REVIEW SNAPSHOT®

by PowerReviews
CanonEF 85mm f/1.2L II USM Lens
 
4.9

(based on 544 reviews)

Ratings Distribution

  • 5 Stars

     

    (475)

  • 4 Stars

     

    (60)

  • 3 Stars

     

    (7)

  • 2 Stars

     

    (2)

  • 1 Stars

     

    (0)

98%

of respondents would recommend this to a friend.

Pros

  • Strong construction (364)
  • Nice bokeh (295)
  • Durable (292)
  • Consistent output (272)
  • Fast / accurate auto-focus (235)

Cons

  • Heavy (238)
  • Slow focus (189)
  • Tough to attach (44)
  • Pricey / poor value (10)
  • Blurry focus (8)

Best Uses

  • Weddings (304)
  • Low light (296)
  • Night photography (220)
  • Portraits (155)
  • Landscape/scenery (57)
    • Reviewer Profile:
    • Pro photographer (149), Semi-pro photographer (136), Photo enthusiast (96), Enthusiast (40), Professional (39)
    • Was this a gift?:
    • No (298), Yes (13)

Most Liked Positive Review

 

Love this lens

I spent a lot of time reading reviews on this lens before I bought it. I mean A LOT of time. I read official reviews and user reviews and hunted down forum posts and...Read complete review

I spent a lot of time reading reviews on this lens before I bought it. I mean A LOT of time. I read official reviews and user reviews and hunted down forum posts and blog posts. The overall concenses was that for its purpose - a portrait lens with wicked wide aperture and gorgeous blur/bokeh it couldn't be beat. There were also a lot of reviews complaining that it was too slow to focus.

After using it for several months now, I can say that I have no regrets. Love the images. Skintones are fabulous. Honestly, I don't feel the lens is slow to focus - it's not the lens I would pick up to go shoot a soccer game, but that's not what it's for! I've photographed babies, adults and dogs. No problems.

One person on a forum pointed out that it could be that the complaints about focusing this lens may well be from people not used to the challenges of photographing with a super shallow DOF.

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 544 customers

Displaying reviews 1-20

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4.0

used it everyday.

By Danny

from undisclosed

Verified Buyer

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

I finally get my dream lens

(1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

 
5.0

Best lens I have ever used in 30 years of pro shooting

By John

from Undisclosed

See all my reviews

Site Member

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

Its hard to add to the positive reviews here, but after shooting with pro Nikons, Hasselblads, Nikon, Zeiss, and Canon lenses, I can easily confirm that this is one of the best lenses in the world.
I don't know how to add anything that has not already been written here besides this.

(50 of 51 customers found this review helpful)

 
5.0

Love this lens

By Leslie the Texture expert

from France

About Me Semi-pro Photographer

Verified Buyer

Pros

  • Nice Bokeh
  • Rugged
  • Strong Construction

Cons

  • User Learning Curve

Best Uses

  • Artistic Portraits
  • Indoors/Low Light
  • Weddings/Events

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

I spent a lot of time reading reviews on this lens before I bought it. I mean A LOT of time. I read official reviews and user reviews and hunted down forum posts and blog posts. The overall concenses was that for its purpose - a portrait lens with wicked wide aperture and gorgeous blur/bokeh it couldn't be beat. There were also a lot of reviews complaining that it was too slow to focus.

After using it for several months now, I can say that I have no regrets. Love the images. Skintones are fabulous. Honestly, I don't feel the lens is slow to focus - it's not the lens I would pick up to go shoot a soccer game, but that's not what it's for! I've photographed babies, adults and dogs. No problems.

One person on a forum pointed out that it could be that the complaints about focusing this lens may well be from people not used to the challenges of photographing with a super shallow DOF.

