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CanonEF 85mm f/1.2L II USM Lens
 
4.9

(based on 629 reviews)

Ratings Distribution

  • 5 Stars

     

    (548)

  • 4 Stars

     

    (71)

  • 3 Stars

     

    (8)

  • 2 Stars

     

    (2)

  • 1 Stars

     

    (0)

98%

of respondents would recommend this to a friend.

Pros

  • Strong construction (416)
  • Nice bokeh (356)
  • Durable (337)
  • Consistent output (317)
  • Fast / accurate auto-focus (255)

Cons

  • Heavy (281)
  • Slow focus (211)
  • Tough to attach (49)
  • Pricey / poor value (12)
  • Blurry focus (9)

Best Uses

  • Weddings (356)
  • Low light (350)
  • Night photography (240)
  • Portraits (171)
  • Landscape/scenery (64)
    • Reviewer Profile:
    • Pro photographer (178), Semi-pro photographer (163), Photo enthusiast (110), Enthusiast (40), Professional (39)
    • Was this a gift?:
    • No (369), Yes (13)

Most Liked Positive Review

 

Would I do it again? ..... Probably

I read review after review trying to decide whether or not this lens was something I should part with my hard earned $$$ for. It isn't the cheapest date on the block. I...Read complete review

I read review after review trying to decide whether or not this lens was something I should part with my hard earned $$$ for. It isn't the cheapest date on the block. I have owned many lenses over the past 10 years and have for the past year whittled down my lenses to just what I felt I would actually put on the camera and use regularly. My interest has always been primarily landscapes, macro and still life photography. When I drag out the big gun at family events everyone runs for the hills and so I don't have much of an opportunity to shoot people.My kit briefly, Canon 5D Mark III, 16-33mm f2.8 L IS II, 100mm f2.8 L IS, 70-200mm f2.8 L IS II and the kit 24-105mm F4. Really great stuff (well maybe not the kit :-) And now 85mm f1.2 II LWhy now the 1.2? Well, like other reviewers have said, I can afford it. But I wanted to make sure I'd use it. So I rented it for 10 days. That was the best idea I've had. All the reviews you read are true. Heavy? Very. Soft? Absolutely why else buy the thing? Slow to focus? That depends on your use. I don't shoot fast moving sports. What I want is to keep something smaller than my 70-200mm on at family gatherings and be able to get some candids of friends and family in lower light situations without a flash. For the time that I rented it I made photos I never could before. Mostly of my victims were my wife and kids when they were around. :)Then out in our gardens I couldn't believe the separation of my subjects from the silky smooth backgrounds. I can get that with the 70-200 at 2.8 if I stand back 10 feet. This way I can get in much closer and the effect is stunning.Add any one of the standard extention tubes and it almost blows my 100mm macro away. I'm really torn between shooting with either of them and I'm still switching back and forth to decide which I love more.Regrets? Like the song "I've had a few", but this lens isn't one of em.I'd recommend this lens if you can afford it and want to take some stunning portraits, and even macro shots with extention tubes.

VS

Most Liked Negative Review

 

Eh, it's ok...

I used this lens for weddings and portraits. It is a decent lens but not worth the money, not even close. It DOES produce beautiful bokeh, is very sharp and it has unreal...Read complete review

I used this lens for weddings and portraits. It is a decent lens but not worth the money, not even close. It DOES produce beautiful bokeh, is very sharp and it has unreal contrast and colors for its wide aperture.

What it DOESN'T have is the ability to control CA problems (it's downright awful at this) and the AF is just slow enough to make you miss shots.

Also, the 135mm f/2L smokes this lens easy in nearly every department. I know, I know it's f/2 not f/1.2. But seriously, the 135mm is the best lens canon makes for a prime less than 200mm. At 135mm the bokeh is very similar to the 85. Plus, if you're using it for portraits you will get a bit more facial features in focus along with the eyes while maintaining great bokeh. Not to mention, the 135mm has blazing fast AF.

