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Canon EF 85mm f/1.2L USM

Buy from B&H Photo
Reviews Views Date of last review
126 245386 Sep 3, 2014
Recommended By Average Price
95% of reviewers $1,380.92
Build Quality Rating Price Rating Overall Rating
9.71
8.49
9.5
ef85mmf_12_1_

Specifications:
With a large maximum aperture of f/1.2, this is the fastest 85mm telephoto lens in its class. One aspherical lens element and two high-refraction elements give sharp images with little flare even at maximum aperture. The floating system corrects coma for high image quality.


 


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morganb4
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Registered: Nov 2, 2005
Location: Australia
Posts: 5313
Review Date: Jun 4, 2007 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 8 

Pros: Impressive looking. Beautiful colour rendition
Cons:
Hideous CA wide open. MF ring is weird. hood is also a bit grotty

Its good and its fast. I love this lens. but not as much as the 35L

Jun 4, 2007
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Santoso
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Registered: Apr 23, 2007
Location: Indonesia
Posts: 0
Review Date: May 21, 2007 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,200.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: Detail, Sharpness, Out of the world Bokeh, Contrast, Handling
Cons:
Weight, Price

If you ever said that this lens is God's way of saying that you have too much money.... Then you dont know the value of this lens. This lens can easily get you the wow effect and for pro, this lens can repay its worth in just few shots Smile

May 21, 2007
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Andre Goli
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Registered: Feb 20, 2007
Location: Canada
Posts: 1819
Review Date: May 3, 2007 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,290.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: Creamy Bokeh, Sharpness, Luxurious feeling, accurate AF
Cons:
Weight

I have bought this lens two weeks ago on the Buy/Sell forum of this site. Since I didn't want to invest 2000 $ for the II version, I decided to go for that one. Even if I was quiet sure about the quality of the lens, I was anxious to try it after all the bad comments of the AF speed. I was even ready to use it manual in case of a slow problem. When I got it, I was first surprise of the weight, but where I was the most surprised was with the AF. Surprisingly fast, accurate, whatever was the light... I try it over and over, and each time 'point, clic', without looking for searching anything. Ok, don't try to use it one moving kids or animals.... It is done mostly for portrait... Anyway, think about it, at 1.2, it is to difficult to get focus on something with moving stuffs, anyway... Big change with the 50mm 1.4 which was always struggling with back and forth motions... And the sharpness, even at 1.2 is amazing. Irreal in full light... The more I use that lens, the more I love it. And I have never regretted a sec my choice of that lens over the II version. And saved a 1000 $....
Highly recommand that lens !


May 3, 2007
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chop-sam Tan
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Registered: Mar 27, 2007
Location: Singapore
Posts: 0
Review Date: Mar 27, 2007 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

Pros: f1.2, L build quality, sharpness, color
Cons:
weight

I just got this lens and spend some time shooting over the weekend, and I'm seriously impressed. In term of sharpness wide open, I feel the 135 f2 is still better wide open in terms of contrast & sharpness. But what it lost to 135 f2, it make up with the amazing dreamy effect of f1.2 at 85mm focal length, even on my 20D.

The weight was causing some pain at my wrist just after 40-50 shots, since I don't have a vertical grip for my 20D. But I soon got use to it. The auto focus was quite decent, considering all the negative comment on it. It does become challenging trying to keep the shallow DOF focus on my active toddlers.

I don't really think this is a low light lens, since it will be challenging to focus at low light especially for moving subject, but it really shine when there are decent light available, I can leave the focus on AI-Servo on 20D, and the lens can still track reasonably well.

I am keen to try it on 5D/1Ds if I can eventually get a good price for the body.


Mar 27, 2007
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Breitling65
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Registered: May 31, 2006
Location: United States
Posts: 5234
Review Date: Mar 21, 2007 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,800.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: Been surprised with AF speed, previous reviews scared me lot about, it seems fine to me. Lens producing exceptional sharpness and colors/contrast. I like the way it performs MF even while AF mode.
Cons:
Heavy & thick, why Canon makes huge lenses like this? Why Leica & Zeiss could make much smaller for same apertures? Don't like much that lens expends while focusing. Cost a lot, should cost less.

