Purchased second-hand from the estate of the late Sal DiMarco, I began using this lens in late 2004. The lens had been converted from Canon FD mount to Leica-R mount some time before, probably by Marty Forscher of New York, now retired. By using the back portion of the Leitz 1:1 extension tube for the 60mm Macro-Elmarit-R, the conversion retains the FD lens' automatic diaphragm function and includes automatic coupling with the Leica-R metering sytems.
Compared with the far more expensive Leica 400mm f/2.8 APO-Telyt-R, the Canon FD 400mm f/2.8 L is similar in design and construction (see table below). My tests of this lens show that it is capable of delivering very high resolution with high-contrast subjects however its performance with low-contrast subjects is significantly weaker. In actual use the effect of this is more muted color rendition than if a high-contrast lens were used. The tall tripod foot, which doubles as a carrying handle, does not damp vibration as well as the short tripod mount on the comparable Leica lens, so that optimum use of the Canon FD 400mm f/2.8 L requires a sturdier tripod and more careful technique. The tall tripod foot also makes it more difficult to support the lens from below with the focussing hand.
The technical stuff:
|Canon FD 400mm f/2.8 L||Leica 400mm f/2.8 APO-Telyt-R|
|Length:||348 mm||365 mm|
|Max diameter:||166 mm||166 mm|
|Weight:||5350 grams||5500 grams|
|Angle of view:||6 degrees||6 degrees|
|Near focus limit:||4 meters||4.7 meters|
|Filter size:||48mm||Series 5.5|
Photographs made with this lens:
|Black-tailed Deer, buck
Leicaflex SL, Canon FD 400mm f/2.8 L
Leicaflex SL2, Canon FD 400mm f/2.8 L and Leica 1.4x APO-Extender-R
Leicaflex SL2, Canon FD 400mm f/2.8 L