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Canon EF 85mm f/1.8 USM

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Reviews Views Date of last review
316 511536 Feb 15, 2017
Recommended By Average Price
95% of reviewers $350.28
Build Quality Rating Price Rating Overall Rating
8.91
9.43
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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vince
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Registered: Mar 18, 2002
Location: China
Posts: 306
Review Date: Mar 21, 2005 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $300.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Blistering fast AF, excellent optics, well built and sturdy.
Cons:
None.

First off, I don't own this lens any more, but use it quite often from our common "lens pool". Any time I get sick and tired of using heavy or slow zooms, and need a reminder on just how excellent canon's optics can be, I put this fellow on my SLR and shoot. No more dark tunnel vision thanks to f/1.8, no more slow focusing and no more misfocused shots.

Every single one of the images I have shot with this lens have been flawless in terms of optical quality. This lens is wonderful with a 25mm extension tube... great macro performance. No, it is not as good as the 100/2.8 macro USM which I also have (that lens produces corner to corner sharpness at 1:1 magnification, not something most other lenses can do). But, it is as good as other lenses can get.

The AF is so fast that I've never had the opportunity to miss a shot due to slow response. In all, there's not a single bad thing I can think of about this lens. It's superb.


Mar 21, 2005
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PaulMdx
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Registered: Mar 20, 2005
Location: United Kingdom
Posts: 0
Review Date: Mar 20, 2005 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $340.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: VERY sharp, and practically L quality. Good lens to use along with a 50/1.8 for indoor sports and portraits.
Cons:
None

I've had this lens for about a year and use in a lot for shooting indoor sports. The aperture is very handy when I'm shooing in dark conditions, and produces stunning results for portraiture with excellent bokeh.

For all intents and purposes this may as well have a red L band. It really is incredibly sharp, and probably better than my 70-200/2.8L. In fact, an example shot from the Canon 1Ds mkII on Canon.co.jp used this lens - and that's to show off Canon's flagship camera.

As well as my own review, I've heard a number of other professional photographers using this lens for indoor sports. It really does kick ass.

I was actually considering buying a 85/1.2L instead of this, but having checked out the reviews on this site, the lens seems much too slow and soft for sports. I'm not a bit disappointed with this vs. the 1.2L.


Mar 20, 2005
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zonkola
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Registered: Feb 9, 2005
Location: United States
Posts: 194
Review Date: Mar 9, 2005 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $275.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: A great portrait lens, excellent value for money.
Cons:
It doesn't have a red stripe?

This is a great portrait lens. The build quality is excellent for the price range, the USM is nice, and the pictures it takes are more than sharp enough for portrait photography. For better or for worse, every eyelash and pore is crisply defined. (Thank god for Photoshop.)

I'm keeping mine.


Mar 9, 2005
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inov8iv
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Registered: Dec 8, 2004
Location: United States
Posts: 862
Review Date: Feb 15, 2005 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $295.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Sharp, contrasty, very good bokeh, fast USM focusing, full time manual focus capability!
Cons:
None - except this lens makes you expect better results out of your other non "L" Lenses.

I absolutely love this lens, I use it for Baseball Batting shots and it is one remarkable lens for that sole purpose, I have also used it to capture pitching sequences, 14 shots on 1 pitch extremely fast.

Quality equivelent to "L" Glass for a fraction of the cost. Just wish canon would make all their lenses this good. Would not need to pay the extra $$$ for "L" Series Glass.


Feb 15, 2005
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kel3at
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Registered: Jul 9, 2004
Location: United States
Posts: 27
Review Date: Feb 10, 2005 Recommend? | Price paid: $380.00

 
Pros: Sharp, silent AF, Fast, light weight, nice build
Cons:
addictive

Do not buy this lens. Once you use this lens you will never be satified with your other cheap inexpensive lenses anymore. You will have to replace them with all new L-glass to get the image quality of this gem. It's a Canon conspiracy I tell ya. It's an L lens disguised as a lowly plastic USM. Don't be fooled by the low price.

You're going to buy it anyway ain't ya? Well don't tell me I didn't warn ya!



Feb 10, 2005
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kel3at
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Registered: Jul 9, 2004
Location: United States
Posts: 27
Review Date: Feb 10, 2005 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $380.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Do not buy this lens. Why? Because after you buy this lens you will never be satified with your cheap inexpensive lenses any more. You will have to go out and replace them with new L-glass in other focal lengths to match up to your 85 1.8. It's a Canon conspiracy. Don't tell me I didn't warn you.
Cons:
Way too good image quality, unless you're one of those people who actually likes sharp, constrasty and excellent color images with lots of creamy bokeh.



Feb 10, 2005
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judhi
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Registered: Feb 9, 2005
Location: Singapore
Posts: 0
Review Date: Feb 9, 2005 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 8 

 
Pros: Sharp, budget friendly
Cons:
Crop too tight for DSLR with APS-C sensor size. Minimum distance of 85cm is too far.

Just as the 50mm f/1.8 this lens provide you great sharpness at longer focal length.

Composition might be too tight for DSLR with 1.6x cropping factor (APS-C) and the minimum distance on 85mm is too far for most macro photography situation.

Recommended for SLR user but not DSLR with APS-C size sensor.


Feb 9, 2005
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jmardy
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Registered: Dec 9, 2004
Location: United States
Posts: 1622
Review Date: Feb 4, 2005 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $330.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Amazingly sharp, superfast AF, great bulild quality, beautiful background blur, inexpensive, FAST.
Cons:

All the hype is true. Every time I use this lens I'm impressed by how good the images look. Wish I'd bought it a long time ago.

