Canon FDn 100mm F/4 Macro

Macro lens • Pro • Film era • Discontinued


FD The lens is designed for Canon 35mm film SLR cameras with the Canon FD mount.
n (Unofficial acronym) A new generation of FD series lenses without the breech-lock ring.
MACRO Macro lens. Designed specially for shooting close-ups of small subjects but can be also used in other genres of photography, not necessarily requiring focusing at close distances. Learn more

Model history (2)

Canon FD 100mm F/4 S.C. Macro1:2A5 - 30.45m⌀55 1975 
Canon FDn 100mm F/4 Macro1:2A5 - 30.45m⌀52 1979 

Features highlight

Macro 1:2


Production details
Announced:September 1979
Production status: Discontinued
Original name:CANON MACRO LENS FD 100mm 1:4
System:Canon FD (1971)
Optical design
Focal length:100mm
Maximum format:35mm full frame
Mount and Flange focal distance:Canon FD [42mm]
Diagonal angle of view:24.4°
Lens construction:5 elements - 3 groups
Closest focusing distance:0.45m
Closest working distance:0.26m
Maximum magnification ratio:1:2 at the closest focusing distance
Focusing modes:Manual focus only
Manual focus control:Focusing ring
Diaphragm mechanism
Diaphragm type:Automatic
Aperture control:Aperture ring (Manual settings + Auto Exposure setting)
Number of blades:6 (six)
Physical characteristics
Maximum diameter x Length:⌀70.3×95mm
Filters:Screw-type 52mm
Lens hood:Bayonet-type BT-52 (round)
Teleconverters:Canon Extender FD 2X-B → 200mm F/8

*) Sources of data: Canon FD interchangeable lenses booklet (PUB. IE01-075) ● Lens Wonderland. Canon FD lens guide book (PUB. C-IE-097AZ) ● Specifications of Canon New FD lenses (PUB. C-II-099B) ● Canon FD interchangeable lenses booklet (PUB. C-IE-075AF) ● Lens Work. The Canon guide to interchangeable lenses and Single Lens Reflex photography ● Quick reference guide ● Canon AE-1 Program booklet (PUB. C-CE-124) ● Canon AL-1 Quick focus booklet (PUB. C-CE-135A) ● The New F-1 World booklet ● Canon A-1 booklet (PUB. C-CE-0990) (September 1980) ● Canon AE-1 booklet (PUB. C-CE-1056AB) (September 1980) ● Canon FD lenses sales guide ● Canon Reflex 1981/1982 booklet.

Manufacturer description #1

FD 50mm f/3.5 Macro and FD 100mm f/4 Macro: These are multi-purpose lenses which, besides behaving as typical standard and telephoto lenses at shooting distances up to infinity, have unusually long focusing mounts for close focusing. Alone, the standard macro focuses down to 23.2cm from the film plane and the telephoto macro to 45cm for a magnification of 1/2X. While normal lenses are adjusted for best performance at relatively great shooting distances, these lenses are corrected for aberrations which occur at close distances. Ultra-high resolution and crisp edge-to-edge sharpness even at extremely close distances are guaranteed. Recommended for the best possible results in close-ups, photomacrography and copying.

The standard macro has an edge in speed and portability; the telephoto macro permits greater working distances for easier lighting control and greater distance from the subject. The telephoto macro's comparatively natural perspective also makes it most suitable for almost any form of commercial photography. Their performance at normal shooting distances is also very good. In fact, photographers who use them often find their faster normal 50mm or 100mm lenses remain in the gadget bag most of the time. For the critical photographer who has a serious interest in close-up shooting and copying.

Manufacturer description #2

After you master close-up techniques using the 50mm Macro, you may want to further develop your photography skills using the 100mm Macro. The major difference between the 50mm and 100mm Macro lenses is shooting distance. The 100mm Macro allows you to increase the shooting (film-to-subject) distance while maintaining the same magnification. For instance, using the 50mm Macro, the magnification at the minimum shooting distance of 23.2cm is 0.5X. The same magnification can be achieved at a shooting distance of 45cm with the 100mm Macro.

