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Canon EF 85mm f/1.8 USM

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Reviews Views Date of last review
313 490993 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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Kevin Sherman
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Registered: Nov 11, 2006
Location: United States
Posts: 1045
Review Date: Jan 19, 2012 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 8 

 
Pros: Great value, super fast.
Cons:
CA and sharpness.

This lens is a great value, they can be had pretty cheap. Focus is practically instantaneous, decently sharp but you need to stop down a little.



Jan 19, 2012
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IIDMax
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Registered: Dec 29, 2009
Location: Russia
Posts: 21
Review Date: Jan 17, 2012 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $530.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Low weight. Internal focus. Superb sharpness from f/2.8
Cons:
High Chromatic aberration. Lens Flare even with hood.

Great Lens for every day use. Smooth bokeh. Small lens with low weight so you can pack it in small bag. You can pay no attention to barrel due to internal focus, so you can't broke it when carrying it. And no dust collecting when focusing.
Weak perfomance against light. It causes huge flare when light source is in front of the lens.

http://s018.radikal.ru/i519/1201/56/1129b08f0f54.jpg

http://s017.radikal.ru/i422/1201/f4/ffcee3fbf464.jpg





Jan 17, 2012
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Damian_pro3
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Registered: Dec 20, 2011
Location: Poland
Posts: 0
Review Date: Jan 5, 2012 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: size, nice build quality, f/1.8, quick and accurate af, sharp, smooth bokeh
Cons:
chromatic aberration from f/1.8-2.5

Specification of this lens makes is truly useful for many photographic tasks. I bought it as a lens for sports photography and it served me well, especially when shooting indoor sports, where lack of light was often an issue. USM is fast and rather accurate (I had some problems with shooting on AI Servo mode on 40D, but recently upgraded to 7D and they're gone), perfect for shooting pictures of action, where the short tele is needed.
Nowadays, I use it mostly for portraits and products photography, where its focal lenght is highly needed on both FF and APS-C sensors. It's sharp, reliable and gives a nice bokeh and colours.
When it comes to flaws of this lens, I can think of only one: huge CA on large apertures (from 1.8-2.5). I know that it's a flaw of many fast lenses, but it shouldn't be such visible.
Sample pictures:
http://www.pro3photo.pl/#/gallery/9/82/
http://www.pro3photo.pl/#/gallery/7/91/
http://www.pro3photo.pl/#/gallery/7/33/


Jan 5, 2012
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mediluz
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Registered: Jan 13, 2006
Location: Italy
Posts: 0
Review Date: Nov 18, 2011 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 8 

 
Pros: Price, weight, lack of distortion
Cons:
Doesn't reach the quality of 200 f/2

While the 24-105 is a good choice as an all-in-one walk around lens nor to carry weights or loose shots while changing gear, I really got tired of the floppy/sloppy results it sometimes yields.
That’s why I bought an 85 f 1.8 and I fully agree with everybody already stating that it is worth every (rather little) money it costs.
After having a nice good first impression with some free hand snapshots even fully aperture in low artificial light, I compared it to the zoom by shooting the same subject on a tripod at f/8 in an ideal day light situation.
I’ve been mostly and especially struck by the complete lack of distortion of the 85 mm.
Shifting on the PC screen from one picture to the other gives the feeling of the zoom one dramatically bending and curving , with the center of the scene going away from the observer and the sides approaching.
The 85 mm yields more brilliant colors.
Sharpness is only slightly greater at f/8 in the center, while the difference becomes really remarkable in the corners.
85 mm offers more than satisfactory and uniform results, although I must declare that it has nothing to do with the quality of the 200 f/2, leaving the short tele sector orphan of a true “professional” lens.