  • Was this a gift?:
  • No
 
5.0

Perfect lens

By Seng

from Nyc

About Me Pro Photographer

Verified Buyer

Pros

  • Consistent Output
  • Nice Bokeh

Cons

  • Heavy
  • Slow Focus

Best Uses

  • Indoors/Low Light
  • Video
  • Weddings/Events

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

Great lens ever

  • Was this a gift?:
  • No
 
5.0

Great Portrait Lens

By Arizona77

from Louisville, Ky

About Me Pro Photographer

Verified Buyer

Pros

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

Cons

  • Heavy

Best Uses

  • Indoors/Low Light
  • Weddings/Events

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

Great glass! This is a very shapr lens that allows you to take amazing portarit shots! The bokeh is awesome, but keep in mind that is is pretty heavy lens. Very satisfy with my purchase!

  • Was this a gift?:
  • No
 
5.0

Fantastic lens

By PaulG

from Scottsdale, AZ

About Me Photo Enthusiast

Verified Buyer

Pros

  • 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:

Lens is extremely sharp. It is true that autofocus is fairly slow, but it is quite accurate. This is, after all, a portrait lens and not an action lens. Bokeh at 1.2 is beautiful, and sharpness, especially center sharpness is tack sharp. If you are looking for a portrait lens/medium telephoto with outstanding sharpness and color reproduction, this is a phenomenal lens.

  • Was this a gift?:
  • No
 
4.0

My opinion

By JessykaRabbit

from Thousand Oaks ca

About Me Pro Photographer

Verified Buyer

Pros

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

Cons

    Best Uses

    • Indoors/Low Light
    • Weddings/Events

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

    I use this lens for portraits and events and I LOVE the low light capabilities and extremely wide open aperture!

    • Was this a gift?:
    • Yes
     
    5.0

    85mm 1.2

    By connie

    from pa

    About Me Photo Enthusiast

    Verified Buyer

    Pros

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

    Cons

    • Heavy

    Best Uses

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

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

    lens will let you take amazing shots. The focus speed is a little slow, but I have been taking highschool indoor volleyball games and was using 70-200 2.8 with a 5D3 but had to have the ISO to high with that lens. Now with this lens its not an issue..

    • Was this a gift?:
    • No

    (0 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

     
    5.0

    Excellent. Beware the soft focus ring

    By Fish

    from New York, NY

    About Me Semi-pro Photographer

    Verified Buyer

    Pros

      Cons

      • Blurry Focus

      Best Uses

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

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

      Fast lens. Very sharp. Great images. In love with it.

      • Was this a gift?:
      • No

      (1 of 3 customers found this review helpful)

       
      5.0

      This lens is a must have!

      By David at RIVERSEDGE

      from Muskegon, MI

      About Me Pro Photographer

      See all my reviews

      Verified Buyer

      Pros

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

      Cons

        Best Uses

        • Indoors/Low Light
        • Weddings/Events

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

        I've been a portrait photographer for over 10 years and have used other less expensive 85mm lenses. This is obviously Canon's flagship lens and now I know why. It focuses super fast and the photos I'm now taking look more amazing than ever. Thanks for the quick turn around. I'll continue to be a loyal client.

        • Was this a gift?:
        • No
         
        5.0

        Very happy with my purchase

        By val_aicha

        from Quebec, Canada

        About Me Photo Enthusiast

        Pros

        • Nice Bokeh
        • Strong Construction

        Cons

        • Heavy

        Best Uses

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

          Promises that I read on the net, have been held. But be aware that this is pretty heavy!

          • Was this a gift?:
          • No

          (8 of 8 customers found this review helpful)

           
          5.0

          The Portrait Lens

          By sy

          from colorado

          About Me Photo Enthusiast

          Verified Buyer

          Pros

          • Bokeh
          • Precise Focus
          • Superb Image Quality

          Cons

            Best Uses

            • Portraits

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

            This is Canon's flagship and THE portrait lens.

            People say it's slow but I say it's precise. I agree the auto focus is slow in most of part. When I got used to it, I didn't pay too much attention. For portraits I rather have precise focus than blazing fast focus. Surely it has hit-and-misses once in a while, but rate is very low. When it misses focus, it's forgivable, and never had out-of-wack focuses like I experienced with 35L or 50L.

