Would You Shoot Birds in the Brazilian Rainforest With a 300mm Manual Focus Lens Made in the 1970s?


Brazilian photographer João Burini just published a review of a very distinctive lens: the Canon FD 300mm f/2.8 Fluorite, a manual focus telephoto lens released in the mid-70s. “Using this lens is terrible, I wouldn’t recommend it,” Burini explains, while presenting truly stunning photographs from the Brazilian rainforests. Bokeh fans: brace yourselves.

As this lens review explains, several features make this a less-than-desirable option when it comes to photographing wildlife. If the ghosting and aberration aren’t enough to put you off, the focusing throw is quite incredible. Despite this, Burini’s images are remarkable. “I can’t recommend it for birding,” Burini is keen to emphasize. “The usability is f*@^% terrible.”

If you fancy picking one up, you’ll need to find an adapter and start hunting secondhand dealers. There don’t seem to be any available on eBay right now, so you may have to be patient. If you track one down, be ready to pay the postage: this lens weighs over 4 lbs (1.9 kg) thanks to its metal construction. However, given its tank-like build, the seller can probably just stick a label on the side and drop it straight in the mailbox.

Have you shot with this lens? Do you own one and still use it? Let us know your experience in the comments below.


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