There are various advantages to increased working (lens-front-to-subject) distance. One is that it is easier to light the subject. The primary reason for using macro lenses is to take close-ups, but as you move closer to the subject, you or the camera may throw a shadow over it, creating poor lighting conditions. The 100mm Macro eliminates this problem. In addition, this lens is useful when approaching a subject is impossible because either there is an obstacle such as a fence in the way, or the subject is a skittish insect which would fly away upon being approached. This compact 100mm Macro, weighing only 240 grams, is capable of coping with various difficult shooting situations. In this sense, it can be regarded as a stepped-up version of the 50mm Macro. Using the 50mm Macro for close-up shooting at intimate distances, and the 100mm Macro for close-ups as well as general photography is the way to best use their respective advantages.

The 100mm Macro has very natural perspective characteristics, the same as those of conventional 100mm lenses. When using a 50mm Macro, moving in too close to the subject produces image deformation due to the accentuated perspective attributable to any 50mm lens. Using the longer focal length 100mm Macro for close-up photography eliminates this problem.

Although the 100mm Macro is lightweight and compact, it weighs nearly as twice that of the 50mm, and its depth of field is much shallower. Meticulous attention must thus be paid to focusing and holding the camera steady.

The 100mm Macro covers an extremely wide focusing range from infinity to a magnification factor of 0.5X without requiring an attachment. When combined with the FD 50-U extension tube, close-up shooting over a magnification range of 0.5X to 1X is possible. Of course, the 100mm Macro can also be used to shoot general photographs thanks to its focusing range which extends to infinity.

Manufacturer description #3

This New FD series lens is optically identical to its FD predecessor. It is capable of focusing directly to a 1:2 reproduction ratio, and down to 1:1 using the supplied Extension Tube FD50U. Both lens and lens with extension tube provide full FD functions, for photomacrography at its simplest and most efficient.

Many photographers prefer this focal length for photomacrography, since it gives them twice the working distance as a 50mm lens for the same reproduction ratio. This allows more room for lighting equipment and more distance from sensitive subjects.

New features of this lens include the revised Canon breech-lock mounting system for easy, fast mounting with one hand. In addition, a special friction damping device has been incorporated into the helical focusing mechanism. This prevents the unwanted extension of the lens when used in vertical applications, such as copying. Of course, this lens is ideal for general photography as well as macro work.

From the editor

With the focusing ring set to its infinity position, the lens is compact and light, and that is important if you are going to trek over the hills in search of a natural history subject.

It takes four or five turns of the focusing ring to go from inifinity to the closest focusing distance of 0.45m which gives a magnification ratio of 1:2 and at this setting, light loss has been kept down to one stop. In this position, all the glass elements are up to the front end, but the balance still seems to be good.

The lens measures 152mm at full extension and all the markings are visible; just behind the rubber grip on the focusing ring are the magnification ratios in yellow for 1:2, 2.5, 3, 4, 5, 6, 8 and 10. Below these are distances in feet (green) and metres (white).

Around the index mark is a depth of field scale for f/16 and f/32 which is only accurate for longer distances.

The front element is well recessed so the lens itself acts as its own built-in hood, allowing the photographer to keep a reasonable distance, but a bayonet mounting hood can be fitted as well.

Typical application


Slow full-frame macro lens • Professional model

Professional model

  • Combination of focal length and closest focusing distance meets professional demands
  • Compatible with teleconverters

Genres or subjects of photography (3):

Macrophotography • Product photography • Travel photography

Adaptation to digital SLR cameras:

Not adaptableMore information

Not adaptable

In order to adapt the lens, the flange focal distance (FFD) of the lens mount must be equal to or greater than the FFD of the camera mount. This lens has the Canon FD mount with a FFD of 42mm. This is even shorter than the FFD of Canon EOS digital SLR cameras, which have the shortest FFD of 44mm of any modern digital SLR cameras. Therefore, this lens cannot be adapted to any digital SLR camera.

