Canon 35-105mm f3.5  (2 of 5)

The Canon FD 35-105mm F3.5 lens can be had for well under $100 on ebay and offers up an equivalent 56-168mm field of view on the Canon EOS-M body. That range easily covers medium to close up shots making it an ideal and affordable zoom to pair with the Canon EOS-M. (Above) The lens is shown with the EF-M to FD adapter already attached which pushes the total length to just over 7 inches (around 18 cm). Even with the adapter it’s a pretty small package for a zoom with this much range. 

Canon 35-105mm f3.5  (4 of 5)

Just to give you a better idea of the size, I’ve set the Canon t2i with the Sigma 24mm f1.8 lens on top of it. The extremely thin body of the EOS-M adds very little length to the overall footprint of the Canon FD 35-105mm F3.5 lens and the whole package is small enough to shoot hand held or on a rig.

Canon 35-105mm f3.5  (3 of 5)

As with the Canon 55mm f1.2 FD lens I wrote about last week, the Canon FD 35-105mm F3.5 lens is a little soft in the photography department as are most FD lenses and vintage lenses in general. There is a bit of color fringing and some other random imperfections wide open and things start to clean up as you stop down. The image color is also a little different on the 35-105mm f3.5 lens, images look a little “warmer” do to the leaded glass used in the lens optics.

For HD video the Canon FD 35-105mm F3.5 lens softness does come through just a bit more than modern lenses, but image quality is still great for a sub $100 fixed aperture zoom. Build quality is excellent, the whole barrel of the lens is made out of metal and feels very solid in the hand.

The focus action on this lens is nice and smooth, but theres a catch. The front element of the Canon FD 35-105mm F3.5 lens rotates as you focus your image which isn’t a problem for the lens itself, but could be an issue when combined with a polarizing filter. So keep that in mind when using this lens.

Canon 35-105mm f3.5  (5 of 5)

The test shot (above) this time is of the Canon 6d with the 24-105 f4 attached. You can download the raw file (here) and take a closer look. Scaled down the image looks fine, but zoom in full scale on the raw file and look at the Canon logo at 1:1 magnification and you’ll see a bit of Chromatic aberration as well as some color fringing on the EOS 6d logo. Also at full scale, you’ll see what I mean when I say “a little soft”, but scale down your 18MP image by a 1/4 or 1/2 and that softness becomes much less noticeable. By the time you get to the relatively small 2MP image size that 1080p offers, that softness is far less noticeable.

Canon 35-105mm f3.5  (1 of 5)

The Canon FD 35-105mm F3.5 lens can also be converted to work with a normal Canon EF body without using any optical adapter. For around $140 (more than double what I paid for the lens) you can buy the kit on ebay. Basically it requires you to remove a few chunks off of the back of the lens and re-attach an adapter to get things working. It’s not the most elegant solution, but it might make sense if the price is right.

I’ll be posting more lens options for the Canon EOS-M over the next few weeks and eventually follow that up with a full roundup of my top lens recommendations on a budget. The Canon FD35-105mm f3.5 is definitely on the list, a great value for the price.

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