Every Canon EF Lens: Read the Reviews, See the Specification & Check the Price
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Overview

The Mk2 version of this lens is widely regarded as one of Canon's finest, with an out of focus softness that makes it a popular choice for portraiture and low light work. The depth of field is razor thin at f/1.2 requiring considerable attention to technique if not to give a lot of 'not quite sharp' images. For full frame cameras, the 135/2 L is also a popular portrait lens.

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Lens specifications

Focal Length & Maximum Aperture 85mm 1:1.2
Lens Construction 8 elements in 7 groups
Diagonal Angle of View 28°30'
Focus Adjustment AF with full-time manual
Closest Focusing Distance 3.2 ft. / 0.95m
Filter Size 72mm
Max. Diameter x Length, Weight 3.6 in. x 3.3 in., 36.2 oz. / 91.5mm x 84mm, 1,025g (lens only)
Hood: ES-79 II (cylindrical clip-on hood; attachable in reverse)

Canon EF85mm F1.2L II USM telephotot lens block diagram Canon EF85mm F1.2L II USM telephoto lens mtf chart

A quick guide to MTF charts (which only measure contrast and resolution. Canon's guide to their MTF charts)

Black lines reflect lens performance at widest aperture.
Blue lines show the performance at f/8

Thick lines indicate lens contrast
Thin lines indicate lens resolution

Dashed lines: Lens performance with meridional lines.
Solid lines: Lens performance with sagittal lines

Closer sagittal and meridional chart lines indicate more 'natural' out of focus areas.

Remember that MTF charts are good for comparing similar lenses, so comparing ones from the 14mm f2.8L and 300mm 2.8L won't tell you much at all, whilst comparing the EF14 2.8L with the EF14 2.8L II will show meaningful differences. Note that other manufacturers may have different ways of displaying such information that may or may not match up with the Canon figures.

EF85mm F1.2L II USM reviews and articles

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Sample images

None available.

Product launch

Amstelveen, The Netherlands, 21 February, 2006: Canon today releases its latest professional L-series prime lens: the exceptionally fast EF 85mm f/1.2 II USM.

With the widest aperture of any lens in the current EF range, the new model becomes Canon’s definitive portraiture lens, offering extremely fine control over depth of field and consummate low light performance. With vastly improved auto focus speed, the lens replaces the popular EF 85mm f/1.2L USM. As with all L-series lenses, the EF 85mm f/1.2 II USM incorporates the very finest standards of precision optics.

EF 85mm f/1.2 II USM - €2,049

The EF 85mm f/1.2 II USM features:

Canon’s finest standards of image quality
Latest Ultrasonic Motor (USM) for fast and near silent auto focus
Full-time electronic manual focus override
Super Spectra coatings and optimised lens element shaping to suppress flare and ghosting
Large circular aperture diaphragm for good background bokeh and ‘removal’ of distracting backgrounds
Distance information passed back to the new E-TTL II flash algorithm of all current model digital EOS cameras
Lens hood and pouch included in the box
L-series construction

The L-series is Canon’s flagship professional lens range, designed and built to meet the needs of the most demanding professional photographers. The superb optics of the EF 85mm f/1.2 II USM and other L-series lenses represent the pinnacle of optical performance, enabling focal length/speed/quality combinations not readily attainable using traditional optical technologies.

Portrait photography

The combination of an almost circular aperture diaphragm for attractive bokeh (evenly graduated blurring of out-of-focus areas) and the extremely narrow depth of field at its widest aperture combine to make this an ideal portraiture and studio lens. With the lens’ aperture at f/1.2, photographers can create dramatic effects such as keeping a model’s eye sharp while blurring the eye lash ends.

Low light shooting

The maximum f/1.2 aperture is the widest in Canon’s current range and provides for shooting in low light conditions without the need for flash or slow shutter speeds. With improved auto-focus speed from Canon’s latest Ring-type Ultrasonic Motor (USM), the lens is expected to be popular with professional photographers shooting indoor sports. The USM holds the lens with precision and accuracy, the instant it arrives at the correct focus and without overshoot, and features full-time electronic manual focus override*. Super-fine control over depth of field afforded by the lens’ large aperture allows sports photographers to deliberately ‘blur out’ crowds, hoardings and other distracting backgrounds.

Aspheric element

Wide aperture lenses using traditionally manufactured elements suffer from spherical aberration which causes an overall softening and optical ‘smearing’ of the image. To ensure high corner-to-corner sharpness and contrast of in-focus subjects throughout the focus range and at wide apertures, the

EF 85mm f/1.2 II USM incorporates a large aspherical lens element with precise variable curvature and a floating group construction.

Super Spectra coatings

In addition to optimised lens shaping to reduce reflections and the use of anti-reflective material inside the lens barrel, the EF 85mm f/1.2 II USM employs Canon’s patented Super Spectra lens element coatings. These suppress flare and ghosting – more prone to occur with digital cameras due to reflection off the image sensor. By increasing light absorption, coatings reduce reflections off lens element surfaces to deliver crisp, undistorted images with natural colour balance.

E-TTL II flash integration

The EF 85mm f/1.2 II USM transmits distance information to the E-TTL II flash system of all current model digital EOS cameras, improving flash exposure metering when used in conjunction with Canon’s range of EX Speedlite flash units.

The EF 85mm f/1.2 II USM comes with a cylindrical lens hood and lens pouch.

In keeping with Canon’s Kyosei philosophy of living in harmony with the environment, the lens features only lead-free glass.

* With P, Av, Tv and M camera modes only

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Every Canon EF Lens: Read the Reviews, See the Specification & Check the Price
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