Recommended slowest shutter speed when shooting static subjects handheld:

1/100th of a second

Alternatives in the Canon FD system

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Lenses with similar focal length

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35mm full frame

43.27 24 36
  • Dimensions: 36 × 24mm
  • Aspect ratio: 3:2
  • Diagonal: 43.27mm
  • Area: 864mm2


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Image stabilizer

A technology used for reducing or even eliminating the effects of camera shake. Gyro sensors inside the lens detect camera shake and pass the data to a microcomputer. Then an image stabilization group of elements controlled by the microcomputer moves inside the lens and compensates camera shake in order to keep the image static on the imaging sensor or film.

The technology allows to increase the shutter speed by several stops and shoot handheld in such lighting conditions and at such focal lengths where without image stabilizer you have to use tripod, decrease the shutter speed and/or increase the ISO setting which can lead to blurry and noisy images.

Original name

Lens name as indicated on the lens barrel (usually on the front ring). With lenses from film era, may vary slightly from batch to batch.


Format refers to the shape and size of film or image sensor.

35mm is the common name of the 36x24mm film format or image sensor format. It has an aspect ratio of 3:2, and a diagonal measurement of approximately 43mm. The name originates with the total width of the 135 film which was the primary medium of the format prior to the invention of the full frame digital SLR. Historically the 35mm format was sometimes called small format to distinguish it from the medium and large formats.

APS-C is an image sensor format approximately equivalent in size to the film negatives of 25.1x16.7mm with an aspect ratio of 3:2.

Medium format is a film format or image sensor format larger than 36x24mm (35mm) but smaller than 4x5in (large format).

Angle of view

Angle of view describes the angular extent of a given scene that is imaged by a camera. It is used interchangeably with the more general term field of view.

As the focal length changes, the angle of view also changes. The shorter the focal length (eg 18mm), the wider the angle of view. Conversely, the longer the focal length (eg 55mm), the smaller the angle of view.

A camera's angle of view depends not only on the lens, but also on the sensor. Imaging sensors are sometimes smaller than 35mm film frame, and this causes the lens to have a narrower angle of view than with 35mm film, by a certain factor for each sensor (called the crop factor).

This website does not use the angles of view provided by lens manufacturers, but calculates them automatically by the following formula: 114.6 * arctan (21.622 / CF * FL),


CF – crop-factor of a sensor,
FL – focal length of a lens.


A lens mount is an interface — mechanical and often also electrical — between a camera body and a lens.

A lens mount may be a screw-threaded type, a bayonet-type, or a breech-lock type. Modern camera lens mounts are of the bayonet type, because the bayonet mechanism precisely aligns mechanical and electrical features between lens and body, unlike screw-threaded mounts.

Lens mounts of competing manufacturers (Canon, Nikon, Pentax, Sony etc.) are always incompatible. In addition to the mechanical and electrical interface variations, the flange focal distance can also be different.

The flange focal distance (FFD) is the distance from the mechanical rear end surface of the lens mount to the focal plane.

Lens construction

Lens construction – a specific arrangement of elements and groups that make up the optical design, including type and size of elements, type of used materials etc.

Element - an individual piece of glass which makes up one component of a photographic lens. Photographic lenses are nearly always built up of multiple such elements.

Group – a cemented together pieces of glass which form a single unit or an individual piece of glass. The advantage is that there is no glass-air surfaces between cemented together pieces of glass, which reduces reflections.

Focal length

The focal length is the factor that determines the size of the image reproduced on the focal plane, picture angle which covers the area of the subject to be photographed, depth of field, etc.


The largest opening or stop at which a lens can be used is referred to as the speed of the lens. The larger the maximum aperture is, the faster the lens is considered to be. Lenses that offer a large maximum aperture are commonly referred to as fast lenses, and lenses with smaller maximum aperture are regarded as slow.

In low-light situations, having a wider maximum aperture means that you can shoot at a faster shutter speed or work at a lower ISO, or both.

Closest focusing distance

The minimum distance from the focal plane (film or sensor) to the subject where the lens is still able to focus.

Closest working distance

The distance from the front edge of the lens to the subject at the maximum magnification.