Reviewed by 629 customers

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5.0

My favorite len by far for head shots

By Moises for Puerto Rico

from Guaynabo, PR

About Me Semi-pro Photographer

Verified Reviewer

Pros

  • Consistent Output
  • Nice Bokeh
  • Strong Construction

Cons

    Best Uses

    • Indoors/Low Light
    • Weddings/Events

    Comments about Canon EF 85mm f/1.2L II USM Lens:

    Exclusive for head and beauty shots.
    The sharpness and boken.
    It may get heavy after a while.

    • Was this a gift?:
    • No

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    (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

     
    5.0

    The best portrait lens

    By Tidejag01

    from Atlanta

    Comments about Canon EF 85mm f/1.2L II USM Lens:

    Not much to say other than this is the best portrait lens. Your subjects really pop. I've used the 50mm 1.2 and the 70-200mm 2.8 but there's just something different about this lens.

    Share this review

    (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

     
    5.0

    Great amazing sharp Photos!

    By MDM Photography

    from Australia

    About Me Pro Photographer

    Verified Buyer

    Pros

    • Easily Interchangeable
    • Nice Bokeh
    • Strong Construction
    • Sublime Images

    Cons

    • Af A Little Slow

    Best Uses

    • Indoors/Low Light
    • Weddings/Events

    Comments about Canon EF 85mm f/1.2L II USM Lens:

    I'm extremely happy with lens about the lens..

    Amazing sharp Images with the an amazing Bokeh..

    Really amazing lens.

    NOW the downfall, which I'm willing to live with.

    The lens AF is a little on the slow side, so if your woking with fast paced subjects forget it.. HOWEVER, I took it to use at my Weddings I shot on the weekend, and decided to use it for the grooms/brides preparation only, I pretty much used it all day after that!

    Great lens. WORTH IT!! :)

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    4.0

    slow and lovely

    By Sara

    from montana

    About Me Pro Photographer

    Verified Buyer

    Pros

    • Easily Interchangeable
    • Nice Bokeh
    • Strong Construction

    Cons

    • Slow Focus
    • Tough To Attach

    Best Uses

    • Indoors/Low Light
    • Weddings/Events

    Comments about Canon EF 85mm f/1.2L II USM Lens:

    I use this lens for portraits. I like that I can go wide open with it in low light. It can be slow to focus a lot, but I knew that before I bought it. It's heavy, but I like it because it's heavy for a good reason....it's all glass!!

    • Was this a gift?:
    • No

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    (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

     
    5.0

    Exposes real skill and lack of skill!

    By Stephen

    from Dublin, Ireland

    About Me Semi-pro Photographer

    Verified Buyer

    Pros

    • Consistent Output
    • Nice Bokeh
    • Rugged
    • Strong Construction

    Cons

    • Heavy
    • Slow Focus

    Best Uses

    • Indoors/Low Light
    • Portraiture
    • Weddings/Events

    Comments about Canon EF 85mm f/1.2L II USM Lens:

    This is an incredible lens. It is astonishingly frustrating to use when you try it first and particularly if you've not shot at f1.2 before. The focus ring takes forever to turn full circle and AF is not very quick, but with some perseverance there is a surreal quality to the image when shot wide open that will result in your jaw dropping in complete awe. If portraiture is your thing and if you don't have to sell a kidney to buy it, then THIS is THE lens to get.

    • Was this a gift?:
    • No

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    (1 of 2 customers found this review helpful)

     
    5.0

    GLASS

    By Walter

    from New Haven, CT

    About Me Semi-pro Photographer

    Verified Buyer

    Pros

    • Consistent Output
    • Durable
    • Easily Interchangeable
    • Nice Bokeh
    • Rugged
    • Strong Construction

    Cons

    • Heavy
    • Slow Focus

    Best Uses

    • Indoors/Low Light
    • Weddings/Events

    Comments about Canon EF 85mm f/1.2L II USM Lens:

    The glass alone makes me feel that the money was well spent. I don't think I would ever have to buy another portrait lens again. Most incredible shots I have ever taken. The bokeh is beautiful, especially at f1.2. The only thing that I would tell people interested in buying this lens is that it is a little slow, but it is completely understandable since it has a long distance to rotate when focusing. Best lens in my arsenal for sure.

