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Canon EF 85mm f/1.8 USM

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Reviews Views Date of last review
311 486595 Mar 4, 2014
Recommended By Average Price
95% of reviewers $350.00
Build Quality Rating Price Rating Overall Rating
8.92
9.45
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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Rene Michaels
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Registered: Sep 18, 2006
Location: United States
Posts: 1
Review Date: Mar 8, 2007 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $319.99 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Awesome clarity and focus, nice DOF, great range on a DSLR, great for portraits and low-light work. A must for every camera bag!
Cons:
The fact that Canon doesn't make more affordable lenses like this!!!

I put off this purchase for a while. Now that I have it, I wish I'd bought it a long time ago!

What an awesome lens this is! All the reviews on here are accurate (thanks for posting them). I've used it on a 10D and 30D with great results. I shoot a lot of low-light, no-flash action photography and needed something in this range (136mm with DSLR's extender) with a large aperture. My Sigma 70-200 EX is on 80% of the time, but at 2.8 I can't always get the shots I want in those low-light - no-flash situations. I dream of a 70-200 f/1.8!!! What a jewel that would be!

Buy one!


Mar 8, 2007
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Heatseeker99
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Registered: Jun 27, 2006
Location: United States
Posts: 165
Review Date: Mar 7, 2007 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Very usable wide open, nice & sharp by f 2.2. Good build. Awesome bokeh.
Cons:
None.

Great for portraiture work, nice out-of-focus backgrounds. Awesome lens for indoor sports in a crop camera. Great value.

Mar 7, 2007
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Phast1
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Registered: Jul 14, 2005
Location: Canada
Posts: 2082
Review Date: Mar 1, 2007 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 8 

 
Pros: fast focus, cheap price.
Cons:
overly hyped.

I've read alot of reviews comparing this lens to the 85 f/1.2L. Some say the f/1.8 is a good alternative, I say poppycock. The two lenses are not in the same league. After using many different copies of both the 1.8 version and 1.2L (MkI & II) I feel I can now give my honest appraisal based on experience.

The 1.8 is faster focusing without a doubt. The contrast and colours are not in the same league as the 1.2 but very good. The 85 1.8 (the copies I used) is only acceptable wide open with no post processing and doesn't get any wow factor until at least 2.2, 2.8. From there on it's spectacular. In comparison, the 85 1.2L is very acceptable wide open f/1.2 and by 1.6 it's astounding. The minimal depth of field at these open apertures of course is particular to the type of shot you want to take. That being said, If I buy a large aperture lens it's because, well... I want to use the large aperture right?

The 85 1.8 is priced right and is not a crappy lens by a longshot. It is however non-L for a reason and you get that impression after using the 85L's extensively. When I need faster focus I stick to a 70-200 2.8IS for that range, otherwise it's the 85L all the way.


Mar 1, 2007
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jirok12944
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Registered: Nov 22, 2006
Location: United Kingdom
Posts: 0
Review Date: Feb 27, 2007 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $350.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: sharp, very good build, priced well
Cons:
high CA at f/1.8 and f/2

PROS
• Extremely sharp at f/1.8 and f/2 out of the box. I don’t have any problems using it at f/1.8. Much better that 50mm f/1.4 wide open
• Quick and consistent AF
• I would say underpriced at $350. Retail was $570. It sill would be very good lens at that price. Bottom line it delivers more that you pay for it


CONS
• Excessive CA at f/1.8. Need a lot of post processing or conversion to B&W to fix this issue


Feb 27, 2007
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David Murrell
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Registered: Jan 26, 2007
Location: United Kingdom
Posts: 0
Review Date: Feb 26, 2007 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Sharp; light; fast; excellent bokeh; lovely contrast; cheap; fast focus
Cons:
Perhaps only that there is no hood in the box; maybe not as solid as an 'l' lens

Well I now have a 70-200mm f4 l lens, so I reckon I know what is sharp and what isn't. And the 85mm f1.8 lens is sharp. A truly excellent portrait lens for not very much money. Fast focus, which is also accurate.

I use it on a Canon 20d (giving around about 135mm f1.8) and it is simply brilliant. I agree with other users who argue that it is the best non 'l' Canon have made. I would be surprised if there is a better one.


