Canon FD 35mm F/2.8 S.S.C. TS Tilt Shift Lens CLA

After a two-year hiatus, I’m back to post some more geeky camera stuff. This CLA (clean, lubricate, adjust) was completed in 2015 before other things in my life became higher priorities. Those things have gone away and I have finally have some time to finish this post.

Canon FD 35mm F2.8 S.S.C. TS Tilt Shift

A little bit about this lens

The Canon FD 35mm tilt shift lens is a fun lens to shoot with. While it suffers at the outer limits of its tilt and shift, it makes for a nice effect-lens. Canon has many tilt shift lenses in its EF mount, but not a 35mm.

This lens can be bought used between $250 and $700 depending on condition, who you buy it from, and how lucky you are. There are two versions. The earlier version has orange text for the metric distance marks and a more direct shift support arm. The later version has green text for the imperial distance marks, an offset shift support arm, and a smaller shift knob.

The offset shift support arm and the smaller knob on the later version help it avoid hitting the pentaprism box on Canon DSLR cameras.

Canon FD 35mm F2.8 S.S.C. TS Tilt Shift
The shift support arm on the earlier version hits the pentaprism on EOS cameras like this 5D mkIII.
Canon FD 35mm F2.8 S.S.C. TS Tilt Shift
The shift support arm on the later version clears the pentaprism on EOS cameras like this 5D mkIII.


The lower half

The shift section and mount

The optics

Unfortunately, this lens requires that you peel off the metal badge ring on the front of the lens to get into the optics. If you’re careful you can minimize the damage and it won’t be too noticeable. After the badge is off it’s a pretty easy lens to work on.

Wrapping Up

The re-assembly is basically doing this all backwards. You can group parts of it together and the exact order isn’t so important. I didn’t show all of the cosmetic repairs I made. For this lens I actually ended up sanding down the shift support arm so I could prime and paint it. Trying to bend it back to a right-angle proved too difficult to do without creating tool marks and paint damage. The end result looks good and you wouldn’t know it was repaired without foreknowledge.

The front plastic ring had some indentations from prying up the badge ring. I smoothed them out with some tools and then used acetone to remove scratches. I replaced the faux leather knob cover with some new faux leather. The front metal ring received some black paint to hide the scratches. Again, it looks pretty good and you wouldn’t be the wiser.

Canon FD 35mm F2.8 S.S.C. TS Tilt Shift
I painted on some flat black enamel paint and the front ring and now it looks great. It’s mostly underneath the name plate and won’t be seen much.
Canon FD 35mm F2.8 S.S.C. TS Tilt Shift
Here’s a nice explosion of the parts.

3 thoughts on “Canon FD 35mm F/2.8 S.S.C. TS Tilt Shift Lens CLA

  1. Hello Mark,

    I’m grateful for your work on the TS lens as I just bought one. It is slightly cloudy but most of the Australian technicians that I used to know have retired so, like you, I may have to build up my experience through known FD cheaper lenses. I have a few lenses with oily or stuck diaphragms (S, R, FL and early FD) so I have enough motivation as I have my own similar tools like yours. If you need information I have a set of original Canon books, manuals and brochures from the 1950’s until now. Regards,



    1. I’m glad you found my blog helpful. The Canon 35 TS is fairly straightforward once you remove the badge ring. It’s a really fun lens to play with. Good luck and enjoy it!


    2. Hi Gary. That’s great that you are able to do this kind of work. I’ve taken up video as a hobby and don’t do very much lens CLA anymore.

      It would be neat to see the Canon books. My father has some old brochures and manuals that are nice to look at for reference. As far as lens repair, I’ve just relied on opening up a lens and kept track of how I took it apart.


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