An affordable portrait lens in the Canon FD system. Yet another lens that was re-launched in 1979 as part of the Canon "New" FD change. The lens is a fantastic little portrait/short telephoto for the system. I was able to acquire mine for an absolute steal from the Seattle Goodwill eBay store. Despite coming from Goodwill the lens is in amazing condition and unlike the smaller FD lenses is actually made of metal. It feels much more robust than the 50mm or 28mm and almost makes up for the annoying FD lens mount.
Mount: Canon FD Mount
Focal Length: 135mm
Aperture Range: f/3.5 - f/32
Minimum Focus: 1.3m
Filter Thread: 52mm
Date Acquired: 06/04/2019
Serial Number: 43383
Purchase Price: $20
Going Price: ~$80
Condition: Almost flawless
Like all other Canon "new" FD lenses it makes use of a ton of plastic. It doesn't feel bad in use but it definitely doesn't scream quality like many other lenses do. It may also just be personal bias but the FD mount is really tedious to use as it requires perfect alignment to mount/remove the lens. All that said the focus is smooth, the lens is very light weight, and the integrated lens hood is handy. The aperture is a little stiff like most FD lenses but usable. Overall it's not bad but when compared to something like a Takumar 135mm f/2.5 this lens is a toy.
All that negativity goes out the window when evaluating performance. Put simply the lens is a stunner. It's razor sharp in the center wide open with the corners only a bit softer. In just one stop the image is sharp across the entire frame. There's almost no vignetting at all and Canon's SSC coating nullifies flare almost entirely. The bokeh is rendered very smooth and never creates distinct polygons from point sources. This performance rivals modern lenses that cost dramatically more than this classic.
I find that I'm continually torn on Canon nFD lenses. On the one hand they aren't very attractive and obviously cut a lot of corners in their construction in comparison to their contemporaries. On the other the focus is smooth and the performance is phenomenal. It's a great lens overall and if you do like Canon nFD lenses I think you'll enjoy this one.
Should I get one for photography?
Yes - emphatically yes! Personal preferences of lens design aside the lens matches the performance of ones that cost thousands of dollars in comparison. If you need a 135mm and you don't already have one this is a great option. You can find them for an affordable price making it really a no brainer.
Should I get one for a collection?
Honestly I don't think it's a good lens for collecting unless you already are collecting Canon nFD lenses. The Canon FD Breech Lock lenses are more striking and make for better collectors items. On the bright side the affordable price means it's not a hard one to add to your collection if you do want it - I just think there are better options.