"Chrome Nose" FD 200mm f/4

Discussion in 'Canon FD' started by gordon_yee, Jul 26, 2009.

  1. Check out eBay auction item No. 120450040769 for pictures. On first-generation FD lenses with built-in lens hoods, the chrome or bright metal finish was on the textured portion of the hood, not on the front of the lens barrel. On FD lenses with a bayonet mount for an accessory lens hoods, the bayonet mount at the front of the lens barrel was chrome plated. One possible exception is the FD 17mm f/4 lens. While some photos in Canon's initial F-1/FD literature show this lens with a chrome front barrel, I have never seen one for sale.
  2. I have a 200/4 FD SSC and 200/4 FD with a black front but with the older coating. I have seen drawings and photos of a 200/4 where the very front is chrome coated but I have never seen this version. Is it possible that this is a one-off put together by someone looking for a different look? In some ways this lens reminds me of the 20CM f/4 Nikkor Q. The 200/4 Nikkor Q and the 200/4 Nikkor QC are both all black. The CM lens has that chrome colored ring in the center. If my counting is correct I have eleven chrome front FD lenses: 28/3.5, 35/3.5, three 50/1.8, 50/1.4, two 100/4 and three 135/3.5. For some reason my 200/4 FD breech lock with the black front handles any shoting toward the sun very badly. The chrone front lenses seem to hace the same color coating but aren't nearly as bad with flare. I consider flare very well controlled in the 200/4 FD SSC and reasonably well controlled in the 200/2.8 New FD (1st version).
  3. I believe that the initial batches of a few of the FD telephoto lenses were made with the bright metal rings on the built-in lens hoods, but Canon deleted this feature very early in production. This feature is clearly not a custom one-off. I have seen several chrome nose FD 200mm f/4 lenses for sale over the years.
    The original F-1 brochure dated November 1970 and early editions of Canon's FD lens catalogs contain photos that show chrome rings on the lens hoods of the FD 200mm f/4 and the 135mm f/2.5 lenses. The FD 17mm f/4 is also shown with a chrome filter ring. However, the FD 200mm is the only one I have ever seen for sale. The FD 135mm f/2.5 lens I have has a production code of L804 (August 1971) and an all-black lens hood.
  4. awahlster

    awahlster Moderator

    The one in the auction has a K date code which puts it in the realm of preproduction OR one of the very first produced in 11/70
    The 200mm f4.0 is listed on the Canon Museum site as hitting the market in March of 1971
    SO for this lens to have a K11 datecode and have been made 3+ months prior to commercial release I would say who ever got this lens got one heck of an early 200mm f4.0 (which could explain a lot. Since that is the same time as the First F-1 Brochure.
    I have never seen another chrome ring on anything with the knurling. That is what struck me as odd.
  5. My recollection is that the F-1, FTb and the first generation of FD lenses were actually available for purchase in the spring of 1971, so it's reasonable that actual production began in late 1970. I have an FD 55mm f/1.2 lens with a serial number of 11500 and build code of K1200 (December 1970).
    The FTb I purchased in February 1972 came with a November 1971 copy of Canon's FD Instructions booklet. The photos clearly show chrome rings on the lens hoods of the of the FD 200mm f/4 and FD 100-200mm f/5.6. The cover photo shows chrome rings on the FD 17mm f/4 and on the hood of the FD 135mm f/2.5, but these lenses have black rings in the photos inside the booklet. Interestingly, there is also a photo of the back of an FD 50mm f/1.4 lens with a build code of K900, the earliest date I've ever seen. Perhaps this lens was a true pre-production copy.
  6. I'm not trying to collect every chrome front FD lens made but I think a 200/4 chrome front would round out my collection of these lenses. Over the years I have seen many 35/2 chrome front lenses even though my only chrome front 35 is an f/3.5 model. I think it's odd that some late FL lenses had the SSC marking while very few chrome front FD lenses did and the short lived black front lenses which were marked FD but not SSC also seem rare.
  7. Now i have to check this out. I just bought an Aug 71 200mm F4 (L8xxx). It doesn't have any chrome ring on the barrel (I'll have to re-check it).
  8. I looked at the auction site. it ended on 26 Jul so too bad. it sold for only $20!!! This is definately an early or pre-production item, it has TWO "reserved pins" I emailed the seller, and told hin to sell it to me instead!!!
    Mark, did you buy this lens??
    I've never seen one with the polished trim on the hood - very interesting.
    Jeff, the only FL with SSC were the expensive and rare Flourite lenses. 300mm and 500mm. No "chrome nose" era FD had the SC or SSC markings, but the literature states that the 55mm F1.2, 55mm F1.2 AL and 7,5mm Fisheyes an had SSC coatings. It was about 1973 when they started putting SC or SSC on the lens front.
    Most unique item. Too bad i didn't see it while it was running. I would have used up some of my Colonel pay to buy it.

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