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Canon - EF 85mm f/1.8 USM Medium Telephoto Lens - Black-Front_Standard

Customer rating

Rating 4.8 out of 5 stars with 366 reviews

  • 20%
98%
would recommend to a friend

Expert rating

Rating 4.8 out of 5 stars with 6 reviews

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Cons

  • The lens has a raised alignment dot that makes blind assembly practical.NKPStudios
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Customer ratings & reviews

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  • Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

    Great value and quality!

    Posted
    nkpstudios
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    The Canon EF 85mm f/1.8 II USM lens is a moderate weight (15 oz), very well built lens. It does not come with the appropriate hood, the Canon ET-65 III. You get both a lens cap and a mount cap, all packed inside tight conformal foam to protect the lens during shipping. There's also a very brief manual and the usual warranty paperwork. The lens offers AF and manual focus, and allows manual focus even when AF is set to on, a very useful feature for low-light and other challenging focus situations. This is a USM lens, and as a direct consequence focus is fast and precise, just as you'd expect. The AF/Manual switch is in a reasonable location, close to the camera body. There is a range indication on the barrel of the lens behind a transparent window which serves to keep dust and debris out of the workings of the lens. Manual focus is controlled with a broad, easy to manage textured ring about mid-body on the lens. During focus, nothing external on the lens body moves or rotates, so there are no complications for using polarizing filters, and no concerns about the lens "pumping" air and so causing dust contamination in either the lens or camera with use. The lens lacks any form of image stabilization. IS is showing up in more and more lenses, though for the price... perhaps this is one of the justifications for building IS into the camera body. I'm sure that this design wouldn't be anywhere near its current price point with IS added to the build. One last point is that since the lens is a fairly fast design, perhaps there is less overall need for IS (though that argument falls completely apart the first time you *do* need it!) It takes a 58mm filter, though I highly recommend the use of the ET-65 III hood rather than a filter; filter use should be limited to polarizers, neutral density filters and so on, rather than keeping a filter on the lens with the idea of protecting it. Here's why: filters create a flat surface over the end of the lens that can (and often does) create low-level reflections. These are most apparent in low-light shots, but they are almost always there. In the case of a UV filter, no other benefit is gained (UV can't get through the lens system anyway) other than physical protection. The hood, however, keeps the lens out of harms way quite effectively, and it increases contrast and reduces flare at the same time by preventing light from entering the lens at high angles of attack. I have shot with both hoods and filters, and after decades of experience, I have to come down firmly on the side of hood technique. It only takes one shot ruined by a filter reflection to wake up to this reality; and hoods never, ever compromise an image. They're simply the best way to go. Finally, the hood for this lens is inexpensive, well worth the extra few dollars it costs. Aperture is controlled by an 8-blade system. The available f-stops range from f/1.8 wide open to f/22.0 fully stopped down. MTF (sharpness) peaks at f/5.6, and vignetting is almost gone by that setting. On my camera, an EOS 50D, resolution loss from diffraction effects begin at f/7.6, so in many ways, the "sweet spot" for this lens for me lands naturally at f/5.6. On a camera with a lesser sensel density such as the 40D, diffraction doesn't set in until higher f-stops, but you're beginning to lose sharpness from other effects, so I'd still call the sweet spot as f/5.6 (which also provides a fairly extensive depth of field) for shots where detail is the primary consideration. For portraits, you'll want to go right for f/1.8 if lighting conditions allow in order to take advantage of the shallow and pleasing DOF isolation this lens is famous for; background blur is very soft yet very strong, while the in focus region remains deep enough to keep the important features of the face in focus from ear to nose. The loss of MTF at f/1.8 is noticeable, especially once you get a feel for how the lens performs at f/5.6, but in my opinion, the compromise is perfectly acceptable in a portrait context. There's another benefit as well; at 85mm, and especially on a crop body like the 40D or 50D, this lens allows you to get some distance from your subject which tends to make them more comfortable, while giving you the modest compression that is the hallmark of any telephoto lens. Portraits "pop" and backgrounds blur away with commendable speed. Head-and-shoulders work will put you at about eight feet, and as the lens can focus down to just under three feet, this gives you considerable control over framing without ever running into a limit imposed by the lens design. This is also a truly excellent lens for not-very-wide field astrophotography, although at critical focus and maximum aperture, chromatic aberration will make itself felt on the brightest stars, which you will then have to compensate for. I have successfully used this lens to capture the the Orion nebula, Andromeda galaxy, Triangulum galaxy, and a number of other astro objects that range from the easy to the difficult, all using no more than a standard (non-tracking) tripod, this lens, and the EOS 50D. On a crop body, 85mm (136mm effective FOV) is definitely the place to be to compromise between star trailing and magnification, and the f/1.8 aperture allows fast enough exposures to eliminate trailing at ISO 1600 and above. I carry this lens nested in a large camera bag (a Tamrac 5612 Pro 12, *highly* recommended); I rarely put the lens on the camera until I am ready to use it, and when I am done, I take it right back off, cap it, and bag it without wasting any time or motion. I do both the assembly and disassembly "blind" in the bag, using the bag top to shield the camera and lens from the wind and environment as best I can manage. The lens has a raised alignment dot that makes blind assembly practical. It's the size of the overall investment that drives this behavior, of course; both the camera and a lens like this deserves -- demands -- good care and that is just what I try to provide. Physically speaking, this lens isn't as large as you might think. Canon did a great job of packing a lot of glass (nine elements in seven groups) into a decent form factor of 3" diameter by 2.8" long; even with the hood mounted, this lens provides a fraction of the intimidation factor of, for instance, the 70-200mm f/2.8L. But at 85mm, it can still "get in there" and catch a lot of action without forcing you to crop to extremes. It's light enough that you can shoot for quite a while before fatigue sets in, an issue that will rear its head in any situation that goes on a while, like a wedding or a play (and that low-light capability is great for stage work, where a flash annoys literally everyone.) Plus it is black, and so looks more like it is designed as part of the same camera system, unlike the L's with the white bodies. That's also less distracting in a dark theater. I can honestly say that this is definitely one of my favorite lenses. I have a fair collection of primes to compare it to, some of which are L glass, and I've got some great L zooms as well; yet for portraits, I inevitably turn to this specific lens as it outperforms everything else I own in the successful shooting methodologies I find myself returning to over and over. Frankly, at the price, I think it is perfectly fair to characterize this lens as a "must-have"; if you're ever going to shoot a portrait, trust me, this is the lens you want (even over the 85mm f/1.2L, which has far too narrow a depth of field for most reasonable portraiture, though you can't beat it for light-gathering.) Like Canon's 100mm f/2.8 macro lens, the 85mm f/1.8 is one of those where you're left scratching your head as to why it doesn't have an "L" designation. It is an outstanding performer. If Canon were to re-do this lens, I'd like to see them add image stabilization, and perhaps some modern anti-CA elements, as this is the one area where this lens occasionally bites the photographer in high-contrast situations. Until that day, though, this lens is unmatched by anything else in Canon's line for price/performance, and I can't imagine anyone ever regretting its purchase.

