 6 8 52mm 380gr
New FD 70-210mm f/4 Oct 80 32 8 9 12 58mm 705gr
New FD 50mm f/1.2 L Dec 80 16 8 6 7 52mm 315gr
New FD 600mm f/4.5 Jan 81 32 9 5 6 48mm 3750gr
New FD 800mm f/5.6 L Jan 81 32 9 6 7 48mm 4230gr
New FD 85-300mm f/4.5 Jan 81 32 8 11 15 Series IX 1630gr
New Macro FD 200mm f/4 Apr 81 32 6 9 58mm 830gr
New FD 300mm f/2.8 L Apr 81 32 9 7 9 48mm 2310gr
New FD 35-105mm f/3.5 Apr 81 22 5 13 15 72mm 600gr
New FD 35-70mm f/4 AF May 81 22 6 8 8 52mm 604gr
New FD400mm f/4.5 Jul 81 9 32 5 6 34mm 1270gr
New FD 400mm f/2.8 L Sep 81 32 9 8 10 48mm 5350gr
New FD 500mm f/4.5 L Dec 81 32 9 6 7 48mm 2610gr
New FD 50-135mm f/3.5 Dec 81 32 8 12 16 58mm 720gr
New FD 14mm f/2.8 L Jul 82 22 6 10 14 490gr
New FD 50-300mm f/4.5 L Jul 82 32 8 13 16 34mm 1800gr
New FD 150-600mm f/5.6 L Aug 82 32 9 15 19 34mm 4350gr
New FD 200mm f/2.8 (Closest Focus 1.5m) Oct 82 32 8 6 7 72mm 735gr
New FD 85mm f/2.8 Soft Focus Feb 83 22 9 4 6 58mm 400gr
New FD 35-70mm f/3.5-4.5 Mar 83 22 8 8 9 52mm 200gr
New FD 28-55mm f/3.5-4.5 Dec 83 22 5 10 10 52mm 220gr
New FD 20-35mm f/3.5 L Apr 84 22 6 11 11 72mm 470gr
New FD 75-200mm f/4.5 Jul 84 32 6 8 11 52mm 510gr
New FD 28-85mm f/4 Nov 85 22 8 11 13 72mm 485gr
New FD 80-200mm f/4 L Nov 85 32 8 12 14 58mm 675gr
New FD 100-300mm f/5.6 L Nov 85 32 8 10 15 58mm 710gr
New FD 35-105mm f/3.5-4.5 Dec 85 22 5 11 14 58mm 345gr
New FD 200mm f/1.8 L Nov 89 22 8 9 11 48mm 2800gr
New "FD" Series Lenses by Focal Length
 Name Released Min.Aperture Blades Groups Elements Filter Weight
 New Fisheye 7.5mm f/5.6 Jun 79 22 6 8 11 365gr
 New FD 14mm f/2.8 L Jul 82 22 6 10 14 490gr
 New Fisheye FD 15mm f/2.8 Jan 80 22 6 9 10 460gr
 New FD 17mm f/4  Dec 79  22 6 9 11 72mm 360gr
 New FD 20mm f/2.8 Dec 79 22 6 9 10 72mm 305gr
 New FD 20-35mm f/3.5 L  Apr 84 22  6  11  11 72mm 470gr
 New FD 24-35mm f/3.5 L Dec 79 22 6 9 12 72mm 495gr
 New FD 24mm f/1.4 L Dec 79 16 8 8 10 72mm 430gr
 New FD 24mm f/2 Jun 79 22 8 9 11 52mm 285gr
 New FD 24mm f/2.8 Jun 79 22 6 9 10 52mm 240gr
 New FD 28mm f/2.8 Jun 79 22 5 7 7 52mm 170gr
 New FD 28mm f/2 Jun 79 22 8 9 10 52mm 265gr
 New FD 28-50mm f/3.5 Sep 79 22 8 9 10 58mm 470gr
 New FD 28-55mm f/3.5-4.5 Dec 83 22 5 10 10 52mm 220gr
 New FD 28-85mm f/4 Nov 85 22 8 11 13 72mm 485gr
 New FD 35mm f/2 Dec 79 22 8 8 10 52mm 245gr
 New FD 35mm f/2.8 Jun 79 22 5 5 6 52mm 165gr
 New FD 35-70mm f/2.8-3.5 Sep 79 22 8 10 10 58mm 545gr
 New FD 35-70mm f/3.5-4.5 Mar 83 22 8/ 8 9 52mm 200gr
 New FD 35-70mm f/4 Jun 79 22 6 8 8 52mm 315gr
 New FD 35-70mm f/4 AF May 81 22 6 8 8 52mm 604gr
 New FD 35-105mm f/3.5 Apr 81 22 5 13 15 72mm 600gr
 New FD 35-105mm f/3.5-4.5 Dec 85 22 5 11 14 58mm 345gr
 New FD 50mm f/1.2 L Oct 80 16 8 6 8 52mm 380gr
 New FD 50mm f/1.2 Dec 80 16 8 6 7 52mm 315gr
 New FD 50mm f/1.4 Jun 79 22 8 6 7 52mm 235gr
 New FD 50mm f/1.8 Jun 79 22 5 4 6 52mm 170gr
 New FD 50mm f/2 Jul 80 16 5 4 6 52mm 170gr
 New Macro FD 50mm f/3.5 Jun 79 32 6 4 6 52mm 235gr
 New FD 50-135mm f/3.5 Dec 81 32 8 12 16 58mm 720gr
 New FD 50-300mm f/4.5 L Jul 82 32 8 13 16 34mm 1800gr
 New FD 70-150mm f/4.5 Jun 79 32 6 9 12 52mm 530gr
 New FD 70-210mm f/4 Oct 80 32 8 9 12 58mm 705gr
 New FD 75-200,, f/4.5 Jul 84 32 6 8 11 52mm 510gr
 New FD 80-200mm f/4 Jun 79 32 8 11 15 58mm 765gr
New FD 80-200mm f/4 L Nov 85 32 8 12 14 58mm 675gr
 New FD 85mm f/1.2 L Mar 80 16 8 6 8 72mm 680gr
 New FD 85mm f/1.8 Jun 79 22 8 4 6 52mm 345gr
 New FD 85mm f/2.8 Soft Focus Feb 83 22 9 4 6 58mm 400gr
 New FD 85-300mm f/4.5 Jan 81 32 8 11 15 Series IX 1630gr
 New FD 100mm f/2 Jan 80 32 8 4 6 52mm 445gr
 New FD 100mm f/2.8 Jun 79 32 6 5 5 52mm 270gr
 New Macro FD 100mm f/4 Sep 79 32 6 3 5 52mm 455gr
 New FD 100-200mm f/5.6 Jun 79 32 6 5 8 52mm 610gr
 New FD 100-300mm f/5.6 May 80 32 8 9 14 58mm 835gr
 New FD 100-300mm f/5.6 L Nov 85 32 8 10 15 58mm 710gr
 New FD 135mm f/2 May 80 32 8 5 6 72mm 670gr
 New FD 135mm f/2.8 Jun 79 32 8 5 6 52mm 395gr
 New FD 135mm f/3.5 Jun 79 32 6 4 4 52mm 325gr
 New FD 150-600mm f/5.6 L Aug 82 32 9 15 19 34mm 4350gr
 New FD 200mm f/1.8 L Nov 89 22 8 9 11  48mm 2800gr
 New FD 200mm f/2.8 Jun 79 32 8 5 5 72mm 700gr
 New FD 200mm f/2.8 Oct 82 32 8 6 7 72mm 735gr
 New FD 200mm f/4 Jun 79 32 8 6 7 52mm 440gr
 New Macro FD 200mm f/4 Apr 81 32 6 9 58mm 830gr
 New FD 300mm f/2.8 L Apr 81 32 9 7 9 48mm 2310gr
 New FD 300mm f/4 Jun 79 32 9 6 6 34mm 945gr
 New FD 300mm f/4 L May 80 32 9 7 7 34mm 1060gr
 New FD 300mm f/5.6 Jun 79 32 8 5 6 58mm 635gr
 New FD 400mm f/2.8 L Sep 81 32 9 8 10 48mm 5350gr
 New FD 400mm f/4.5 Jul 81 32 9 5 6 34mm 1270gr
 New FD 500mm f/4.5 L Dec 81 32 9 6 7 48mm 2610gr
 New Reflex 500mm f/8 Mar 80 3 6 34mm 705gr
 New FD 600mm f/4.5 Jan 81 32 9 5 6 48mm 3750gr
 New FD 800mm f/5.6 L Jan 81 32 9 6 7 48mm 4230gr
               
