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Canon EF 85mm f/1.8 USM

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Reviews Views Date of last review
311 486587 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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marcaris
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Registered: Feb 20, 2009
Location: Canada
Posts: 4
Review Date: Mar 14, 2009 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 8 

 
Pros: Very Sharp, Very Good Colours and Contrast
Cons:
No Image Stabilization



Mar 14, 2009
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stargazer78
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Registered: Jan 18, 2009
Location: United States
Posts: 371
Review Date: Feb 20, 2009 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $350.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Very nice bokeh; USM and FTM; Small & lightweight; One of the best lenses for the money;
Cons:
The optional hood isn't particularly nice.

[ Reviewed on an EOS 5D Mark II and Rebel XTi]


Good build quality. The lens is small & lightweight, balances very well on both a Rebel-sized body, and on an 5D body as well. Features ring USM and Full Time Manual Focusing, two very important features in a prime lens. USM is quick and responsive, very silent. There's some play in the focus ring, but otherwise FTM is perfect.

When I first got the lens (originally with the Rebel XTi), I felt it was a bit soft when shooting wide open @ f1.8. Turns out it was back focusing a little. One trip to Canon's Service center made all the difference. The lens is razor sharp in the center, even when shooting wide open. There's a slight loss of contrast when shooting wide open, but it's not a big deal.

However, the lens doesn't really comes into its own until it's mounted on a full frame body. The EF 85 f1.8 is an ok lens for a Rebel, but it is downright gorgeous on a 5DII. The bokeh is beautiful, and the ability to isolate subjects with shallow DoF is amazing. I even like the vignetting effect on full frame --- I often leave it uncorrected because IMHO it adds some mystique to the photos. I'd say that 90% of my shots with this lens are done at an aperture of f2.2 or larger. It's that good.

In my opinion, the 85 f1.8 is one of the best bargains in Canon's lineup. I'd have a hard time finding another lens that offers USM, FTM, a very large aperture, and excellent bokeh all for only $350. For that reason, I rate this lens a 10.


Feb 20, 2009
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oajlu
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Registered: Nov 19, 2008
Location: Canada
Posts: 170
Review Date: Jan 30, 2009 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $550.00 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: sharp, no distortion, fast speed, solid build.
Cons:
no IS and hood is not included



Jan 30, 2009
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Starday
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Registered: Jan 21, 2009
Location: Finland
Posts: 0
Review Date: Jan 25, 2009 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Sharp.
Cons:
None.

I have been using this lens both indoors and outdoors. I find it is very sharp from f 1.8.

Here are some samples:
http://www.flickr.com/photos/pkoskela/tags/canonef85mmf18usm/


Jan 25, 2009
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eanderson123
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Registered: Nov 21, 2003
Location: United States
Posts: 186
Review Date: Jan 17, 2009 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $350.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Light Fast Sharp Great Color
Cons:
None for me

This lens loves my 5D. Perfect for head shots. If all you have are zooms this is the perfect 1st prime to cut your teeth on.

Jan 17, 2009
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abam
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Registered: Apr 25, 2005
Location: United States
Posts: 4201
Review Date: Jan 17, 2009 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $350.00 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: light. sharp. well built. great price. nice FL for portraits.
Cons:
slightly soft at 1.8, but what do you expect for $350?

this is a fine portrait lens. for people who don't need the 1.2 of the 85L (which is most of us), spending 1/6 the price on a nonetheless very sharp prime is a no-brainer.

the build quality is very solid, and the IQ this lens offers even holds up when used on the unforgiving 5DMk2.

not much else to say, besides, if you want a high-quality portrait lens, and the 135L is too long for your purposes, you might want to give this lens a long look.

cheers.


Jan 17, 2009
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rfwilliams
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Registered: Oct 12, 2006
Location: N/A
Posts: 19
Review Date: Dec 23, 2008 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $325.00 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: A very fine lens for the $. Beutiful Bokeh.
Cons:
None..

