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Canon EF 85mm f/1.8 USM

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Reviews Views Date of last review
313 489121 Sep 26, 2014
Recommended By Average Price
95% of reviewers $350.00
Build Quality Rating Price Rating Overall Rating
8.91
9.44
9.4
ef85mmf_18usm_1_

Specifications:
A highly practical medium telephoto lens with superb delineation and portability. Images are sharp and clear at all apertures. Through computer simulations, the lens has been designed to give beautiful background blur. Since the front lens group does not rotate during focusing special filter effects are not affected.


 


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S4LTM4N
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Registered: Aug 19, 2008
Location: United States
Posts: 3
Review Date: Aug 19, 2008 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $300.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: sharp, good color and contrast, usable large aperture, useful FL, decent build quality, fast/accurate AF, affordable
Cons:
the only bad thing I have to say is that it makes you second guess the quality of your other lenses

I bought this lens as a replacement for my Canon 70-200 f/4L, and I haven't looked back...not too much anyway Smile

I only have good things to say about this lens, but I'm sure everyone else has already said it all.

The 70-200 I had was great, but I preferred the compactness of this lens. I do most of my shooting indoors, so I rarely used the longer focal lengths of the 70-200 anyway, and f/4 just wasn't fast enough.

If you do mostly indoor shooting, I would recommend to pass up the 70-200s, even the 2.8 IS, for this lens. It will save you a lot of money and give you almost everything they have and more. I have used the 70-200 2.8 IS, but I found myself reaching for my 85 too often to justify owning one myself. If you MUST spend over $1000 and you MUST have L, then go for the 85 1.2, otherwise, enjoy the money you've saved and the beautiful lens you've gained.


Aug 19, 2008
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John Korduner
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Registered: Jan 5, 2008
Location: United States
Posts: 963
Review Date: Aug 16, 2008 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $350.00 | Rating: 8 

Pros: It consistently takes solid quality pictures. Its autofocus is quick, and it is well built and compact (and heavy...which to some people seems to be an important factor).
Cons:
None, it's a solid lens for any average user.

I don't find the focal length very useful. I think the $90-50mm f/1.8 is far mor practical without any significant loss in picture quality.

If I didn't enjoy shooting basketball in the winter, this would never come out of the closet. Consequently, I think this lens is a must for any hobbiest who enjoys indoor sporting events.

All factors considered, due to the random manner in which I accumulated my lenses...but, I'd imagine hobbiests that possess any modicum of foresight for building their lens collections, would ultimately find this lens falls into a gap, and consequently, the $350 price-tag is ultimatly unjustifiable.

Other than its lack of utility for my interests, I have nothing negative to say about its functionality or price v. value.




Aug 16, 2008
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bluefox9er
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Registered: May 10, 2007
Location: United Kingdom
Posts: 361
Review Date: Aug 14, 2008 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

Pros: Great image quality, super bokeh
Cons:
none...seriously...none.

This is a cracking lens that should be in everyones kit bag...in my opinion, the very best bang for the canon buck.

Granted, I tend not to use this lens very offten as I have a 400d and with the crop factor i makes it effectivly a 135 mm lens, but the images I have managed tog et with it have been absloutley amazing, and I simply cannot wait to use it on a FF camera soon.

I have tried it indoors and had excellent results, but had to crank up the ISO to get a deceent shutter speed. thank goodness for canon's excellent noise reduction, but PP in noise ninja,neat image etc will do the trick very nicely.

ok, its not 'L' build quality, but it certianly is very well made and really...buy this lens.


Aug 14, 2008
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Andrew Welsh
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Registered: Jan 19, 2007
Location: United States
Posts: 4972
Review Date: Jul 29, 2008 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $300.00 | Rating: 9 

Pros: Good portrait focal length, lightweight, accurate USM Focusing, sharp.
Cons:
None really, unless you're bugged by primes. Not f/1.4 like the Nikon version. Not good for astro unless stopped down to f/2.8. Prone to some purple fringing at high contrast boundaries below f/2.8.

Excellent dollar value. I wanted this lens for some time, and I wasn't disappointed when I picked one up used. The focal length is really great for portraits-- on a crop and full frame camera. It's like a 135mm on a crop camera, which, as many know, is a well-liked portrait focal length anyway.

Build is similar to the 50/1.4 and 70-300.. plastic + metal, but solid. It reeks of "middle class".. not the magnesium alloy of L lenses, nor the plasticy feel of the 50/1.8 or 35/2 or cheap kit lenses.

The extra focal length over the 50/1.8 means you have to be cautious about camera shake with slow shutter speeds (1/50 sec and slower). Sometimes I forget when I am shooting in dark reception halls this is the case-- and end up with slightly blurry photos. No fault of the lens though.