    • Was this a gift?:
    • No

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    5.0

    I like this lens a lot

    By David

    from Harrisonburg, VA

    About Me Photo Enthusiast

    Verified Buyer

    Pros

    • Consistent Output
    • Durable
    • Fast / accurate auto-focus

    Cons

      Best Uses

      • Indoors/Low Light
      • Weddings/Events

      Comments about Canon EF 85mm f/1.2L II USM Lens:

      the glass on this lens makes everything always look just a little bit better. The short DOF is amazing. It is heavy. If you're using it for an hour straight you start to feel it in your arms. This is my favorite lens for portraits.

      • Was this a gift?:
      • No

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      (1 of 2 customers found this review helpful)

       
      5.0

      fantastic

      By marcelo ringo

      from Brazil

      About Me Pro Photographer

      Verified Buyer

      Pros

      • Durable
      • Easily Interchangeable
      • Fast / accurate auto-focus
      • Strong Construction

      Cons

      • Heavy

      Best Uses

      • Indoors/Low Light

      Comments about Canon EF 85mm f/1.2L II USM Lens:

      Best lens ever

      • Was this a gift?:
      • No

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      (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

       
      5.0

      Perfection

      By JL Thomas Photography

      from Raleigh NC

      About Me Semi-pro Photographer

      Verified Reviewer

      Pros

      • Consistent Output
      • Nice Bokeh

      Cons

        Best Uses

          Comments about Canon EF 85mm f/1.2L II USM Lens:

          Color. Contrast. Quality bokeh.

          • Was this a gift?:
          • No

          Share this review

          (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

           
          5.0

          Very Impressed!

          By 538z

          from Los Angeles

          About Me Semi-pro Photographer

          Verified Buyer

          Pros

          • Durable
          • Nice Bokeh
          • Rugged

          Cons

          • Heavy
          • Slow Focus

          Best Uses

          • Weddings/Events

          Comments about Canon EF 85mm f/1.2L II USM Lens:

          I'm very impressed! Slow to focus, but images are exactly what I was shooting for... : )

          • Was this a gift?:
          • No

          Share this review

          (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

           
          5.0

          Best lens for portraits

          By efnaka

          from Brazil

          About Me Photo Enthusiast

          Verified Reviewer

          Pros

          • Consistent Output
          • Durable
          • Fast / accurate auto-focus
          • Nice Bokeh
          • Strong Construction

          Cons

          • Heavy

          Best Uses

          • Indoors/Low Light
          • Portraits
          • Weddings/Events

          Comments about Canon EF 85mm f/1.2L II USM Lens:

          I was not sure about buying this lens because it is really expensive. However, after a few shots at BH I decided to buy it.

          I could not be happier with this lens! Sharp images, event at f/1.2! Autofocus is quick enough for portraits, maybe not for sports though. After buying this one, I hardly see myself using another lens. It is perfect for portraits in a full frame body.

          Flare is ok, CA is fine, distortion is fine. Vignetting is quite noticeble at f/1.2, but I actually like it many times. Note that vignetting, distortion and CA are quickly solved with the Adobe Raw though.

          Built quality is compliant with L standard, no comments here!

          Blur and bokeh are amazing.

          There is only tree minor things I don't like in this lenses: (1) lens hood attachment does not feel the most reliable; (2) lens body makes not possible to use a lens coat protection; (3) focus by wire feels strange to me (this is the most annoying thing).

          Anyway, if I loose this lens for any reason, I would buy it again as quick as possible for sure!

          • Was this a gift?:
          • No

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          (0 of 6 customers found this review helpful)

           
          3.0

          Não é metade do que eu esperava.