Nov 18, 2011
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AHPZuazua
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Registered: Jun 24, 2009
Location: United States
Posts: 567
Review Date: Oct 3, 2011 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $360.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Build quality, Fast lens, USM, mounts on FF and Crop bodies.
Cons:
none

I bought this lens here on FM. When I took out out of the box I was impressed with its size and weight. It felt like a real lens, not a play toy. 85mm F1.8 is a great Portrait lens. Very nice background blur when shoot wide.
58mm Filter thread is a bit small, but is easy on the wallet. USM makes this lens a real winner.
Great lens for a great price. Win Win. Add this to you bag of tricks


Oct 3, 2011
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fusionphoto
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Registered: Apr 16, 2005
Location: United Kingdom
Posts: 17
Review Date: Jul 31, 2011 Recommend? | Price paid: Not Indicated

 
Pros: Lightweight, super sharp @ 1 stop down but usable wide open, great DOF and Bokeh. Nice colors and great detail. Price
Cons:
Canons hidden GEM, none IMO

This is a super lens, great color, bokeh and sharpness even wide open (better 1 stop down), It is lightweight and focuses well, not super fast but accurately (faster than its big brother).

I use this lens on the Canon 1D Mk IV and the 1Ds Mk1 with excellent richely colored and sharp results with great detail even in the corners (when used stopped down)

I consider this one of Canons hidden gems and it goes wherever I go it is that GOOD... but don't tell everyone or the price may go up....


Jul 31, 2011
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msavage
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Registered: Jun 12, 2011
Location: Canada
Posts: 0
Review Date: Jun 12, 2011 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Light, relatively small, relatively fast, sharp, sharp, sharp, and cheap cheap cheap
Cons:
None that I can see

This lens is barely slower than the much more expensive/heavy 1.2 L version. It is extremely sharp, and is a perfect focal length on a FF 5DII. A great portrait lens, and at an unbelievable price. Some say it is probably the best non-L lens in the Canon lineup.

Jun 12, 2011
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David Jennings
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Registered: Feb 10, 2007
Location: United States
Posts: 8
Review Date: May 6, 2011 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $350.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: IMO - Best value for lower light indoor sports. Does a great job for me. First lens I bought a while back and love it.
Cons:



May 6, 2011
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dmcharg
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Registered: Nov 30, 2003
Location: United Kingdom
Posts: 788
Review Date: Apr 29, 2011 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Amazing value for money. Very sharp, fast and ideal for portraits. Its so small as well.
Cons:

This is just an amazing little lens and great value for money. Really hard to beat. Its ideal for portraits etc. Sharp, nice bokeh colors etc etc. Focus is fast enough for most needs. If your thinking about the 85 1.2 its probably worth giving this little lens a go first and see how you go. I wish all lens could pack so much into such a small portable lens. Sure the 85 1.2 is faster, sharper with slower AF but the difference in cost is quite considerable and you really need to want F1.2 to justify buying it. If your looking for a good portrait lens don't hesitate to buy this.

Apr 29, 2011
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edatc
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Registered: Jul 17, 2009
Location: N/A
Posts: 45
Review Date: Feb 19, 2011 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: great portrait lens on a budget
Cons:
none

This lens is bang for the buck. I like its construction and feel, it is real nice. I started shooting it at f2.2 to ensure lens sharpness and just a touch of added DOF, but shooting at f1.8 does work well also. Use it for portraiture only... Considering the price and what it does, it ranks right at the top.

Feb 19, 2011
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Scott Hortop
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Registered: Feb 1, 2011
Location: United Kingdom
Posts: 0
Review Date: Feb 1, 2011 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 8 

 
Pros: Great for portraiture; sharp!
Cons:
CA issues, certainly at f2.2 or less

I had very apparent CA shooting outdoors on a Canon 500D. Never noticed CA even at full aperture on indoor portraits on my 5D.