For portraits, the focal length is good.. it's a good working distance-- not so far that it's "distant" and not so close as to make a stranger / unfamiliar subject uncomfortable. I especially like the close focus distance, and I sometimes use this lens for detail photos at weddings. The focus speed is excellent as well, good for sports. So, for close focus distance and focus speed, this lens is superior to the far more expensive 85L.

For astrophotos, this focal length is a bit awkward-- wide but not wide enough. About the only subject that fits this lens on a crop camera is the north america nebula (NGC 7000 in Cygnus) + surrounding region. Perhaps the california nebula / pleiades and surrounding region, especially if you're able to go really really deep with your exposures to bring out to the dust lanes in the area.. but not much use beyond that. The lens is not optimized for infinity focus and requires stopping down to f/2.8 to get 'acceptable' sharpness (further down for better corner sharpness). Even the 85L needs stopping down to f/3.5 for a flat field on a 5D-- but this is for astrophotos only. However, for $300 I'm not complaining much-- if I'd bought the 85L I'd complain a bit more-- and I complain loudly for the 200/2 IS having this same problem... however this is a highly specialized application that most won't do or care about.

Overall I do recommend this lens for those looking for a nice thin DOF producing portrait lens. It really is an excellent value, especially when bought used. Indoor sports photographers with close access (think volleyball, basketball etc) can use this lens, as well as budget-minded portrait photographers.


Jul 29, 2008
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inkle
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Registered: Jul 24, 2008
Location: Malaysia
Posts: 3
Review Date: Jul 24, 2008 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $415.00 | Rating: 9 

Pros: The DOF for this lens is good, it really adds the atmosphere to your photos. Photo is sharp, and the f/1.8 allow for low light photo taking.
Cons:
Fringing is apparent in high contrast light situation,

Potential users must take into consideration the crop area for a 85mm. It requires quite a fair distance for full body shots, & tight area is not quite suitable.

Overall i'm very very happy with this lens, i manage to take photos that are beyond my expectations with this lens.


Jul 24, 2008
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edwardzeltser
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Registered: Jul 21, 2008
Location: United States
Posts: 0
Review Date: Jul 21, 2008 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $350.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: Fast, light, sharp at F1.8, excellent bokeh
Cons:
None


Price and quality does not come very often together. With this lens Ėthis is a case.

To see some samples on 20D f-stop 1.8 please go to
http://edzeltserphoto.com, Clients, Lenses, Canon 85mm



Jul 21, 2008
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SebR
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Registered: Jul 16, 2008
Location: Norway
Posts: 0
Review Date: Jul 16, 2008 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $790.00 | Rating: 9 

Pros: Great bokeh, fast and accurate autofocus, knife sharp, never noticed any vignetting. Well worth the money.
Cons:
Filters not possible - At least not without any special products. Not weather sealed. Sometimes it just feels too tight on a crop camera. Especially indoors. Once you have bought this lens, you just want to get the F/1.2 version.

Truly a great lens for portrait use. I have gotten lovely results from this lens, and especially when you think about the price. Highly recommended product.

Jul 16, 2008
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Cyclefitness
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Registered: Jun 20, 2008
Location: United States
Posts: 8
Review Date: Jul 5, 2008 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated

Pros:
Cons:

Not a review. Just a question. I do portrait work in a small studio that gives me about 14.5 feet from wall to wall to work with. I currently have the wonderful 50mm 1.8 and the 100mm. The 100 mm is way too long and the 50 requires about 8 feet of distance of subject to prevent distortion.

I wonder if this lens wouldn't be a nice addition to my stable? I see one on sale here on this forum for $305.


Jul 5, 2008
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nickobank
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Registered: Jul 3, 2008
Location: United Kingdom
Posts: 0
Review Date: Jul 3, 2008 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 9 

Pros: fantastic value for money, good corner sharpness, quick af
Cons:
CA, having to purchase hood, build quality excellent for money not quite up there compared to others

I have done some testing compared to my 70-200 and this wins hands down (but then what do you expect from a prime!) Corner sharpness excellent, quick af, fantastic colour

Though I do feel canon could make a few improvements having shot nikon up until 4-5 years ago. I do feel there 85mm 1.8 was of better build quality and was supplied with a nice metal hood though the focus was never to match. Also i never remember getting purple fringing at 1.8 although with the canon version it goes at 2.8 but then again I want to be able to shoot at 1.8 in high contrast and not get it. Apart from that gripe it is a fantastic lens to have in your kit bag and i would recommend
it.


