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Canon FDn 300mm F/5.6

Super telephoto prime lens • Film era • Discontinued

Abbreviations

FD The lens is designed for Canon 35mm film SLR cameras with Canon FD mount.
n (Unofficial acronym) A new generation of FD series lenses without the breech-lock ring.

Model history

Canon FDn 300mm F/5.6A6 - 53m⌀58 1979 
Canon FD 300mm F/5.6 S.S.C.A6 - 53m⌀55 1977 
Canon FD 300mm F/5.6 S.C.A6 - 54m⌀58 1973 
Canon FD 300mm F/5.6A6 - 54m⌀58 1971 
Canon FL-F 300mm F/5.6A7 - 63.5m⌀58 1969 

Production details

Announced:June 1979
Production status: Discontinued
Production type:Mass production
Original name:CANON LENS FD 300mm 1:5.6
System: Canon FD (1971)

Features highlight

Auto
8 blades
MF
RF
Built-in hood
TC

Specification

Optical design
Focal length:300mm
Speed:F/5.6
Maximum format:35mm full frame
Mount and Flange focal distance:Canon FD [42mm]
Diagonal angle of view:8.2° (35mm full frame)
Lens construction:6 elements - 5 groups
Diaphragm mechanism
Diaphragm type:Automatic
Number of blades:8
Focusing
Closest focusing distance:3m
Maximum magnification ratio:1:9.1 at the closest focusing distance
Focusing method:Rear focusing (RF)
Focusing modes:Manual focus only
Manual focus control:Focusing ring
Physical characteristics
Weight:635g
Maximum diameter x Length:⌀65×198.5mm
Weather sealing:-
Fluorine coating:-
Accessories
Filters:Screw-type 58mm
Lens hood:Built-in telescopic round
Teleconverters: Canon Extender FD 1.4X-A → 420mm F/7.8
 Canon Extender FD 2X-A → 600mm F/11.2

*) 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

A moderate speed and good performance in a compact, lightweight design - and at a reasonable price - make this a very popular 300mm lens. Rear-group internal focusing means unusually smooth focusing and excellent overall balance while its Vari-pitch cam makes fine focusing on distant subjects a cinch. The former also accounts for its compactness and compensates aberration fluctuations at close distances for high resolution and contrast even in images taken at its 3m minimum focusing distance. At 635g, it is good for hand-held shooting, and it has a new minimum aperture of f/32 for added depth of field.

Manufacturer description #2

A small-size 300mm telephoto lens with an overall length of less than 200mm and weighing only 635 grams. The diameter of the lens barrel is narrow due to the lens' moderate f/5.6 speed making it easy to manipulate.

Positive and negative elements are arranged to minimize the various aberrations with stress placed on controlling curvature of field.

Thus, superior quality is uniformly obtained throughout the entire image area and contrast is high.

With the employment of the Rear-group focusing system, closest focusing distance is decreased to 3 meters, and focusing is smooth and light.

Manufacturer description #3

Essentially the same, optically, as the FD 300mm f5.6 S.S.C. lens it replaces, this New FD series lens incorporates the handling and operational improvements characteristic of New FD lenses: smaller minimum aperture, vari-pitch focusing for easy, precise focusing on distant subjects, and the fast, easy mounting operation. It is one of lightest, most compact lenses of its focal length being made today. Because of the rear-group focusing system, lens length does not increase as the lens is focused, maintaining excellent hand-held balance at critical close focusing distances.

Typical application

distant subjects, distant landscapes with perspective compression effect, wild nature, travel

Alternatives in the Canon FD system

Sorted by focal length and speed

5.6 Canon FD 300mm F/5.6 ⌀58Pro 1971 
5.6 Canon FD 300mm F/5.6 S.C. ⌀58Pro 1973 
5.6 Canon FD 300mm F/5.6 S.S.C. ⌀55Pro 1977 
4.0 Canon FD 300mm F/4 S.S.C.Pro 1978 
4.0 Canon FD 300mm F/4LPro 1978 
4.0 Canon FDn 300mm F/4Pro 1979 
4.0 Canon FDn 300mm F/4LPro 1980 
2.8 Canon FD 300mm F/2.8 S.S.C. FLUORITEPro 1975 
2.8 Canon FDn 300mm F/2.8LPro 1981 
4.5 Canon FD 400mm F/4.5 S.S.C.Pro 1975 
4.5 Canon FDn 400mm F/4.5Pro 1981 
2.8 Canon FDn 400mm F/2.8LPro 1981 
4.5 Canon FD 500mm F/4.5LPro 1979 
4.5 Canon FDn 500mm F/4.5LPro 1981 
4.5 Canon FD 600mm F/4.5 S.S.C.Pro 1976 
4.5 Canon FDn 600mm F/4.5Pro 1981 
5.6 Canon FD 800mm F/5.6 S.S.C.Pro 1976 
5.6 Canon FD 800mm F/5.6LPro 1979 
5.6 Canon FDn 800mm F/5.6LPro 1981 

Lenses with similar focal length and speed

Sorted by manufacturer name

4.5 Sigma MF 300mm F/4.5 APO ⌀67Pro 1981 
5.6 [Auto] Tamron-F 300mm F/5.6 ⌀58Pro

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35mm full frame

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

Travellers' choice

Note

Among autofocus lenses designed for 35mm full-frame mirrorless cameras only. Speed of standard and telephoto lenses is taken into account.

Professional lens

One of the best slow super telephoto primes

According to lens-db.com; among lenses designed for the same maximum format and mount.

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You are already on the page dedicated to this lens.

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Cannot compare the lens to itself.

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.

MF

Sorry, no additional information is available.

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

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),

where:

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

Mount

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.

Speed

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".

Electromagnetic diaphragm control system

Provides highly accurate diaphragm control and stable auto exposure performance during continuous shooting.

Fixed focus

There is no helicoid in this lens and everything is in focus from the closest focusing distance to infinity.

Overall linear extension

The entire lens optical system moves straight backward and forward when focusing is carried out. This is the simplest type of focusing used mainly in wide-angle and standard prime lenses. It has the advantage of introducing relatively little change in aberrations with respect to change in focusing distance. With telephoto and super telephoto lenses this method becomes less beneficial in terms of operability because of the increased size and weight of the lens system.

Front group linear extension

The rear group remains fixed and only the front group moves straight backward and forward during focusing. This method is primarily used in zoom lenses and allows to design comparatively simple lens construction, but also places restrictions on zoom magnification and size reduction.

Front group rotational extension

The lens barrel section holding the front lens group rotates to move the front group backward and forward during focusing. This method of focusing is also used only in zoom lenses.

Internal focusing (IF)

Focusing is performed by moving one or more lens groups positioned between the front lens group and the diaphragm.

Methods of internal and rear focusing have the following advantages:

Rear focusing (RF)

Focusing is performed by moving one or more lens groups positioned behind the diaphragm.

Methods of internal and rear focusing have the following advantages:

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.

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.

Weight

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.

Filters

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

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.