Canon Classics

Classic Canon lens and camera reviews

Canon FDn 35-70mm f/3.5-4.5

Lens info

Lens Construction (group) 8
Lens Construction (element) 9
No. of Diaphragm Blades 8
Minimum Aperture f/22
Closest Focusing Distance 0.5 m
Maximum Magnifcation 1:6.7 (0.15x)
Filter Size 52 mm
Maximum Diameter x Length 63 x 60.9 mm
Weight 200 gr (0.44 lb)
Hood BW-58C
Canon FDn 35-70mm f/3.5-4.5

Overall Score

IQ 7.0 6.4
Build 5.3
Based on 4 reviews

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17-07-2011

Guest

Has 6-10 years of SLR/camera experience.
IQ 7.5 7.2
Build 6.5
Lightweight, compact, good colours 
Feels a little cheap... 
This is really just a nice flexible light snapshot lens. Take it on holidays and catch some snaps. Keep around the middle of the aperture range for best results, and enjoy it. I find that this lens can be a little soft, but gives excellent colour.
30-12-2010

ProfHankD

Has 30+ years of SLR/camera experience.
IQ 8.0 7.0
Build 5.0
Good close focus, sharp at f/8 
Soft and glowy APS-C frame edges wide open, lousy build 
This lens reminds me a lot of Minolta's "baby beercan" -- a 35-70mm f/4 macro that has a bit of a cult following. Like the baby beercan, it's definitely a cheap kit lens, but it has the potential to make images that are better than the usual kit lens... or not.

This lens isn't really a macro, but a close focus that works at all focal lengths. The lens is pretty good close up, with nice smooth bokeh and decent sharpness even wide open.

At more normal distances, the center of the image is obviously way better than the edges wide open. I'm talking about edges of an APS-C crop; I expect it is terrible on full frame. However, by f/8 or so, the IQ is really quite good across the APS-C frame, and this plus close-ups is how the IQ gets an 8.

The build is lousy even for a plastic-body FDn lens. The focus is noticeably coarse. However, my copy is fully functional and it looks like new, so it can't be as badly built as it feels.

It's usable if you have it, and not a bad lens to take on a trip where it might not make it back intact, but I wouldn't go out of my way to buy one of these.
01-10-2010

kellymjones

Has 4-6 years of SLR/camera experience.
IQ 6.5 6.3
Build 6.0
Lightweight. Has a close focusing ability. Ok image quality. 
Short zoom range. Not terribly fast. Loose feeling when focusing or zooming 
This is not a bad lens, but I would look elsewhere for an all around zoom lens. Optically, the quality is decent, but the zoom range is so short that I would rather carry a 50mm prime and zoom with my feet. I believe the 35-105mm (either the 3.5 or the variable aperture) is a more versatile and higher quality lens.
19-12-2009

websterforrest

Has 20+ years of SLR/camera experience.
IQ 6.0 5.2
Build 3.5
very lightweight, sensible zoom range for given optics, very cheap 
lackluster image quality 
This is the only Canon FD lens I ever owned that I was glad to get rid of. It wasn't horrible or anything, but in comparison to the rest I've owned it was sub-par in most respects. The construction is very very very cheap. It felt a bit like a Fisher-Price toy. In fact, I think if Fisher-Price had made camera lenses (thinking back they probably did make a toy camera) they would have been more solid than this. It's just disappointingly cheap. I think this lens was bundled with something like the T50 (another sad poor cousin) as a means for people to get a foot on the ladder of the Canon FD system. That's fine if it's 1985 and you are a high school student buying his first camera, but today when we are all buying these things secondhand, there is no real reason to go for this lens. The one positive thing that I can say about it is that the macro focusing range was very good, easy to use, and was - I think almost uniquely to this lens - available throughout the entire zoom range. Perhaps I'm being too harsh on this lens, but I really think that the quality of physical construction of this lens was very poor - at least in the present-day situation where any film-based photographic equipment can be bought for historically relatively very low cost. In other words, value for money is relative, and this lens is relatively far less a 'value purchase' now than it was when it was brought out.
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