            It's sharp from f1.2, and a little bit sharper than 50L.

            Chromatic aberration is not as ugly as 35L on extreme high contrast. Bokeh fringing (ghosting image at f1.2) is much better than 50L.

            It makes great bokeh and image quality. There's that WOW factor in the images that comes out of this lens.

            I was surprised by how this lens renders skin tones. It's not too saturated like 24L or 35L. And it's different from how 50L renders the color. It's not too contrasty. It's just right and clean. This, too, confirms that a proof of Canon's intention of 85LII as a portrait lens.

            It doesn't have weather sealing. But considering this as a portrait lens especially for weddings, you don't really have to worry too much about shooting in a dusty windy rainy snow blizzard. Just don't use it when some crazy couple try to get married under some crazy extreme conditions. I rather keep the cost down without it.

            Only thing I don't like about the focus-by-wire system is that I always have to remember to move the extended barrel back in to its place before turning off the camera. Even the camera is on, a focus ring doesn't function at AF position unless you press the shutter button half way to override the focus. (Actually I have to read a manual to figure that out.)

            Image is a little soft of the corner at f1.2. But I wouldn't be too concerned unless using it for landscapes.

            It is heavier than 24-70 2.8L surprisingly, but still not brick like 70-200 2.8LII.

            Some say it needs IS. I must admit that almost all the photos that I shot under 1/80 shutter speed had motion blurr. But I never had a problem with 85f1.8. So maybe it's my wimp arms are not strong enough to hold this lens. I can see that it will be a lot more price increase with IS if they make it, and it's already expensive itself.

            Some also say Sigma 85mm f1.4 makes as good IQ and they offer in a much lower price. Well then this lens is not for you.

            Bottom Line: I used to think EF 85mm f1.8 is a cheaper version of this lens but I learned that 85LII is a whole different breed. While f1.8 version is an all around player, 85LII is for more toward portrait specialized lens. In fact it makes me want to shoot nothing but portraits and mainly at f1.2, probably up to f2 at most. There are pros and cons for many people with this expensive lens but it's absolutely okay because I think this is not a lens anybody can buy and use for whatever situations. But for me, I'm surely glad that I finally got it. It is a beautiful lens.

             
            5.0

            Wow!

            By Jonathan Yonkers

            from Tamarindo, Costa Rica

            Verified Buyer

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

            Best lens in the world. All I have to say!J

            (13 of 13 customers found this review helpful)

             
            5.0

            Worth the upgrade

            By dawsons

            from Dallas, TX

            About Me Pro Photographer

            Verified Buyer

            Pros

            • Fast / accurate auto-focus
            • Nice Bokeh
            • Strong Construction

            Cons

              Best Uses

              • Low Light
              • Senior Portraits
              • Video
              • Weddings/Events

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

              I primarily shoot high school seniors on location using natural light. Before purchasing this lens I had been using the canon 85 1.8. I rarely used anything but my 85 so I decided to upgrade to this L lens for the added quality. I was worried that I wouldn't be able to tell the difference. The first thing I noticed about this lens is that is substantially larger than the 1.8. The glass is substantial. In the images, can definitely tell a difference! This lens is sharper and the colors seem to be better. Skin tones look great. It is a fast lens that makes beautiful portraits. I feel great about the upgrade. I'm going to sell my 1.8 now since I won't be needing it anymore.

              • Was this a gift?:
              • No

              (2 of 5 customers found this review helpful)

               
              4.0

              85 L

              By Pat

              from TN

              About Me Photo Enthusiast

              Verified Buyer

              Pros

              • Durable
              • 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:

              End results are great on keepers
              Auto focus is very slow
              Manual focus is worse
              Focusing performance holds it down
              Weight is substantial

              • Was this a gift?:
              • No

              (5 of 29 customers found this review helpful)

               
              2.0

              Lens Creep is unacceptable!

