Over the last few years, no lens range has courted more controversy in terms of its market and pricing than the Canon FD. Once considered decidedly unglamorous and a poor shooter’s lens set – much like their oft-reviled Cinema Products-rehoused cousins, the K-35s – this range has found new legs with the rise of vintage in cinematic use, meaning that prices have exploded in ways no one might have expected as recently as 2020.
The first signs began around 2018, but didn’t go into high gear for another couple of years. An nFD 24mm L once sold for under $1000, but now they can sell for upwards of $10k. Around the time the pandemic began, I helped VLFV’s own Alan Besedin pick up a copy of the modest 85mm 1.2 L, which was bought for the paltry sum of $350. That lens has since more than quadrupled in value, much to everyone’s surprise. FDs have been a very good investment for many shooters, and perhaps more importantly, they have also been used to produce some absolutely beautiful community content.
But nothing is ever so clear. Some say prices of FDs have peaked, but it is hard to gauge when shifting economic factors are wreaking havoc on currency exchanges and giving all us indie shooters heart palpitations when we buy what used to be a reasonable 50mm 1.4 (review) on your choice of platform overseas (though if you are going to suffer a heart attack whilst buying glass, we encourage you to help us all out by clicking our ebay affiliate links, hint hint!)
Contrary to what threads on the VLFV Facebook page or listings on eBay might say, FDs are by no means rare. They are, with a few exceptions, quite common and regularly sell on all platforms. However, in spite of all this data all around the internet, it seems like every week we get another post asking about prices for 35mm Concaves, or querying when and why the nFD 135mm f2 suddenly became so expensive.
So we here at VLFV thought – what can we do to help make things clearer and help out the community when they are making their buying decisions, whether online or in stores?
The result is the gargantuan table you see below – hours upon hours of research invested into every single FD lens ever manufactured, from the pricey SSC Asphericals to the humble 20mm 2.8 or 35mm convex. This list is a verified, checked and triple-checked archive, referencing a variety of international online sales platforms. A snapshot of what lenses are actually selling for at the time of writing.
Prices are in USD, have eBay links for quick searching and are banded as follows:
High prices – Are for mint examples, perfect for your next rehousing project.
Low prices – Are for rough beater lenses, the kinds that have a little dust, a little fungus, and maybe a little more going on.
Our intention is to review these lenses every six months, adjust our table, and to also give an annual “state of the market” review every year so that the entire VLFV community can see where the market is headed with analysis of price trends.
But we do not want this to be a static, detached page either. We want this to be a living, breathing document, and we would love your feedback and where our data might be wrong. Have you managed to make a massive sale that sets new peaks for the market? Do you see trends showing that certain lenses are actually selling for a lot less than we are saying? Please tell us and we will try to incorporate your data into our findings when the next review rolls around!
FD (Breech Lock) Price List:
|Lens Name||Low Price|
|Fish-Eye 7.5mm f/5.6||300||750||Find on eBay|
|Fish-Eye 7.5mm f/5.6 S.S.C.||350||750||Find on eBay|
|Fish-Eye FD 15mm f/2.8 S.S.C.||475||825||Find on eBay|
|FD 17mm f/4 S.S.C.||625||1050||Find on eBay|
|FD 20mm f/2.8 S.S.C.||700||1275||Find on eBay|
|FD 24mm f/1.4 S.S.C. ASPHERICAL||9000||17500||Find on eBay|
|FD 24mm f/2.8 (chrome nose)||75||175||Find on eBay|
|FD 24mm f/2.8 S.S.C.||175||275||Find on eBay|
|FD 28mm f/2 S.S.C.||825||2000||Find on eBay|