          By Arthur Rosa - fotografias especiais

          from Fortaleza, Brazil

          About Me Pro Photographer

          Verified Buyer

          Pros

          • Durable
          • Nice Bokeh

          Cons

          • Heavy
          • Slow Focus
          • Tough To Attach

          Best Uses

          • Indoors/Low Light
          • Night Photography
          • Video

          Comments about Canon EF 85mm f/1.2L II USM Lens:

          I wrote this review in portuguese. we have to much reviews in english here and out, so i tried to help my non english speakers friends from Brazil.---------Eu comprei essa lente com expectativas elevadas. Afinal é uma das lentes mais caras da Canon e uma L. Quando a tirei de caixa com um sorriso no rosto me surpreendi com a qualidade da construção e a beleza dessa peça de vidro. Mas logo foram surgindo as decepções:1-O pontinho vermelho que usamos para ajudar encaixar a lente fica por dentro da lente e é difícil vê-lo enquanto se encaixa a lente. 2- O elemento frontal mexe com o foco, saindo pra dentro e pra fora e com isso levando sujeira pra dentro da lente. Obviamente só particulas muito pequenas, mas isso ocorre, donos de 50mm 1.4 sabem do que estou falando. 3- foco mínimo em 90cm(eu já sabia, mas não custa dizer que é ruim).4- foco lento demais. lento mesmo. comparei com a 135mm f/2L, a 85mm gasta mais que o dobro do tempo pra travar o foco. Não sei como dizem que essa é uma wedding lens, pois se vc estiver focando em algo distante e precisa focar em algo perto, já era.... se for rápida a ação vc não vai conseguir pegar pq o foco é lento demais. 5- não é full-time manual.6- aberrção cromática inaceitável quando se fotografar a contra luz com alto contraste. Me lembrei da minha 18-135mm. Não fiz testes profundos, mas ela tem AC que incomoda demais rpa uma lente de mais de 4mil reais. 7-pesada. Abraços e bons cliquesArthur Rosa - fotografias especiais

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          5.0

          A gem of light and color

          By Mamoart

          from Miami FL

          About Me Semi-pro Photographer

          Verified Buyer

          Pros

            Cons

              Best Uses

                Comments about Canon EF 85mm f/1.2L II USM Lens:

                I love the lens, just used it for portraiture and the results are grand. I think I need to learn how to properly use it to my advantage and avoid misfocusing, I know I will learn... The manual focusing is something I have to get used to and then I'll just fly!!! It is just a matter pf practicing and time

                • Was this a gift?:
                • No

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                (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

                 
                5.0

                Love Hate relationship

                By Mike

                from AL

                About Me Semi-pro Photographer

                Verified Buyer

                Pros

                • Durable
                • Nice Bokeh
                • Rugged
                • Strong Construction

                Cons

                  Best Uses

                  • Indoors/Low Light
                  • Night Photography
                  • Weddings/Events

                  Comments about Canon EF 85mm f/1.2L II USM Lens:

                  This lens is both my least favorite and my favorite lens. Wide open it's difficult to get all of the subject or even just the eyes in focus. If you move at all the focus will go out. You have to use not only autofocus but your own eyes as well to make sure what you want is in focus. It's somewhat slow to focus and a heavy lens.

                  All that being said this lens produces the best bokeh I've ever seen! There's just something magical about this lens! ... but it comes at a price. All and all I use this lens more than any other I own!

                  ( note: slow focus & weight comes at the price of having a lens that opens up to a 1.2 for a full frame! )

                  • Was this a gift?:
                  • No

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                  (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

                   
                  5.0

                  quality of light is amazing

                  By cheerykyri

                  from San Jose, CA

                  About Me Semi-pro Photographer

                  Verified Reviewer

                  Pros

                    Cons

                      Best Uses

                        Comments about Canon EF 85mm f/1.2L II USM Lens:

                        Pros: the quality of light that you see through this lens is phenomenal. The rendering is special and no other lens comes close. Amazing in low light.
                        Cons: hard to focus and it's easy to get blurry images if you're not careful

                        This is a portrait lens but I've used it for my kid's concerts indoors and for sports where it does a tremendous job of isolating the subject and really bringing attention. Mostly use this for modeling shots/fashion where it just shines.

                        Also own the 100m f/2.8, 24-105L, 70-200mm, 50 f/1.8, and this is my favorite lens because it makes my pictures look so special and beautiful.

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                        (2 of 2 customers found this review helpful)

                         
                        5.0

                        A True Gem....

