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Canon EF 85mm f/1.8 USM

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Reviews Views Date of last review
312 487669 Sep 3, 2014
Recommended By Average Price
95% of reviewers $350.28
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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klinker
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Registered: May 14, 2008
Location: Germany
Posts: 0
Review Date: May 14, 2008 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

Pros: really fast USM AF, sharp, bright, compact,lightweigt,
Cons:
You need much space to the subject, depending on the construction. so its not really a negativ aspect

You have to consider that you need long distances to the subjects. 80cm minimum focusdistance

Thats why I sold it. It was to much for me.


May 14, 2008
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NoGood
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Registered: Aug 13, 2006
Location: Belgium
Posts: 6
Review Date: May 13, 2008 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 9 

Pros: Bokeh, sharpness, build quality, color, manual focus, price.
Cons:
Indoor AF, fringing/CA.

Pros:
====

* Bokeh: Cream-machine. Backgrounds disappear right in front of your eyes, and become dreamy glows of color.
* Sharpness: Good sharpness right from 1.8, excellent from 2.8 and higher.
* Build Quality: not much left to wish for here; metal mount, very solidly built, no moving parts ... Maybe the focus ring could be a little bit more damped.
* Color: warm, saturated colors.
* Manual focus: this actually is a lens i can (have to ...) use to focus manually on my 400D Smile
* Price: This lens is worth every Euro out of 335!

Cons:
====

* Indoor AF: i just went to a three-day party to take pictures, and i often used this lens. About the only real problem i had was focusing in dark environments. It was or slow, or hunted and didn't find focus. My EF-S 17-55 was A LOT faster, and I often had to switch to it.
* Fringing/CA: this is a bit of an issue, in almost any high contrast situation you get very clear CA's and/or fringing.


May 13, 2008
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YYClickit
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Registered: Jun 13, 2006
Location: Canada
Posts: 0
Review Date: May 12, 2008 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $519.00 | Rating: 9 

Pros: Fast focus, light, good focal length, inexpensive.
Cons:
Less sharp wide open, min focal distance could be closer.

This is a great little lens. I debated long and hard about getting the 135 f/2L or this lens. I finally settled on the 85 for two reasons, the first being the focal length on my 1.6x camera and the second being the price.

On a 1.6x, this lens is long indoors. For waist-up type portraits, you're looking at being ~5m away from your subject.

After a few hundred frames I'm fairly impressed with this lens, and it certainly lives up to most of the hype. The bokeh is very pleasing. The colour and contrast don't quite seem to match my L lenses, but that can be 'fixed'...

This lens focuses very quickly, is inconspicuous and is extremely sharp after around 2.2-2.5+. I'm finding my shots at 1.8-2.0 are soft, although my focus may not have been perfect.

On a full frame camera I would buy the 135 in a heartbeat, but with my 1.6x this lens will be on my camera often.


May 12, 2008
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CrissX
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Registered: Sep 29, 2004
Location: Romania
Posts: 2
Review Date: May 5, 2008 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

Pros: Very sharp, great bokeh,lightweight,fast enough,best for portrets, 1.8,
Cons:
Lens hood don't fit so tight, CA at 1.8 2.0.



May 5, 2008
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jj sach md
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Registered: Jan 22, 2006
Location: United Kingdom
Posts: 42
Review Date: Apr 28, 2008 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 9 

Pros: Lightweight, fast in all aspects, compact, price
Cons:
It not the 85L!

Absolutely superb prime lens which I have had for several years. At the time of purchase I had the choice of purchasing the 85L f1.2 but after a hands-on, I could not justify the price of the L - mainly let down by the slow focus. The 85 f1.8 is a great lens with fast focusing and helps to produce great quality of photos. I have used this lens for weddings, music and arts performances. No doubt the 85L is in a league of its own but you just can't overlook this lens based on all round performance, quality and price.

