Tony WAS 4:58pm, 8 July 2013
(This is a cross-post from the Canon A-1 group, but it has relevance for here, too.)

I bought this lens last week and did a little testing this weekend to compare it to my New FD 35mm f/2, 50mm f/1.4 and 85mm f/1.8 lenses at f/5.6 mounted on my Fuji X-E1. Here are my brief conclusions for center sharpness:

1. The 35-105 is optically outstanding, even wide-open. I'm surprised a zoom of this era is so good.
2. It has an awful minimum focusing distance of just under 5 feet.
3. The macro setting at 35mm is very nice. My Canon Lens Work book says it gets to 0.3 meters, which is longer than what I was able to get (about 7 inches) and maxes at about 0.2x to 0.25x magnification.
4. At f/5.6, the lens is as sharp as the 35mm f/2 and 50mm f/1.4 lenses at f/5.6, but not quite as sharp as the 85mm f/1.8 at f/5.6. The difference is probably nothing that is perceptible in a print or which can't be addressed in post processing. I find this truly remarkable.
5. The bokeh is not too bad considering it has a 5-blade aperture.
6. Like all zooms, the angles of view change depending on focus distance. This made it a bit difficult to compare to the primes since focusing at infinity wasn't practical.

Of course, the lens is a bit heavy at 600 grams but if you're ok with its poor MFD and separate zoom and focus rings, it's a gem and a steal for less than $100 from KEH.

Here's the 35-105mm at f/5.6 and set at about 85mm. (Only at infinity focus do zoom lenses have their marked focal lengths.)

FDn 35-105 at 85mm f:5.6

Here's the 85mm f/1.8 at f/5.6. It's a little larger because I had to move the tripod a little closer (which also changed the angle of the shot) and this accounts for some of the sharpness, but they are pretty close.

FDn 85 at f:5.6

Here's what it looks like on the Fuji with the RainbowImaging FD to X-mount adapter.

FDn 35-105 1

FDn 35-105 2

I have a roll of Provia 100F in my A-1 that I need to finish, so I'll probably use this lens for the last shots and hopefully find the time to develop the film this week. I'm also planning to do additional testing at f/3.5 to see how it holds up, but I suspect the primes will clearly win.
Kevin's Stuff PRO 5 years ago
I have this lens. I got it back in the early 1980's, and it rarely came off my camera. It was a great lens.
Ontarian PRO 5 years ago
Also excellent on EOS if converted properly

-Ed Mika
mymamiya1 5 years ago
I've used the crap out of mine of my canons and just love this lens. Yes, the min. focus is a pain.
View Master 187 5 years ago
I think it's great too. Just had mine out a couple of weeks ago:

Toda Hanabi Taikai 2013

Toda Hanabi Taikai 2013
nickintime99 5 years ago
It's also a parfocal lens so it holds focus throughout its zoom range, making it excellent for video.
jayyutzey 5 years ago
This is my "walk around" lens for my Canon AE-1p. Unless I need something faster, wider, or longer, this lens stays on my camera, and covers my needs most of the time.
IzTheViz 4 years ago
Got one yesterday but I am not 100% convinced. Compared it to my FDn 35/2, FD 50/1.4, FD 100/2.8 at several apertures and each time my primes were sharper on my Sony A7.
Maybe I got a average/bad copy.
mymamiya1 4 years ago
Prime lenses almost always win the sharpness game, just a fact of life.
uncoolbob PRO 4 years ago
I have this lens and wasn't aware how good it was until I got the first roll back

Between the Spokes
Farm hound by uncoolbob

I'm not really pixel peeping or an expert, I just see the images and think wow, not bad for a zoom.

I used to have the push/pull 35-105 until it got broken - a blessing in disguise!
just got this lens....some say it is quite close to "L" quality it can be properly and permanently
converted to EOS etc without adaptor....
I like the weight....and build quality feels better to me than the more modern plasticky lens ugh !
designative Posted 3 years ago. Edited by designative (member) 3 years ago
Agreed with all of above comments... I'll add that there is something special about using vintage lenses on mirrorless cameras (I'm currently using this lens on my Canon EOS M): while it my be difficult to focus through the LCD viewfinder (specially in bright daylight) and the minimum focusing distance is 1.5m, there is something unique about the colors it renders and the 5 blades bokeh

See the picture below for the so-called "macro" feature at 35mm:

Here is an example of it wide opened at 105mm:
  by designative

The 35mm on a crop frame means approximately 56mm which is a little tight... coupled with the minimum focusing distance of 1.5m means that it's very difficult to shoot indoors (unless you're use the "macro" feature)
Dan Butch 2 years ago
Great info and samples thanks.
dbuckle2695 PRO 1 year ago
I picked up a nice copy today for $70. Thanks for the info and Photos.
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