Comparison: Canon FDn 20-35 against the 24-35 ?

Discussion in 'Canon FD' started by Bill C, Mar 15, 2017.

  1. I tried using the new site search feature and got nothing on a Canon FD 20-35, so thought I'd post the question.

    I have the new model Canon 24-35/3.5-L wide angle zoom and its a fantastic lens.
    I know that there is also a new model Canon FD 20-35/3.5-L zoom.

    Being interested in having a little more zoom range on an outing, I've been thinking about possibly getting a 20-35.
    They're not cheap so I thought I'd ask the FD brain trust first:

    Does anyone have any first hand knowledge about the 20-35 vs. the 24-35?
  2. Let me ask it a different way...instead of "comparing" it to the 24-35:

    Does anyone have any first hand knowledge / experience using the FDn 20-35 that you can comment on its IQ ?
  3. These are both "early" zooms, before the technology had fully matured. You'd probably do better to find a nice 24 or 28mm 'prime' lens.
    On the other hand, there are not a whole lot of new FD zoom lenses to choose from, are there?
  4. Here is a list of the later (new) FD lenses:
    (used to be able to do these as pdfs, now this is the best we can do)
  5. Thanks, already have those primes...trying to hold down weight while hiking, and also minimize the number of times I have to open a camera body to change a lens.

    The IQ of FD "L" the 24-35 ( and 80-200) I fine.
    Looking for first hand experience from someone who actually uses the FD 20-35 to decide if I could expect the same high level of IQ out of it.
  6. I had a 20-35/3.5 L, and found it to be a superb lens. It's very sharp and has great contrast, even wide open. The only reason I sold mine is that I primarily use my EOS kit these days, and have been gradually paring down my extensive collection of FD lenses.

    If I were you, Bill, I wouldn't hesitate to acquire one.
  7. I can't speak for the 20-35L but I did own the 24-35L, it was my go to lens for advertising/annual report photography. It was the only WA lens in my kit that gave tack sharp images to the corners wide open. I still regret trading my FD system but my eyesight demanded I go to autofocus. If I remember correctly, the 20-35L came out as a direct result of the success of the 24-35L's image quality.
  8. Thanks for posting your good experience with one...I'm looking at a couple on EBay, trying to decide.
  9. Thanks...yes, my 24-35 is outstanding as well...and I figured Canon would have created the 20-35-L equally as good...but didn't want to just 'assume' that without checking for some first hand experience.
  10. My FDn 20-35 is a gem. I've used it on my Leica M240.

    No experience with the FD 24-35.
  11. Another good pro 20-35-L testimony...thanks !
  12. Here are a couple of points to consider. 1) The 20-35 was released after the 24-35 and it likely included any improvements Canon's optical engineers had come up with during the interim between the two lenses' introduction. So it is very likely that the 20-35 is at least as good, IQ-wise as the 24-35. 2) Canon has, from the beginning of its construction of zooms, been very conservative in their construction. Canon was committed from the beginning that its pro-quality zooms were as good as its primes, or better. If you take a look at Canon's first wide-angle zoom -- which Canon claims was the first wide angle zoom of anybody at the time of its introduction (1973) -- the 35-70mm f/2.8-3.5 -- this lens is one of the most over-engineered pieces of lens technology that you're ever likely to come across. It's built like a tank, but it is a beautiful optic in form and function. The lens originally carried a very lofty price tag when new -- 100,000 yen, which in today's dollars is about $890. I think that, to this day, Canon still tries to adhere to this philosophy, especially with its better zooms.

    So, based on these points, I personally would not hesitate to acquire a 20-35 L. Also, based on the testimony you've received, it sounds like a wonderful optic. So, I'd say, go for it. And be sure and report back here after you've had some time to use it and tell us what you think.

    For further reading (from Canon's Camera and Lens Museum):
  13. Thanks, bit the bullet and ordered it last night...should have it in 8-10 days.
  14. Picked it up at the PO today...made a couple dozen Initial functional test shots around the house & yard.
    Everything seems to work perfectly...and while I didn't do any "pixel peeping", the outside shots I did take seemed to have fine IQ...tree bark / leaf / sky / cloud colors, sharpness, etc...looking forward to more in depth usage / testing during the week.
    Cloudy & raining tomorrow ( of course !) but I'll find stuff to test it on...
  15. Can't help but be a little apprehensive about buying a 30-40 year old lens that looks like new for fear it had some problem and basically didn't get used...and/or all the years of unknown storage conditions may have had some effect on it, etc.
    But am glad to say this FDn 20-35 / 3.5 I just got is excellent in every respect...looks / condition / function / IQ, etc...lucked out.

    UPLOAD 02.jpg

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