Canon
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Canon EF 85mm f/1.2L II USM AutoFocus Telephoto Lens - USA

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Canon 85mm F/1.2L: Picture 1 regular

About Canon 85mm F/1.2L

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The Canon EF 85mm f/1.2L II USM is a medium telephoto prime lens that is considered the ultimate professional portrait photography lens because of its extremely wide aperture, which results in a narrow depth of field and dramatic focus fall-off. Its superb floating optical system and aspherical lens element produce outstanding quality images with minimal reflections, glare and ghosting. As a Canon L-series lens, it is weather-sealed against moisture and dust, and image quality rivals prime lenses.

What you should know about this lens:
· f/1.2 aperture: It's the largest-aperture 85mm lens available, and is ideal for general low-light photography indoors without flash, as well as specifically for portraits. Many pros consider this the ultimate portrait lens.
· Excellent elements: The floating optical system includes an aspherical lens element, and Super Spectra lens coatings and lens element shaping to eliminate flare and ghosting. Resulting images show outstanding contrast, vividness, and accurate color balance.
· Great bokeh: The aperture blades are circular, creating a creamy blurred background and round specular highlights, enhancing the image.
· Fine focus: With such a large aperture, focus is critical. Autofocus is smooth and fast, and full-time manual focus override lets you fine-tune focus even in AF mode.
· Durably built: This L-series lens is weather sealed to protect it against moisture and dust damage.

The Canon 85mm F/1.2L is commonly used for Landscape/scenery, Low light, Night photography, Portrait, Portraits, Sports/action, Video, Weddings and more.The Canon 85mm F/1.2L is most used by customers who consider themselves to be a Photo enthusiast, Professional, Pro photographer, Semi-pro photographer among others.The Canon 85mm F/1.2L is popular because customers like the following qualities of the Canon 85mm F/1.2L: Consistent output, Durable, Easily interchangeable, Fast / accurate auto-focus, Fast auto-focus, Nice bokeh, Rugged, Sharp, Strong construction, Superior build quality and Super-sharp images

Canon 85mm F/1.2L Features

  • Medium telephoto lens - 85mm focal length, fast f/1.2 aperture
  • Large diameter precision-ground aspherical element effectively corrects spherical aberration
  • Floating lens elements to minimize aberration during focus, ensuring high image quality over entire image area
  • Large maximum aperture for available light shooting and attractive background defocus
  • 37.4" / 95cm minimum focus distance
  • Ring-type Ultrasonic Motor (USM) for fast and virtually silent operation
  • Manual focusing enabled even during AF mode (full time mechanical focusing)
  • 72mm Filter Size.

Canon 85mm F/1.2L Reviews Powered by TurnTo®

Review Summary

 
4.8

(based on 71 reviews)

77%

of respondents would recommend this to a friend.

Ratings Distribution

  • 5 Stars

     

    (61)

  • 4 Stars

     

    (8)

  • 3 Stars

     

    (2)

  • 2 Stars

     

    (0)

  • 1 Stars

     

    (0)

Most Liked Positive Review

 

The Holy Grail of Lenses

I never thought much about prime lenses until I saw what this lens can do. Nothing short of amazing in the right hands. Stunning images. If you are the 95% looking for bang for the buck, don't bother, this lens is expensive. If you are the 5% that does not want to compromise at all, demands perfection, will do anything for the "shot", sign up, and you won't ever look back. I will sell every other lens I own, before I sell this one. All my other lenses, are L lenses. And all this from a...

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VS

Most Liked Negative Review

 

Is it all hype?

Great lens for Portraits if you dont mind the slow speed. Very expensive

Reviewed by 71 customers

 
5.0

Best at 1.8+

By

 -  Professional

Great lens, ultra sharp at lower apertures, when you go into the 1.2-1.8 some shots are noticeably less sharp. I find it best to shoot between 1.8-4 if you need reliable quality. If you are just looking for the dreamy bokeh, then 1.2-1.4 are your settings.