Jul 3, 2008
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foxorian
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Registered: Jun 5, 2008
Location: United States
Posts: 0
Review Date: Jul 2, 2008 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $338.99 | Rating: 10 

Pros: Excellent image quality even at É/1.8. Sharp images, no visible vignetting, great color and contrast. Depth of field obtained is spectacular. Lightweight yet feels like a solid brick of glass in your hand. Works great for night time candid shots.
Cons:
Some purple fringing at É/1.8, though disappears quickly at smaller apertures. No included hood, which is recommended to own for this lens.

I don't think this lens has come off my camera since I bought it. This is one of those lenses that everyone should own at some point, like a good 50mm prime. There's something about this lens that when you hold it in your hand, you think "Damn, that's pretty solid..." It's got a good weight to it, but not too heavy at all. The pictures this thing produces have superb sharpness, contrast, and little flaring. The depth of field this lens offers is very thin, allowing you to obtain tremendous fore and background blur. This makes this lens ideal for portraits and mid-telephoto photography.

Lenses like this go well with a manual split-prism focusing screen if you have one for your camera.

The price of the lens isn't bad either -- another reason any person with an EOS should eventually buy one. I bought mine from Tri-State for $338.99 along with the hood for $25.99. I can recommend buying the hood for this lens since it will protect the front element much better than a potentially optic-damaging filter. The hood is also easy to quickly attach and is basically a long, tough cylinder that extends off the front.


EXAMPLES taken with my EOS 40D:
- Full size [untouched] image to show sharpness:
http://flickr.com/photos/fox-orian/2597745357/sizes/o/

- EF 85mm É/1.8 Gallery:
http://flickr.com/photos/fox-orian/sets/72157605504681711/


Jul 2, 2008
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Deb0.friday
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Registered: Jun 10, 2008
Location: United States
Posts: 0
Review Date: Jun 10, 2008 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $360.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: Best lens in my arsenal! Silent, very fast and accurate focusing! Sharp wide open.
Cons:
None whatsoever!

This is absolutely amazing for the price! I love everything about it. It's sharp wide open and it's bokeh is buttery smooth! On my 400D , the images were superb, and on my 40D they are now amazing!

I don't use it often as it's long on a 1.6 crop, but I'm still trying keep from selling it, its' just that good!


Jun 10, 2008
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rex07734
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Registered: Jan 16, 2005
Location: United States
Posts: 50
Review Date: Jun 3, 2008 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $300.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: The lens is just awesome. By far the sharpest lens in my bag
Cons:
None



Jun 3, 2008
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aladyforty
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Registered: Feb 3, 2006
Location: Australia
Posts: 1816
Review Date: Jun 3, 2008 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 9 

Pros: Great detail, great build, fast focus in low light very sharp images, price
Cons:
No hood included

This lens is a real gem and has saved me in low light a few times. The images are sharp even wide open. It compares favourably with my L lenses. There is not much to dislike about this lens. For the price it canít be beaten.

Jun 3, 2008
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philber
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Registered: May 20, 2008
Location: France
Posts: 7520
Review Date: May 25, 2008 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

Pros: Great IQ. Low price for such great IQ. Did I mention IQ?
Cons:
Slightly bulkier than I would like. The existence of an even better 85mm prime (but much more expensive)

My second prime after the wonderful 50mm 1.4. These 2 lenses produce much better pictures than my hideously expensive 24-70 2.8L zoom. So they now get most of the use. Even my shop was shocked at the difference in picture quality on casual shots taken right from the shop floor. So good that I ordered a 24mm 2.8, and am thinking of getting the 135mm 2.0. Then it may be bye-bye time for my zoom lenses.

May 25, 2008
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toguko
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Registered: May 24, 2008
Location: United Kingdom
Posts: 0
Review Date: May 25, 2008 Recommend? | Price paid: Not Indicated

Pros: f/1.8, fast AF, brilliant bokeh, proce, superb IQ, low price
Cons:
0.85m min length from subject, AF is lost in low light
May 25, 2008
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toguko
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Registered: May 24, 2008
Location: United Kingdom
Posts: 0
Review Date: May 24, 2008 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

Pros: f/1.8, fast AF, brilliant bokeh, proce, superb IQ
Cons:
0.85m min length from subject, AF is lost in low light

Brilliant for street photography portraits. You need lots of space when shooting portraits indoor (when not on full frame).

May 24, 2008
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†††



Canon EF 85mm f/1.8 USM

Buy from B&H Photo
Reviews Views Date of last review
313 489121 Sep 26, 2014
Recommended By Average Price
95% of reviewers $350.00
Build Quality Rating Price Rating Overall Rating
8.91
9.44
9.4
ef85mmf_18usm_1_


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