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Best Off Brand Lenses?

michael rogner , Aug 15, 2006; 08:04 p.m.

I'm wondering if any of the 'off brand' lenses for canon FD stack up against the canon brand lenses. I'm not really concerned with price as much as sharpness. Any insight would be much appreciated.


Joseph Wei , Aug 15, 2006; 08:36 p.m.


I've had a lot of excellent results with the Vivitar Series 1 lenses for Canon FD (I have the 70-210mm f/3.5, 62mm filter size version and the 35-85mm f/2.8). The Tokina ATX lenses are also reportedly very good. Both of these lenses now go for very reasonable prices. Sigma and Tamron are also worth looking into, but I've heard mixed reviews about these lines.


dirk Dom , Aug 17, 2006; 02:59 a.m.

I have a 28 - 105 mm F 2.8 - 3.5 Vivitar Series 1 lens, which is very good and real sharp. Some barrel distortion at the 28 mm end of the range. It's better than the 35 - 105 Canon FD lens.

Then, a real buy is the Sigma 14 mm F 3.5. Very sharp lens with high colour saturation and simply unbelievable depth of field. It focuses down from about 4 inches from the front glass, which makes for very creative shots. I take it along everywhere. Usually, KEH.com has one on sale. Only thing is, if you're shooting into the sun, you get ghosting. But I think that's unavoidable.

That's about it,



Scott Frindel Cole , Aug 17, 2006; 11:26 a.m.

I have a vivitar 17mm f3.5 that I use all the time. It's sharp and well-made. In the past I've had a couple of Sigmas, but the lens mounts were cheap.

Ben Hutcherson , Aug 17, 2006; 07:34 p.m.

Kiron and Tokina are probably the two best off brands. Both also made lenses for Vivitar. Vivitar lenses with serial numbers starting with 22 were made by Kiron, and those starting with 37 were made by Tokina. Agenieux lenses are also very well regarded, although they can often fetch prices greater than comparable Canon models.

michael rogner , Aug 18, 2006; 03:29 p.m.

Thanks for all the responses.

Raid W. Amin , Aug 19, 2006; 05:06 p.m.


An excellent macro lens is the Tamron 90mm/2.5. You can change the adapter and use it on other SLR systems. It is small and tack sharp. I would stay with Tamron lenses if you cannot buy Canon lenses. They sell faster than other comparable off-brand lenses due to their adaptability.


Philip Oxenstein , Aug 20, 2006; 12:23 a.m.

I have a few Tokina lenses I shoot with A-1's and AE-1's. My 28 f2.8 demonstrates exceptional resolving power and I have been pleased with the results in large prints (11x14)--rich detail at a distance as well as up close. The significant draw-back of these lense compared to Canon FDn lenses is the mount. The Tokina FD's have a cheap, thin gauge bayonet ring which wears down and bends over time. We should assume that all of the used lens stock out there on ebay and in the 'used equipment' sections of your local camera shop has seen considerable use, so it is likely any used Tokina equipment you come across will already be a little tricky to pop on and off your camera.

The Tokina FD mounts do not hold a candle to Canon's breechlock. If you shoot in the field and prefer easy lense changes while standing on the street or in the woods your best bet is to stick with the Canon FDn's. Canon's breech locks do not deteriorate from normal use (or at least not after 20 years of use) and Canon's optics are reputable.

Vincenzo Maielli , Aug 22, 2006; 05:25 a.m.

Hi, Michael. I own two excellent Tamron SP lenses, the 90 mm f/ 2,5 (first model) and the 70-210 mm f/ 3,5. Whit interchangeable Adaptall-2 for FD cameras, both working very well on my Canon FP, F1 Old and FTb QL. Ciao

Vincenzo Maielli

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