 
5.0

The best (for portraits)

By

 -  Hobbyist

I read a lot of reviews of this lens. Should have gotten it much earlier. This is not a walk around lens for casual shots. I use it for portraits. I always use it with a tripod, take my time, use autofocus with a SINGLE AF point focusing on the subject's eye. The photos, the bokeh I get with a lens wide open at 1.2 are absolutely stunning.

 
5.0

Mighty big chunk of glass

By

 -  Semi-Pro

I've had the 85 f/1.8 for 20 years, and it has been a favorite lens for low light venues, like concerts, clubs, parties, museums, and even sports. Recently I've been upgrading lenses. I've replaced my 70-200 f/2.8L with the latest IS version, I've replaced the 100 f/2.8 non-usm macro with the latest 100 f/2.8L IS, and similar changes. I've been quite pleased with the improvements that I've seen in several of the 20 years newer models. Based on this experience, I decided to try the 85 f/1.2L II and these are my impressions. First, it is definitely brighter. My old eyes appreciate the improved view through the viewfinder. Of course, this was to be expected. It is my impression that neither the my old f/1.8 nor the new f/1.2L have serious problems with vignetting. There is some barrel distortion present in both the 1.8 and the 1.2, but it's not noticeable if you're not looking for it. My sense is that the f/1.2L is giving me more natural color and better contrast. Second, the f/1.8 definitely autofocuses faster. Both lenses autofocus reliably, but it takes a bit longer with the f/1.2L. The 1.8 will focus a bit closer, but neither one is anywhere close to the macro range. Minimum focus distance is around 3' for either one. Third, it took me a while to figure out how the full time manual override of autofocus actually works. You have to have the autofocus activated, by depressing the shutter halfway (or by some other method depending on your body), in order to get the manual override to work. It is not enough to have the camera body turned on, and to have pressed the shutter halfway a few seconds before to illuminate the displays. The button has to be pressed halfway down continuously, or the manual override will not work. Fourth, the 1.2L weighs more than twice as much as the 1.8. It is a mighty big chunk of glass. So ... what do I think? Well, if I were on a budget, I'd definitely stick with the f/1.8 version. This lens is sort of a bucket list lens, and if you think you need or want that extra stop of light, the 1.2L is the only way to get it. But do you really need it in this age of bodies that will run 5 figure ISOs? In my case, I've decided that I like the f/1.2L well enough to keep it. I had thought about selling the f/1.8 to partially fund the change, but right now my inclination is to keep them both, and use the f/1.8 when I'm travelling light, or give it to my wife so that she can use it with her EOS Rebel SL1.

 
5.0

Stunning

By

 -  Hobbyist

I'd read that this lens was slow to focus and not accurate. I'm delighted to report that on my 6D focus is fast and accurate. Images are spectacular-color and contrast are beautiful. I can see this taking its place with the 70-200 f/2.8L as a favorite.

 
5.0

Crisp, sexy, and elegant

By

 -  Hobbyist

This lens is the most beautiful lens that captures the moment every click of the shutter!

(2 of 2 customers found this review helpful)

 
5.0

You need it - A must have

By

 -  Professional

I ordered this version II USM in October 26, 2011. I have used this lens for just about every thing from food photography, landscape, street, walk around, studio, and yes lots of portraits. Over the past 5 years as my camera bodies have changed this lens kept getting better, faster and more responsive. When the Canon 1D X was released I bought it and once this lens was mounted on the 1D X it was like this lens was made just for that camera body. I could not image my photography life without this lens.

 
5.0

Love it.

By

 -  Hobbyist

Auto focus works in low light as opposed to my other lenses. Pictures of my black cat without flash show detail of her fur as opposed to a black lump.

 
5.0

best portrait lens ever

By

 -  Hobbyist

had one a few years back & foolishly let it go to pay for something or another... I was looking back through some older photos I'd taken... saw some & knew immediately what lens I'd used to capture it with... as they said in one of my fave movies... "thank you sir can I have another"...

