Canon EF 85mm f/1.8 USM Review

The Canon EF 85mm f/1.8 USM lens is a prime lens that has received widespread acclaim. It was developed specifically for use with Canon EOS DSLR cameras. This lens is noted for its remarkable low-light performance and exceptional image clarity, making it a flexible option for photographers. This lens’s maximum aperture of f/1.8 makes it particularly well-suited for producing outstanding portraits that have a lovely blur to the backdrop while maintaining clear subject details.

Its focal length is perfect for portraiture because it enables attractive angles and a natural depiction of facial characteristics. Portraiture is one of the most common uses of photography. Within the scope of this review, we will investigate the several facets of the Canon EF 85mm f/1.8 USM lens to gain an understanding of its capabilities and how it works within a variety of photographic contexts.

$499.00 41 used from $270.00 6 new from $499.00
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Canon EF 85mm f/1.8 USM Medium Telephoto Lens for Canon...

Key Specs

  • Focal Length: 85mm
  • Maximum Aperture: f/1.8
  • Lens Construction: 9 elements in 7 groups
  • Diagonal Angle of View: 28° 30′
  • Focus Adjustment: Rear focusing system with USM
  • Closest Focusing Distance: 0.85m / 2.8 ft
  • Filter Size: 58mm
  • Max. Diameter x Length: 3.0″ x 2.8″ / 75.0 x 71.5mm
  • Weight: 15.0 oz. / 425g

Performance

It is impossible to overstate how remarkable the Canon EF 85mm f/1.8 USM lens is in terms of its performance. Because of its large maximum aperture, it provides outstanding performance in low light, enabling photographers to take pictures in difficult lighting settings without compromising the quality of their images. Even when the lens is used with the aperture all the way open, it creates images that are clear and distinct.

The autofocus technology is lightning quick and pinpoints accurate, making it simple to get pinpoint focus on the subject. Since of this, it is an ideal choice for photographing portraits since it enables photographers to immediately lock focus on the eyes of the subject or other important portions of the face. In addition to this, the lens is equipped with Canon’s Ultrasonic Motor (USM) technology, which guarantees that the autofocus action is both smooth and silent.

Autofocus System

The autofocus technology on the Canon EF 85mm f/1.8 USM lens is among the most powerful in the company’s lineup. It makes use of Canon’s Ultrasonic Motor (USM) technology, which makes it possible for the focusing performance to be quick, accurate, and almost completely silent. Due to the responsiveness and dependability of the focusing technology, it is appropriate for a wide range of shooting scenarios.

The focusing feature of this lens provides results that are reliable and constant, regardless of whether you are photographing people, events, or things that are moving quickly. It does an excellent job of tracking and locking focus on the subject, which enables photographers to easily shoot photographs with a fine focus. The lens also has a full-time manual focus override, which enables photographers to fine-tune manual focus even while the autofocus is active. This is an extremely useful feature.

Vibration Reduction

The Canon EF 85mm f/1.8 USM lens does not come equipped with optical image stabilization (IS) as standard equipment. On the other hand, it is compatible with the in-body image stabilization (IBIS) systems that are available in some Canon EOS cameras. The image sensor is provided with stabilization via the IBIS technology, which compensates for camera shake. This eventually reduces the likelihood of blurry images being captured, which can be caused by shaky hands or situations with low light. Even though the lens does not have its own built-in vibration reduction technology, using it in conjunction with a camera that has an IBIS can still produce good results in terms of reducing the amount of picture blur that is brought on by camera shaking.

Build Quality

As one would anticipate from Canon’s extensive catalog of high-quality lenses, the build quality of the Canon EF 85mm f/1.8 USM lens is exceptional. The lens has a long-lasting structure thanks to the utilization of both metal and components of the highest possible grade plastic. On the hand, it has the sensation of being sturdy and well-built, and it is able to endure the rigors of frequent usage in a variety of shooting settings. Because it is made of metal, the lens mount provides a strong and reliable connection to the camera body.

Additionally, it is impervious to dirt and dampness, which affords the user some protection even when shooting in harsh environments. Because the focus ring is so well-damped and functions so smoothly, it is possible to make very exact changes to the manual focus. The overall faith in the Canon EF 85mm f/1.8 USM lens’s stability and longevity that is inspired by the lens’s build quality is well-founded.

Handling and Ergonomics

Ergonomic considerations were taken into account throughout the development of the Canon EF 85mm f/1.8 USM lens, which makes it a pleasure to hold and operate for lengthy periods of time. Because of its small size and low weight, it is not only convenient to transport but also maintains a satisfactory level of balance when attached to a Canon EOS DSLR camera. The lens has a large focus ring that is covered in rubber, which not only makes it more pleasant to use but also allows for more accurate manual focus adjustment.

