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Canon 1056b002 Ef 85mm F1.2l Usm Medium Telephoto Lens Reviews
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Average Customer Rating:
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(based on 34 reviews)

96% of respondents would recommend this to a friend.

Customers most agreed on the following attributes:

Pros:

Superior Build Quality (22), Super-sharp Images (22), Fast Auto-focus (7)

Cons:

Slow Auto-focus (6)

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Super lens

By adamh from Northwest Indiana on 04/26/2015

I have wanted an 85mm 1.2 since my first days of serious photography, back in the 70s and the old SSC (Super Spectra Coat) lenses. All my years of waiting ended about 6 months ago, and I couldn't be happier with this lens. As other reviewers have mentioned, this lens is meant to be shot wide open, and it does a great job. You can keep the ASA really low and still maintain reasonable shutter speeds (but be sure to enlarge the image in the camera if you're working on the edge to be sure there's no camera shake.) It gathers light better than the human eye; on several occasions I have taken some shots in poor lighting, observed that the lens seemed to provide its own fill, and asked others if they saw the same thing I saw. They did. I have had success in lightening dark areas (if needed) by overexposing by about a stop - I don't do much photoshop or raw file manipulating. It provides great warmth (perhaps its greatest asset) which is generally lost even with well balanced flash. I took some portraits of my wife for publication and the editor inquired about what equipment was used because of the beautiful bokeh. I loved my 85 1.8 but they are two very different lenses. Yes, it's heavy and costly, and as noted it mounts a little funny, but I'm sorry I waited so long to enjoy this.


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Exclusive look

By Vanassi from Bento Gonalves, BR on 02/19/2015

Perfect for portraits, but only for pictures . Slow focus and critical depth of field.


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A real difference maker!

By Rick R from Virginia Beach on 11/15/2014

I assume anyone looking at this lens is an experienced photographer, has read various reviews and is very near a buy decision. My advice is buy it! Since I've owned this lens complements on my work have tripled. Shooting wide open produces images that are frankly unmatched by any other lens. The negatives you will read about such as weight and slow to focus are in my experience overstated. The lens is heavy but still more than a pound lighter than the 70-200mm f/2.8 IS. Focus is a little slow if you are going from macro to Infinity but I rarely do that and I have never had a problem shooting a moving model. I guess the most important question is always would you buy it again if you had it to so all over again? My answer is in a heart beat. In fact, I own 5 L lenses and if I could only keep one this would be the one I would keep.


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Beautiful lens

By Tabchap from Lake Charles , La on 08/05/2014


Pros:

Superior Build Quality, Super-sharp Images

Cons:

Slow Auto-focus

Bottom Line:

Yes, I would recommend this to a friend

So worth every penny !! The focusing is slower than others.


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Great lens

By amblin from Undisclosed on 03/22/2014


Bottom Line:

Yes, I would recommend this to a friend

I'll skip the sweet stuff and go directly to things I disliked: 1, The focus by wire FTM ring. I understand that the lens is actually moving ALL but one elements -- that's a lot of glass-- while focusing but I'd still prefer a stiff, heavy, mechanically connected FTM ring than the loose slippery electronic focus by wire system. Since the electronic FTM on this lens is pretty much useless I always disable the 'electronic manual over-ride ' feature in my 1DS settings menu. 2, The moving front group. I'd prefer a fixed front group or at least somehow extend the outer barrel so the front can be contained within the outer barrel while focusing. I hate to manually 'reset' the lens back to infinite after each session. And a extended outer barrel (maybe by around half an inch) will also make the lens body easier to grip while using large 1D series bodies. 3, No weather seals. 4, The AF/MF switch. It's too small and difficult to use especially with gloves on. This is a special lens, you can tell it's a 85/1.5 from the first glimpse of a picture but there's still much room to improve. so, a mk. III, please?


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very fast but at a cost.

By mallorie from Las Vegas, NV on 10/25/2013


Pros:

Superior Build Quality

Cons:

Semi-sharp Images, Chromatic Aberration

Bottom Line:

Yes, I would recommend this to a friend

I love this lens, the DOF is extremely low as one would expect. I can shoot in near total darkness as long as I have a light for focus assist. Ambient light looks true and beautiful! With that said however this lens is the worst of all I own for backlit subjects. The chromatic aberration is awful, and it is nearly impossible to focus. Keeping in mind manual focus only works to around 4.0 I find myself constantly using auto, which is fast and fine most of the time, but very time consuming and annoying with an even slightly backlit subject. I wouldn't trade this lens for anything, but for variable light situations, I would always carry a backup.


