Review Canon FD 135mm F/3.5 SC Manual Focus with Chrome Tip

Canon FD 135mm F/3.5 Chrome Tip with Original Metal lens hood BT-55

Last time, I reviewed the  Canon FD 50mm F/3.5 Macro Manual Focus Lens. Just in case you missed it, you can find it here.

This review is about the Canon FD 135mm F/3.5 SC Manual Focus Lens with Chrome Tip.

This is the third Canon FD Lens that I bought from ebay. I was curios to try the 135mm Focal length from the FD line of lenses, and this 135mm F/3.5 SC fits the bill nicely. At $45 I got a complete set with 2x teleconverter, macro / closeup filter adapters, original metal lens hood BT-55 and the FD 135mm F/3.5 lens with Chrome Tip in excellent condition.

Canon FD 135mm F/3.5 on a OMD EM-5

This Canon FD 135mm is the older version without the SSC Super Spectra Coating. You’ll recognize the older fd lenses with their silver locking mechanism on their mount.

It came nicely pack inside a white usps flat rate box wrap on multible bubble bags stuff with a bunch of newspapers. Upon holding the  lens I immediately notice that weight of the lens. It is heavier than the Canon FD 50mm F/3.5 macro, being constructed with mostly metal material.

Canon FD 135mm F/3.5 Chrome Tip with BT-55 lens hood

Specification:

  • Focal Lenth: 135mm
  • Aperture ratio: 1:3.5
  • Lens construction: 4 groups, 4 elements
  • Angle of view: Diagonal: 18° Vertical: 10° Horizontal: 15°
  • Distance Scale: (m) 1.3 (magnification 0.13X) to 20.OO (ft) 4.5 to 70.oo Focusing: Helicoid
  • Minimum aperture: f/32 .A
  • Diaphragm: Automatic
  • Filter Size. 52mm
  • 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: 85mm x 63mm
  • Weight: 325g

Description:

The FD 135mm F/3.5 Lens was a popular telephoto lens during it’s time, because of it’s long reach and compact size making it easy to carry at all times and it also has a reputation of high resolving power. (mir.com.my….) It’s ideal for shooting portraits, nature / wildlife especially on the micro four thirds system, with the 2x crop factor it has an equivalent angle of view of 270mm. The one I got was the older version without SSC (super spectra coating) with the silver locking mechanism near the mount. My copy also came with the Chrome tip making it look nicer than other lenses.(I actually like the chrome tip). At F/3.5 it is not the fastest lens especially in low light, but in good light, you can get excellent image and it also produces a nice bokeh. (See spiderman image below.) Being an all manual lens, it doesn’t transfer any electrical signal to the camera, therefore no Aperture will be recorded. The aperture ring turns smoothly and the aperture is nicely printed starting at F/3.5 to F/22. There is a 135mm F/2 and 135mm F/2.5 versions but they are much bigger, bulkier and I bet heavier than this 135mm F/3.5.

Shot with the Olympus EPL-3 and the Canon FD 135mm F/3.5 Manual Focus Lens

Performance:

All my sample test shots were taken randomly in a real world scenario. I used my OMD EM-5 and EPL-3 with the lens to shoot the images show here. The lens is easy to handle when use with my OMD EM-5 with Quick Release Vertical L Bracket Plate with Hand Grip Holder Arca Swiss . It’s balance and I can hold it firmly because of the grip, but it’s not so comfortable with the smaller EPL-3 body, I have to hold it on the lens itself.

The focus ring is like on my FD 50mm F/1.8 and FD 50mm macro F/3.5.. It’s smooth and doesn’t require force to turn it around.

I bought this lens for use on my Micro Four Thirds, and I love it on my OMD EM-5 with the Canon FD Lens to Micro 4/3 Four Thirds System Camera Mount Adapter . I have also tested it on the EPL-3, but it just doesn’t feel right, but it works. You can also use it on your Canon DSLR with the Fotodiox PRO Lens Mount Adapter – Canon FD, New FD, FL Lens to Canon EOS Camera. This adapter will work on all current Canon DSLR Lineup.

Shot with the EM-5 and the Canon FD 135mm F/3.5 ISO 640, 1/250, F/3.5

Image Quality:

I got good results on some of the tests I did. I said some because some are sharp and some are soft. I really think it’s the technic, and also the eyes.I shot all of the sample photos handheld, and there are times that I know that I have everything in focus but then when I preview the photo, it’s soft. It’s hard to manual focus especially if you are wearing an eyeglass like me. I would recommend using a tripod or maybe a monopod . When you get the focus right, you’ll get tack sharp images.

OMD EM-5 and Canon FD 135mm F/3.5 ISO 400, 1/640, F/4

Conclusion / Recommendation:

If you are looking for a cheap alternative to native micro four thirds lenses or your canon dslr lenses or for something to play around. The Canon FD 135mm F/3.5 is a nice piece to have. Provided you have the appropriate adapter it can work on your Canon DSLR or Micro Four Thirds System.

Gear used:

Sample Photos and Photos of the Canon FD 135mm F/3.5 Lens:

 

My next review will be about the beautiful Canon FD 200mm F/4 Manual Focus Lens.

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One thought on “Review Canon FD 135mm F/3.5 SC Manual Focus with Chrome Tip

  1. Christopher Gonzalez

    Cool little review and overview you have here, thanks!

    Most likely picking some adapters up for my Canon 5D Mark II. Have similar lens, but the updated black version, and of course plenty other FD lenses to try out… Any tips you might have gained since this post about using the adapters? Adapters with chip to read/display focus points? or deciding on center glass/non-glass on adapters?

    -CDG

     
    Reply

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