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Canon EF 85mm f/1.8 USM

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Reviews Views Date of last review
311 485862 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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seebeyond
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Registered: Apr 25, 2006
Location: United States
Posts: 638
Review Date: May 22, 2006 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $290.00 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Sharp, fast and silent focus
Cons:
None so far.

I thought my 50mm f/1.8 is already sharp and has good bokeh. This lens is even better than the 50mm in sharpness and bokeh. The fast and silent focus is a plus.

I don't have any other lenses to compare to for build quality. Among kits lens from my rebel xt, 50mm f/1.8 and this lens, it is very obvious that 85mm has the best build quality.

I got mine used and it makes the value of this lens is even better. But I won't hesitate buying this new.


May 22, 2006
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imopen
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Registered: May 16, 2006
Location: Italy
Posts: 0
Review Date: May 16, 2006 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: incredible bookeh, very very sharp, autofocus very fast, build very strong
Cons:
absolutly nothing

this is the best quality/price lens. a must have, absolutly.

May 16, 2006
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rthrbfshn
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Registered: Oct 21, 2005
Location: N/A
Posts: 39
Review Date: May 12, 2006 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $300.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Sharpness is outstanding. Low light is not a problem.
Cons:
Sometimes I I have to step back, just kidding, no negatives from me yet.

This lens is so sharp that when I take a picture I sometimes see things that I do not like in a shot(facial hair, and you know what else).

May 12, 2006
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kevindar
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Registered: May 6, 2006
Location: United States
Posts: 2264
Review Date: May 8, 2006 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $303.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: fantastically sharp, fast focusing
Cons:
a little long on a 1.6 crop for portrait photography

its a gem. It is so much better than my 50 1.8, except the focal lenght of 50 works better for me on the 1.6 crop sensor.

May 8, 2006
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mckenzy
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Registered: Mar 19, 2006
Location: Singapore
Posts: 5
Review Date: May 3, 2006 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $400.00 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: bokeh
Cons:

If you're like me, and shoot at f1.8 most of the time... you'll find the first few weeks and possible months of use with this lens frustrating...

it takes alot of practice and gettin-used-to for this piece...

but once you get your focussing act together for this lens, you will never accept anything less. sharpness is really, really good when you focus right... its a little on the weighty side for a rebel/350d... so shooting at 1/60 is the barest minimum(i feel)... anything higher will be fine. as usual... if you love lenses wide open, all you need to do is practice.

thats all i can say for this lens... if you get blurred images and you shoot widest... take a little more time... i've found that its a little more difficult with the 1.6x bodies than fullframe...


May 3, 2006
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sangredetigre
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Registered: May 1, 2006
Location: United States
Posts: 0
Review Date: May 1, 2006 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Good colour, great contrast, fast focussing & beautiful background blur / 'bokeh'. Compact & light.
Cons:
Hood not included.



May 1, 2006
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jfk03
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Registered: Mar 20, 2006
Location: United States
Posts: 463
Review Date: Apr 25, 2006 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Compact, light, fast, sharp, good bokeh, price
Cons:
None

Love this lens. Use for portraits, as medium telephoto for landscapes, and also for indoor sports. Recently took awesome shot of town of Mendocino from across Big River estuary.

Apr 25, 2006
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kones
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Registered: Apr 18, 2005
Location: United States
Posts: 24
Review Date: Apr 24, 2006 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $329.00 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Great bokeh, excellent in low light. Great for portraits.
Cons:
Crappy hood design, doesn't store well.

This is my second prime after he 50 1.8 and I think the 85 is an excellent addition. Very fast focusing, excellent bokeh and color. I sometimes go out with the 17-40 and the 85 as my high quality 17-85 kit :-)

I'd definitely recommend this lens as a good low light performer as well as a great portrait lens.