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Amazing Lens

By Sifu from Oregon on 07/25/2013


Pros:

Superior Build Quality, Super-sharp Images, Perfect Portrait Lens, Silky Smooth Bokeh

Bottom Line:

Yes, I would recommend this to a friend

I read the reviews on this lens and the 1.8 and thought a long hard about making the extra expenditure. Many people wrote about the 1.8 that they could not see any reason to buy the 1.2, to them I say then you should not. This lens was meant to shoot at 1.2 and when you do it is a marvel to behold. I also read that the focus was slow and not accurate. Yes it is a bit slow but plenty fast for portraits, I also use it when photographing musicians during concerts. It also is almost a requirement for weddings. As for the inaccurate focus that really is not true but you really must know and pay attention to what you are doing when shooting at 1.2 and close to your subject because the depth of field is so very narrow, but that is why you buy a lens like this. Learn to use it right and it will reward you with amazing photographs. People just look better with this lens. As for the complaints about it being heavy I don't find it bad at all, the weight feels good and I am reminded of the words of Joyous in the 13th warrior when Ahmed Ibn Fahdlan complains that the sword they gave him is too heavy...grow stronger. Okay I am just joking here a bit. Sure it is a bit heavy but that is a lot of glass. The price, well you get what you pay for it seems a lot when you fork over the cash but after you shoot with this lens you forget all about the money. This is a specialty lens and when used within that specialty it truly shines.


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The Portrait Lens

By sy from colorado on 02/21/2013


Pros:

Super Image Quality, Bokeh, Superior Build Quality, Super-sharp Images

Bottom Line:

Yes, I would recommend this to a friend

This is a Canons flagship and THE portrait lens. Most of things that were said about this lens are true and I wont repeat what were said over and over, but I wrote MY OPINION on those issues. - SLOW FOCUS SPEED: People say its slow but I say its precise. I agree the auto focus is slow but its almost the speed of 135L (which is known to be blazing fast) in low light. When I got used to it, I didnt pay too much attention. For portraits I rather have precise focus than blazing fast focus. Surely I had some hit-and-misses once in a while, but the rate is very low. When it misses focus, its forgivable, and never had out-of-wack focuses like I experienced with 35L or 50L. - SHARP FROM F1.2: Yes, its sharp from f1.2, and sharper than 50L but not a huge margin. - HEAVY CHROMATIC ABERRATION: Not as ugly as 35L on extreme high contrast. Bokeh fringing (ghosting image at f1.2) is much better controlled than 50L. - GREAT BOKEH: Yes, indeed. - GREAT IMAGE QUALITY: Yes, indeed. Theres that WOW factor in the images that comes out of this lens. - GREAT COLOR: I was surprised by how this lens renders skin tones. Its not too saturated like 24L or 35L. And its different from how 50L renders the color. Its not too contrasty. Its just right and clean. This, too, confirms that a proof of Canons intention of 85LII as a portrait lens. - NO WEATHER SEALING: When considering this as a portrait lens especially for weddings, you dont really have to worry too much about shooting in a dusty windy rainy snow blizzard. Just dont use it when some crazy couple try to get married under some crazy extreme conditions. I rather keep the cost down without it. - FOCUS-BY-WIRE SYSTEM: Only thing I dont like about this 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 doesnt 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.) - SOFT OF THE CORNER: I wouldn't be concerned unless using it for landscapes. - EXPOSED REAR ELEMENT: Just be careful when you install the lens. - HEAVY: It is heavier than 24-70 2.8L surprisingly, but still not a brick like 70-200 2.8LII. - NEED 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 its 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 Canon makes it, and its already expensive itself. - 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. You can tell that by the Focus-by-Wire system itself. While f1.8 version is all around player with fast focus, 85LII seems to be designed a specific purpose, which is a portrait. And in fact it makes me want to shoot nothing but portraits and mainly at f1.2, probably up to f2 at most. There is pros and cons for many people with this expensive lens but its absolutely okay because I think this is not a lens anybody can buy and use for whatever situations. But for me, Im surely glad that I finally got it. It is a beautiful lens.


