FD-Mount Lens Not Working on AE-1

Discussion in 'Canon FD' started by Vlad Soare, Aug 8, 2021.

  1. Hello,

    My wife bought a used AE-1 Program a couple of months ago, together with a Canon 50 mm f/1.8 lens. The camera and lens are in pristine condition, everything works perfectly, and she's very happy with it. And since she enjoys it so much, I thought I'd get her a wide angle lens to go with it. I found an FD-mount Hanimex 28 mm f/2.8 in perfect condition. But when we mounted it on the camera, surprise! It's completely out of focus! The viewfinder is just a massive blur, and turning the focusing ring doesn't help at all.
    At first I thought that the mount was wrong. Maybe it had been incorrectly labeled as an FD-mount. But it doesn't look like an R or FL. It does look like an FD.

    This is the 50 mm lens, which works fine:

    And this is the Hanimex, which doesn't:

    There is one difference in the way it mounts, though. To mount the Canon lens, I rotate the whole lens until it clicks in place, at which point a small button on its side raises a bit. This button will then be used to unlock the lens when I want to remove it from the body. The Hanimex must be put on the body, then held in place with one hand, while I rotate a locking ring with the other.

    It's clear to me that the lens isn't a good match for my camera, so I will definitely return it. I bought it from a reputable store with a good return policy. But I'd just like to understand what the problem is. It looks like an FD lens, it mounts on an FD camera, but its focus plane is nowhere near where it should be.
    If I move it a bit further away from the camera, it gets worse. So it looks like it should actually go deeper inside the camera to focus correctly.

    Thank you.
  2. The mount IS correct. Older FD lenses had the locking ring (bayonet mount), newer ones used that button. Without looking at the lens, my guess is that one of the elements inside the lens is out of wack. Could be that the previous owner took it apart and didn't do such a great job putting it back together.

    My advice is to go with a Canon brand as a 28 2.8 Canon can be had at a reasonable enough price.

    P.S. The Canon 28mm f2.0 is a great lens)
    Last edited: Aug 8, 2021
  3. P.P.S The Hanimex lenses were never considered world class in the first place, so it would not be all that surprising if some of the elements fell out of adjustment from just a mild bump or some other internal problem occurred.

    If you paid more than $25.00 USD, for that lens, it was too much IMHO
  4. Yes, there's something seriously amiss in the lens, probably a previous owner took it apart and reassembled it incorrectly. Does it show signs of having been opened up? Can you request a return?

    As Chuck says,both breech lock and bayonet mount lenses are fully compatible with all FD cameras. The FL lenses should fit on FD cameras and focus correctly although there will be no open aperture metering..
  5. Oops, did I say "Bayonet Mount", when meant "Breach Lock"? Yup. Anyway, the style where you turn the ring is the breach lock. FYI, I was looking at eBay, and I take it back that over $25.00 is too much. Over $15.00 would be more like it.
  6. Thank you all for your replies. If the mount is indeed correct, then I guess the only possible explanation is that the lens itself is defective - something must be out of alignment inside. The lens looks really well for its age and doesn't show signs of having been opened up. But who knows, with used items you can never be completely sure.
    I will return it.
  7. Without going to the proper step of actually looking the issue up, I have a dim memory of the components of some FD lenses getting out of alignment. They could be fiddled around, as I recall, without any major surgery.
  8. Considering the value of the lens, taking it apart and trying to fix it might be fun. Heck, even if you toast it, no great loss. You'd have to weigh the refund against the learning experience.
    Vlad Soare likes this.
  9. SCL


    Just return the defective lens, and get a proper working one and be done with the problem. The Canon FD 28/2.0 is a fantastic lens I've used for years - you won't be disappointed with its results.
  10. Echoing others here. Get a proper Canon FD In either bayonet or breech lock. Just got a 28mm f2.8 breech lock myself for the F1. Went f2.8 because the price was the factor here. 5 other cameras mostly medium format to support.. Good luck.
  11. Chuck's suggestion is a good one. FD lenses are not that hard to take apart. Though I can't speak for third-party FD lenses, i imagine their internal construction is the same as most other lenses. Just remove a few retaining rings and the elements are easily removed. If one is loose or misplaced, you'll know it. Depends in your comfort level though. I like to tinker with classic lenses. You may not.
  12. That sounds like an interesting proposition. I am actually a technically inclined person, so I may stand at least a slight chance not to make a mess of it - and after all, what do I have to lose? But the problem is, I've never done this. I don't know what to look for. How will I even be able to tell if an element is misplaced? I have no idea how it should have been placed in the first place.
    Besides, I'm not sure where to start. What's holding it together? Shall I start with the screws that are visibile in the picture, after which the lens mount can be removed and more screws will come into view? Are there other kinds of fasteners inside, which may require special tools?
  13. To take it apart place it on a hard surface. (an anvil works well). Hit rit really hard with a large hammer keep hitting till lens flies apart. Then buy a proper FD. ;-)
    glen_h, dennisbrown and chuck909 like this.
  15. Easiest thing to do is to look at some FD lens repair videos on YouTube. Lenses, no matter who makes them, are pretty much made the same way. They're mass produced on an assembly line so are designed to be put together easily and logically. As for tools, usually a lens spanner (or equivalent) is all you need. I'm guessing that a lens element is misplaced on your lens. But this is the kind of thing that you won't know what the problem is until you take the lens apart. Good luck.
  16. Hanimex were one of the cheapest (with Soligor) in the 1970s I would never buy one of their lenses in the expectation of good performance. Even so, clearly the lens is damaged. So, I agree with Laurence, above.
  17. Canon: 28mm (2.8cm) f2 FD S.C Lens Price Guide: estimate your lens value

    says $50 to $60, which is more than I would have thought.

    Otherwise, I would hold it up near a sheet of paper, pointing to a bright object, and see if
    it will image onto the paper. Even if the focal distance is wrong, it should still image onto paper.

    Then the question is if the distance is wrong.

    Personally, I would probably go for a 35mm and a 24mm lens, and skip 28mm,
    but otherwise 28mm is probably nice.
  18. If you can find an FD28mm f2.0 for $50.00 or $60.00 buy 10 of them. I think that price is what a dealer will pay, and then mark up to at least $150.00.

    Which lens - 35mm, 28mm, or 24mm? The 35mm is pretty much my "normal" lens, but I wouldn't be without my 28 f2.0. The 24? Nice, but it's a little harder to find and costs a bit more. (from 17mm to 500mm, the 24mm and 85mm are the only ones I don't have) If you are going to buy just one wide angle, go 28
  19. Yes. When I bought my Nikon FM so many years ago, I bought it with the AI 35/2.0, which I like very much. For indoor shots, it is nice coverage when you can't get farther back. For scenic vistas, it gets just about the right amount in the shot. But then 28mm isn't so much more. The 24mm is great for Sequoia trees, and other large scenery.

    My favorite lens now is a 24-120 zoom. Not the newer, more expensive one, but it does work just fine.

    Yes, if you don't have a 35mm lens, then 28mm is a good choice for wide angle.
  20. Looks like I believed the Collectiblend title, and didn't look at the picture. It is the f/2.8 that is $50, and the f/2.0 that is $150, as you say.

    But the Hanimex is f/2.8, so maybe that is fine for the OP.

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