Canon FD Resources - Ultra-wideangle lenses
New FD 17mm f/4.0


FD 17mm f4.jpg (9k) loading...
Considering its spectacular angle of view and overall performance, this FD lens is a very attractive entry lens for super wide-angle photography. It is ideally suited to a wide variety of applications, such as architecture, fashion or journalism. With the incorporation of the Canon Floating System, image quality should be improved even at close focusing distance.

The FD mounting system makes changing the lens a fast, one-hand operation, and the elimination of the special mounting ring also made it possible to reduce the weight of the lens to 13 ounces.

New FD
17mm f/4.0 Lens (older version are shown below)

Canon started the exotic zoom revolutions in the ultra wide to wide-angle revolution with its New FD 24mm-35mm f/3.5L-series zoom lens, plus an upgraded version, the New FD 20-35mm f3.5 L - which was also the last of such wide-angle zooms available in the FD series of lenses. The EOS System has an upgrade to that famous 20-35mm L with an f/2.8 AFD version. In 1996, it was replaced by the astonishing EF 17-35mm f/2.8L USM zoom lens. Since the FD lenses system were officially discontinued in the middle of 1992 together with the New F-1 pro camera, I don't think it is logical for Canon to produce an equivalent FD-type 17-35mm. Anyway, for focal lengths wider than 20mm, you can start from this New FD 17mm f4.0. With a field of view 2.26X that of a 50mm lens, the 17mm's outstanding feature is that it is free of rectilinear distortion despite its extremely wide coverage. The majority of lenses are designed for optimum performance at infinity; when used at their closest focusing distance, picture quality has a tendency to deteriorate, This is especially true of asymmetrical-type wide-angle lenses. Canon uses their Floating System where certain lens components move during focusing to offset the loss in quality. A super wide-angle lens does more than simply allow shooting wide vistas. Though the field of view of the human eye can be varied depending on our purpose, we often tend to concentrate our vision on what is immediately in front of us.

Indonesia-StockExchange.jpg (56k) Loading...

<<<<<---- A quiet and inactive Stock Exchange of Jakarta, Indonesia during Asian Financial Crises.

Pix: © 1999, Vincent Thian, an AP photographer. (The Associated Press)

The super wide-angle 17mm allows us to see the world with a more encompassing view. It's a lens that can be used close up for a subjective view of the world around us or at longer focusing distances to get a more objective view. There can be a danger of overusing its abilities thereby reducing its true potential for creative photography. Because the super wide-angle lens can encompass so much, there is a need to compose selectively. Because the various wavelengths of light are refracted at different rates, lateral chromatic aberration can diminish image quality. Two groups of cemented convex and concave lenses located behind the diaphragm serve to control this aberration. In the last convex lens, the use of special glass with a higher index of refraction and lower dispersion quality results in very high resolution and contrast.

17MM FD lens.jpg
One of the strong points of a 17mm focal length lens is its rectilinear lens design that produces straight lines as straight lines without distortion. It is, therefore, a perfect choice for photographing in tight quarters with a restricted camera-to-subject distance. Buildings with many straight lines are natural subjects for this FD 17rnm lens. Photographing a building from a direct angle with the camera held level will result in a natural looking, undistorted image. But the New FD 17mm f/4 is not a lens intended just for outdoor photography. You may also find it indispensable for indoor photography, particularly where the subject - an interior, for example - is large and the working distance is severely limited.
You may also use the deep depth-of-field inherent in this lens for scenes that may require high shutter speeds but still yields vast amount of sharper zones to your advantage. For example, by setting the lens distance scale at ten feet, everything from about five feet to infinity will look relatively sharp on film. This means that precise focusing is not always imperative, so this lens is particularly helpful when there's little time to focus, such as when photographing fast action.

FD17mmf4_AdoramaA.jpg FD17mmf4_AdoramaB.jpg
Credit: Image coutesy of
"Ebay - Mathew Duren" <
ebay@adorama> URL:, who also operates a popular Ebay Store. Image Copyright © 2003. All rights reserved. Adorama Inc. also can be contact at: Used & Collectible Ebay Department Adorama® Inc. 42 West 18th Street New York, N.Y. 10011 1-212-741-0052 1-880-223-2500 Option 55 Ext.119 FAX: 1-212-675-8715

Another aspect of applications is photograph taken with a lens type such as the 17mm can project a sense of spaciousness. For a unique visual impact, the 17mm is capable of delivering images taken at very close distances. With a minimum focusing distance of 25cm (9.8 inches), its comprehensive perspective combined with maximum depth-of-field will produce unusual images shot upclose.


Focal length: 17mm
Aperture ratio: 1:4
Lens construction: 9 groups, 11 elements
Coating: S.S.C. (super spectra coating)
Angles of view: Diagonal: 104° Vertical 70°30, Horizontal 93° Distance scale: (m) 0.25 (magnification 0.1X) to 3.
OO (ft) 0.5 to 10.oo

Focusing: Helicoid
Minimum aperture: f/22.A
Diaphragm: Automatic
Filter size: 72mm
Function: Auto aperture, full aperture metering (AE operation when used with all Canon AE SLR cameras.
Hood: BW-72 (Optional)
Cap: C-72
Function: Auto Aperture, Full aperture metering (AE operation when used with ALL Canon automatic SLR cameras.
Length x max. diameter: 56mm x 76.5mm
Weight: 360g

17mm Lens.jpg
Older Version: Canon FD 17mm f/4 S.S.C. The widest among Canon Ultra-wideangle lenses before the 14mm was introduced. But it was an improvement over the FL-19mm f3.5 that was introduced way back in 1964. Click Here to the dedicated page for more info.


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