FD mount wide zoom for AE-1

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Hello! Looking for a do-it-all lens for my Canon AE-1. This will be my first lens purchase. I got the camera from my mom with a Canon 50mm/f1.8 and a Canon 70-150mm/f4.5. I shoot mostly nature and architecture type stuff for fun.

I've been looking at the Canon 28-85/f4 and the Tokina 28-85mm/f3.5 but it would be nice to hear some other options.

Anybody have any experience with these lenses?

Thanks!
 

AgX

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I never saw that Canon lens locally. But non-Canon FD wide-zooms. And the latter are really cheap.
 

Rick A

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I just gave one away that I couldn't sell. In fact, I gave an entire AE1-P kit away with half a dozen lenses.
 

AgX

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Basically a wide zoom as you indicated is an allrounder but may have some drawbacks. In your case of architecture photography that may be distortion at certain focal length settings.
 

colin wells

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A good alrouder and much loved Fd lense is the 35 _105. It is known for its crispness and clarity. Wath out for poor examples with fungus.
 

benjiboy

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A Canon FD 28 - 85 f4is a good choice, I find it a very useful walkabout lens it's sharp and has macro, I also have the FD 35 -105 f3.5 which is also sharp and has macro but I think all in all the 28 - 85 would be the best for you.
 
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Went ahead and ordered the Canon 28-85/f4 on eBay for $120 and free shipping. Looks like it's in good condition.

Wish me luck! Thanks guys.
 

cooltouch

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I have a few favorite wides that work with the AE-1 -- or any FD Canon, really. The one I've probably used the most, and just simply a great lens, is the Vivitar Series 1 28-90mm f/2.8-3.5. It's a varifocal lens (you have to refocus after zooming), but I found that I got used to that pretty quick. I shot mostly slides with it back in the day and had many excellent results. Back then, my FD cameras of choice were the original F-1 and FTb. I didn't care for my AE-1's metering pattern, so it didn't get as much use. Late in its production of S1 lenses, Vivitar came out with a replacement for the 28-90, a 28-105/2.8-3.8. Made by Cosina, it was a good lens, but it wasn't as good as the original. (I own both and I still prefer the 28-90)

Other lenses worth considering are Tamrons. The SP 28-80/3.5-4.2 is a good equivalent of the Vivitar 28-90. Tamron also produced a SP 28-135/4-4.5, a stop slower than the Vivitar, but with the extra range, is often worth it. And Tamron produced a SP 24-48/3.5-3.8, which is very compact, and very useful because of its 24mm setting.

Tokina built an ATX 28-85/3.5-4.5, which generally gets high marks. ATX lenses with red rings have SD (low dispersion) glass, which can be a plus, but I see no red ring on photos of this lens.

The Canon 28-85 is a very late FD production, not nearly as robust as the above lenses, and if I had to wager, I'd bet not as good.
 

benjiboy

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I have a few favorite wides that work with the AE-1 -- or any FD Canon, really. The one I've probably used the most, and just simply a great lens, is the Vivitar Series 1 28-90mm f/2.8-3.5. It's a varifocal lens (you have to refocus after zooming), but I found that I got used to that pretty quick. I shot mostly slides with it back in the day and had many excellent results. Back then, my FD cameras of choice were the original F-1 and FTb. I didn't care for my AE-1's metering pattern, so it didn't get as much use. Late in its production of S1 lenses, Vivitar came out with a replacement for the 28-90, a 28-105/2.8-3.8. Made by Cosina, it was a good lens, but it wasn't as good as the original. (I own both and I still prefer the 28-90)

Other lenses worth considering are Tamrons. The SP 28-80/3.5-4.2 is a good equivalent of the Vivitar 28-90. Tamron also produced a SP 28-135/4-4.5, a stop slower than the Vivitar, but with the extra range, is often worth it. And Tamron produced a SP 24-48/3.5-3.8, which is very compact, and very useful because of its 24mm setting.

Tokina built an ATX 28-85/3.5-4.5, which generally gets high marks. ATX lenses with red rings have SD (low dispersion) glass, which can be a plus, but I see no red ring on photos of this lens.