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Like looking down a well

By Photooo7 from Wichita, America on 11/17/2012


Bottom Line:

Yes, I would recommend this to a friend

This lens is like looking down a well from the outside of the lens in. at 1.2 , you better have what you want in focus, because DOF is shallow, as it should be. the lens is amazingly sharp. for portraits of any kind, candid or posed, you're not going to find any better. this is the lens to compare ALL other 85s to. People often compare much cheaper portrait lens's and the others may be all most as good as, but this is the one you want when you want " The Best ".


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Portraiture's Best Friend

By PixelPrincess from St. Charles, Il on 08/10/2012


Pros:

Superior Build Quality, Fast Auto-focus, Super-sharp Images

Cons:

Just A Bit Heavy, No Is (a Security Blanket For Me)

Bottom Line:

Yes, I would recommend this to a friend

Photography is my passion & my 5D Mark II my beloved. Each lens being a window to see the world in a different way, the 85mm f/1.2 offers a deeper more personal connection with the subject by allowing the rest of the world to fade from existance in a way no other lens seems to be able to do. I postponed buying this lens for too long; wouldn't be without it now!


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Excellent choice

By sking17 from Roseville, CA on 04/26/2012


Pros:

Quality

Cons:

Weight

Bottom Line:

Yes, I would recommend this to a friend

My wife and I love this lens. We keep it on our new 5D MK3 fulltime so we can catch great photos of our new granddaughter. Crisp, sharp pictures with a wonderful background blur.


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One of my Best "L" lenses

By Liberty from Missouri on 03/28/2012


Pros:

Accurate Focusing, Great Sharpness, Astonishing Bokeh, Amazing Detail And Clarity Even At It's Widest, Beautiful Contrast

Bottom Line:

Yes, I would recommend this to a friend

I've just finished making a few portrait shots with this lens and I must say, I am amazed by the image quality. The images have a great contrast, sharpness, and beautiful clarity; even at aperture wide open. The background blur (bokeh) is ASTONISHING--it just melts like cream. I was very nervous at first convincing myself about the price. However, the instant I saw the pictures I made with this lens, my worries quickly were put to rest, and great happiness and satisfaction filled my soul! If you are in the market to have "THE" best 85mm lens in the world, and you have the money, don't think twice and purchase this lens. You will be very happy you did.


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Best Portrait Lens-EVER

By Dave from Chicago, IL on 10/10/2011


Pros:

Excellent Feel, Superior Build Quality, Fast Auto-focus, Super-sharp Images

Cons:

None

Bottom Line:

Yes, I would recommend this to a friend

Since buying the Canon 85mm f1.2L II USM lens, I have shot portraits that are sharp, dreamy and out of the world bokey. All my subjects are extremely happy with the results and this lens is everything that Canon promises it to be. Lot of people complains about its slow auto focus but that has never been an issue with me. It has delivered for me every time. I use f 1.2 pretty much all the time.. be careful about camera shake there. No scope for error at that depth of field. Thank you Canon for delivering such professional optics.


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Almost a masterpiece

By The Sky from texas on 08/17/2011


Pros:

Great Rendering Colors.

Cons:

Heavy

Bottom Line:

Yes, I would recommend this to a friend

The only reason why I still shooting Canon. I almost love everything about this lens except for the weight. But at1.2, it's unavoidable. Image is sharp, with sweet rendering. I like the loose focus ring. It is so much easier to adjust manually with loose ring without moving camera to subject distance. With tight ring, you will move camera more thus not achieving good focus. I wonder how people prefer tighter ring over this. I use this lens to shoot basketball w/o problems. This is how a lens should be. Just almost a masterpiece. I had no issue with focusing. Learn how to manual focus and you are good to go. I don't rely AF on this lens to choose my focus. It just kinda help and I adjust it many times. but when it nails, it nails hard!


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Background Control

By IX-XI from Central PA on 07/01/2011


Pros:

Superior Build Quality, Super-sharp Images

Bottom Line:

Yes, I would recommend this to a friend

With the 5D II and this lens, I've gotten more referrals for outdoor portrait gigs than I ever got using previous glass. Senior portrait season is here, and I've had fun with my clients shooting multiple shots with different levels of background softening to give them an idea of the choices they have. Some go straight for the supersoft backgrounds. Others want enough detail to indicate where they are. Others want everything in the pic. However they choose, I've noticed I'm getting more "emotional" photographs. The thing is so fast I can tell my subject to be as still as possible, shoot an HDR bracket in half a second and have no ghosting after Photomatix has its way. Human subject HDR was elusive to me before this lens. Now I'm an HDR god. This lens lets me do it all. Parents think I'm a genius, and I'm just a landgrant grad with a camera. Now they're coming back and asking me to shoot their weddings! Uh oh. I'm going to have to buy more indoor gear. My outdoor work is worth the pay though, and I have to give it up to the 85 1.2. I have a lot more good shots than I used to before I got this bit of glass.