This is my 3-rd L prime complementing previously purchased 35L & 135L. All 3 are just superb lenses; however I am still like 135L the best. 85L as well as other L primes need full frame sensor and works superb on mine 5D. Same story with other two L primes.
Lens surprisingly good in AF, which has been kind of stopper was preventing me to get this lens before. But I think it is fine for mine needs.
85L most expensive lens among I have and need personal care, however I am not planning to use filter for protection since donít like loosing picture quality because of this.
Highly recommending this lens!!!


Mar 21, 2007
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myy001
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Registered: Jul 18, 2005
Location: United States
Posts: 466
Review Date: Dec 19, 2006 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,467.00 | Rating: 9 

Pros: Solid "L" quality, usable at f1.2, vary sharp after f1.8, color, bokeh, environment sealed.
Cons:
Not very sharp at f1.2



Dec 19, 2006
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Hans im Glueck
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Registered: Dec 6, 2006
Location: Germany
Posts: 17
Review Date: Dec 7, 2006 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

Pros: Uncredible sharpness and bokeh
Cons:
heavey, expensive, slow AF

The 85/1,2 can not be compared to any other lens. the bokeh at 1.2 is not from this world. Its like floating in a dream.

Dec 7, 2006
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mbailey
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Registered: Apr 12, 2005
Location: United States
Posts: 333
Review Date: Oct 8, 2006 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,499.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: Awesome speed and sharpness. Legendary bokeh. Substantial build. Great color/contrast.
Cons:
Slightly slow focus. Hard to manually focus. Heavy. Easy to damage back of lens.

Lens is a pleasure to use. It looks like the Hubble telescope from the front. Greatest portrait lens I have had the opportunity to use or own.

Oct 8, 2006
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Lasse Eriksson
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Registered: Sep 13, 2006
Location: Sweden
Posts: 2773
Review Date: Sep 15, 2006 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

Pros: Image quality, build, very fast lens
Cons:
none

Fantastic image quality and speed

Sep 15, 2006
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dikeda
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Registered: Dec 22, 2004
Location: United States
Posts: 13
Review Date: Aug 17, 2006 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,600.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: Build, excellent sharpness at 1.2, unreal IQ
Cons:
Front element moves when focusing

I second all the favorable reviews of this lens. It is my personal favorite, beating out the 35 L (though I use the 35 L more often for the FL).

I have no problem with the AF speed, or perceived lack thereof. I find that I often use manual focus on this sucker anyway: the DOF considerations when using wide open often require manual adjustment. It is a "deliberate" lens, or a "thinking" lens, as I like to say.

Aside from the front element movement, I think the only other con is that I try to find excuses to use this because I love it so much!

The price, while high, is not astronomical for the quality of the lens.




Aug 17, 2006
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neridah
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Registered: Jul 16, 2006
Location: Canada
Posts: 970
Review Date: Aug 1, 2006 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 9 

Pros: Bokeh-Build Quality-L Quality-Superior optical clarity-A true performer
Cons:
A little pricey-however the images that this lens produces are simply priceless!!!

A magnificent lens i would happily trade my 17-40/24-70 2.8 & 10-22 for just this one beautiful piece of glass.
Outstanding!


Aug 1, 2006
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Canonic
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Registered: May 21, 2006
Location: Russia
Posts: 1
Review Date: Jun 21, 2006 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,250.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: It's FAST, it's SHARP! Bokeh is fantastic. The best Canon lens on the market. Well, except its newer version II, which comes with improved AF.
Cons:
Bulky, heavy, slow autofocus. Barrel extends when focusing.

Canon's got an 85/1.8 USM which is a better value for money. But what 85/1.2L offers you is far beyond initial expectations. Well, for half a price of another full-frame DSLR.

Sharpness, saturation and image plasticity are superb. And it gives you bokeh control like no other Canon EF piece of glass.
One may use this outstanding instrument to get fantastic defocusing effect shooting portraits or still life even at 10-15 feet!