The Canon 28-85 is a very late FD production, not nearly as robust as the above lenses, and if I had to wager, I'd bet not as good.
All the zoom lenses listed are not constant aperture and can cause severe exposure problems if used with flash or a hand held light meter ,the Canon FD 28 - 85 is a constant f4 aperture and in my experience of owning one for more than 25 years is opticaly excellent and because of it's poymar barrel is much lighter than many other metal barreled zoom lenses of the same focal length. Your assumption that this lens is opticaly inferior to the lenses you mentioned could be right but isn't very credible because it's pure prejudice because you probably never used one.
 

AgX

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All the zoom lenses listed are not constant aperture and can cause severe exposure problems if used with flash or a hand held light meter.

Out of those 4 lenses 3 lenses have a variation of 1/2 half stop or less. One lens varies slightly more than 1/2 stop. I would not call that severe.

Concerning the flash, not all flashes illuminate the angle of view of a 28mm lens, so one would have to do precautions (a widening screen on the reflector).
 

bernard_L

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Out of those 4 lenses 3 lenses have a variation of 1/2 half stop or less. One lens varies slightly more than 1/2 stop. I would not call that severe.
+1
It even remains to be seen that the actual F-stop is not equal to that indicated on the f-stop ring at the present focal length. And 1/2 stop would not only be tolerable, but go un-noticed, unless one would be shooting slide film.
I would be more concerned, with any zoom (many elements) by the difference between F-number and T-number. That problem is hidden as long as one uses TTL metering (except the shutter time is longer to make up for lost transmission) but indeed can cause exposure errors when using an external meter. That goes for any complex zoom, whether constant aperture or not. And, I'm not making that up, I've stumbled upon it during a post-overhaul check of a zoom.
 

benjiboy

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It even remains to be seen that the actual F-stop is not equal to that indicated on the f-stop ring at the present focal length. And 1/2 stop would not only be tolerable, but go un-noticed, unless one would be shooting slide film.
I would be more concerned, with any zoom (many elements) by the difference between F-number and T-number. That problem is hidden as long as one uses TTL metering (except the shutter time is longer to make up for lost transmission) but indeed can cause exposure errors when using an external meter. That goes for any complex zoom, whether constant aperture or not. And, I'm not making that up, I've stumbled upon it during a post-overhaul check of a zoom.
That's true, but I shoot mainly slide film and when buying lenses never saw any point in making myself potential problems.
 

dynachrome

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The Vivitar 28-90/2.8-3.5 Series 1 and the Vivitar 28-85/2.8-3.8 Auto Variable Focusing are both very nice. No, they are not made specifically for architectural photography. These are often found in Canon FD mount with aperture ring problems - usually the aperture is frozen in the open position. This can be repaired for a price. I used the 28-90 on a family trip last month. My UV filter wasn't quite slim enough and I got a little bit of fall-off in the corners at the 28mm setting. I have since replaced the filter with a slim Kenko model. There is also the Vivitar 28-105/2.8-3.8 Series 1. It's also a varifocal but larger and heavier than the 28-90. The same aperture warning applies.
 

cooltouch

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Regarding the Vivitar S1 28-90, I noticed with mine that I would get some noticeable vignetting at 28mm and f/2.8. Stopped down a bit and the vignetting was gone. And I never used filters -- so I don't think your filter was the culprit.

The 28-90 was built by Komine, who built many of Vivitar's S1 lenses. The 28-105 S1 was built by Cosina and was generally thought to be not quite as good as the 28-90. I have both, and I also think the 28-90 edges out the 28-105 by a narrow margin. I have also dismantled one of each and, while their construction is entirely different, their construction quality is equivalent, I'd have to say.

Benjiboy, you're right, I've never owned the FD 28-85/4. I've just never had any interest in owning one -- and I've never heard anything good about it either, which would have made me want to get one. It might be a great lens, but I have too many others that already fit that bill, so the desire just isn't there.

I agree with the others that 1/2 stop is not severe -- even when shooting slide film, which has always been my preferred type of emulsion to use. Even slide film can usually handle 1/2 stop without being adversely affected. Heck, I used to shoot my Kodachrome 64 at ISO 80 for improved color saturation, which is roughly 1/2 stop. Back then, when I was shooting with a flash, I was letting my flashes' thyristor circuitry handle the exposure chores -- usually a Vivitar 285. It did a good job and I don't recall any exposure issues from using variable aperture lenses with that flash. But in the nature of full disclosure, I was primarily an outdoor photographer back then and when I did use a flash, it was almost always as a fill flash.
 
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