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Real Deal

By iDigCoffee from Keizer, Oregon on 06/07/2011


Pros:

Super-sharp Images, Superior Build Quality, Fast Auto-focus

Bottom Line:

Yes, I would recommend this to a friend

Going for portraits? Get this lens. Love it. Excellent depth of field. Excellent at 85mm. Excellent elements. Excellent glass, and how much of it there is. High price, but what do you expect? It's probably the best lens I've ever seen for the midrange telephoto lenses. You can't beat it. Excellent, excellent, oh and did I say it's purely excellent?


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PERFECT

By JR from PA on 03/27/2011


Pros:

Super-sharp Images

Cons:

Hefty To Carry All Day

Bottom Line:

Yes, I would recommend this to a friend

Now more than one year later, this is portrait lens of record for 15,000 images. The glass is heavy and the autofocus has to struggle a bit with all the mass to move, but when the beep goes off you are razor thin focused at full open aperature. I leave my flash in my bags and just love to grab portraits in deep shadows for the most dramatic lighting effects available. If it weren't for the required f5.6 tripod group shots at the weddings I'd only use this one wide open for nearly everything. People think I am a decent photographer, it is really THIS lens. Thanks Canon, a fan for life


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Fast focus versus more light

By vball dad from Undisclosed on 01/24/2011


Bottom Line:

Yes, I would recommend this to a friend

I recently purchased Canons 85mm f1.2L II USM because I had so many wonderful 35mm slides from using the FD precursor for 25years. Having read the reviews about slow focusing as a problem, I resigned myself to portraits and landscapes where the FD version excelled. I also have the 70-200mm f2.8 II USM and the focusing speed is in fact dramatically slower for the 85mm. However, I have been able to get great shots of indoor sports with the 85 and since it offers a full 2.5 stop advantage in speed over the 70-200 (not to mention a weight advantage). It is often my lens of choice for my daughters volleyball tournaments where stopping action requires 1/1000 sec shutter speeds and the lighting is often dismal. I shoot on the 5DmarkII body and can usually shoot virtually noise free (ISO of ca. 1000-2000) images with this lens whereas the 70-200 requires ISOs that lead to noise as the major image quality limitation " faster focus cant fix this. While you cant easily shift your attention from one side of the court to the other with the 85 in following action (due to the focus speed), when tracking one player (which is my normal mode), I get outstanding results " crisp images, beautiful bokeh, amazing color. Sure a few shots are not in focus, but this is digital " just shoot enough and you will get some exceptional results " the electrons are free. To state the obvious about the focus speed " it certainly beats my abilities with the manual focus FD version. And, just like the FD lens, portraits and intimate landscapes are amazing. This is again one of my favorite lenses and I highly recommend it for indoor sports where you can get close and you need all the shutter speed you can afford. Once you learn how to work with the limitations, the slower focusing relative to the 70-200 is more than compensated for by the light-gathering ability and great image quality.


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Simply Amazing

By DreamEFX from Fairfax VA on 01/11/2011


Pros:

Super-sharp Images, Superior Build Quality

Cons:

Not Weather Sealed, Slow Auto-focus

Bottom Line:

Yes, I would recommend this to a friend

This is the "be all" of all portrait lenses. The sharpness, the wide open goodness at f1.2 and the feel you have when it's plugged into your Canon DSLR is unsurpassed. This lens can be used as a walk around lens but you will soon find it has a lot of faults used like that. I rate this lens a perfect 5 stars because using this lens for portraits is just amazing. In fact this is my absolute favorite lens and I look forward to taking some incredible shots everywhere I go.


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Incredibly sharp lens

By nemophoto from NYC/DC on 07/15/2010


Pros:

Well Balanced With A 1d Series, Sharp, Beautiful Bokeh

Cons:

Slightly Slower Focusing, Heavy, Expensive

Bottom Line:

Yes, I would recommend this to a friend

Between my 135/2 and this 85/1.2, I shoot 90% of my work. This is an incredibly sharp lens that makes the most of the current crop of hi-res sensors. I used the 85/1.8, which in and of itself is pretty sharp, for years, but the 85/1.2 leaves it in the dust. Also, less chromatic aberration on the highlight edges.


