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Canon EF 85mm f/1.8 USM

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Reviews Views Date of last review
311 487124 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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choochoo
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Registered: May 11, 2004
Location: United States
Posts: 483
Review Date: Oct 28, 2004 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $269.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Sharp, well built, silent and fast AF, smooth bokeh, good price (bargain compared to "L" lenses
Cons:
not as contrasty as "L" lenses, CA seen on my 10D when shot wider than f4 in highlights, never saw any CA on film though.

Excellent lens that can give you "professional" results for a "non-professional" price. The bokeh on this lens is smooth. Sharp wide open. The AF is fast and silent, you should never miss a shot. Excellent lens for portraits, product, and nature shots.

Oct 28, 2004
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mjmetts
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Registered: Dec 3, 2003
Location: United States
Posts: 1516
Review Date: Oct 25, 2004 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $380.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Great sharpness, bokeh, and build. I think this would have been an "L" but canon decided to make their shorter "L" primes freak lenses like the 85 1.2 and the 50 1.0.
Cons:
Closer focusing would be nice but for the portraits and street photography that I do it is great.

I love this lens. It always delivers for me. Here is a shot at f/3.2, ISO 400.

http://www.mjmetts.com/uploaded/garage.jpg


Oct 25, 2004
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jtmcz777
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Registered: Sep 25, 2004
Location: N/A
Posts: 3
Review Date: Sep 25, 2004 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $420.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Beautiful background blur, f/1.8, sturdy build, metal mount, FT-M, fast and silent focusing, excellent for portraits, good price for its great quality
Cons:
None. I would want it to have a closer focusing distance though, but it is not a problem.



Sep 25, 2004
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bsoten
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Registered: Jan 8, 2003
Location: United States
Posts: 592
Review Date: Sep 8, 2004 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $324.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Speed vs price ( 1.8 - $324). Good solid construction and feel. Metal mount. Size. An excellent church lense for the money, which is exactly why I bought it.
Cons:
None to speak of.

What can I say, it's sharp for the conditions I need it (wedding and portraiture) on my 1DM2 and even my 10D.

It's built very well, and had a metal mount.

For low light situations, I can't beat it for the money.

If you get this lense, you won't be disappointed.


Sep 8, 2004
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corgiwcn
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Registered: Apr 8, 2004
Location: United States
Posts: 50
Review Date: Aug 10, 2004 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $330.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Very sharp and contrasty; the color is nicely saturated and the bokeh is nice. Fast, accurate, and silent focusing. Solid build and good price.
Cons:
CA or blooming on digital sensors when wide open. It's possible to find them under an overexposed area even at f/8. Lousy hood attachment design.

Buy this lens.

The image quality deliever by the 85mm f/1.8 is very good. Wide open at f/1.8, it's much better than the 50mm f/1.8 II (As I said in the review of 50/1.8, this is probably caused by the 50mm's primitive autofocus system). When both lenses are in f/2.8, the difference is almost gone. The shallow DOF along with good optical elements produces very nice bokeh that cannot be found in 50mm f/1.8. The color rendered by this lens is very similar to the "L-color" found in my 17-40 f/4 and 70-200 f/4 without the feel of being "gaudy" or "flashy." Compared with my 70-200 f/4, the pictures produced by this lens are more smooth and the bokeh more natural. In subtle scenes like portraits (of humans or flowers) where high contrast is undesirable, pictures taken by this lens express themselves with grace without sacrificing any details.

The USM is ghostly silent, unlike my 50mm f/1.8 and 35mm f/2 It focuses quickly and accurately without hesitation. It is really joyful to use this lens in all kinds of applicable situations. This kind of description also applies to my 17-4 f/4.

You can only fault this lens's optics when it's shot wide open under more contrasty lighting conditions. I don't know whether film will respond like that, but my 300D consistently shows purple fringes (blooming or CA?) everywhere. The 50mm f1.8 also shows the same thing but in a much less pronounced way.

One the usability part, the hood is the worst kind of design I've ever seen: attaching and detaching is a constant struggle.

Overall, this lens is outstanding for its capabilities and quality. Moreover, the price is good for a lens with such build and optics.


Aug 10, 2004
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KevinRiggs
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Registered: Jun 7, 2003
Location: United States
Posts: 413
Review Date: Jul 23, 2004 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $275.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Sharp, contrasty, great bokeh, fast, lightweight, easy to handle, relatively quick to focus
Cons:
Little slower to focus than 70-200 f/2.8 L IS. Not built like a tank.

This lens excels at optical quality (perhaps it has CA around the outside of the lens but since I only have a 10D I don't notice it). It has a shallow DOF when opened wide but it is a wonderful lens to have.

I already had the EF 70-200 f/2.8 L IS USM lens when a friend decided he wanted to unload this little gem. I considered, reconsidered, requested comments from other users on FM. I finally decided to pick this up and it is incredible. I can easily see uses for it that complement the 70-200.

The construction and focus speed are slightly better than the EF 50mm f/1.8 lens and I think the optics are better as well.


Jul 23, 2004
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AlfonsoC
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Registered: Mar 30, 2004
Location: Spain
Posts: 98
Review Date: Jun 8, 2004 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $325.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Lightweight, compact and razor sharp and contrasty. robably Canon will made a mistake by not putting a red line insted of a gold one on this lens. Uses cheap 58mm filters, so for getting high quality filters for your lens you don't need to shell lots of bucks.
Cons:
None! love it and don't understand how I've been so many time without it. Beware of shooting wide open to very near objects! Ridiculous DOF (focus on the eyes). Place your subject between 2 and 3 meters and you will be happy and everything will be in control.