Aperture adjustment is handled electronically through the camera body, therefore, there is no ring for manually adjusting the aperture. In addition, the lens features a distance scale and an infrared index, both of which are designed to facilitate manual changes to the focus as well as infrared photography. The lens’s general form and layout make it possible for it to be used in a straightforward and uncomplicated manner, which improves the shooting experience for photographers.

Image Stabilization

Because the Canon EF 85mm f/1.8 USM lens does not have optical image stabilization (IS) built in, users will need to rely on alternative methods to compensate for camera shake. On the other hand, it is compatible with Canon’s in-body image stabilization (IBIS) technology, which is included in some models of the Canon EOS camera series. The image sensor is stabilized by the IBIS technology, which compensates for camera shake.

This results in crisper photographs, particularly in low-light circumstances or when utilizing slower shutter speeds. When coupled with a camera that has an image stabilization system (IBIS), the Canon EF 85mm f/1.8 USM lens is able to reap the benefits of image stabilization, which broadens its application scope across a variety of photographic contexts. Before putting your faith in image stabilization with this lens, you need to make sure that it is compatible with your Canon EOS camera. It is important to keep in mind that not all Canon EOS cameras come equipped with IBIS.

Shooting Experience

The Canon EF 85mm f/1.8 USM lens offers a delightful shooting experience for photographers, particularly those who prefer taking portraits or subjects with a shallow depth of focus. This is especially true for those photographers who have a passion for shooting in low light. The large maximum aperture of f/1.8 enables great subject separation from the background, which generates attractive bokeh and places emphasis on the primary subject of the photograph.

Impressive image quality is produced as a result of the lens’ ability to produce photos with high sharpness, as well as outstanding contrast and true color. It is much simpler to take sharp pictures of important moments thanks to the excellent performance of the autofocus mechanism, which locks onto things very quickly and follows them quite precisely.

The focal length of the lens is ideal for portraiture because it provides a viewpoint that is pleasing to the subject being photographed and enables photographers to capture subjects in a natural and appealing manner. The Canon EF 85mm f/1.8 USM lens offers a rewarding shooting experience for photographers of varying skill levels thanks to its reliable build quality and user-friendly handling.

Image Quality

Image quality is exceptional when captured with the Canon EF 85mm f/1.8 USM lens, which performs quite well in this regard. Its large maximum aperture of f/1.8 enables outstanding light-gathering capabilities, which ultimately results in pictures that are crisp with relatively little distortion and aberration. The lens generates a stunning shallow depth of focus when it is used at larger apertures, which creates a pleasant distinction between the subject and the backdrop of the photograph.

It is well-recognized that the lens has the capacity to depict subjects with accurate colors, outstanding contrast, and amazing detail. Even when shooting with the aperture wide open, this lens produces images with superb resolution in their corners. Bringing the aperture closer to its maximum setting increases the overall sharpness of the image.

The lens produces a bokeh that is silky smooth and creamy, which lends an aesthetically pleasing quality to the photographs that are taken with it. It works incredibly well while taking portraits. The Canon EF 85mm f/1.8 USM lens, in general, produces images of exceptional quality that are up to the standards expected by skilled photographers.

Teleconverter Compatibility

Because it is compatible with Canon teleconverters, the Canon EF 85mm f/1.8 USM lens gives photographers an enhanced number of options for the focal length that they may use for particular shooting conditions. Teleconverters are attachments for cameras that are attached between the body of the camera and the lens. They have the effect of extending the focal length of the lens. Photographers can acquire a more restricted field of vision with the use of a teleconverter, which subsequently enables them to magnify more distant things.

When utilizing a teleconverter with the Canon EF 85mm f/1.8 USM lens, it is important to take into consideration the influence that it will have on the picture quality as well as the aperture. There is a possibility that using a teleconverter will somewhat degrade the image quality and cause the maximum aperture to become smaller. However, it is still feasible to take sharp photographs, although the longer focal length that is supplied by the combo, so long as the teleconverter is of high quality and the right method is followed.

The ability of the Canon EF 85mm f/1.8 USM lens to be compatible with teleconverters increases its versatility and enables photographers to extend their reach and experiment with a wider variety of telephoto viewpoints.

Comparison with Competitors

The Canon EF 85mm f/1.8 USM lens outperforms its rivals in terms of both performance and image quality, and it earns this distinction thanks to its outstanding aperture. The fact that this lens has a wide maximum aperture of f/1.8 is one of its most prominent features since it enables exceptional performance in low-light conditions and lovely background blur. It’s possible that some rival lenses in the same focal length range have maximum apertures that are smaller, which can limit the capacity of such lenses to take photographs in difficult lighting circumstances or produce the desired effect of shallow depth of focus.

