Portrait lens

Discussion in 'Canon FD' started by mark4583|1, Apr 22, 2022.

  1. I recently got back a A-1 that was barrowed about 20 years ago, I have the 50 1.4 on but was wanting to add a couple nice portrait lens. what's your suggestions?
  2. Depends what you have to spend. Cheapest a 135 f3.5 or a zoom f3.5 up to fast 80's 85's 100
    chuck909 likes this.
  3. The first fd lens I bought with my own money was the BL f1.8, 85mm. Loved the photos of my friends i took with it. Gave great perspective and DOF whether close up or whole body length. I've since purchased an 85mm, f1 2L but haven't really taken any portraits to compare with the 1.8...
  4. The FD 85 f1.8 would be great, but they seem to be selling for $350 or more. The FD 100 f2 seems to be selling for outrageous amounts on eBay (like $1,500+). I Owned the FD 100 F2.8 for many years and thought it was a sharp lens, and they are also available for a more reasonable amount.
  5. Can't go wrong with the FD 100/2.8.
    chuck909 and laurencecochrane like this.
  6. This post got me curious about FD lens prices so I checked out KEH (haven'tlooked for a few years). WTH is going on with FD prices??!!? 85mm, f1.8, BL lenses used to go for less than $100. $500 for UG rated lenses? Are the cinematic lens conversions driving the prices?
  7. Depends on what YOU consider a portrait, and what lens you need for that.

    Back in the film days, for head and shoulder, it was a Nikon 105.

    But it really depends on how big the group (number of people), how tight the shot (full length to tight face), and how far you are from the subject.
    Environmental portraits are wider, to include whatever environment or object the subject wants in the pic.

    I've used from 24mm up to 300mm.
    I did an indoor multi-person family portrait with a 24. My back was literally up against the wall. If I had a 20 I would have used it.
    I shot a portrait across a fish pond, with a 300.
  8. If you don't mind manual aperture as well as manual focus, you can get one of the best short teles (portrait lens) ever made for not much money used.

    I am talking the Nikkor-P non-AI 105mm f/2.5 around $80. A Nikon>Canon FD adapter for about $13. You can meter through the lens too.

    You can pay more than this for the adapter, but there's no glass in the adaptors, so no image degradation
  9. I had an FD 100mm F/4 macro lens, never used it for portraits but they don't seem to be too expensive. It would also do macro of course.
    laurencecochrane likes this.
  10. Just bought one on Evilbay £114 delivered. A 100mm f2.8. UNFORTUNATLY all my camera gear including my F1 New and A1 are in storage at my sisters (had to clear up the flat. All my strobes all my MF cameras and my V600) So to still get my fix I bought a Canon 7D MkII (with two year warranty) with grip and Sigma 18 200 OKAY NOT THE LATEST AND GREATEST But boy what a camera espeically foi sports and wildlife 10 FPS WOW and quiet too. Need to get my gear back.
  11. I think what is driving the prices up is the young hipsters using the vintage lenses on digital cameras via an adaptor. My two cents worth.
  12. SCL


    So, Mark,(OP) what did you get?
  13. Nope the cool kids don't really use digital cameras so much these days, at least in arty Urban areas like London's Hackney. Nor do most of them buy lenses they just use 50/1.8's on the AE-1 bodies which supplement their phone and/or Instax. I guess some buy UWA lenses if they are into Skateboarding.

    The big price rises are driven by the Cine boys looking for a less clinical look. It has been noted on some Video-centric sites that certain FD lenses have some commonality with Canon's 1970's K-35 series. It started with the Asph. lenses, but it's trickled down and FD B/L stills lenses have generally soared - basically if a lens has S.S.C. on the front it's value moves up. You'll notice that, for example, the 17mm S.S.C. breechblock lens can sell at a price multiple of FDn version, in spite of the IDENTICAL optics and coating, due to the magic letters on the bezel. There are a couple of exceptions, are good lenses like the 100/2 which are now back to what are realistic prices for the quality driven by MILC users

    So, for the OP, and anyone else looking at FD lenses you'll get a better deal on FDn stuff. I'm good with this as, for the most part, I prefer the FDn versions and tend to look for the newest I can find.

    For the particular request, prices being where they are, off-brand is good; the Tamron SP 90/2.5 can do decent portrait work, as can most 90-105 macros with 2.5-2.8 apertures.
    SCL likes this.
  14. Could it be because the B/L lenses may be (are?) more robust because they have more metal components? Or, perhaps, because the B/L mount is much simpler than the "bayonet" design of the FDn lenses, they're easier to modify? TBH, I have no idea what exactly is done to modify Canon lenses to make cine mounts.
    Last edited: May 21, 2022
  15. I dug in to this as a mate of mine is a cameraman and knows I have FD stuff, so he asked me if any was for sale - a mate of his was looking for some lenses to convert.

    For the eye watering lay expensive high end sets the lens body doesn’t matter - as ther will be little to nothing left. Check this kit;

    G.L. Optics Mk V - Canon Vintage FD 7 - Lens Set - cinemaglass.com

    Note that there will be at least one FDn lens in there (the 135/2) and at least one FD B/L (55/1.2).
    Ken Katz likes this.
  16. IMO the best FD portrait lense is the soft focus 85 mm 2.8. The one truly made for portraits. There are three settings to choose from. Particularly for film, it provides endless opportunities.
  17. I use the fdnew 85mmf1.8, the new fd 100f2 and the new fd 135f2, all excellent,

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