Collectors still psycho for FD

Discussion in 'Canon FD' started by dave_s, Sep 19, 2010.

  1. Just for interest-- check these listings (just finalized) on the hated auction site-- the numbers were 150492739374 and 150492735129. Some of you may have been watching them.
    Both these lenses appear to be in new condition, with the original blue/white boxes and hoods. The first of these is an early 55/1.2 chrome nose aspherical, the one with the blue 'AL' labelling, which is a pretty rare and sought-after trinket. It sold for US$2550. The other is a 24/1.4 aspherical SSC breechlock, which went for a mere $1275.
    I guess it shows the collectors haven't lost their interest in high-end FD stuff, anyway! Chances are that neither one of the darn things will ever make an exposure, which seems crazy, but I guess it's their money, their lens.
  2. Yea I was the one who got out bid last minute. I plumped down $2500 and it just went over my bid by a mere $50. I think the guy who won might have had a maximum bid of up to $3000. I'm sad ='[
  3. Sorry for your loss Johnny<g>. Those are two remarkable lenses. They also have an amazing Nikkor 85mm f/1.5 RF lens.
  4. I was following the auction of the 55/1.2 AL out of curiosity. The oddest thing was that the lens does not appear to be a chrome nose, at least judging by the only picture of the lens without it's hood attached. Correct me if I'm wrong, but the protrusive ring at the front of the lens seems to have a black finish, not a chrome one.
    Unlike Johnny, I actually feel good about the auction. It means that the $600 I paid a few years ago for my 55/1.2 SSC Aspherical was a good deal. :)
  5. Mark, it looks like a chrome ring to me...
    On that 55/1.2 AL, I wonder how much glass browning has occurred? A few years ago I got to examine an otherwise immaculate example with optics resembling rootbeer bottle glass, and light transmission far less than the original f/1.2 design. It was much worse than my somewhat yellowed pair of 35/2s, which are still very useful (and super contrasty!) for black & white work.
  6. Rick, is glass browning of the FD 55/1.2 AL/Aspherical a common problem with that lens? Do you know the cause? The reason I'm asking is that the glass of my copy of the SSC Aspherical seems to have a slightly orangy yellow tinge. I know that the lens does not have a thoriated element like the 35/2 concave, so I'm wondering why its glass is a little discoloured.
  7. Addendum to my last post: I checked my 85/1.2 SSC Aspherical last night, and I noticed that its glass also has a slight tinge. So I guess that it's just a characteristic of these early aspherical lenses.
  8. Mark, here's a pertinent thread from a couple years back referring to FD 55/1.2 Asphericals having a mildly radioactive glass element (probably containing thorium):
    55mm F/1.2 aspherical radioactive - a big surprice - Canon FD Forum
    On that thorium content (a very low percentage of the glass in any case), it would be comprised almost entirely of the Th-232 isotope which accounts for almost 100% of naturally-occurring thorium. Th-232's half-life is 14 billion years, in most cases alpha-decaying to radium-228; the alpha particle itself is quite energetic at over 4 MeV but its high mass and electric charge makes for extremely low penetrating power and short range! On rare occasions an atom of thorium-232 will let its hair down and undergo spontaneous fission (SF). Those events, and the secondary ionizations from alpha decays, will generate some small amounts of gamma / beta radiation as well.
    Radiological threat to a user is non-zero, but very close to nil if not ground up and snorted.
  9. Thanks for the recollection, Rick. I actually participated in that thread. The upshot at the time was that while the earlier 55/1.2 AL may have a thoriated element, the later SSC Aspherical does not. Mine is a 1976 copy of the latter.
    Lindy mentions in that earlier thread that the later lens simply has amber coatings. Perhaps this explains why the glass my 1976 85/1.2 SSC Aspherical has a similar colour cast. In both cases, it's the outer surfaces of the elements that have the amber cast, which implies that it's the coatings.

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