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Canon EF 85mm f/1.2L II USM

Review Date: Aug 18, 2006 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

Pros: Tack sharp wide open.
double-image in out of focus areas wide open.

The lens is a stunner: *if* you can nail the focus at f1.2, it is stunningly sharp with excellent contrast by virtually any standard (Canon EOS 1Ds Mark II). Focus accuracy at 1:20 is about +- 5mm, which is excellent, though even a 5mm error will degrade sharpness slightly at f1.2 at 1:20.

Negatives: wide open (and probably stopped down slightly), the lens has substantial chromatic aberration in out-of-focus areas as little as a few centimeters behind the focus plane (two samples tested). I show examples of this in my blog; see the August 18, 2006 entry to start:

Background blur is absolutely gorgeous, among the best Iíve seen. Focus speed is adequate, and an improvement on the Mark I lens, but for moving subjects remains a real problem.

It is a very find performer in infrared!

NOTE: be particularly careful mounting this lens due to its exposed rear element.