               
               
               
               

 

FDn Lenses in the Collection

Below are some of the lenses in the Collection. I say “some” because I have trouble keeping this site up to date. So much to do and so little time!

Canon FDn 50mm
L200

FDn 28-55mm f/3.5-4.5

52mm Filter Ring
Canon FDn 50mm
L30

FDn 50mm f/1.8

52mm Filter Ring
Canon FDn 50mm f/3.5mm Macro
L18

FDn 50mm f/3.5 Macro

52mm Filter Ring
Canon FDn 70-150mm
L22

FDn 70-150mm f/4.5

52mm Filter Ring
Canon FDn 80-210 mm f/4.0 Zoom Lens

L-201

FDn 70 -210mm f/4.0

Canon FDn 35-105mm Zoom Lens

L-187

FDn 35-105mm f/3.5

Canon FDn 85-300mm f/4.5 mm lens

L-139

FDn 85-300mm f/4.5

Canon FDn 300mm

L-16

FDn 300mm f/5.6

Canon FDn 500mm f/8.0 Reflex Lens

L-129

FDn 500mm f/8.0 Reflex

No, these are not lenses in my collection (I wish!). This is from a Canon advertisement. Impressive!

Canon LogoThis page is not a review of this Canon equipment but rather a record of an item in my collection. I have no connection with Canon and receive no remuneration nor benefit for this listing. It is for my own use and possibly your enjoyment!.