Canon EF 85mm F1.2 L II USM Review

General information

This is a prime lens manufactured by Canon and the lens was released 2006.
The lens belongs to the category telephoto prime lenses, a telephoto lens where you do not have the possibility to zoom in and out.

Product description from Canon

At launch 2006 Canon wrote this regarding Canon EF 85mm F1.2 L II USM:

"Developed to succeed Canon’s highly acclaimed EF85mm f/1.2L USM lens launched in September 1989, the new EF85mm f/1.2L II USM is a mediumtelephoto lens boasting the highest brightness in its class* to deliver the high-resolution, high-contrast images for which Canon’s L-series is renowned. Employing large, high-precision aspherical lenses in combination with a floating construction that suppresses aberrations during focusing, Canonīs new ultra-large- aperture medium-telephoto lens maintains the superior image quality throughout the shooting range that its predecessor was acclaimed for.It employs lens element positioning and lens coating to ensure excellent color balance while minimizing the ghosting and flare that can easily occur when shooting in the digital format. Moreover,the new Canon EF85mm f/1.2L II USM lens goes even farther to meet the needs of professional and advanced amateur users by incorporating such high-performance features, high-speed CPU, and an optimized AF algorithm to realize an AF speed 1.8 times as fast as that of its predecessor. Ideal for professional photographers who shoot portraits and weddings, Canonīs EF85mm f/1.2L II USM medium-telephoto lens features a circular EMD (electromagnetic diaphragm) that achieves excellent background blur.

Retaining the impressive optical performance and large aperture of the original EF 85mm f/1.2L USM, this new medium telephoto lens uses a Ring-type USM, high-speed CPU and optimized algorithms to achieve an autofocus speed approximately 1.8x faster than the original. The high-speed AF and circular aperture create a shallow depth-of-field that brings attention to the subject and blurs the background, which is ideal for portraits and weddings. The floating optical system, which includes an aspherical lens element, suppresses aberrations and ensures excellent imaging performance."

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-79".

Images of Canon EF 85mm F1.2 L II USM

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

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 is not sealed against moisture and dust
  • Heavy (1025 gr)
  • The price (more info)

Our Review Ratings

Time to grade Canon EF 85mm F1.2 L II USM.

Build Quality     
Image Quality     
Overall rating 3 of 5

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