Archive for September, 2016

Canon FD 200mm 4.0 IF

fd200f4-9223This was the second choice by the readers for lens review, so here it is the Canon 200mm f4.0 with rear group focusing. Rear Group Focusing which is Canon’s trademark name for internal focus utilizes the ‘rear lens group’ to focus keeping the overall length of the lens and the front objective front turning or moving in any way. This is a system used in Canon’s big expensive L series lenses and is something rarely seen in an older lens that is not a professional grade product. Even Canon’s 200mm 2.8 FD lens was originally a traditional helical design and later adopted this same rear group system.

This is a great lens, it uses compact 52mm filter size and as mentioned above, the front element does not move at all during focus so the polarizer or other turn sensitive filters will remain in place. So now that we have the rear group internal focus on the table, how is the lens? Well, it is fabulous. The lens is super lightweight and focuses down to a tight 4.8 feet. With modern digital cameras the f/4.0 speed is really pretty good. Many people will trs-l1600ade a stop of brightness to get a 50% loss in weight. I used this lens as my compact long tele for my EOS M3 before I acquired an EFS- 50-250 IS.

The lens is smooth and fast to operate. It is well made and you can buy these things for next to nothing on Ebay or at camera shows like the PhotoFair. You can find these routinely in minty condition for well under $100.

Canon EOS users be advised, using this lens on an EOS DSLR requires one of two types of adapter. The first type has glass correction elements that increase the effective focal length by 1.25x and kill an f-stop of light. not good. the second type has no such glass correctors but will not allow for infinity focus. With the simple ring the lens will focus to about 15 feet and will only be able to shoot wide open. The more sophisticated adapter has a diaphragm actuator that allows full f-range but extends the lens further leading to close focusing only. The EOS M3 mirrorless bodies suffers none of this as it has a much short lens to flange distance. The lens should work on just about any mirrorless system that supports interchangeable lenses.

This lens is lightweight, very sharp with excellent color and contrast and is just so buttery smooth to operate. I love it.

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