Apr 24, 2006
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Aberdeen Photo
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Registered: Mar 9, 2006
Location: United States
Posts: 3812
Review Date: Apr 3, 2006 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $350.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Tremendous price/quality ratio. A great portrait and interior sports lens. Very good contrast and color.
Cons:
Mine copy gets sharp @ 2.5 or better, decent @ 2.0. Hood does not come with, and it is pretty crappy.

A very good performer and maybe the best bargain in Canon's fixed focal line-up. It works well as a portrait lens and perhaps better as a sports lens for interior gyms, fields and pools. Hard to believe the price/performance ratio. My 85L does give slightly better 3D pop and blur and the L is my preference as a portrait lens. This lens focuses faster, and might have a bit better contrast. Color is impressive on both models.
It is a bit mind-numbing, considering the price, that the comparison is as close. Mind you, the L would be my choice for portrait work, but this lens is so good for the money, it is a must have.


Apr 3, 2006
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trenchmonkey
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Registered: Oct 21, 2004
Location: United States
Posts: 35140
Review Date: Mar 31, 2006 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $300.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Light, fast and accurate AF, excellent IQ for the money.
Cons:
none

Had to post a review after reading previous post with a 2 rating!!
With lens cap off and mayonaise wiped off front element this is
by far Canon's best bang for the buck. Everyone should have one
of these in their bag. It's that good. This is the Bo Derek of
consumer glass...period.


Mar 31, 2006
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ivyinvestor
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Registered: Mar 17, 2006
Location: United States
Posts: 237
Review Date: Mar 30, 2006 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $372.00 | Rating: 2 

 
Pros: Wide aperture, creamy bokeh, reasonable mass, nice contrast, great AF speed (but confirmations were often wrong: see below).
Cons:
More-than moderate CA, poor focusing from f1.8-f8, distortion in upper frame portion, regardless of orientation, gravelly focus ring.

Following years of shooting film Minolta, I made the switch to Canon for many reasons, including system size, capability, and compatibility. Unfortunately, I had a response quite dissimilar from that of the previous poster (who took only this lens on an international trip).

Due to a delivery problem out of my hands, the 85mm arrived two weeks late - only a day before a two week trip to China. Although this was not the only lens I planned to take, it was the only optic that, on a 1.6 crop, gave me any tele reach. With little time to test, I checked the casing and visible glass surfaces, fired a few frames, packaged it in the Lowepro, and was ready to go. I reviewed the frames I shot in relatively low light...They were fair, considering my flash gear and tripod were already stowed. Most blur I blamed on shutter speed, less on wide open performance.

After the first frames in China (Chengdu, Chongching, and Beijing), though, I had an idea that something might be wrong with the focus or element group. Whether mounted on a tripod or handheld, I couldn't seem to achieve the sharp focus about which I'd read, and experienced, prior to purchase. Focus was sometimes off in front, sometimes behind. Several times, with only the center point selected (which I used for nearly all shots) I found that nothing was in focus. I blamed the little LCD on Rebel XT for not being crisp enough, at first, but realized that other lenses, including a few I tried at camera stores there-once paranoia set in-(the EF-S 10-22 and the Sigma 70-200 f/2.8) *did* look more than crisp on the LCD - and ultimately proved fine when reviewed at home. Furthermore, heavily ramping up the shutter speed to over 1/500 second, when possible - and when it didn't take me below f/2.2 - didn't seem to reduce the blur.

To make a long story short, I ultimately shot about 600 frames with the lens, fewer than 50 of which were in focus enough to be workable (composition and subject notwithstanding). Although these few were relatively sharp, none were even what I'd describe as "sharp", even at narrow apertures. Further, there was a high degree of blurring in the top of many frames, whether horizontally or vertically oriented (yes, even handholding vertically in the manner opposite the way most of us normally shoot). This leads me to believe that, along with a focus ring that ratchets a good deal, I purchased a lens with either element alignment problems or damaged (flexible??) inner guides or barrel.