|FD 28mm f/2.8 S.C.||75||150||Find on eBay|
|FD 28mm f/3.5 (chrome nose)||50||95||Find on eBay|
|FD 28mm f/3.5 S.C.||50||125||Find on eBay|
|FD 35mm f/2 (chrome nose)||325||950||Find on eBay|
|FD 35mm f/2 S.S.C. (concave)||500||1200||Find on eBay|
|FD 35mm f/2 S.S.C. (convex)||200||650||Find on eBay|
|TS 35mm f/2.8 S.S.C.||350||750||Find on eBay|
|FD 35mm f/3.5 (chrome nose)||20||60||Find on eBay|
|FD 35mm f/3.5 S.C.||25||75||Find on eBay|
|FD 50mm f/1.4 (chrome nose)||50||150||Find on eBay|
|FD 50mm f/1.4 S.S.C.||50||175||Find on eBay|
|FD 50mm f/1.8 (chrome nose)||20||50||Find on eBay|
|FD 50mm f/1.8 S.C.||25||85||Find on eBay|
|AC 50mm f/1.8||75||150||Find on eBay|
|FD 50mm f/3.5 S.S.C. Macro||65||100||Find on eBay|
|FD 55mm f/1.2 (chrome nose)||175||350||Find on eBay|
|FD 55mm f/1.2 S.S.C.||200||500||Find on eBay|
|FD 55mm f/1.2AL||3800||8000||Find on eBay|
|FD 55mm f/1.2 S.S.C. AL||4000||9000||Find on eBay|
|FD 55mm f/1.2 S.S.C. ASPHERICAL||2500||5500||Find on eBay|
|FD 85mm f/1.2 S.S.C. ASPHERICAL||4000||8500||Find on eBay|
|FD 85mm f/1.8 S.S.C.||250||700||Find on eBay|
|FD 100mm f/2.8 (chrome nose)||75||150||Find on eBay|
|FD 100mm f/2.8 S.S.C.||125||250||Find on eBay|
|FD 100mm f/4 S.C. Macro||40||125||Find on eBay|
|FD 135mm f/2.5 S.C.||50||150||Find on eBay|
|FD 135mm f/3.5 (chrome nose)||50||175||Find on eBay|
|FD 135mm f/3.5 S.C.||40||125||Find on eBay|
|FD 200mm f/2.8 S.S.C.||125||300||Find on eBay|
|FD 200mm f/4 S.S.C.||40||100||Find on eBay|
|FD 300mm f/2.8 S.S.C. FLUORITE||1500||2750||Find on eBay|
|FD 300mm f/4 S.S.C.||150||350||Find on eBay|
|FD 300mm f/5.6 S.C.||30||60||Find on eBay|
|FD 300mm f/5.6 S.S.C.||30||150||Find on eBay|
|FD 400mm f/4.5 S.S.C.||250||350||Find on eBay|
|Reflex 500mm f/8 S.S.C.||100||350||Find on eBay|
|FD 600mm f/4.5 S.S.C.||400||600||Find on eBay|
|FD 800mm f/5.6 S.S.C.||800||1500||Find on eBay|
|FD 24-35mm f/3.5 S.S.C. ASPHERICAL||300||600||Find on eBay|
|FD 28-50mm f/3.5 S.S.C.||75||200||Find on eBay|
|FD 35-70mm f/2.8-3.5 S.S.C.||80||150||Find on eBay|
|AC 35-70mm f/3.5-4.5||10||75||Find on eBay|
|AC 75-200mm f/4.5||10||100||Find on eBay|
|FD 80-200mm f/4 S.S.C.||10||100||Find on eBay|
|FD 85-300mm f/4.5 S.S.C.||130||275||Find on eBay|
|FD 100-200mm f/5.6||10||50||Find on eBay|
|FD 100-200mm f/5.6 S.S.C.||10||75||Find on eBay|
nFD (Bayonet) Price List:
|Lens Name||Low Price|
|New Fish-Eye 7.5mm f/5.6||250||700||Find on eBay|
|New Fish-Eye FD 15mm f/2.8||425||650||Find on eBay|
|New FD 14mm f/2.8L||5000||10000||Find on eBay|
|New FD 17mm f/4||300||600||Find on eBay|
|New FD 20mm f/2.8||275||500||Find on eBay|
|New FD 24mm f/1.4L||5000||10000||Find on eBay|
|New FD 24mm f/2||325||850||Find on eBay|
|New FD 24mm f/2.8||75||175||Find on eBay|
|New FD 28mm f/2||150||500||Find on eBay|
|New FD 28mm f/2.8||25||100||Find on eBay|
|New FD 35mm f/2||175||500||Find on eBay|
|New FD 35mm f/2.8||75||150||Find on eBay|
|New FD 50mm f/1.2||125||400||Find on eBay|
|New FD 50mm f/1.2L||800||1400||Find on eBay|
|New FD 50mm f/1.4||50||235||Find on eBay|
|New FD 50mm f/1.8||25||90||Find on eBay|
|New FD 50mm f/2||20||75||Find on eBay|
|New FD 50mm f/3.5 Macro||50||180||Find on eBay|
|New FD 85mm f/1.2L||800||1400||Find on eBay|
|New FD 85mm f/1.8||200||450||Find on eBay|
|Soft-focus FD 85mm f/2.8||250||475||Find on eBay|
|New FD 100mm f/2||1100||2500||Find on eBay|
|New FD 100mm f/2.8||125||175||Find on eBay|
|New FD 100mm f/4 Macro||50||300||Find on eBay|
|New FD 135mm f/2||500||1500||Find on eBay|
|New FD 135mm f/2.8||50||100||Find on eBay|
|New FD 135mm f/3.5||25||125||Find on eBay|
|New FD 200mm f/1.8L||4000||10000||Find on eBay|
|New FD 200mm f/2.8||75||475||Find on eBay|
|New FD 200mm f/4||25||135||Find on eBay|
|New FD 200mm f/4 Macro||150||400||Find on eBay|
|New FD 300mm f/2.8L||250||1000||Find on eBay|
|New 300mm f/4||60||250||Find on eBay|
|New 300mm f/4L||250||600||Find on eBay|
|New FD 300mm f/5.6||50||100||Find on eBay|
|New FD 400mm f/2.8L||1000||1500||Find on eBay|