I bought this lens shortly after buying a 100mm f/2 that I fell in love with. This lens was no disappointed. Some of my best work, I have taken with this lens.

For what you pay for this lens, you cannot go wrong. If Canon put these exact optics in a L lens body with weather sealing, it would bring several hundred dollars more and would probably be a better seller. You just cannot go wrong with this lens.

That being said, I whole-heartedly believe that the 100mm f/2 is just a tad better lens. So if you are looking for one of these fine 85mm f/1.8 lenses and run upon a 100 f/2 at a bargain price, consider the 100mm also if it fits your focal range. These two sibling lenses are an absolute bargain as far as optical quality is concerned.


Dec 23, 2008
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Peter Kirk
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Registered: Sep 25, 2004
Location: Australia
Posts: 309
Review Date: Dec 7, 2008 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Light and sharp, inconspicuous.
Cons:
none

a wonderful portrait lens

Dec 7, 2008
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Gilbert75photo
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Registered: Nov 7, 2008
Location: Canada
Posts: 0
Review Date: Nov 18, 2008 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $360.00 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Excellent image quality, fast AF, excellent quality/price ratio!
Cons:
Expensive... see below what I mean by that...

I bought the lens 3 months ago, after reading all those good reviews... I had rented the well-reknowned 85 1.2L for weddings, and found that the 1.2 aperture wasn't easy to use, the DOF being so thin... Close portraits at f1.2 end up in keeping maybe 1 out of plenty since it's hard for the AF to differentiate the lashes from the iris, and many times the eye itself is out of focus... And you can't see where the focus is in the viewfinder anyway... So f1.8 was wide enough for me!

The lens is very good at f1.8, and "L" sharp at f2.8!

The only problem is that after buying this lens, I couldn't use my old 28-105 II USM anymore... You get used quite quickly to the nice contrast, the control on the DOF and superb definition of the 85mm... It's why I say it's an expensive lens because having it in your bag leaves you with no other choice than buying "L" zooms... Went out and got the 24-70 2.8L... Damn... Am I looking forward to get the 70-200 f,4L IS? Yes...

Highly recommended!



Nov 18, 2008
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zshaft
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Registered: Aug 31, 2008
Location: Japan
Posts: 5
Review Date: Nov 18, 2008 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: VERY SHARP, lightweight, not expensive lens, USM, EF lens.
Cons:
not L built.

well, i have this lens with the hood attached (not incld.) for about 2months on my 400d & 40d, and i feel really happy n satisfied about how it works n produce very sharp images (once again, very sharp!) all the way.
i always use it for candid portrait on weddings/other parties.
the range is also suitable. not too far, not too close with the object.

in low light condition, putting the aperture to f/1.8 doesnt make me worried about the quality; not noisy.
the bokeh is also excellent.

so, i recommend this lens for medium-tele portrait (esp.candid) for anyone with (not-so-high)budget.

using this on FF will make things better!
no doubtful, just GO FOR IT !


Nov 18, 2008
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skibum5
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Registered: Jan 20, 2005
Location: United States
Posts: 16177
Review Date: Oct 13, 2008 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 8 

 
Pros: quite sharp, fast, fast AF
Cons:
AF accuracy a little bit weak for more distant subjects, extremely prone to PF



Oct 13, 2008
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Aysha A.
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Registered: Mar 7, 2007
Location: United Arab Emirates
Posts: 139
Review Date: Sep 12, 2008 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $361.95 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Beautiful bokeh, amazing portraits images, quality pictures
Cons:
None

I highly recommend this lens to all the portraits, products, macro lovers out there, it is a very nice lens, reasonably priced and everyone can afford it.

I've been using it for few years, done a lot of beauty shots and fashion with it and it always deliver an amazing indoors and outdoors, all my client were very pleased with their pictures, thanks to this baby Smile

Samples can be found on my flickr:
http://www.flickr.com/photos/aisama/



Sep 12, 2008
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keatonandrew
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Registered: Jul 29, 2008
Location: United States
Posts: 1
Review Date: Aug 28, 2008 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $360.00 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Sharp, nice build, fast focus
Cons:
chromatic aberration

After shooting this lens on a 5D for a few shoots, I feel I can now comment on it.