    I would recommend this to a friend

  • Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

    Love this lens

    Posted
    sjyeager
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    My wife and I purchased this lens to be used at a low light wedding. We purchased it for the wide aperture, and the 85mm length, allowing us to now be right on top of the ceremony. This lens worked beautifully. Love the depth of field we are able to create, and the beautiful bokeh that comes with it. The images come out crisp, and clean every time. One thing to note, for those who may not know. When using this type of lens, you will not want to solely relay on your camera's auto focus. A manual touch is sometimes required to ensure that your subject will be in focus. There were times when my AF said it was in focus, and I had to adjust it slightly to get everything as clean as I wanted.

    I would recommend this to a friend

  • Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

    Excellent lens for the price

    Posted
    erinmy
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    I wanted a good, affordable lens for portrait photography. I wasn't ready to go top-of-the-line but needed something efficient. Some friends suggested the Canon 50mm or 100mm. So I did my research and found that the 85mm was not only in-between the two suggested to me, but also had very high ratings and was extremely affordable. When the lens arrived, I immediately took it from the box, attached it to my Canon T3i, and started taking pictures right away. Within an hour, I had it completely figured out and was taking some of the best photos I've ever taken. It was just too easy and so much fun to use. It's a bit heavier than any of my other lenses, but because of the quality of the lens, I don't mind the weight at all. I highly recommend this lens, especially for beginners.