(1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

 
5.0

The King of Bokeh

By

 -  Semi-Pro

The lens is amazing. At first I was a little hesitating about 2 things: sharpness wide open and misfocusing due to the very shallow DoF. Well, on the 5ds r the sharpness turned out to be great, and surprisingly no AFMA was required. The lens is a little slow to focus from infinity, but it's one of a kind, so I can forgive it :) If it doesn't need to go all the way from infinity - the AF speed is quite acceptable. One thing to note - the 5ds r has a menu option "retract lens on power off", it doesn't work with this lens, so every time before I turn off the camera I have to switch the lens to MF and focus to infinity. Not a deal breaker though :) The bokeh is amazing and the contrast the lens delivers is great. Some minor CA is easy to fix in PP. I have another 85mm lens to compare - the Otus 85 f/1.4, and while it doesn't have the CA, the visual sharpness is on par @ 1.4, but the Canon has a big bonus - AF. Love this lens and the 200 f/2, both have very distinct rendering and great for portraits. My only wish for the 85mm f/1.2 is "IS" like the 200mm f/2. On the high mpx bodies like the 5ds r the IS is a must IMO. I can shoot the 200mm handheld at 1/100s no problem, but the 85mm I have to go at least 1/160s to get the same number of keepers.

(0 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

 
5.0

LOVE LOVE LOVE

By

 -  Semi-Pro

Love everything about this lens

Q&A

Questions & Answers Powered by TurnTo®

Questions about this item:

Shopper  Why Did You Choose This?
JON S  A specialty lens for us portraitists, for sure. The real reason for owning this lens as compared to any of the f1.4's or 1.8's is simply the razor thin DOF that is possible with the 1.2. It allows you to produce art. I love it. Is it worth the price? No, unless you just don't care about cost--at which point this is a must have item for serious portraitists.
JEN B  Best lens ever. Hands down.
ANDREW C  The best portrait lens if you like bokeh.
PAUL A  Unbelievably beautiful photos come out of it, wanted to see if f/1.2 was that much different than the f/1.4 I have (answer: not enough for me to justify keeping it). I shot with it for a couple weeks but ended up returning it. For my work, the AF was just not fast enough, though if I did mostly portrait (i.e., not wedding) work, (where speed isn't as much of an issue) I'd probably have kept it.
SHERI H  I read all sorts of great things about this lens. I read at this one place that rents lenses that people actually cried when they had to return it. I wanted it for myself. So I bought one and now I KNOW why people cry when they have to return it. It's awesome! Takes the best pictures ever!
WILLIAM R  Wanted low light lens for portrait and event shoots.
Shopper  Am I able to finance this lens through the Canon Leasing program since you are an authorized dealer?
Andrew R  Responses on this Q&A system are from other customers, NOT Adorama employees (unless indicated by email or otherwise as "staff"). For best response regarding specific purchase inquiries please call 800-223-2500.
DAVID R  What is the best lens for action photography of bands with lights and much movement?
BRENDA P  While this is a great lens, it's fairly slow focus so wouldn't be great for the environment you describe.
WILLIAM R  I wouldn't recommend this lens. It is too slow to focus. The 50mm F1.2L would be preferable if you really need the F1.2, but I would probably opt for the 70-200mm f2.8 ISL
MARTIN K  The 85 f/1.2 would not be my first choice. My preference for a live band, if either in the press area in front of the stage or if on the stage, is always a zoom, usually one body with a 24-70 and a second with 70-200 - sometimes with a 1.4x extender. My favorite aperture is 2.8, but that's often not enough for being close to the performers, even 5.6 can be too shallow. But, with f/8 I have to watch the background, shutter speed & iso closely. I rarely use the 85 f/1.2 at f/1.2 because the focus depth requires methodical interaction between the camera position and the subject to achieve exactly the effect I'm looking for. The dynamics of a live performance makes the zooms a more effective choice IMO. Good Luck!
RICHARD B  Sorry, probably not a good source of info, as I use the lens for close up and portraiture, etc...............I normally us my 24-105mm for its zoom capabilities, as opposed to fixed lens characteristics.
IAN P  This lens would be great for action photos of bands. The autofocus can be a little slow. Another great Canon lens would be the 70-200 2.8L II The 300mm 2.8 L is also a wonderful lens, but more pricy and not a zoom.
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