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CanonEF 85mm f/1.2L II USM Lens
 
4.9

(based on 631 reviews)

Ratings Distribution

  • 5 Stars

     

    (550)

  • 4 Stars

     

    (71)

  • 3 Stars

     

    (8)

  • 2 Stars

     

    (2)

  • 1 Stars

     

    (0)

98%

of respondents would recommend this to a friend.

Pros

  • Strong construction (418)
  • Nice bokeh (358)
  • Durable (338)
  • Consistent output (319)
  • Fast / accurate auto-focus (256)

Cons

  • Heavy (282)
  • Slow focus (212)
  • Tough to attach (49)
  • Pricey / poor value (12)
  • Blurry focus (9)

Best Uses

  • Weddings (357)
  • Low light (352)
  • Night photography (241)
  • Portraits (171)
  • Landscape/scenery (64)
    • Reviewer Profile:
    • Pro photographer (179), Semi-pro photographer (163), Photo enthusiast (111), Enthusiast (40), Professional (39)
    • Was this a gift?:
    • No (371), 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 631 customers

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5.0

Canon 85mm 1.2L II Lens

By Hawkie

from Southern California

About Me Pro Photographer

Verified Buyer

Pros

  • Consistent Output
  • Easily Interchangeable
  • Fast / accurate auto-focus
  • Large Lens Opening
  • Nice Bokeh
  • Strong Construction

Cons

    Best Uses

    • Indoors/Low Light
    • Small group portraits

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

    This is a hunk of glass! I debated getting the 1.8 or the Sigma Lens 85mm. I am so happy I spent the extra money and purchased this lens. Coupled with my new Canon 6D the images are spectacular. I have the Canon 2.8 70-200L lens. This fixed focal length lens is the perfect lens for portrait and tight shots with three or fewer. The weight is not an issue. The 70-200 can be unmanageable in this type of situation. The f1.2 lens allows for a shallow depth of field and has a certain image quality not presented by the zoom lenses. The Canon 2.8L 70-200mm zoom lens can be a challenge in a tight situation. I recommend you stay with a fixed focal length for portrait work. Zooms are great for candid situations. This lens in a studio light situation or the 600EX-RT with the Vello diffuser has no equal.

    • Was this a gift?:
    • No

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    5.0

    Very good performance

    By Hongtao

    from Kirkland, WA

    About Me Photo Enthusiast

    Verified Buyer

    Pros

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

    Cons

    • Heavy
    • Slow Focus

    Best Uses

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

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

    The bokeh is fantastic, better than Nikon 85 1.4G. It focuses a little bit slower though. Very heavy.

    • Was this a gift?:
    • No

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    (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

     
    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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      (2 of 2 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.

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      (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

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            (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

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            (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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            (1 of 8 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.

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                            • 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.

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                                • No

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