Do all Canon FD lenses fit the A1?

Discussion in 'Canon' started by Graham, May 4, 2008.

  1. Graham

    Graham Guest

    I am trying to buy a lens for my old Canon A1 and not sure if I can just buy
    any Canon FD lens. Could someone confirm, will any Canon FD lens fit my
    Canon A1? I was about to buy a Canon 50mm f1.4 FD lens from ebay, but the
    seller seems to think it could be a different fitting.

    Graham, May 4, 2008
    1. Advertisements

  2. AFAIK, any FD lens will work on an A-1 or an AE-1. However, there were
    two types of mounts, a screw type and a bayonet type. Both work. The
    screw type has a silver collar that is rotated to lock the lens on. On
    he bayonet type the whole lens twists and locks.

    The screw type is frequently seen on third party lenses. I used to have
    several. I don't know when it was changed on the Canon lenses, but all
    the ones I owned were bayonet type.

    AFAIK, the key is the FD designation.
    Robert Peirce, May 4, 2008
    1. Advertisements

  3. Graham

    Graham Guest

    Many thanks for the clear and concise reply. What you have said checks out
    with the two lenses I have had for years. One is a Canon 35-70 zoom with the
    bayonet mount and the other a 300mm telephoto with the silver collar design
    you described.

    Many thanks for clearing this up for me. I now know what to look for with
    more confidence. I was going to buy the f 1.4 Canon 50mm FD lens for £45 as
    I've always wanted a really bright, fast lens having had the dark f3.5 - 4.5
    35-70mm zoom all these years. I suppose I could go for a f 1.8, but tempted
    to get the 1.4. I am no expert in photography, but at least in theory I
    understand the f1.4 is more than just a marginal amount brighter than the
    1.8. However, in practice I don't know if it will really make much
    difference (IE allowing me to use fast shutter speed to prevent camera shake
    blurring in low light). As I said I am very much an amateur, but dabbled for
    many, many years.

    Graham, May 4, 2008
  4. I had a 1.4 and a 1.8 50mm. The 1.4 was noticeably faster, but digital
    seems to handle really low light better.

    I also had a 1.8 85mm which was a marvelous portrait lens.

    Unfortunately, I sold all my Canon stuff a couple of months ago or would
    have offered them to you. I don't remember the conversion but it looks
    like you are paying close to $100 for this lens. You can get it a lot
    cheaper. You shouldn't be able to, but you can!
    Robert Peirce, May 4, 2008
  5. Graham

    Joel Guest

    I used to have 50mm f1.8 came with Canon body, 50mm F1.4 macro and 50mm
    f1.2 and several long zoom FD lens. And because the price dropped so low I
    decided to give the whole gear to a friend of mine who lives in a poor

    Few years ago while looked for newer EOS mount lens on eBay, I ran into
    some old FD lens and I think £45 is too much for the FD 50mm f1.4 lens (may
    be even with body).
    Joel, May 4, 2008
  6. Graham

    Ken Hart Guest

    The Canon FD mount lenses will fit the Canon A-1 (born April 1978). The
    earlier FL mount lenses will also fit, but you will not have certain
    automatic functions.
    The FD lenses have two pins on the back: the one at the bottom (6 o'clock
    position) stops down the lens for shooting. The one at 9 o'clock position
    tells the camera what f/stop has been selected for metering purposes. The
    older FL mount lenses do not have this pin. The Canon FX camera did not do
    through the lens metering, so it didn't care what f/stop was selected. The
    later FTql metered through the lens, but you had to manually stop down using
    a lever beside the lens to get a meter reading.

    The FD lenses will fit and work just fine on the older cameras that were
    designed for FL lenses. The second pin is simply ignored.

    The original FL lenses and the early FD lenses were breech-lock-bayonet
    lenses. The mounting is a three tab bayonet, with a separate ring
    (breech-lock) that rotated to engage the tabs. Users complained that three
    hands were required to change a lens, one to hold the camera, one to hold
    the lens, and one to turn the ring. Since many users didn't have three
    hands, Canon made the breechlock a stationary part of the lens-- you rotated
    the entire lens to mount it. These lenses are also compatible with both
    older FL and newer FD mount cameras.

    The short answer is "the seller is wrong, buy the lens."
    Ken Hart, May 5, 2008
  7. Graham

    Ken Hart Guest

    The f/1.4 is marginally better than the f/1.8, but sometimes that fractional
    stop is all you need. All other things being equal, if you can afford the
    f/1.4, buy it. Or you could save your pennies (pence?) for an f/1.2.

    For more info about your camera and the lens options once available, check
    up the Canon Museum at
    Ken Hart, May 5, 2008
    1. Advertisements

Ask a Question

Want to reply to this thread or ask your own question?

You'll need to choose a username for the site, which only take a couple of moments (here). After that, you can post your question and our members will help you out.