Canon EF 85mm f/1.2L USM

Lens Reviews / Canon Lenses i Not yet tested
85mm $1,399
average price
image of Canon EF 85mm f/1.2L USM

(From Canon lens literature) With a large maximum aperture of f/1.2, this is the fastest 85mm telephoto lens in its class. One Aspherical lens element and two high-refraction elements give sharp images with little flare even at maximum aperture. The floating system corrects coma for high image quality.

NOTE: Canon makes a newer version of this lens with faster autofocus.

Canon EF 85mm f/1.2L USM

Canon EF 85mm f/1.2L USM User Reviews

10.0/10 average of 5 review(s) Build Quality 10.0/10 Image Quality 10.0/10
  • 10 out of 10 points and recommended by mebailey (21 reviews)
    The best portrait lens in the Canon arsenal. Dreamy bokeh. Very sharp even wide open.
    Heavy, slow focusing (MarkI), rear element easily damaged, awkward manual focus

    This is my favorite Canon lens. It is a pleasure to use and gives outstanding results. It looks like a little Hubble telescope from the front (it gathers light like one too). Its alittle long for group photography unless you have alot of room.
    Each time I remove it from the camera I set the manual focus to infinity so the rear element will retract maximally to lessen chance of scratching it when I mount it again.

    reviewed December 14th, 2006 (purchased for $1,499)
  • 10 out of 10 points and recommended by gadgetguy (62 reviews)
    f1.2, "L" build and image quality

    This is the ULTIMATE portrait lens, bar none. Af is slow, though (due to the heavy elements) and I hear the "II" version is faster.

    It produces just about the best bokeh I have ever seen!

    reviewed December 13th, 2006
  • 10 out of 10 points and recommended by lord_malone (2 reviews)
    Rock solid L build. Outstanding color, contrast and bokeh.
    Heavy chunk of glass. Slight learning curve. Slow to focus esp. in low light.

    This is a superb lens. Everything good that needed to be said about this lens has been said. Once you've mastered this lens, the priceless photos you'll capture more than justifies its heavy price tag. I would like to use it on a FF body (currrently mounted on a 1.6x crop body) as it gives me a little too much reach in certain situations. Though I said weight was a con (for most), it doesn't bother me in the least bit. However, it has proven a little too much for my petite wife to handle. About the only thing that hinders this lens from being absolutely flawless is its slow focus. I've missed several shots because of this. Overall, its an exceptional lens and I wouldn't hesitate to recommend it to anyone.

    reviewed February 20th, 2006 (purchased for $1,350)
  • 10 out of 10 points and recommended by twereliu (5 reviews)
    Very good Bokeh (Amazing Actuall) and stunning minimum DOF
    Heavy, Very Slow focus

    I am not sure what other poster meant by the light issue.

    At 1.2 the images are a bit soft, but this is a portrait lens primarily and sharpness isnt that important there, can actually detract, at 2.0 it is very useable, sharp, and still has awesome bokeh.

    But if you want sharpness stop it down and bit more and it will perform, like wow perform.

    Also very useable with some extention tubes for selective focus macro's, I am talking abstract flowers etc, not insects or grains of rice etc.

    The background blur is amazing, cant really explain it but it is quite lovely.

    The major issue with this lens is that it is dog slow to focus and many times just cant in lower light situations.

    The manual focus is always on though, so for portraits or selective focus shots it really cant be beat in my opinion.

    It's not a must have lens, but I have fallen in love with it's bokeh effect and portait capabilities.

    reviewed December 30th, 2005
  • 10 out of 10 points and recommended by AHAB (8 reviews)
    World class sharpness, low light ability, excellent background blur.
    price... but you get what you pay for

    Really draws in the light.
    Excellent in low light applications.
    Phenominal background blur, this is a specialized tool, you may have to practice a bit because the depth of field is razor thin, when you master this lens it produces amazing images. Rent it first to see if it is for you.

    reviewed October 21st, 2005 (purchased for $1,500)