It is a tremendous portrait lens. I definitely recommend it for that, no doubt. Super sharp.

The one drawback for me was a decent amount of chromatic aberration that I noticed, more than on any other lenses I've used. It didn't detract much from the image quality, and I could correct it, but it was an annoyance.

to see a sample image: http://www.flickr.com/photos/accidentalphotography/2805438748/sizes/o/

This is a smaller size than the original, but it still shows the incredible bokeh and amount of detail on can get with this lens.

I have not used it on my 20D yet, so I can't comment on how it performs on a crop body.


Aug 28, 2008
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mihind24
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Registered: Apr 24, 2008
Location: United States
Posts: 481
Review Date: Aug 26, 2008 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $380.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Price, speed, focusing, size
Cons:
Chromatic aberrations

I've never been much of a pixel peeper. Today I took some shots at different apertures with this lens. They appeared very sharp when looking at them. Then I zoomed into 100% crops. HOLY COW! The 100% crop looks as sharp as a regular image. I would have absolutely no hesitation printing a 4x6 of a 100% crop from this lens. Realistically, not often that I need that much of a crop from a 85mm on a 1.6 camera, but nice to know that rare option is out there.

I've used this lens before to construct a big stitched image, and no doubt will continue to do so. Amazingly sharp!

Oh, and the focusing. Wow is it fast. With a 40D and this lens it still focuses well except in absolute darkness. I almost feel guilty paying less than $1500 for the combo. It feels like I have pro level AF!


Aug 26, 2008
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S4LTM4N
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Registered: Aug 19, 2008
Location: United States
Posts: 3
Review Date: Aug 19, 2008 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $300.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: sharp, good color and contrast, usable large aperture, useful FL, decent build quality, fast/accurate AF, affordable
Cons:
the only bad thing I have to say is that it makes you second guess the quality of your other lenses

I bought this lens as a replacement for my Canon 70-200 f/4L, and I haven't looked back...not too much anyway Smile

I only have good things to say about this lens, but I'm sure everyone else has already said it all.

The 70-200 I had was great, but I preferred the compactness of this lens. I do most of my shooting indoors, so I rarely used the longer focal lengths of the 70-200 anyway, and f/4 just wasn't fast enough.

If you do mostly indoor shooting, I would recommend to pass up the 70-200s, even the 2.8 IS, for this lens. It will save you a lot of money and give you almost everything they have and more. I have used the 70-200 2.8 IS, but I found myself reaching for my 85 too often to justify owning one myself. If you MUST spend over $1000 and you MUST have L, then go for the 85 1.2, otherwise, enjoy the money you've saved and the beautiful lens you've gained.


Aug 19, 2008
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John Korduner
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Registered: Jan 5, 2008
Location: United States
Posts: 962
Review Date: Aug 16, 2008 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $350.00 | Rating: 8 

 
Pros: It consistently takes solid quality pictures. Its autofocus is quick, and it is well built and compact (and heavy...which to some people seems to be an important factor).
Cons:
None, it's a solid lens for any average user.

I don't find the focal length very useful. I think the $90-50mm f/1.8 is far mor practical without any significant loss in picture quality.

If I didn't enjoy shooting basketball in the winter, this would never come out of the closet. Consequently, I think this lens is a must for any hobbiest who enjoys indoor sporting events.

All factors considered, due to the random manner in which I accumulated my lenses...but, I'd imagine hobbiests that possess any modicum of foresight for building their lens collections, would ultimately find this lens falls into a gap, and consequently, the $350 price-tag is ultimatly unjustifiable.

Other than its lack of utility for my interests, I have nothing negative to say about its functionality or price v. value.




Aug 16, 2008
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Canon EF 85mm f/1.8 USM

Buy from B&H Photo
Reviews Views Date of last review
311 486587 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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