Feb 4, 2005
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adnan76
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Registered: Feb 3, 2005
Location: United States
Posts: 138
Review Date: Feb 3, 2005 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Great optics, silent focus, smoooooth out-of-focus areas
Cons:
Longish minimum focus distance (standard for this focal length?)

Don't have any complaints about this lens. I was considering the f1.2L, but I'm glad I saved my money. The dof at f1.8 is a substantial challenge if you like to work close up... I have no idea how I would handle f1.2.

This is the first time I've had a lens this long, I mostly like wide angle, but its got lots of advantages. I have the 35/1.4L. I bought that lens so I would have an easier time blurring out the background compared to the f2, but its nothing like this. Outdoor photos of family and friends come out beautifully, with excellent OOF areas. Buy this lens and your family may soon try to avoid due to the amount of time you want them to spend in front of this lens. Its a gem.


Feb 3, 2005
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DEvianT
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Registered: Jan 2, 2005
Location: United Kingdom
Posts: 2
Review Date: Feb 2, 2005 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Sharp and great contrast Fast focus Compact Fast wide open
Cons:
No lens hood included Not weather sealed Not designed for digital so can give chromatic aberration sometimes

This lens is superb for reportage and portraits on a crop DSLR like a 10D. It's fast and silent. Small enough to be descrete. The image quality is superb, sharp with good colour and contrast.

I think this lens is one of Canon's little gems. Could well be an L lens but the price is very good. I think it's a must have in your camera bag.


Feb 2, 2005
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teglis
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Registered: Aug 31, 2004
Location: Canada
Posts: 1094
Review Date: Jan 26, 2005 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Sharpness, useful focal length, aperture, focus speed
Cons:
To nit pick: separate hood and the way the hood attaches

Probably my favourite lens; certainly my favourite prime.

On a 1.6x factor DSLR, I find it the ideal focal length for individual portraits and candids. Quiet, fast focusing and not too large, it is very unobtrusive (not only to my subjects, but also to me). It just works.

Produces consistently sharp images with good bokeh. I love the perspective it gives.

One tiny downside has to be the hood. You must purchase it separately and it is clumsy to attach.

Otherwise, an outstanding lens.


Jan 26, 2005
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mdwhaley
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Registered: Oct 17, 2002
Location: United States
Posts: 3
Review Date: Jan 22, 2005 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $360.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Superior image quality. AF speed
Cons:
minimum focus distance (nit picking)

I wish all of my lenses were like this one! It is a joy to use. I'm even happier when I get the images on the computer. Fantastic image quality. Great color, contrast, and sharpness. The images have that extra punch since it is a little longer of a focal length (136 on a 10d). I usually don't shoot this or any lens wider than 2.8. It can do it, I just don't think there is enough depth of field for people shooting wider than 2.8. The biggest negative of this lens is that you will want more prime lenses after using this one.

Jan 22, 2005
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shlomi
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Registered: Oct 11, 2004
Location: Israel
Posts: 12
Review Date: Jan 21, 2005 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $320.00 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Great colors and bokeh, sharp, light, small, cheap
Cons:
Not as sharp as the f/1.2 version, long minimal focusing distance

This might be the best non-L prime. I find it much better than the 35/2 and 50/1.4. The colors are perfect. The bokeh is the best I've seen on an under $1000 lens. Contrast is excellent. Sharpness is very good but when you see the results of the 1.2 verion you realize there is a reason for the price difference. I mostly stop it to 2.8 but I can't say the sharpness is perfect - still better than any zoom I know. The USM is excellent - very fast, quiet and accurate, no hunting.

The balance on the camera is excellent. Build quality is evry good - feels solid; I dropped it once on concrete and nothing happened. This lens gives tremendous value for money. If you intend to shoot portraits and don't want to spend $1400 for the 1.2, this is an almost perfect lens.

One shortcoming is the not so small minimal focusing distace. This lens is not very useful for product and macro shooting.


Jan 21, 2005
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cladnin
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Registered: Sep 8, 2004
Location: N/A
Posts: 150
Review Date: Jan 20, 2005 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $275.00 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Light, F1.8, Cheap, Fast focusing
Cons:
Not super pleasant bokeh in my opinion, clip on hood doesn't fit great.

Great lens for the money. Super fast, quiet focusing.

Jan 20, 2005
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EmaJon
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Registered: Jan 10, 2005
Location: Australia
Posts: 1
Review Date: Jan 14, 2005 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Sharp (ouch cut meeself), good bokeh, nice balance and construction, fast AF, common 58mm filter size.
Cons:
CA, a little soft wide open

Aside from the above pos aspects, this is nice glass. Its quiet USM can be used in many a sensitive areas, has good contrast range and was nicely priced for what has become a fav of mine, eventhough I have L glass. (its not as heavy as these lenses)

However, on a Dig SLR with a cropping factor, this lens displays CA wide open, though this is quite easily overcome (longer and slightly wider lens hood, polariser - where highly reflective subjects exist, ND filter and of course PS, if the others fail).

If you aint got one, cant afford or justify the L version or the 180, then get this..... and laff ur hed off.


Jan 14, 2005
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moondigger
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Registered: Jan 6, 2005
Location: United States
Posts: 5774
Review Date: Jan 13, 2005 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $250.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Sharp, contrasty, good bokeh, fast USM focusing, full time manual focus capability
Cons:
None

I got a well-used copy for $250. Sharpness is good at f/1.8, and excellent at f/2.8 and above. If it fell off a cliff today I'd buy a brand new one tomorrow.

Jan 13, 2005
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Canon EF 85mm f/1.8 USM

Buy from B&H Photo
Reviews Views Date of last review
316 511536 Feb 15, 2017
Recommended By Average Price
95% of reviewers $350.28
Build Quality Rating Price Rating Overall Rating
8.91
9.43
9.4
ef85mmf_18usm_1_


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