Apr 28, 2008
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Chris Fawkes
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Registered: Feb 1, 2006
Location: Australia
Posts: 3814
Review Date: Apr 26, 2008 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

Pros: Sharp, 1.8
Cons:
Apr 26, 2008
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Michael Watt
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Registered: Jan 21, 2007
Location: Australia
Posts: 0
Review Date: Apr 25, 2008 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 8 

Pros: Cost, relatively more affordable then the 85 1.2 L, Light, quick focus, still very fast at 1.8
Cons:
A bit soft at 1.8

I drooled over the Canon 85 1.2 L. My hand hovered over the credit card ready to order. Stopped, decided I didnít want to die. My wife would kill me when she saw the credit bill. Iím sure many a man has settled for the marriage saving 85 1.8. Ok it is not huge or sporting pretty a red ring, but if used wisely, combined with understanding of the optical limitations of apertures larger then 2.8 this lens can be just as much fun it bed. Enough about marriage.

Having purchased and used this lens, I am now thankful that I didnít go down the ĎLí path. I donít doubt the 85 L is a fine lens but I do debate if it is worth the thousands for an extra f stop.

I found that using this lens that the closer the subject the more prone it becomes to focusing error, especially using large apertures greater then f2. Depth of field (DOF) is razor thin. At times I found this demanding especially with a moving subject. Although this lens ( or any lens) can only focus on a two dimensional plane the circles of confusion are much smaller, the further the subject. To create the pleasing bokeh (background blur quality) a large aperture combined with a close subject is required. This combination I find difficult. At times I even had to resort to careful manual focus to hit the mark. If you are prepared for careful methodical work beautiful captures can be obtained with this lens.

example : http://www.flickr.com/photos/mw_photography/2420111589/
http://www.flickr.com/photos/mw_photography/2373204362/


Apr 25, 2008
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kawter2
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Registered: Sep 10, 2004
Location: United States
Posts: 168
Review Date: Apr 22, 2008 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

Pros: Sharp, fast, fast focus, great contrast, solid build, not to heavy,
Cons:
could be a tad tad sharper at 1.8

I shoot with this as my primary portrait lens and i love it. I have been tempted to swap it out for the 1.2 L but A: i don't want to put that brick in my bag, and b: if i beat this one up, I can just go pick up another one to replace it.

See here http://www.ericjphotography.com/blog


Apr 22, 2008
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lextalionis
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Registered: Jul 28, 2007
Location: United States
Posts: 1076
Review Date: Apr 16, 2008 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated

Pros: Fraction of the cost over the f/1.2 L and nearly the same results!
Cons:
I say nearly because it does get pretty soft at 1.8

I wanted a good portrait lens at an affordable price. I find this lens to be a real pleasure to use. The bokeh is soooooo dreamy...I love it! It's tricky to use at 1.8 and it's easy to get overly soft captures at 1.8.

I have high-resolution photo samples taken with my Canon 30D here:

Canon EF 85mm f/1.8 Sample Photos

-Roy


Apr 16, 2008
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bacilonur
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Registered: Aug 13, 2006
Location: United States
Posts: 2703
Review Date: Apr 12, 2008 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $325.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: Price, size, weight, IQ, build
Cons:
None

I bought this before I could afford the 85L and I still use it, though for different things. It's very fast and the IQ is great, so for sports or studio use, it's awesome. The difference between 1.2 and 1.8 is subjective, but for the price, you can't afford to not have this in your bag. If you're choosing between the 50 1.4 and the 100 f/2, I'd get this one in a heartbeat.

Apr 12, 2008
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Boonen
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Registered: Apr 11, 2008
Location: United States
Posts: 3
Review Date: Apr 11, 2008 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $450.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: Everything you need for portraits
Cons:
Can't think of any

If you have a portrait to take on a crop sensor or FF just buy this lens, don't use you zoom. The lens may only be beaten buy the 100mm f2.8 macro in terms of price/performance/quality. Its a pleasure to use when I take pictures of my daughter.

Apr 11, 2008
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borderlight
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Registered: Dec 6, 2004
Location: United States
Posts: 1746
Review Date: Apr 10, 2008 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $339.00 | Rating: 9 

Pros: Small, lightweight, decent build, close to L color/contrast
Cons:
Hunts indoors.

A nice complimentary short tele-lens on a FF camera if your main lens is any white 70-200L. Color/contrast almost at L quality. Surprisingly soft until f2.8 at 100% crop. Unfortunately this loss of aperture speed seems to be more commonplace on Canon non-Ls, and quite a few Ls too. Certainly you can get away with f2.2 in less than demanding situations, or smaller enlargements. Overall, this is a valuable lens to have to stop action indoors, sometimes relying more on manual focus for consistant results. Perfect for studio portraits.