    I would recommend this to a friend

  • Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

    Great Medium Telephoto Lens

    Posted
    Cezramone
    • My Best Buy® MemberMember

    .I added to my Rebel T3i kit. This lens is great for natural light portraits and outdoors low light situations. The lens focuses sharply and it produces a nice blurry background.I love to use it indoors and during late afternoons .I use it for recreation also but I find it a little bit difficult to manage during extremely sunny days. The autofocus is fast . When taking it out of the box you can practically tell by the weight that the build quality is better than expected.It gives lots of character to your Rebel and you can use with the most expenses cameras also

    I would recommend this to a friend

  • Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

    Great Lens

    Posted
    Dorey
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    I do quite a bit of work as a photographer & have slowly been expanding my lens collection. Camera gear is obviously quite expensive, so I've been trying to save money by purchasing lenses that are great, but maybe not praised as much as some of the more popular professional ones. The 85mm 1.8F from Canon has been a great lens for the price - perfect for portraits, some work on weddings, low light conditions, and even some live music photography. It's sharp, clean, quiet, & has proved to be quite a wonderful addition to my small, but growing lens collection :) I'd recommend it for anyone who needs an 85mm lens, but doesn't have thousands of dollars to invest in the more expensive ones like the 1.2/1.4.

    I would recommend this to a friend

  • Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

    Great lens

    Posted
    Dasolution15
    • My Best Buy® MemberMember

    This lens is a beast!! Now that we got that out the way heres a couple things i love about this lens Price: The price is un matched for the quality you get Quality: Overall this lens has a solid build and good weight to it. The Bokeh you get gives you that dreamy background and depth of field. Also works great in LOW LIGHT!! ALSO YOU GET CLEAR AND SHARP PICTURES AS WELL . PERFECT FOR PORTRAIT P.S *** DISCLAIMER ALWAYS SHOOT RAW AND SHOOT MANUAL IT WILL HELP THE QUALITY OF YOUR PICS IN THE LONG RUN!

    I would recommend this to a friend

  • Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

    Canon did it again

    Posted
    Matt

    This lens should cost at least $600. Sharpness is 9.5/10, auotofocus speed 9.5/10, distortion 9.5/10, bokeh 9/10, color/contrast 10/10. The only downside is it is noticably heavier than the Nikon 85mm 1.8 and the Nikon looks/feels way better, though, I do like how this lens balances well with my 5D3. Also this lens has a small amount of purple fringing. I plan on using this lens to get into family portraits and fashion/modeling portraits and I think the quality of this lens makes it more than capable.

    I would recommend this to a friend

  • Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

    A "must-have" lens

    Posted
    DeltaDLW
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    Bought this Lens for my 70d and it has provided high quality photos for portraits and outdoor / street photography. Now with the 5d mark iii I feel it is being fully utilized. Unless you are strictly going to shoot at 1.2, this is a great lens to shoot wide open and even narrow. Focal length is great for not distorting the subjects and adds enough bokeh to the image. Love the shallow depth of field, speed, and very light weight. Such an affordable lens is def a must get for your list.

    I would recommend this to a friend

  • Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

    Canon 85mm - Sharp! Sharp! Sharp!

    Posted
    JaceQ
    • My Best Buy® MemberMember

    This lens is nothing short of amazing. For the amount of money, it really delivers a high quality sharp as tac image. LIke others have mentioned it is a lens to have in your bag. I was originally debating on whether or not to get it since I already had a 50mm 1.4, but I'm glad I did. The focal range is much different allowing you to get closer for more detailed shots versus the 50mm. I'm using a 7D and together these are a great combo. The only bummer part is the hood is not a screw on like other canon lenses i have. This one has to clip onto the lens.

    I would recommend this to a friend

  • Rating: 3 out of 5 stars

    Ideal for portrait

    Posted
    abajandas
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    Its the ideal lense for a budget shooter, as 85 is a beautiful portrait range, and with the 1.8F, you can really capture a lot of emotion and DOP by pushing that blurred background. The only thing I would have loved is the image stabilization, but for a prime lense purchase guide on a budget I highly recommend this one, the 24mm and the 35mm. Focusing is pretty fast, much faster than my 24-105mm, so for video where I need to quickly shift focus its pretty good. The only downside for video is that the motor is still a little loud for my taste, and it pulls back and forth to land the focus. I don't always like that effect, but at least it does it fast enough.

    I would recommend this to a friend

  • Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

    Great quality!

    Posted
    petersoju
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    A wonderful lens that offers amazing aperature to create some beautiful DoF in shots. I use it with my EOS 6D and get quick, quality photos. The 85mm is kind of rough when working in smaller spaces (need to stand at least 5-10ft away to avoid weird cut offs/tangents, but definitely worth the price if you're doing portraits! (Ignore my WB, I was in a rush to test out the lens!)

