Canon EF 85mm f/1,2 L USM Review

General information

This is a prime lens manufactured by Canon and the lens was released 1989.
The lens belongs to the category telephoto prime lenses, a telephoto lens where you do not have the possibility to zoom in and out.

It's been a long time since the lens and this model first was launched. Before you buy an older (and perhaps used and pre owned) lens a recommendation is to check with the manufacturer and their service centers whether there still are spare parts available. Hopefully spare parts wont be an issue but imagine accidently damaging the lens and finding out afterwards that no spare parts exists. We therefore recommend that you, to be sure, check this prior to purchasing.

If you buy a new lens, in a store, you always have your warranty to fall back on, regardless of the age of the lens but if you are interested in buying a pre owned and used lens without warranty this may be even more important to look up because you might otherwise be left without both warranty and spare parts.

Product description from Canon

At launch 1989 Canon wrote this regarding Canon EF 85mm f/1,2 L USM:

"With a large maximum apeture of f/1.2, this is the fastest 85mm telephoto lens in its class. One aspherical lens element and two high-refraction elements give sharp images with little flare even at maximum aperture. The floating system corrects coma for high image quality."

Compatibility, autofocus and focal length

This lens is constructed to fit all models of Canon cameras, regardless of camera model or type of sensor.

The ability to use autofocus is available for all cameras.

The lens has a focal length of 85 mm. Depending on which camera the lens is used, the experienced and perceived focal length will be different. Please visit the list of compatible cameras below, it will provide the equivalent focal length you get on each camera.

Lens brightness and image stabilizer

The lens brightness and aperture value is f/1,2.

This aperture value indicates that the lens is extremely bright.  This will make it so much easier shooting in darker environments where you do not want or can use flash lighting, for example in churches or at different sports venues.

The lens lacks image stabilization, which otherwise os good for avoiding the blur that can occur when using slow shutter speeds. Since the lens is bright, with good aperture value, the lack of image stabilization might not be that big of a deal, although a image stabilizer is always an advantage to have.

Filter and Lens Hood

The lens has a traditional filter thread on the front and its measuring 72 mm which also the filter you will use must have. If you use for example an UV filter can be a cheap insurance against scratches and dust.

If you buy this lens it will come with a lens hood, whose model name is "ES-79II".

Pictures (product and sample images)

In order to see larger product images of the lens, click the link below.

Besides looking at product images it is also of interest to see pictures taken with this specific lens. This can give you a hint of what kind of images this lens can achieve, what the focal length will be like etc.

Things to consider before buying

Below you will find some summarized points and facts that can be considered as the 'pros and cons' of this lens. These are based entirely on the facts and values that are accessible through the lens specification, so we highly recommend that you also read the reported reviews available (see tab 'Reviews'); this in order to get a more complete view of the lens and its capabilities. Reviewer opinions reflect the lens, its use and its optical performance in a more accurate way, but any way - here a few different points to consider before buying this lens.

  • The lens brightness, f/1,2
  • Works on all sensor types
  • A lens hood is included
  • The lens model is more than 15 years old
  • The lens is not sealed against moisture and dust
  • Heavy (1025 gr)
  • The price (more info)

Our Review Ratings

Time to grade Canon EF 85mm f/1,2 L USM.

Build Quality     
Image Quality     
Autofocus     
Sharpness     
Versatility     
Value     
Overall rating 3 of 5

Best deals on Canon EF 85mm f/1,2 L USM

Make sure to check out our price information page for best offers on this lens.

Pictures (product and sample images)

In order to see larger product images of the lens, click the link below.

Besides looking at product images it is also of interest to see pictures taken with this specific lens. This can give you a hint of what kind of images this lens can achieve, what the focal length will be like etc.