Magnification ratio

Determines how large the subject will appear in the final image. For example, a magnification ratio of 1:1 means that the image of the subject formed on the film or sensor will be the same size as the subject in real life. For this reason, a 1:1 ratio is often called "life-size".

Manual diaphragm

The diaphragm must be stopped down manually by rotating the detent aperture ring.

Preset diaphragm

The lens has two rings, one is for pre-setting, while the other is for normal diaphragm adjustment. The first ring must be set at the desired aperture, the second ring then should be fully opened for focusing, and turned back for stop down to the pre-set value.

Semi-automatic diaphragm

The lens features spring mechanism in the diaphragm, triggered by the shutter release, which stops down the diaphragm to the pre-set value. The spring needs to be reset manually after each exposure to re-open diaphragm to its maximum value.

Automatic diaphragm

The camera automatically closes the diaphragm down during the shutter operation. On completion of the exposure, the diaphragm re-opens to its maximum value.

Fixed diaphragm

The aperture setting is fixed at F/4 on this lens, and cannot be adjusted.

Number of blades

As a general rule, the more blades that are used to create the aperture opening in the lens, the rounder the out-of-focus highlights will be.

Some lenses are designed with curved diaphragm blades, so the roundness of the aperture comes not from the number of blades, but from their shape. However, the fewer blades the diaphragm has, the more difficult it is to form a circle, regardless of rounded edges.

At maximum aperture, the opening will be circular regardless of the number of blades.


Excluding case or pouch, caps and other detachable accessories (lens hood, close-up adapter, tripod adapter etc.).

Maximum diameter x Length

Excluding case or pouch, caps and other detachable accessories (lens hood, close-up adapter, tripod adapter etc.).

For lenses with collapsible design, the length is indicated for the working (retracted) state.

Weather sealing

A rubber material which is inserted in between each externally exposed part (manual focus and zoom rings, buttons, switch panels etc.) to ensure it is properly sealed against dust and moisture.

Lenses that accept front mounted filters typically do not have gaskets behind the filter mount. It is recommended to use a filter for complete weather resistance when desired.

Fluorine coating

Helps keep lenses clean by reducing the possibility of dust and dirt adhering to the lens and by facilitating cleaning should the need arise. Applied to the outer surface of the front and/or rear lens elements over multi-coatings.


Lens filters are accessories that can protect lenses from dirt and damage, enhance colors, minimize glare and reflections, and add creative effects to images.

Lens hood

A lens hood or lens shade is a device used on the end of a lens to block the sun or other light source in order to prevent glare and lens flare. Flare occurs when stray light strikes the front element of a lens and then bounces around within the lens. This stray light often comes from very bright light sources, such as the sun, bright studio lights, or a bright white background.

The geometry of the lens hood can vary from a plain cylindrical or conical section to a more complex shape, sometimes called a petal, tulip, or flower hood. This allows the lens hood to block stray light with the higher portions of the lens hood, while allowing more light into the corners of the image through the lowered portions of the hood.

Lens hoods are more prominent in long focus lenses because they have a smaller viewing angle than that of wide-angle lenses. For wide angle lenses, the length of the hood cannot be as long as those for telephoto lenses, as a longer hood would enter the wider field of view of the lens.

Lens hoods are often designed to fit onto the matching lens facing either forward, for normal use, or backwards, so that the hood may be stored with the lens without occupying much additional space. In addition, lens hoods can offer some degree of physical protection for the lens due to the hood extending farther than the lens itself.


Teleconverters increase the effective focal length of lenses. They also usually maintain the closest focusing distance of lenses, thus increasing the magnification significantly. A lens combined with a teleconverter is normally smaller, lighter and cheaper than a "direct" telephoto lens of the same focal length and speed.

Teleconverters are a convenient way of enhancing telephoto capability, but it comes at a cost − reduced maximum aperture. Also, since teleconverters magnify every detail in the image, they logically also magnify residual aberrations of the lens.

Lens caps

Scratched lens surfaces can spoil the definition and contrast of even the finest lenses. Lens covers are the best and most inexpensive protection available against dust, moisture and abrasion. Safeguard lens elements - both front and rear - whenever the lens is not in use.