Photos are shot with the Canon FL 35mm f/2.5 on my Fujifilm X-E1, and are edited in Lightroom.
The Canon FL 35mm f/2.5 is a full manual lens released in 1964. The FL mount was Canon’s first original mount after the Leica screw mount. After some years the mount changed to the better known FD mount, that’s when the lenses turned into plastic. The 35mm FL lens is completely made of metal and glass, and after all these years it still works perfectly.
Canon made a few 35mm FL lenses, an f/2.5 and an f/3.5. A 35mm f/2 FD lens was made years later.
The lens has a large focus ring with a very smooth action, ranging from 40cm to infinity. The aperture requires two rings, one to set the setting and the other to activate the diaphragm. This was made to open up the lens for composing, and stopping it to the required setting immediately for metering and taking the photo.
With an optical viewfinder, an f/8 aperture would be too dark to see anything. This of course is not a problem with electronic viewfinders, like the ones found on mirrorless cameras.
The lens is slightly soft wide open, but sharpens up nicely quickly. Colours are wonderful, punchy and representative, but the lens still has some character.
The photos above were shot wide open.
I adapted the lens to my Fujifilm X-E1 with a cheap adapter, and it worked immediately. The breech lock is somewhat fiddly at first, as it is with all FL lenses, but you get used to it. It focuses to infinity without a problem, but of course the lens nor the mount are weather sealed.
The size of the lens is perfect for a mirrorless camera, as is the weight. It is too bulky to carry around in a pocket, and if this is something you care about then you would be better off buying a 35mm which fits your camera’s mount.
But I always carry my camera either around my neck or in my hand.
The photo above did not have the colours edited.
All in all, I love this lens and it pretty much never leaves my camera. It’s comfortable, sharp, characteristic and looks pretty. I would recommend buying one, if you can find it for the right price.
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