Feb 26, 2007
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Thomaspin
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Registered: Dec 21, 2004
Location: United States
Posts: 65
Review Date: Feb 16, 2007 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $340.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Sharp, great feel, perfect focus with 5D
Cons:
None
Feb 16, 2007
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_ECK_
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Registered: Sep 9, 2003
Location: United States
Posts: 696
Review Date: Feb 14, 2007 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Very sharp even wide open, good contrast and color. Very fast focusing.
Cons:
none.

In my opinion this lens might be the best non-L lens.
As fast as many L one, as sharp, well built and very good price.
Even at wide aperture the shrpness is very good.
Excellent portrait lens on a 5D.


Feb 14, 2007
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hemidesign
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Registered: Mar 2, 2006
Location: United States
Posts: 2
Review Date: Jan 25, 2007 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $200.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: great lens....just amazing!!!!
Cons:
NONE!!!!

i create some great pictures with 85mm 1.8 USM

i call HDP (high definition picture)

the 85mm 1.8 is perfect for my needs..perfect for portraits

cheap (200 bucks used)...light.....fast focus....nice body

perfect toy!

some samples from my work:

http://www.photo.net/photodb/photo?photo_id=5425680

http://www.photo.net/photodb/photo?photo_id=5505286

http://www.photo.net/photodb/photo?photo_id=5453118

http://www.photo.net/photodb/photo?photo_id=5407581

enjoy everyone!



Jan 25, 2007
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griffitg
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Registered: Aug 12, 2004
Location: United States
Posts: 695
Review Date: Jan 13, 2007 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $340.00 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: This lens is SHARP. It's so sharp that I'm thinking about sending my 70-200 IS and 24-70 in for service to make sure they are calibrated correctly. I mean I can see thread details when photographing fabric at 1/15th at 1.8 and 1600iso. It's that sharp.
Cons:
Doesn't come with hood.



Jan 13, 2007
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Mike Fiction
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Registered: Jan 2, 2007
Location: United States
Posts: 86
Review Date: Jan 2, 2007 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $360.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Very sharp. Accurate AF. Price is great. Good Bokeh.
Cons:
Seperate Hood. Build quality could be a little better.

Excellent portrait lens on 35mm or full frame - a little long indoors for 1.6x crop digital. Wish it could focus a little closer.
It's a nice heavy hunk of glass for it's size.

I have the same lens in FD mount and the EF is just as sharp if not sharper. It has better color rendition and much better coatings than the FD.

Great lens! Great value for the money.


Jan 2, 2007
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anthonygh
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Registered: Jan 8, 2006
Location: United Kingdom
Posts: 1844
Review Date: Jan 2, 2007 Recommend? | Price paid: Not Indicated

 
Pros: Well constructed, ergonomically sound and super sharp!
Cons:
None.

I have to admit that since gettin a 70 - 200L zoom I use this lens less and less partly as I'm too lazy to keep swapping over. That aside, this lens is so sharp it's almost scary, particularly around f4! Every good thing said about this lens is true from my experience.

The only real reason I tend to use the abovementioned zoom is I do mostly studio work using apertures around F5.6 to f8 and the difference in quality is negligible for my purposes at those settings whereas the zoom has added convenience.

However I do tend to keep it on one of my film bodies and always try and shoot off at least one roll of FP4 per session where the situation might benefit from using this combo! Beautiful results!

This is not a lens I would part with!


Jan 2, 2007
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anthonygh
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Registered: Jan 8, 2006
Location: United Kingdom
Posts: 1844
Review Date: Dec 31, 2006 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: So sharp - no other way to describe it!
Cons:
None; it is the perfect portrait lens

Just fabulous, it is a prime lens but at the 85mm setting it is sharper than my excellent 70 - 200L zoom; in fact for portraiture it is too sharp for model shoots; it picks up skin problems that I don't notice by eye! No it isn't built like an L lens but it is a solid piece of engineering and whether on a full frame or 1.6 crop this is arguably Canon's finest portrait lens in bucks for your dollars. Some lenses might be marginally better ( would be surprised if 99% of viewers could tell the difference) but I doubt if anyone buying this lens will part with it.

Dec 31, 2006
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Janez Nori
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Registered: Dec 15, 2006
Location: Slovenia
Posts: 377
Review Date: Dec 16, 2006 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Sharp wide open and on all apertures, fast and accurate AF, beautiful bokeh and the built is very good (not L)
Cons:
I can't think of one

Everything has been already said. So I'll just list the most important things. I'm a portrait photographer, I do a lot of min dof portraits. This is an excellent performer, very sharp, my copy also at f1.8, AF is accurate (taht is important for min dof, because if it misses a few mm the sharpness is completely off). Bokeh is excellent too, creamy. I think it's by far the best portrait lens for the money it sells.