Needed a sharp lense for many purposes (available lightning pg and outdoor portraits), this lens fills completely my needs regarding a medium tele for outdoors.

Use this lens sometimes for doing night clubbing photos with available light, along the 50mm f1.4 (are my two main ammo for this kind of work).

The quality of the lens allows you to shoot almost wide open (in fact mine lens peaks around f2.5). Many people blames about lens flare - use the hood! is ugly but makes their work well done. For many people this lens will rival with L counterparts without the associated expense of L primes.

With subjects between 2 and 3 meters of distance is their preferred distance, you can blurr the background magically going wide open.

The focusing is quick and reliable. It doesn't hunt nor fails (and you can ever focus manually thanks to the FT-M).

Many people asks to choose between the 85 1.8 & 100f2. For a 1.6 crop camera you will be quite happy with the 85 (around 135mm). If you insist on film (1.3 crop of FF), your best bet is the 100 or the 135mm.


Jun 8, 2004
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thejaybird
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Registered: Apr 9, 2004
Location: United States
Posts: 1138
Review Date: Jun 1, 2004 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $360.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Sharp, fast focus, f/1.8, great build quality
Cons:
Chromatic aberration (with some sensors, anyway)

Paired with a good low-noise sensor, this lens is worth it's weight in gold in low-light conditions. I use it mostly for candids of my family. The only flaw is slight CA at wider aperatures. This may be a problem only with digital sensors (angle of incident light is more important with digital sensors than with film), but is almost always easy to correct. My favorite lens so far.

Jun 1, 2004
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roanjohn
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Registered: Feb 8, 2004
Location: United States
Posts: 58
Review Date: May 4, 2004 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $350.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Razor sharp at f2.8 and beyond, beautiful bokeh, light and solid.
Cons:
CA wide open.

An excellent portrait lens. The buttery smooth bokeh this lens produces are amazing. Also an excellent companion with the 50 f1.8 for low light indoor events.

About the only thing I can say thats negative about this lens is that it produces purple fringing wide open and at f2. I have to return my first copy as it produces fringing even at f2.8. My second copy, thank goodness, is able to control it better.

All in all, would not trade this lens for anything...........Okay, maybe the 85 f1.2 L (but thats a different story, and pricepoint).......:-)

Ro1


May 4, 2004
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Heather_R
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Registered: Feb 6, 2004
Location: United States
Posts: 197
Review Date: Apr 13, 2004 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $335.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: This is my favorite portrait and low light lens, especially for the money. Great DOF and bokeh. Excellent lens.
Cons:
none for me...



Apr 13, 2004
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Mr645
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Registered: Jun 7, 2002
Location: United States
Posts: 1303
Review Date: Mar 25, 2004 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $329.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Small, silent and fast AF. Nice MF ring, excellent optics, low cost
Cons:
none that I can think of

I have been using this for studio portraits on a Canon D60 and Kodak 560. This lens is as sharp as any I have used. Beats the 24-70 and 70-200 F4 for absolute detail. I have not really had much of a chance to shoot it wide open, but from F5.6 to F11, it's probably one of the sharpest lenses out there. It's also small, light and easy to handle. Well built and the wide MF ring, and USM makes manual focus a pleasure.

Mar 25, 2004
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kahfluie
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Registered: Jan 25, 2004
Location: United States
Posts: 116
Review Date: Mar 7, 2004 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $320.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: size, weight, fast focus, sharp and contrasty - excellent!
Cons:
none

Excellent lens to use if you are shooting indoor concerts. Exceptional lens for low-cost. If this lens is not in your bag, you'll want to give it a try.

Mar 7, 2004
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gmcfly
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Registered: May 9, 2003
Location: Brazil
Posts: 81
Review Date: Jan 5, 2004 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $340.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Sharp, perfect portrait lens with 1.6 FOV, bright, very fast AF, good build quality.
Cons:
None. Just caution with large apertures: small DOF.

Sharp @1.8, very sharp @2.8 and more.

Jan 5, 2004
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spartan123
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Registered: Nov 9, 2003
Location: United States
Posts: 3683
Review Date: Dec 6, 2003 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $325.00 | Rating: 8 

 
Pros: Everything
Cons:
Noticed some CA in photo's, soft wide open.

If this lens is not in your bag then it should be. The pictures provided from a lens at this price level are absolutely incredible.



Dec 6, 2003
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ShootsQA
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Registered: Oct 28, 2003
Location: United States
Posts: 26
Review Date: Nov 20, 2003 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $320.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Size, weight, super quality
Cons:
None

Absolutely my favorite lens in the bag. Super quality with really nice color and very, very sharp. No drawbacks at all.

Nov 20, 2003
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ikiteboarder
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Registered: Oct 27, 2003
Location: South Africa
Posts: 90
Review Date: Nov 11, 2003 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $330.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: very fast autofocus, excellent bokeh, sharp lens. 9.5/10 for this lens.
Cons:
doesn't come with lens hood

I've been using the lens along with my 300D for a few days now. Good people lens. On a 300D it's a 136mm - perfect for portraits.

When you use the wider apertures you have to make sure to focus on the eyes, else your pictures won't be useable. This is standard in all people photography, but with this lens it is even more important at f1.8 or other wider apertures. I find it to be sharp at f1.8 and do not experience any softness as reported by others - you will only experience it to be soft if you focused on the wrong point of your subject.

I can't find anything wrong with the optical quality, af focus speed or build quality. Money well spent.


Nov 11, 2003
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Canon EF 85mm f/1.8 USM

Buy from B&H Photo
Reviews Views Date of last review
311 487124 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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