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Canon EF 85mm f/1.2L II USM

85II
Review Date: Jul 15, 2010 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 8 

 
Pros: Image quality, sharp, ergonomics, bokeh monster, object of beauty
Cons:
Hood. Spendy.

It's the 85L. A classic. Actually, being the 85L II, it's the son of a classic.

The DoF at MFD is less than a centimetre, wide open.

The bokeh is creamy and smooth and lush.

The AF isn't as fast as other glass, but it's not so slow as to be particularly annoying - especially when you consider the sheer amount of movement involved in the focussing process.

The lens hood is the most craptacular idea out of Canon .. ever. It clips to the sodding focus ring and yes, it turns when you manually focus. That's just stupid. I like my hoods to give my glass some mechanical protection from knocks and bumps, not to transmit any bumps straight into the focus ring. It's stupid. Someone should be beaten for this.

It's a little heavy, but if you're used to L glass, you're used to a bit of heft.

Hold the lens up to the light with both caps off and stare into the front element - it's like a window to another world. Stare again. You're hooked and can't resist. This lens is an art object in itself. Take pictures of it.

My copy is sharp wide open, with a little tinge of colour on areas just out of focus. Half an hour with a tripod shooting gave me an AF microadjust of -1 on my 5D Mk. II.

It's heavy. It's expensive. The hood sucks. But the first few frames you shoot will seal the deal. Hell, the frames I shot *in the shop* playing with it impressed me, and that was before AF micro-adjust.