It's speed is quite sufficient to shoot at low ISO values even at low light. Wide open outdoors it may require neutral filter.

Very solid built. Quite heavy, but its a price to pay for quality. Moving such huge amount of glass gives a certain load to AF mechanism, and it's a bit 'lazy'.

You should take great care of front and rear lens elements to prevent accidental mechanical damage while mounting and dismounting.

But for me now this lens is simply the best I own.


Jun 21, 2006
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desmodue
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Registered: Apr 14, 2004
Location: Switzerland
Posts: 1
Review Date: May 18, 2006 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

Pros: absolutly stunning lens, sharp even wide open, and we are talking 1.2!! plasticity is superb & fotos taken with this lens have great volume
Cons:
price of this lens make you think more then twice, and after an hour of portrait shooting, I know why my right arm is complaining, but when I see the results, who cares ;)



May 18, 2006
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jmraso
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Registered: May 25, 2004
Location: Spain
Posts: 2513
Review Date: May 17, 2006 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

Pros: Sharpness, Sharpness, Sharpness and also Shapness. Color rendition, aperture (and the posibilities of it.
Cons:
Nothing.

Excellent control of everything once you have learnt how to use it as at 1.2 it is not a joke.

Very little processing with it when monunted on 1D bodies.

I do recommend it.

Jaime
www.jmraso.com


May 17, 2006
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Aberdeen Photo
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Registered: Mar 9, 2006
Location: United States
Posts: 3812
Review Date: Apr 26, 2006 Recommend? | Price paid: $1,200.00

Pros: Absolutely magnificent in the studio and available/minimal light portraiture, and stunning results in environmental portraiture Excellent build, very solid feel Decent results with proper attention for indoor sports
Cons:
What a crappy hood, slow, however not horribly slow AF

This lens is a true enigma. I love it and hate it. After aquiring a second copy and comparing the 2 and also owning the 1.8, I have the following to add to my original review. I am nuts about the light gathering abilities of this lens, the solid build, but most amazed at what can be accomplished with simple available light/reflector indoors and the buttery, creamy BG blur in environmental portraiture. The results are truly stunning. What I am not so fond of is the slow, and yet not terribly slow AF and the hunting this lens does in low light. I also find more contrast in the 1.8. Having said that, if this lens is used properly in portraiture, the results are staggering. As time goes by and I go back to the old "zone focusing" I used in my Nikon FM2 days, I get great results in sports, with more hits than misses and blur less bothersome than the 1.8. But, patience and persistence are keys to these results.

In the correct setting, using its tremendous strengths and minimizing its weaknesses, a phenomenal performer.


Apr 26, 2006
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wpeng4
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Registered: Apr 18, 2005
Location: United States
Posts: 20
Review Date: Apr 12, 2006 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

Pros: tack sharp even at 1.2; superb optical. extremely pleasing brokeh
Cons:
none

It took me months to make the decision to purchase this beast. At the end, it exceeded my expectaion by a big margin. I owned a 50mm 1.4 which has a great reputation as being a L quality non-L prime. After acquiring a leica 50mm f2, my 50mm Canon started to collect dust. Compared to Leica, Canon 50mm's optical quality is simply inferior. A $1500 decision is a big one, and difficult one. I can't afford to make a mistake. I was hoping the 85L can be reasonably sharp at f1.2, and f2 be as sharp as my Leica at F4 which is the sweet spot for that lens. It turned out the 85L is just as sharp at 1.2 as Leica at f4. I was totally stunned by this performance lenes. It has lived up to its legendary reputation. This is the lens I will never sell. Never.

Apr 12, 2006
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Canon EF 85mm f/1.2L USM

Buy from B&H Photo
Reviews Views Date of last review
126 245386 Sep 3, 2014
Recommended By Average Price
95% of reviewers $1,380.92
Build Quality Rating Price Rating Overall Rating
9.71
8.49
9.5
ef85mmf_12_1_


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