Here a 100% crop, taken at f1.8 ISO 200 http://img283.imageshack.us/img283/6817/100sr7.jpg .


Dec 16, 2006
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seanmclennan
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Registered: Feb 16, 2006
Location: Canada
Posts: 1
Review Date: Dec 15, 2006 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 8 

 
Pros: Fast AF, Sharp focus (even at 1.8), small/lightweight, low cost
Cons:
Not weather sealed, no lens hood...available one isn't too good either, suffers CA in highlight areas and high contrast transitions

I finally bought this lens. I've wanted to for a while, but needing to buy a 30D...and Canon's double rebate program gave me all the excuse to finally get it.

Right away I was impressed with it's size and weight.

After taking several test shots of fine detailed items...I was especially impressed. I took one shot from the doorway to my kitchen and the oliveoil bottom in the center of the image (16-18ft away) was tack sharp...pixel peeping the image, at 200%, you could see the label's paper texture! Love it.

Really nice bokeh, fast AF, good length for portraits.

If you've got the big $$$, the 85 1.2 might be for you...otherwise, this is a smart purchase.


Dec 15, 2006
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j_ambrose
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Registered: Dec 9, 2004
Location: United States
Posts: 837
Review Date: Dec 12, 2006 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $320.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: f1.8, price, size and weight, focus speed.
Cons:
Nothing to report so far.

An amazing lens for the money, a little long for indoor shooting on a 1.6 crop but I'll get over it.

Dec 12, 2006
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Rubber Soul
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Registered: Dec 11, 2006
Location: United States
Posts: 636
Review Date: Dec 11, 2006 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Small, compact, lightweight. Excellent build. Very sharp, colors rendition is excellent. It's the perfect portrait lens on FF and 1.6x cameras alike. Price is very reasonable.
Cons:
Severe purple fringing when shooting high contrast scenes at apertures wider than f2.8. Also, I had to send my lens back to Canon for recalibration due to backfocus.

This is a great lens. With an f1.8 aperture, you can get beautifully blurred background to isolate your subject. Colors are nicely saturated. Contrast and sharpness are somewhat mediocre at f1.8, but improve leaps and bounds by stopping down once.

When shooting wide open at f1.8, center sharpness is OK while borders are a bit soft. I was using a cropped sensor. I can only imagine the edge performance on a full frame dSLR would be quite soft when shooting wide open at f1.8.

Fortunately, corner-to-corner sharpness starts to become very impressive by f2.8, and critically sharp around f5.6.

Build quality is as good as it gets for non-L lenses. USM gives quiet and quick focusing. There's Full Time Manual focusing, and also a distance scale. Excellent sharpness, contrast, and color saturation. It has everything you could ever want in a lens, except weather sealing. For less than $350 USD, it's a bargain.

Unfortunately, my lens has a fairly severe backfocus. I had to send it back to Canon for recalibration. It's not an "L" lens, the retail price is very reasonable, and it's under warranty... so I won't hold this temporary setback against the lens rating.

Purple fringing is also fairly severe at any aperture wider than f2.8... especially at f1.8. It can ruin some shots.

All these negatives aside, the EF 85mm f/1.8 is a PERFECT lens for portraiture. On a full frame dSLR, it's great for half-body portraits. On a cropped sensor, it's more suitable for head shots.

A good alternative to this lens is its twin sibling, the EF 100mm f2 lens. Both lenses are virtually identical in build quality and sharpness. However, the EF 100mm reportedly does *not* suffer from the same level of purple fringing at wide apertures. Unfortunately, 100mm isn't nearly as popular a focal length as 85mm.

In conclusion, I heartily recommend the EF 85mm f/1.8 lens, and give it a rating of 9/10.


Dec 11, 2006
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Canon EF 85mm f/1.8 USM

Buy from B&H Photo
Reviews Views Date of last review
311 486595 Mar 4, 2014
Recommended By Average Price
95% of reviewers $350.00
Build Quality Rating Price Rating Overall Rating
8.92
9.45
9.4
ef85mmf_18usm_1_


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