|New FD 400mm f/4.5||200||350||Find on eBay|
|New FD 500mm f/4.5L||600||1200||Find on eBay|
|New Reflex 500mm f/8||150||250||Find on eBay|
|New FD 600mm f/4.5||600||1300||Find on eBay|
|New FD 800mm f/5.6L||700||1100||Find on eBay|
|New FD 20-35mm f/3.5L||400||875||Find on eBay|
|New FD 24-35mm f/3.5L||150||400||Find on eBay|
|New FD 28-50mm f/3.5||75||100||Find on eBay|
|New FD 28-55mm f/3.5-4.5||25||100||Find on eBay|
|New FD 28-85mm f/4||75||125||Find on eBay|
|New FD 35-70mm f/2.8-3.5||75||200||Find on eBay|
|New FD 35-70mm f/3.5-4.5||25||100||Find on eBay|
|New FD 35-70mm f/4||25||150||Find on eBay|
|New FD 35-70mm f/4 AF||25||250||Find on eBay|
|New FD 35-105mm f/3.5||25||200||Find on eBay|
|New FD 35-105mm f/3.5-4.5||20||135||Find on eBay|
|New FD 50-135mm f/3.5||25||175||Find on eBay|
|New FD 50-300mm f/4.5L||3500||5000||Find on eBay|
|New FD 70-150mm f/4.5||10||75||Find on eBay|
|New FD 70-210mm f/4||40||100||Find on eBay|
|New FD 75-200mm f/4.5||30||80||Find on eBay|
|New FD 80-200mm f/4||20||75||Find on eBay|
|New FD 80-200mm f/4L||200||400||Find on eBay|
|New 85-300mm f/4.5||50||375||Find on eBay|
|New FD 100-200mm f/5.6||10||75||Find on eBay|
|New FD 100-300mm f/5.6||50||120||Find on eBay|
|New FD 100-300mm f/5.6L||100||275||Find on eBay|
|New FD 150-600mm f/5.6||3000||6000||Find on eBay|
- Are breech lock FD lenses and bayonet nFD lenses the same?
There are many differences between these lenses. Mounts, coatings, mechanics are all very different. In addition, there are various optical designs that differ between FDs and their nFD counterparts. Your choice of lenses may be driven by look or instead by cost or accessibility.
- Are SSC Asphericals and nFD “L” lenses the same?
The 24mm and 85mm lenses share optical designs and elements are directly interchangeable, though coatings and mechanics differ between the two. There is no 55mm L lens – the 55mm lens design was abandoned and replaced with a 50mm. The 24-35mm Aspherical zoom has an “L” counterpart, but a 20-35mm lens was also made that is unique to the L range. There are many more “L” lenses than Asphericals.
- What are “AL” lenses?
The very first 55mm Aspherical lens was released with a blue “AL” marking. This marking was later replaced with the orange “Aspherical” marking that we all know and love!
- Are “O” type lenses special, or worth more?
The auto exposure pin marking on some of the earliest breech lock lenses’ aperture ring were not marked “A”, like later lenses, but instead with “O”. Sellers use this to indicate that the lens is of a certain vintage. These lenses are worth no more than later lenses, and are not any more special.
- What is SSC “Super Spectra Coating”?
“Super Spectra Coating” is a special multicoating introduced not long after the arrival of the FD range. The earliest lenses were single coated or had “Spectra Coating”. You know a breech-lock lens is SSC due to the red “SSC” marking on the front bezel ring. The later nFD lenses all had a form of “Super Spectra Coating”, and thus the marking was removed.
- What are “Chrome Noses”?
The very first generation of Canon FD lenses were made with chrome filter ring/hood mounts. These early breech-lock lenses have become known as “chrome noses”. The lenses have weaker coatings than the later SSC lenses (similar to the late generation FLs), but have many optical designs in common with the SSC range. They offer interesting looks, but for a lower price than the later SSCs. Very much worth checking out!
- Should I only ever pay the prices in this price guide?
A lens is only ever worth the price you are willing to pay for it. You really want a lens, but it is more than the prices you see here? That is ok! As long as you are comfortable paying a little extra to get what you want, that is perfectly fine. Just make sure that you buy responsibly and check the lens is in tip-top condition in order to warrant a tip-top price!
Written by Peter Cooper
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