In any case, I was let down by Canon and am quite disappointed with this purchase (which, even after the trip, is graciously being accepted as a full return from the merchant at which I purchased it).

*Some of you might question why I am recommending the lens as opposed to taking out my displeasure on Canon. Although I do not absolve Canon of making a putrid copy which I ultimately bought, I do grant that I represent the minority in terms of overall model quality. Will I buy another? Likely not. Should you purchase? Unless my experience is the clarion call suggesting a quirk in this model's manufacturing, the probability is that you won't need to share my ire!


Mar 30, 2006
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Denizen
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Registered: Jul 4, 2005
Location: United States
Posts: 470
Review Date: Mar 28, 2006 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $340.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Incredibly Sharp, Super Fast, Quality Build, Solid Feel without Excessive Size.
Cons:
None.

Although I find that this length was a tad bit long for my tastes with a 1.6 crop, this lens can't be beat.
At f1.8 you let in enough light to shoot in next to no light.
Build quality is fantastic. The lens has a wonderful weight to it that let's you know that you're using a top quality lens but it still manages to be compact.

If it has a flaw, it is that it may be too sharp! Portraits show every last detail.

Get one!!


Mar 28, 2006
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chavallos
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Registered: Dec 28, 2005
Location: Russia
Posts: 0
Review Date: Mar 22, 2006 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $330.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: excellent sharpness, very good build quality, very good details, excellent colors, very good brokeh, priced very well
Cons:
none

That's very funny story how I tested this lens... I sold all my zoom lenses, and left with two 50mm (f/1.4 and f/1.8), 85mm (this one) and 35mm was coming soon. So I suspected some issues with AF on both 50mm, I tested it using well known method of shooting lines at 45 degree, and yes - AF was not good. I sent both 50mm to Canon repare center, and actualy still waiting to get them back after 6 weeks.... Anyway, I left with only one lens (85mm) for 6 weeks, and I had to go to Portugal with only one lens... Kinda sad story, to go to Portugal with no wide angle lens Smile... I took over 1000 shots - outdoor, flash, studio... and this is absolutely solid rating for this lens, it's very solid 10. Amazing sharpness (out of the box, no needed to send it to Canon to fix anything), amazing colors (simply very very good saturation, very natural), AF is very quick and silent (quicker than 50mm f/1.4 USM), use of MF is very simple and MF-override also useful. I'm very very happy with this lens, don't know what to expect from 85mm f/1.2, I hope to try it some time... The only problem I was facing all the time during this 6 weeks is focal length on crop 1.6 camera makes it 135mm, not very good lens for street and people photography.

Mar 22, 2006
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bonera
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Registered: Sep 25, 2005
Location: Italy
Posts: 0
Review Date: Mar 19, 2006 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $520.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: fast, sharp, cheap
Cons:
none

My first prime lens by canon. I really love it. Very usable. If you're looking for a near-perfect portrait lens - well, stop here - you've found it! Naturally the lens has also a life beyond portraits. It's also nice for compressed landscape shots and all aspects where you need to seperate your main subject from the background by using a very large aperture. The silky smooth bokeh (background blurr) is a nice extra here.

Mar 19, 2006
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Johno
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Registered: Jan 26, 2004
Location: United Kingdom
Posts: 70
Review Date: Mar 14, 2006 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Sharp, Lovely Bokeh, Nice size & weight.
Cons:
None

I use mainly L and Zeiss primes on full frame. This lens holds its own. Brilliant value for money. Get one.

Mar 14, 2006
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stev315
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Registered: Apr 22, 2005
Location: United States
Posts: 1
Review Date: Mar 13, 2006 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $335.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Everything
Cons:
Nothing

My first non-L Series Canon lens. This is not the consumer lens that will remind you why you spent all that money on premium glass. Sans the red ring, the only difference is the smaller size, weight, and price.

Mar 13, 2006
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Canon EF 85mm f/1.8 USM

Buy from B&H Photo
Reviews Views Date of last review
311 485862 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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