Apr 10, 2008
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slyb
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Registered: Mar 20, 2008
Location: Taiwan
Posts: 0
Review Date: Mar 25, 2008 Recommend? no | Price paid: $375.00 | Rating: 7 

Pros: FTM, bokeh, price, feels solid
Cons:
bad CA

Too much CA for me (PM me for samples) which makes it hardly usable for product pictures (my main activity).

CA is coming form refraction in high contrasting areas.
However, keep in mind that Canon 50mm at 1.4, 35mm at 1.4 (L), 85mm at 1.2 (L) do not show any CA on high contrasting elements!
Stopping down solves the problem for sure, then no point to get a 1.8. I bought a 1.8 because I need to shot at 1.8?
I would tolerate some CA on a zoom lens, but not on a prime!

The 85mm 1.8 is my least used lens.

I am not saying it's a bad lens but I consider the 50mm 1.4 to be far much better! (esp for x1.6 users)


Mar 25, 2008
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alaina
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Registered: Mar 21, 2008
Location: United States
Posts: 0
Review Date: Mar 21, 2008 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

Pros: Best for the money within non-L
Cons:
Unfair to blame the lens. But some Canon bodies need calibration to fit.

Among around a dozen Canon mount lenses I had, this one together with 50mm f1.8 gave me really pain at the very begging but finally satisfaction with joy. It is the fact not all Canon bodies can fit this lens. Small DSLR like XT and XTi need calibration. I do not know why. But 40D fits it very well. Also there is variation between copies. I keep the last one I tested, which I believed was good.

You will not regret what this lens can give you. I use this prime for my baby daughter mainly. Of course you can also use it for other purposes. Comparing with other primes I had I would say it beats 35mm f2, 50mm f1.4 and f1.8 optically for sure. The diameter of the posterior glass blade can tell why it shines. Law of physics can never lie. I did not own prime longer than 85mm so I can not compare it with 135 f2, which I still hesitated to buy. If there is any IS version for longer than 100mm I will try.

This is the only lens I think I will buy it again within Canon territory.


Mar 21, 2008
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retrofocus
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Registered: Apr 19, 2007
Location: United States
Posts: 3872
Review Date: Mar 20, 2008 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $340.00 | Rating: 8 

Pros: Weight, nice bokeh-effect, excellent image quality for a very good price
Cons:
AF works pretty unreliable in combination with my Rebel XT and f=1.8, no hood included

I bought this lens one year ago to use it as portrait and medium telephoto prime lens. The price was a no-brainer for the IMO excellent optical quality you get. The bokeh effect is superb, especially at wide open apertures. Another huge advantage is the weight of the lens - it easily fits in a smaller photo bag and is pretty light.

Unfortunately I observed several times that the otherwise fast AF does not work reliable enough at wide open apertures in combination with my Rebel XT camera. When I first used the lens, faces in portrait shootings were a bit out of focus especially at f<2.0. From then I mostly used the lens in MF when using wide open apertures which gave superb photos. I am not sure if this is an issue of the lens itself or of the missing center focus point availability of the Rebel XT.

The lens does not come with a hood. I solved this just by using the same hood which comes with my Sigma 105 mm macro lens - it works perfectly on the 85 mm lens, too!

Personally I never saw a reason to have a faster lens than f1.8 for my portrait work; most often I even use a bit larger aperture numbers.
In the future I would love to experience myself how this lens performs on a full-frame camera body!


Mar 20, 2008
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havehave214
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Registered: Oct 26, 2007
Location: N/A
Posts: 3
Review Date: Mar 7, 2008 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $333.00 | Rating: 9 

Pros: after f/2.2, this lens is really fantastic. Given this price, what shall i want.
Cons:
focus is not accurate at dim environment. CA is noticable at f/1.8 and f/2



Mar 7, 2008
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Canon EF 85mm f/1.8 USM

Buy from B&H Photo
Reviews Views Date of last review
312 487669 Sep 3, 2014
Recommended By Average Price
95% of reviewers $350.28
Build Quality Rating Price Rating Overall Rating
8.91
9.44
9.4
ef85mmf_18usm_1_


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