                        By Mythos888

                        from NH

                        About Me Photo Enthusiast

                        Verified Reviewer

                        Pros

                        • Consistent Output
                        • Durable
                        • Easily Interchangeable
                        • Fast / accurate auto-focus
                        • Nice Bokeh
                        • Rugged
                        • Strong Construction

                        Cons

                          Best Uses

                          • Indoors/Low Light
                          • Video
                          • Weddings/Events

                          Comments about Canon EF 85mm f/1.2L II USM Lens:

                          Un packaging... Wow, Heavy, as big as a grapefruit. Immediate Thought... Does not matter, this is awesome! Did not Find this to be slow focussing as some have said. This is a Portrait lens Period, not meant for sports or fast action. Take note: Even with A polarizer in bright sun this can force you to stop down to 2.0 at L (50) ISO with a 1/8000 shutter speed. I do not recommend this for entry level cameras
                          with a max shutter speed of 1/4000, otherwise you will have to use an ND filter outside in order to shoot wide open. Also, This lens is incredibly sharp and bright, no post processing sharpening needed.

                          • Was this a gift?:
                          • No

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                          (3 of 3 customers found this review helpful)

                           
                          5.0

                          Home Run!

                          By tomfl

                          from Mount Airy, MD

                          About Me Pro Photographer

                          Verified Reviewer

                          Pros

                          • Durable
                          • Nice Bokeh
                          • Sharp

                          Cons

                          • Can't Mount 2x Ext

                          Best Uses

                          • Indoors/Low Light
                          • Portraits
                          • Weddings/Events

                          Comments about Canon EF 85mm f/1.2L II USM Lens:

                          Outstanding lens with superb sharpness and boceh. As with all my Canon lenses, this one requires micro fine adjustment to auto focus accurately with my Mark-ll and Mark-lll. Without the adjustment, the lens will fore-focus. Once set, sharpness is outstanding from f1.4 down. The slow auto focus seems to be related to accuracy, with a low-gear ratio allowing a finer tune at wide apertures. Exactly what I want for portraits and groups. An amazing lens!

                          • Was this a gift?:
                          • No

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                          (2 of 2 customers found this review helpful)

                           
                          4.0

                          Unique Lens

                          By bullmoon

                          from ATL

                          About Me Pro Photographer

                          Verified Buyer

                          Pros

                          • Nice Bokeh

                          Cons

                            Best Uses

                              Comments about Canon EF 85mm f/1.2L II USM Lens:

                              The control over DOF with this lens is amazing; that's probably the only reason to own it. The focus is slow and tricky to nail at 1.2. The back glass element is right there at the metal edge so extra care is required when changing this lens. Most of these issues have been reported, so no news here, just confirmation.That said, you can get shots with this lens that are spectacular and unique. If you need almost zero DOF, then this is a great lens. It takes some practice with focusing technique, but can be worth it.

                              • Was this a gift?:
                              • No

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                              (2 of 2 customers found this review helpful)

                               
                              5.0

                              Glad I did it.

                              By tfphotos

                              from Santa Rosa, CA

                              About Me Pro Photographer

                              Verified Buyer

                              Pros

                              • Consistent Output
                              • Easily Interchangeable
                              • Fast / accurate auto-focus
                              • Nice Bokeh

                              Cons

                              • Heavy

                              Best Uses

                              • Indoors/Low Light
                              • Night Photography
                              • Weddings/Events

                              Comments about Canon EF 85mm f/1.2L II USM Lens:

                              Use for portraits and everyday photography.

                              • Was this a gift?:
                              • No

                              Share this review

                               
                              5.0

                              Wonderful Lens

                              By Tuesday's Child

                              from Cincinnati Ohio

                              About Me Semi-pro Photographer

                              Verified Reviewer

                              Pros

                              • Consistent Output
                              • Durable
                              • Easily Interchangeable
                              • Fast / accurate auto-focus
                              • Nice Bokeh
                              • Rugged
                              • Strong Construction

                              Cons

                              • Heavy

                              Best Uses

                              • Indoors/Low Light
                              • Portraits
                              • Weddings/Events
                              • Wildlife Photos

                              Comments about Canon EF 85mm f/1.2L II USM Lens:

                              This is great for portraits, low light, keeping your distance from subjects! It makes beautiful photos.

                              • Was this a gift?:
                              • No

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