Canon FL 35mm F/2.5 Review

Canon FL 35mm F/2.5 attached to a FUJIFILM X-E2

This is a continuation of the First Impression post I wrote a while back.

Specification:

  • Focal Lenth: 35mm
  • Aperture ratio: 1:2.5
  • Lens construction: 5 Components, 7 Elements, Coating Magenta
  • Angle of view:  Diagonal 64°, Horizontal 54°, Vertical 38°
  • Distance Scale:  0.4-3 oo in meters,1.5-10 oo in feet 
  • Minimum aperture: f/16 .A
  • Diaphragm: Automatic
  • Focusing System:Straight drive double helicoid
  • Hood: W-60-A 
  • Filter Size. 58mm
  • Hood: Built-in
  • Cap: C-52
  • Function: Auto Aperture, Full aperture metering (AE operation when used with ALL Canon automatic SLR cameras.
  • Length x max. diameter: 55mm x 65mm
  • Weight: 352g

Description:

The FL 35mm F/2.5 is a retrofocus type lens with a large aperture, passing a large quantity of marginal light.

What is a retrofocus lens? Here’s a short explanation from Rondexter.Com.

Retrofocus lenses are basically a regular focal length lens with a wide-angle attachment built on the front to decrease the focal length of the combined lenses. They are also called "inverted telephoto" designs. 
Retrofocus lenses are necessary because the rear element of a simple wide angle lens would be too close to the mirror of a single lens reflex still camera, the spinning mirror of a motion picture camera or the prism block of a 3 chip video camera. Also the design of faster lenses results in more elements and mirror clearance problems. "Back Focus" is the distance between the lens rear element and the image plane (film or video chip).  
25mm Simple Lens on 35mm Camera .
Canon FL 35mm F/2.5 @ F/2.5

The Canon FL 35mm F/2.5 Lens is made mostly of metal, making it heavy. It has an aperture range of F/2.5 to F/16 which is plenty fast even in low light situation. It has an four rings on its body, the breech lock, the focus ring, and two rings for the aperture, one use to change aperture and the next one to it, is the aperture lock ring. I also found the original lens hood W-60 B.

Performance:

All of the sample photos where shot in real world while I was walking around and some where shot in our backyard. I used my FUJIFILM X-M1 and X-E2 with the lens. The FUJI film simulation I often use is the Provia and Astia Soft when shooting. Also no extra processing like sharpening or noise removal was done.

I find it soft at F/2.5 but gets better starting at F/4 but still soft. This is in comparison with my XF Lenses which are sharp across all apertures. It’s focus ring is big and nice to hold making manual focusing easy and fun. it has a nice focus ring, it is also a great lens for shooting video. Also, the images from this lens has a certain warm film look to it.

Sample Photos:

Canon FL 35mm F/2.5 @ F/2.5
Canon FL 35mm F/2.5 @ F/2.5
Canon FL 35mm F/2.5 @ F/5.6
Canon FL 35mm F/2.5 @ F/5.6

You can get the Canon FL 35mm F/2.5 and other FL / FD Lenses on eBay when you click the link.

You can also find the the original Canon W-60-A Metal Lens Hood for FL 35mm f2.5 on ebay

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