              By Tricia the Rock Carver

              from Bucks County, PA

              About Me Semi-pro Photographer

              Verified Buyer

              Pros

              • Durable
              • Easily Interchangeable
              • Nice Bokeh
              • Strong Construction

              Cons

              • Blurry Focus
              • Heavy
              • Lens Creep

              Best Uses

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

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

              Nice bokeh, but terrible fringe.

              • Was this a gift?:
              • No

              (7 of 7 customers found this review helpful)

               
              5.0

              Exceptional Lens

              By JerseyPix

              from Southern NJ

              About Me Semi-pro Photographer

              Verified Buyer

              Pros

              • Durable
              • Nice Bokeh
              • Rugged
              • Strong Construction

              Cons

              • Heavy
              • Slow Focus

              Best Uses

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

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

              This is a special and unique lens. It requires attention to detail. Its not a "point and shoot" lens. Although the AF is slower than other lenses, its not unexpected due to the mass of glass that must be moved. The IQ is second to none. Its the only lens I have (including "L" lenses) that requires absolutely no post processing. None. This is not for the faint of heart. It demands that you learn the parameters of what it can and cannot do. For a casual hobbyist - save your money. For others interested in making art or earning money from their work, get it without regret. It is truly one of a kind.

              • Was this a gift?:
              • No
               
              5.0

              Best lens I've ever owned!

              By chazzzzy

              from Los Angeles, CA

              About Me Pro Photographer

              Verified Buyer

              Pros

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

              Cons

              • Heavy

              Best Uses

              • Indoors/Low Light
              • Night Photography
              • Video

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

              I thought the lens was going to be too heavy for me, but it's fine. Meanwhile the quality of the shots is next to none. I truly shoot like a professional now with such narrow depth of field.

              Highly recommended.

              • Was this a gift?:
              • No

              (3 of 5 customers found this review helpful)

               
              5.0

              Blown Away

              By Les

              from Woodland Hills, CA

              About Me Photo Enthusiast

              Verified Buyer

              Pros

              • Consistent Output
              • Nice Bokeh

              Cons

              • Heavy

              Best Uses

              • Family pictures
              • Weddings/Events

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

              I am not a professional photographer but very much an amateur one. For me this lens is just plain fun. While it is clearly a portrait lens it works just fine with landscapes.

              • Was this a gift?:
              • No

              (3 of 3 customers found this review helpful)

               
              5.0

              Sharp at 1.2 with beautiful bokeh

              By Shinyknights

              from San Diego, CA

              About Me Photo Enthusiast

              Verified Buyer

              Pros

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

              Cons

              • Heavy

              Best Uses

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

                This beautiful lens is awfully heavy. Suddenly, I cannot support my canon 5d mark ii with my right hand alone anymore. So for now, as long as the 85mm 1.2 L II is mounted, my left arm is my pedistal.It is amazing how incredibly steady my shots are with a heavy lens mounted on. You might think that the depth of field is too thin at 1.2 but when your subjects are 10-15 feet away, it's not that bad. The depth of field is only incredible to manage at the minimum focal distance. At that close, you'd better have a tripod or you'll definitely mis-focus.Shooting at 1.2 is amazing. It means faster shutter speed. It means lower ISO. sharper pictures! cleaner pictures!Ok, with that said, only purchase the 85mm 1.2 L II only if your wallet allows because the 85mm 1.8 does its job pretty well. The 85mm 1.8 has beautiful bokeh. Contrast and colors rendor just as well and it costs so much less! If you want bragging rights and want to own a Keg, buy the 85mm 1.2 L II! You only live once, live it well!One note of warning. The rear element sticks out all the way to the end of the mount so you'll have to be very careful mounting this lens, otherwise you'll end up scratching the rear element. But if you mount it carefully, you shouldn't have any problem. Play safe! And have fun!

                • Was this a gift?:
                • No

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