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Canon FD 300mm f/4 v. 300mm f/4 L?

Bill McMahon , Mar 10, 2003; 09:04 a.m.

I am considering buying a Canon FD 300mm f/4 lens. Is the "L" worth the extra money? It seems to be almost twice as much on eBay, ~$600 v. ~$350.

How much of a difference is there between the Canon FD 300 mm f/4 "L" and "non-L" lens?

I known the technical details, from: http://www.mir.com.my/rb/photography/companies/canon/fdresources/fdlen ses/index.htm, so please don't point me there.

Thanks in advance


David Goldfarb , Mar 10, 2003; 03:44 p.m.

There was a thread on this some time back on the Yahoo!Groups Canon FD forum. As I recall, I think the consensus was that you could see the difference, but that it was particularly pronounced if you were to use the 1.4X or 2X extenders. There was one participant who had owned both. I have the 300/4.0L, and will say that it holds up very well with even a the FD Extender 2X-A, which is not true of all FD lenses I've used, and mine isn't even in the greatest condition (purchased from a newspaper that went digital).

David Goldfarb , Mar 10, 2003; 03:50 p.m.

Here's a photo made with the 300/4.0L + FD Extender 1.4X-A:


and another from the same sequence:


Mark Wahlster , Mar 10, 2003; 08:43 p.m.

The reason the "L" looks to be sharper with or without the use of a teleconverter is that the "L" does a super good job of controling color fringing. (That's were different colors focus at different distances for the film plane) For the extra money if you will be projecting your slides or making larger then 8X10 prints you will notice a marked improvment in the 300 f4.0L as compared to the 300mm f4.0

David Goldfarb , Mar 11, 2003; 12:43 a.m.

Absolutely true.

Gregory Nicholson , Mar 11, 2003; 12:35 p.m.

You know I tried three times to get registered at Yahoo!Groups Canon FD forum. They kept telling me 'that ID is being used' so I typed in a series of garbage/miscellaneous crap and they still said that ID was being used. well I finally found an ID and when I tried to log-in it wouldn't accept my password! what a waste of time pain in the ass

David Goldfarb , Mar 12, 2003; 09:54 a.m.

Agreed, the Yahoo!Groups interface is dreadful, along with the advertising clutter and password complications, but there are some specialized lists there with good information that you can't find elsewhere. I'm not following the Canon FD list these days, but I usually check in on the Bronica lists, and I was following the M42-mount list for a while. Where else are you going to find a group of people who want to discuss M42 screwmount lenses?

Alan Swartz , Mar 12, 2003; 11:25 p.m.


I have them both, but didn't use the 300/4 much before finding the "L" lens. To me there is a noticeable difference in sharpness and color. Enough to double your money? Couldn't say.

I think everyone's on track with the comments about the extenders. I haven't tried one to date, but the "L" would have to perform better in that case.

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