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Best lens in its class

By Ricardo from Ohio on 06/02/2010


Pros:

Fast Auto-focus, Superior Build Quality, Super-sharp Images

Cons:

Price

Bottom Line:

Yes, I would recommend this to a friend

If you are a professional portrait or wedding photographer, this lens should be in your bag. Very fast glass, superior sharpness and very durable. Very good in low light conditions where flash is not an option. Would also be a good lens for shooting basketball or other indoor events where flash is not allowed.


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Outstanding lens with caveats as others noted

By GMak from Bellevue WA on 05/18/2010


Pros:

Super-sharp Images, Superior Build Quality

Cons:

Dangerously High Glass In Rear Easily Scratched, An Unusual Build Makes Mounting Tricky, Slow Auto-focus

Bottom Line:

Yes, I would recommend this to a friend

I have used this for about a month and concur with the consensus of the previous reviews. This images from this lens are incredible - IF you get it in focus. In bright light, this lens renders unbelievable images! The best of any lens I have. In low light, however, or focusing on small distant objects, it is very difficult for the lens to focus and very difficult or you to tell if the image is in focus, so a lot of your shots will be out of focus. Focusing manually doesn't help much since you have the same difficulty the auto-focus does. Also note the comment from someone that the power has to be on in order to focus this lens, and since there really isn't a full-stop infinity as in 35 millimeter lenses, you can't pre-focus for infinity in most cases. I've used this for several sports events and some portraiture at a graduation and the lens performs as others have said, with the pros and cons as noted. 1) When in focus, the shallow depth of field makes a wonderful image with background distractions beautifully blurred out. With smaller f-stops, even up to f4 - 5.6 or so, the background is still nicely blurred and not distracting. The f1.2 helps keep shutter speed manageable and ISO low. Just gotta watch the focus! 2) The focusing mechanism IS slow. No question. Probably the biggest con of this lens. You don't notice it at first when photographing non-moving objects and frankly, it's not much of an issue there. It seems only "sluggish" but not bad. BUT, when photographing a moving image (something faster than a turtle,) that's when you notice it. The lens can actually freeze and you won't even be able to able to take the picture at all. (E.g.: a track meet with runners going by, as they pass you, the lens will freeze because of the speed of the change in focal distance from the start of the track to right in front of you can be too fast, such as in a 100m race with runners going by, for example.) To be honest, I hesitate to call this a "sports" lens at this point. It just doesn't adjust its focus fast enough for sports action. 3) The comment about the rear glass being SO close to the end of the barrel was true - and it is unnerving when trying to change lenses quickly. in the field. You REALLY have to pay attention. The lens itself is an odd, bulky shape and the red line-up dot is not in the place you would expect. The fear is grinding the glass when mounting. Can be scary. Don't rush it. 4) For typical portraits and group shots, you'll have to shoot at f4 or better to make sure everyone is in focus. The image should be fabulous on a bright day. In low light, good luck. Better to boost the ISO and take at a smaller f-stop. 5) This lens weighs a ton. If you have other "L" series lenses, consider investing in a camera bag with wheels or one that has a slot for a large bottle of ibuprofen. Make no mistake, I am glad I got this lens, and I want to extend my thanks for previous reviewers talking about the pros/cons. I was about to understand what I was getting into and wasn't negatively surprised. As with everything else, the more you use it, the better you'll understand how to use it to its advantages and minimize (or avoid) its weaknesses. Then, your "good" shots will start to improve. But don't buy this and run off to a once-in-a-lifetime event and expect you'll get those wonderful pro shots. You will be in for a very unhappy experience - until you get more experience with it. It's unlike most other lenses in this regard.