    I would recommend this to a friend

  • Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

    Sharp photos, light body

    Posted
    yatesh
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    Great portrait lens for full-frame DSLR shooters. Before getting my 6D, I shot portraits with a Rebel + a 50mm 1.8 so I looked to upgrade my prime lens to match the body upgrade, and this lens fit the bill well. The build quality, as expected, is better than the entry-level 50mm, and its sharpness is even better. For those looking to shoot high quality portraits without spending $1000+ for the L version of a prime portrait lens, give this lens a serious look.

    I would recommend this to a friend

  • Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

    Great Deal On A Great Lens

    Posted
    SpecialEd
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    If you don't have the 85mm f1.8 your kit is lacking a vital lens. Get this lens. It is a very versatile lens. I bought the lens on sale and was so glad when I saw the price because I almost bought a used lens for about the same price. The bokeh is buttery smooth. It's not like the 85mm f1.2L but when you're on a budget this is just as good. Quick to focus unlike the f1.2L. I've used both lenses and as much as I would like to own the 85mm f1.2L I could never justify price, almost 4x's the price of the 1.8!! This lens is a great deal, don't pass up on it while it is on sale.

    I would recommend this to a friend

  • Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

    VERY VERY pleased with this lens

    Posted
    MaureenJoan
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    Had a 50 mm, and a kit lens that came with my canon 60d and a couple of zoom lenses. Watched a video on portrait photography that advocated an 85 mm for portrait shots....and as family photographer in a big family, portrait shots are very appealing. I have been using it for a week now and am absolutely delighted with the clarity of shot this lens gives me. Much less light is needed, and for the first time i feel that i can really take control of my subjects! I would recommend this lens to anyone who is looking to step up from basic lenses and likes to think of portraits!

    I would recommend this to a friend

  • Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

    you shoot portraits?

    Posted
    Matty
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    You're maybe wondering if you should just be cheap and buy the 50mm f1.8 instead of splurging on this 85mm that's not any faster. And if im being 100% I say yes. I also say just buy them both, they each have their place, but this is one of the most useful lenses in the inexpensive canon lines. Wow, you might not want to take this off your camera. Sharp as all get up and well built. I still use this on a convertor with my Sony mirrorless so lets get real.

    I would recommend this to a friend

  • Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

    Ahhh So Many Canon Lenses - So Difficult to Choose

    Posted
    JeffatTheCreek
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    Ok, yet another one of my favorites lenses. I guess Canon lenses are like sports cars, each one is unique and I can't say a bad thing about the ones I own except maybe I did not NEED one of them (not this one though). This is a peach of a lens. You will have excellent portraits with this but not only that, some really great pictures of some interesting objects as well.

    I would recommend this to a friend

  • Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

    Good value.

    Posted
    Fishy
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    It's not gonna have weather sealing like an L lens, but it has responsive autofocus. It's over a stop brighter than a 2.8 zoom lens and is quite sharp. I got it to save weight while traveling, since a professional 85mm weighs 3x as much and is only about a half stop brighter. If you don't have a lens in this focal range and can't justify $1200+ dollars on a lens, you'll be happy with this. You'll get professional quality shots. Just don't take it in the rain or dessert.

    I would recommend this to a friend

  • Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

    Great affordable portrait lens

    Posted
    Frano
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    I've been planning to buy this lens years ago, but since I always had 50mm, 100mm Macro, and 70-200mm I always also had an excuse not to buy it. The price dropped once again, this time well below $400, and I finally decided to go and get it... and what a great decision that I did. This lens is really nice lens, and worth every penny and much more. The built quality is just good and solid, and the pictures are really great. Go get one, you won't be sorry!

    I would recommend this to a friend

  • Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

    Great lens for portraits!

    Posted
    PetPhotographer
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    This is a great lens for the budding portrait photographer. It allows you to be further away from your client yet feel very close to them through the lens!! I will say I noticed some chromatic aberration as others have mentioned about this lens, but it hasn't happened enough for me to dislike the lens and I can always fix it in post production. I would definitely recommend coupling this lens with the nifty fifty to your arsenal of lenses!

    I would recommend this to a friend

  • Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

    I love this baby

    Posted
    TheDirector
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    AMAZING lens, it hurt me to spend the money I am not gonna lie, specially because I has the 50mm 1.8 option available foe way less money but this lens is so much better. It's built very good, not cheap feeling to it, the size is great, and the speed is even better, I got it mainly for night shoots and I am very happy with it, even for day time shootings the speed is great. I would really recommend getting this as part of your collection.

    I would recommend this to a friend