FD 200mm f/4 "Chrome Nose" Show-and-Tell

Discussion in 'Canon FD' started by alan_swartz, Dec 2, 2009.

  1. A few months ago there was an interesting thread here about the early 200mm f/4 "chrome nose," which had been spotted in an auction. I recently snagged one that is a true "hangar queen," in pristine condition including an unbelievable hard case "J."
    There was no photo posted in the older thread, so I'm going to play show-and-tell today. This lens is date coded September, 1970. I've read of only one earlier date, a lens produced in August, 1970. Like some other early examples, this 200mm has two "reserved pins" on the mount. The knurled chrome ring is threaded onto the rear of the sliding hood.
    I know of at least one manufacturer (not of cameras) who used to begin a production run with serial number 501, so that people wouldn't think they got the very first units off the line. Does anyone know if Canon did something similar? The lowest serial I've ever seen on a lens is 101xx. Perhaps lens number 101 (10101) was the first off the line?
    Forgive me for not simply appending this to the older thread, but I thought some others who might not follow new additions to older threads might like to see it.
  2. awahlster

    awahlster Moderator

    I think if I remember correctly Alan that Canon started their lens numbers with 10001. In any case that sir is a collector prize. It has to be one of the rarest of the early lenses I have seen. Cause they just never seam to come up for sale. Nice snag.
  3. I recently saw one of these on eBay. On the one hand it would be great to add this to my chrome front collection. On the other hand, I was a little disappointed that the chrome colored part of the lens was not at the very end where a filter would screw in. I'm pretty sure someone here posted a b&w photo of Canon lenses from around 1971 from a brochure and that the photo showed a a 200/4 with the chrome portion at the end. For now if I want to use chrome front lenses I bring my 200/4 FD (not FD SSC). The problem is that this lens is very tricky to use in flare situations. The 200/4 FD SSC is much better for that. I wonder if you could post the weight of your 200. Once the FD lenses switched over from chrome front to black front their weight started to go down. Some lenses, like the 50/1.8, lost a lot of weight and size when they went from the chrome front FD to the final black front FD SC. I guess the FD system was developed over a period of years and that styles changed during that time. By the time the F-1 came out in 1971 there was still a little time left for the Contarex with its chrome front lenses. You would think that by 1971 with the long success of the Nikon F that Japanese camera makers would no longer feel it necessary to imitate German equipment so closely. In any case I hope to get a 200 like yours to add to my collection. I have thought of buying another chrome front FD and having the chrome portion removed and attached to the end of a black front 200/4 FD but that would probably look a little silly.
  4. In the M42 world, Yashinon and Mamiya Sekor normal lenses for 35mm SLR's once had chrome noses. These were also changed later to black.
    It's interesting that the Canon FL lenses that preceded the FD series were all-black except for their chromed aperture and breechlock rings---except that a few of the later FL lenses, the "compact series", had black aperture rings.
  5. She's a beauty, Mr. Swartz!
    In the undated but clearly very early dealer sales manual "Canon F-1 for Professionals" what appears to be a 200mm f/4 is shown with that unique knurled lenshood ring, but in the B&W photograph it doesn't appear brightly finished. I wonder if yours might even be a pre-production unit, one done for the big international camera shows?
    This manual is interesting in that several pieces look completely different from later production models; for instance, the super-tele Focusing Unit shown is nothing at all like mine or the ones shown in subsequent literature. And truly stunning is Canon mentions an FL-F 1000mm f/11, with even a line drawing of that beast included in The F-1 System diagram.
    Canon says the first FD lenses were designed in conjunction with the original F-1 to complement and enhance its capabilities.
  6. Nice to grab one in such pristine condition. Pretty!
  7. Even the "Passed" sticker looks to be in great condition !

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