The autofocus function of the Canon EF 85mm f/1.8 USM lens is especially impressive, as it allows for quick and accurate focusing. This is particularly useful for capturing subjects like portraiture, in which proper focus is particularly critical. In addition, the lens produces an image that is of high quality in terms of sharpness, contrast, and color accuracy, making it a trustworthy option for both professional photographers and photography lovers.

Even though there are other lenses available that have focal lengths and apertures that are comparable to the Canon EF 85mm f/1.8 USM lens, this particular lens stands out due to its overall performance as well as its stellar reputation.

Specifications

Focal Length & Maximum Aperture85mm 1:1.8
Lens Construction9 elements in 7 groups
Diagonal Angle of View28° 30′
Focus AdjustmentRear focusing system with USM
Closest Focusing Distance0.85m / 2.8 ft
Filter Size58mm
Max. Diameter x Length, Weight3.0″ x 2.8″, 15.0 oz. / 75.0 x 71.5mm, 425g

Pros and Cons

A compelling option for photographers, the Canon EF 85mm f/1.8 USM lens features a number of benefits that make it an attractive purchase. Because of its large maximum aperture of f/1.8, it achieves exceptional performance in low light and produces spectacular bokeh, making it appropriate for a variety of genres of photography, including portraiture, weddings, and interior events.

The autofocus system of the lens is quick and precise, allowing for smooth and silent operation while maintaining fine focus on the subject. This is made possible thanks to the Ultrasonic Motor (USM) technology that is included in the lens. The construction quality is of a high standard, with a combination of metal and high-grade plastic components, which provides longevity as well as resistance to dust and moisture.

The lens has great picture quality, giving sharpness, contrast, and accurate color reproduction, which ultimately results in photographs that seem both breathtaking and professional. Additionally, the Canon EF 85mm f/1.8 USM lens is compatible with Canon teleconverters, which broadens its versatility for use in telephoto photography.

Price and Availability

The Canon EF 85mm f/1.8 USM lens has a price that is comparable to other lenses in its class, making it a good bargain considering the level of performance and picture quality it provides. Because it can be purchased from a large number of different authorized Canon dealers as well as internet markets, this lens is easily accessible to photographers.

Despite the fact that its popularity and renown may occasionally cause swings in availability, on the whole, it is a lens that is easily accessible to everyone who is interested in the qualities it possesses. It is recommended to verify with local merchants or reputable internet sources in order to obtain the most up-to-date information possible on pricing and availability.

$499.00 41 used from $270.00 6 new from $499.00
in stock
Canon EF 85mm f/1.8 USM Medium Telephoto Lens for Canon...

Conclusion

In conclusion, the Canon EF 85mm f/1.8 USM lens is a highly powerful and adaptable prime lens that excels in portrait photography as well as other types of photography where subject isolation and low-light performance are key. Because of its remarkable image clarity, dependable focusing mechanism, and broad maximum aperture, this camera is well-regarded among photographers.

The lens is not sealed against the elements and does not have built-in optical image stabilization, but it makes up for these shortcomings with great performance, strong build quality, and pleasant handling. For photographers looking for a high-quality lens that can capture breathtaking portraits and other subjects with narrow depth of focus, the Canon EF 85mm f/1.8 USM lens is an attractive choice since it is offered at a price range that is comparable to other lenses in its class and is readily available.

Canon EF 85mm f/1.8 USM FAQs

Q. Is the Canon EF 85mm f/1.8 USM lens suitable for portrait photography?
A. Yes, the Canon EF 85mm f/1.8 USM lens is highly regarded for portrait photography. With its 85mm focal length and a wide maximum aperture of f/1.8, it allows for beautiful subject isolation and a pleasing shallow depth of field, resulting in stunning portraits with smooth bokeh and sharp subject details.
Q. Does the Canon EF 85mm f/1.8 USM lens have image stabilization?
A. No, the Canon EF 85mm f/1.8 USM lens does not have built-in optical image stabilization (IS). However, it can benefit from the in-body image stabilization (IBIS) systems available in select Canon EOS camera models, which compensate for camera shake by stabilizing the image sensor.
Q. What is the closest focusing distance of the Canon EF 85mm f/1.8 USM lens?
A. The Canon EF 85mm f/1.8 USM lens has a closest focusing distance of 0.85m or 2.8 ft. This allows photographers to capture close-up shots with a reasonable level of detail and subject magnification.
Q. Is the Canon EF 85mm f/1.8 USM lens compatible with teleconverters?
A. Yes, the Canon EF 85mm f/1.8 USM lens is compatible with Canon teleconverters. Teleconverters can be used to extend the focal length of the lens, providing photographers with additional telephoto capabilities for specific shooting scenarios.
Q. What is the filter size of the Canon EF 85mm f/1.8 USM lens?
A. The Canon EF 85mm f/1.8 USM lens has a filter size of 58mm. This allows photographers to attach various filters, such as UV filters or circular polarizers, to enhance image quality and achieve desired creative effects.

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