Feb 1, 2011
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nycandre
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Registered: Apr 23, 2009
Location: United States
Posts: 22
Review Date: Jan 26, 2011 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Inexpensive - high image quality - very sharp ..
Cons:
Doesn't focus that fast

Shot daylight handheld - shot w/20D ISO 200 1/750 f/4
http://www.flickr.com/photos/nycandre/2603470465/
A very sharp image, see the accompanying enlargement

Also very hard to beat for indoor shots in low light

The Kiss - shot w/EOS 5D at ISO 1600 1/50 f/2.8 w/85mm F/1.8
http://www.flickr.com/photos/nycandre/5389132199/

Guitar players jamming - Shot w/20D ISO 1600 1/6 F/2.8
http://www.flickr.com/photos/nycandre/2339558065/



Jan 26, 2011
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dkmiles1
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Registered: Nov 19, 2009
Location: United States
Posts: 629
Review Date: Jan 12, 2011 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $369.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Decent build, great optics for the money, fast accurate focus, smooth and buttery bokeh - one of the single best values in the entire Canon line up
Cons:
None, especially when you consider the price of the lens

I put together a pretty comprehensive review of this lens on YouTube, you can check it out here;

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GX8Cxx20Zcc

In a nutshell, the is a top notch lens even when you don't consider the price point, when price is factored in then its one of the single best values (if not the best value) in the entire Canon line up...

As much fanfare as there has been about the new Sigma - and I've seen some of the posts, the results from that lens look great - its nearly triple the cost of the Canon, and its optically maybe 5% better... The 85mm 1.8 is nearly a no-brainer...

Great for portraits and low light shooting, its a great deal, enjoy!!!


Jan 12, 2011
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out_of_focus
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Registered: Mar 16, 2010
Location: Poland
Posts: 0
Review Date: Oct 20, 2010 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $450.00 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: sharp from f/2.2, very fast autofocus, nicely build
Cons:
annoying CA from f/1.8-2.8, a bit too soft on f/1.8 and f/2

I own this lens for more than a year and I'm really satisfied with images it delivers. It's a great lens for shooting portraits and indoor sports, my main lens for shooting basketball and second lens for volleyball (among with my 200 f/2.8). It'a also nicely build, not as good as Ls, but still feels solid enough for this price tag. I expected it to be more sharp on f/1.8 and f/2, but that's not a big flaw for me. The only thing I'm really complaining about, is that this lens produces huge CA between f/1.8-2.8. It's really noticeable should be controlled better.
Some shots of handball that I took with this lens:
http://www.damianglowacki.pl/photo/index.php?album=photoreports/Sport1


Oct 20, 2010
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Todd Klassy
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Registered: Sep 27, 2010
Location: United States
Posts: 290
Review Date: Oct 11, 2010 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $350.00 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Sharp, focus speed, light weight, and price.
Cons:
Soft at f/1.8 and minimal chromatic aberration (CA).

The Canon 85mm f/1.8 USM is arguably the biggest bang for the buck in Canon's line-up of lenses. It is an excellent lens to own, especially good for shooting indoor sports. Focus is fast and image quality is exceptional for what this lens usually costs. Images are a tad soft wide open, but that's often the case for lenses in this price range and it still performs better than the 50mm f/1.4 wide open.

IMHO the focal length is a tad long for cameras with a APS-C sized sensor (i.e. 1.6 crop factor), but that also depends on how you plan to use it.

That said, those who compare it negatively to the Canon EF 85mm f/1.2L USM don't know what they are talking about. Yes, the cost of this lens is a fraction of that for the 85mm f/1.2L, but the optics on this lens' more expensive cousin is out of this world and can not be fairly compared to this lens. The bokeh of the f/1.2L is also infinitely nicer than the 85mm f/1.8. These are two different lenses, and for the post part, meant for two different markets and two different types of buyers.

Here are a few examples of photographs I have taken with this lens:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/latitudes/266287266/
http://www.flickr.com/photos/latitudes/262713309/
http://www.flickr.com/photos/latitudes/263163874/
http://www.flickr.com/photos/latitudes/248610683/


Oct 11, 2010
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Ulan
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Registered: May 14, 2008
Location: Belgium
Posts: 144
Review Date: Sep 12, 2010 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Reasonably sharp, nice bokeh, cheap, good for portrait, nice built
Cons:
requires a tripod for good results

This is a good lens, though not stellar. Not as sharp as I expected at f/1.8. Suitable for portraits, but with tripod.

Sep 12, 2010
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Canon EF 85mm f/1.8 USM

Buy from B&H Photo
Reviews Views Date of last review
313 490993 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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