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The Ultimate Bokeh Machine

By SuperM3 from Riverside, California on 03/04/2010


Pros:

Superior Build Quality, Fast Auto-focus, Super-sharp Images

Cons:

Nothing

Bottom Line:

Yes, I would recommend this to a friend

This is one of the best lenses on an already excellent line-up of the Canon L Series. The low-light and bokeh- producing capabilities of this lens is unmatched. It has the creamiest bokeh of all lenses.The color rendition and sharpness are really superb. At aperture 1.2 at its closest focusing distance, the depth of field is only 1.5cms., and that gives you a very dramatic look that other lenses will find difficulty reproducing. I've read other reviews, not only here but also in other sites, about focusing problems, and those to me are most probably operator issues rather than a problem with the lens itself. This lens can be technical to use because you have to rethink how to focus on your subjects. You can not just point and shoot specially if using the largest aperture settings. It is important that you have to precisely know what you are focusing on. Using the individual focusing points will solve probably 99% of the focusing issues. Once you have trained yourself on how to focus with this lens, the rewards are great.


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Incredible Portrait Lens

By Pilot850 from Undisclosed on 02/17/2010


Pros:

Great Background Defocus, Super-sharp Images, Fast Auto-focus

Bottom Line:

Yes, I would recommend this to a friend

I managed to get my hands on one of these at a camera show. It was incredible! Attach it to any Canon DSLR, and it will instantly make you a pro (assuming you have at least some experience with SLRs). It is well worth the cost if you are a pro photographer, and perhaps even if you are an amateur. I recommend this lens for anybody who wants to take their portrait shots to the next level. My only concern is the price, so only buy this if you have plenty of money to burn.


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Great glass, but poor focus ring

By Anonymous from Undisclosed on 10/26/2009


Pros:

Beutiful Bokeh, Great Portrait Lens, Superior Build Quality

Cons:

Feel Of Focus Ring, Poor Manual Focus

Bottom Line:

No, I would not recommend this to a friend

This is a great piece of glass, but shooting at f1.2 results in such shallow depth-of-field that manual focus is essential. This is where the lens has a terrible fault. The focus ring is not really manual, it requires the camera to be turned on to power the focusing ring. The electronics translate manual focus into actual focus. The feel is very awkward, the ring feels too loose, and focus is not as precise. Also, to protect the lens from being stored in an extended position, it requires that you consciuosly refocus the lens to retract it before turning the camera off or changing lenses.


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Best portrait lens

By snapping turtle from New Jersey on 08/16/2009


Pros:

Superior Build Quality, Super-sharp Images

Cons:

Slow Auto-focus

Bottom Line:

Yes, I would recommend this to a friend

Lens performance simply does not get any better. Just read the name, and you should already know that this lens means business. Amazing image quality that beats any zoom and places itself among the top of fixed focal length lenses. It is the ultimate portrait lens for both indoor and outdoor. Especially useful in weddings when taking formal portraits of the bride/groom getting ready in her/his room. Take advantage of its large aperture performance while you can so you can enjoy the excitement of noise free images! It is the king for those who want the maximum f/stop creativity. Physically this lens could have been built better. The lens should not have to be mounted on the camera to activate manual focus. This is not severe in most situations, but the fact that this lens also extends externally, makes me want to return the lens to infinity when I am finished for the sake of reducing the lens size. I am also quite surprised that a lens at this level does not get weather sealing! Though not very important, its a member of the L class, why not have it! AF speed is decent, but not fast enough for sports and quick stage photography. But this lens was never really meant for such action anyway. I don't recommend large aperture lenses like these for beginners or for those who are not careful with focusing. With such a shallow depth of field, you really only get one thing sharp. The rest would be soft. Even the slightest wrong movement can render a soft image. I have been told by Canon reps and agree with them that "Focusing is an acquired skill". This lens would really test that skill.


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Best Glass Around!

By John from Houston, TX on 07/22/2009


Pros:

Fast Auto-focus, Superior Build Quality, Super-sharp Images

Bottom Line:

Yes, I would recommend this to a friend

Canon has built another truly amazing lens in the 85mm f/1.2L. I bought this one primarily for portraits, but also out of video curiosity with my 5D Mark II. Wow, great choice! The background blur at 1.2 is really amazing, and I haven't found focusing to be much of an issue (even while chasing around a couple of toddlers). Trick is to set the camera's autofocus mode to "one shot", put your desired focusing sensor on the subjects eye (or wahtever you want to be sharp), and fire away. The result is breathtaking!


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BEST LENS SO FAR

By 68NOVA from ORLAND PARK, IL on 04/22/2009


Pros:

Super-sharp Images, Great Bokeh, Superior Build Quality

Bottom Line:

Yes, I would recommend this to a friend

I just love this lens. The image quality and the Bokeh are absolutley unbeliveable. It does take some getting use to but the almost magical images it produces is very rewarding. Also, the 1.2 gives me many more low light oppertunities that I was able to get before.


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PORTRAIT PHOTOGRAPHER'S DREAM COME TRUE

By PC PHOTO from Fargo, ND on 02/13/2009


Pros:

Superior Build Quality, Magical Results, Super-sharp Images

Bottom Line:

Yes, I would recommend this to a friend

If portrait's are your thing, you are considering on of the best. If you desire superb optical quality, extreme dept of field control, and wonderful bokeh, this is the lens for you. I find the pictures I get with it inspire me to keep taking more. It's truly excellent!


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Spectacular images - worth every dollar

By MS Florida from Oviedo, FL on 02/13/2009


Pros:

Beautiful Background Blur, Super-sharp Images, Superior Build Quality

Cons:

Slow Auto-focus

Bottom Line:

Yes, I would recommend this to a friend

I've been shooting with L zoom lenses for several years -- primarily wedding work -- and always considered the long end of the 24-70 or the short end of the 70-200 as suitable for portaits (using a full-frame 5D sensor), but nothing prepared me for the superior clarity and gorgeous bokeh of this lens. The lens is heavy, and is slow to focus, as most reviewers note, but this is a small trade-off for the superior performance. The razor-sharp DoF can work against you if you're tempted to shoot 1.2 all the time, but it definitely adds extreme drama when you've focused correctly. This is the best lens you can have for portrait or low-light photography.


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One of the best lenses out there!!!

By Matty B from New York, NY on 01/30/2009


Pros:

Super-sharp Images, Superior Build Quality

Bottom Line:

Yes, I would recommend this to a friend

If you want a great portrait lens with a fast aperture and razor sharp images, LOOK NO FURTHER. Although this lens hits your wallet HARD, I would say this is the best lens I own. (this includes 35mm f/1.4L, 70-200mm f/2.8L IS, 400mm f/2.8L, 24-105mm f/4L, etc.) I have used it on my 30D, 5D Mark II and 1D Mark III and it is stellar across the board. And even though I like it the most on my full-frame sensor body, the cropping factor of a 30D, etc. did not bother me. 90% of my favorite images have come from this lens. And, unless you're trying to photograph sports, I don't think the auto-focus is THAT slow. Sure there are faster lenses out there, but it is still the best.


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The very cool but also difficult lens

By scjurgen from New York, NY on 01/28/2009


Pros:

Superior Build Quality, Super-sharp Images, Extreme Shallow Dof

Cons:

Learning Curve Is As Slow As This Lens Is Fast

Bottom Line:

Yes, I would recommend this to a friend

Short summary: after leaving behind a lot of trouble you will never ever want to go out without this lens. Story: This lens has been love on first sight: extreme aperture, extreme DoF, extreme sensibility in choosing the focal point. But as this it shows also your limits in shooting. At first you love it, but then you get to do some portraiture's and you start to hate it: constantly out of focus because you always go with F1.2. Furthermore a not so fast auto focus and unclean focal point, because the camera is not sensible enough to get it right. After this downfall you start to learn again to use a lens of this caliber: using manual focus and/or live view (on a 5D mark ii it get's perfect) you get what you had in your mind when talking about shallow DoF. Using apertures of greater than 4 to get the sharpest images you can ever dream of. At the end uou need to understand perfectly the focal plane because it is so razor sharp, and after all this trouble you will never ever want to go out without this lens.


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best stationary lens ever

By vpnd from North Dakota on 01/18/2009


Pros:

Super-sharp Images, Superior Build Quality

Bottom Line:

Yes, I would recommend this to a friend

Yes the auto focus is slow, but it is faster than the old version. This lens is made for portraits and events. Do not buy if you mainly photograph moving people or objects. For the portraits and wedding crowd, it is the sharpest most beautiful lens ever made. Period.


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Superb Images

By Bob from Lake Charles, LA on 11/09/2008


Pros:

Super-sharp Images, Superior Build Quality

Cons:

Slow Auto-focus

Bottom Line:

Yes, I would recommend this to a friend

I got this lens while looking at another L series lens. After seeing the beautiful, silky smooth background blur, I was hooked. My best portrait type shots are with this lens. The colors are amazing and details are great. I love this lens. The autofocus is slow, as compared to my 70-200 f2.8 and it's a heavy lens, but most quality lenses are going to be heavy.


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