Canon RF 85mm F2 Macro IS STM Review

The Canon RF 85mm F2 Macro IS STM lens is a high-performance lens that was created exclusively for use with Canon’s full-frame mirrorless cameras. Its versatility and performance are unmatched.

This lens is an excellent option for photographers who are interested in capturing breathtaking macro photos that have great image quality due to the impressive features and capabilities it possesses. The improved shooting experience it provides is the result of the integration of cutting-edge technology, high-quality construction, and an approachable layout.

Key Specs

  • Focal Length: 85mm
  • Maximum Aperture: f/2
  • Minimum Focusing Distance: 1.14 ft / 0.35m
  • Maximum Magnification: 0.5x
  • Lens Construction: 12 elements in 11 groups
  • Special Elements: One UD lens
  • Filter Size Diameter: Ø67mm
  • Aperture Blades: 9
  • Maximum Outer Diameter x Length: Approx. 3.07 in x 3.56 in. / 78mm x 90.5mm
  • Weight: Approx. 1.10 lbs. / 500g


The Canon RF 85mm F2 Macro IS STM lens excels in every area of performance when compared to other lenses in its class. Its large maximum aperture of f/2 enables superb low-light performance, allowing photographers to produce photos that are clear and detailed despite the adverse lighting situations they may be working in.

The lens also has a 9-blade circular aperture, which blurs the backdrop nicely and produces lovely bokeh, making it an excellent choice for portrait photography.

Autofocus System

The lens has Canon’s sophisticated autofocus mechanism, which enables focusing to be carried out in a manner that is not only fast but also accurate and unobtrusive. The autofocus system makes use of a technology called STM, which stands for stepping motor.

This technology enables the autofocus system to focus in a smooth and accurate manner, making it appropriate for both still photography and video recording. A full-time manual focus override is also supported by the lens, which enables photographers to make precise changes manually even when the autofocus is active on the subject.

Vibration Reduction

The built-in image stabilization of the Canon RF 85mm F2 Macro IS STM lens is one of the lenses’ most notable characteristics. This image stabilization helps to lessen the amount of camera shake that occurs while handheld photography at slower shutter rates.

When photographing macro subjects or in other circumstances when using a tripod is either impractical or not permitted, the 5-stop image stabilization technology is an extremely helpful tool. It helps to ensure crisper photos and increases the overall quality of the image, particularly in low-light situations.

Build Quality

The Canon RF 85mm F2 Macro IS STM lens has a sturdy build quality, with a metal lens mount and a solid design that is able to handle the rigors of professional use. The lens also has a maximum magnification of 0.85x, making it ideal for close-up photography.

In addition, the lens has a weather-sealing coating that makes it resistant to dust and moisture. This feature gives photographers the confidence to use the lens in a wide variety of environments. Its overall attractiveness is enhanced by the fact that it has a tiny and lightweight design, which makes it simple to manipulate and transport even during lengthy shooting sessions.

Handling and Ergonomics

The lens was developed with the comfort and convenience of the user in mind during the design process. It has a control ring that can be customized, which gives photographers the ability to easily alter numerous parameters such as aperture, ISO, and exposure compensation.

Both the focus and stabilizer controls may be easily accessed because to their advantageous placement on the lens barrel. Photographers who want manual focus control may take use of the lens’s silky smooth and accurate manual focus ring, which offers them a more satisfying tactile experience.

Image Stabilization

For photographers who are looking for photographs that are both crisper and more stable, the built-in image stabilization that is included in the Canon RF 85mm F2 Macro IS STM lens is a game-changer. The 5-stop image stabilization compensates for camera shake, making it possible to shoot handheld at slower shutter rates without sacrificing the image quality.

This function is especially helpful for macro photography, where even the tiniest movement can cause hazy photographs, as it prevents the camera from moving while the subject is being photographed. Photographers have greater confidence in their ability to capture close-up details with greater precision and clarity thanks to image stabilization.

Shooting Experience

Photographers will have a wonderful experience when they use the Canon RF 85mm F2 Macro IS STM lens. The lens has a focal length of 85 millimeters, making it suitable for a broad variety of photographic styles, such as portraiture, macro, and street photography.

Not only does the large maximum aperture of f/2 enable exceptional low-light performance, but it also produces superb subject separation and background blur, giving photographs a more professional appearance. Because the autofocus technology of the lens is both quick and precise, it enables photographers to effortlessly take photographs that are crisp and well-focused.

Image Quality

Image quality produced by the Canon RF 85mm F2 Macro IS STM lens is remarkable, particularly in terms of its extraordinary sharpness and clarity. A high-precision glass-molded aspherical element and one UD (Ultra-Low Dispersion) element are both incorporated into the lens. These elements work together to efficiently correct a variety of aberrations and guarantee that the lens is crisp from edge to edge.

The lens creates photographs with very little distortion and chromatic aberration, which enables photographers to capture details that are true to life and colors that are true to their truest form. The lens has a macro function that allows for close-up photography with a maximum magnification of 0.5x, which reveals fine features and textures in the subjects that are being photographed.

Teleconverter Compatibility

It is compatible with Canon’s RF 1.4x and RF 2x teleconverters, which allows it to expand its reach and provide more versatility for photographers who want longer focal lengths. The Canon RF 85mm F2 Macro IS STM lens is designed for close-up photography.

While increasing the effective focal length of the lens, the teleconverters preserve the lens’s high picture quality and make it easier for photographers to photograph subjects that are located at greater distances.

Comparison with Competitors

When compared to other lenses in its class, the Canon RF 85mm F2 Macro IS STM lens distinguishes out because to its remarkable picture quality, adaptable focal length, and integrated image stabilization features. It’s possible that other lenses in this category provide focal lengths and apertures that are comparable to those of this one, but the combination of Canon’s world-famous optics, a dependable autofocus mechanism, and image stabilization puts this lens apart from the rest of the pack.

In addition, the lens has a design that is both tiny and lightweight, which adds to its overall allure and makes it a good option for photographers who emphasize mobility without sacrificing overall performance.


Focal Length85mm
Maximum Aperturef/2
Minimum Focusing Distance1.14 ft / 0.35m
Maximum Magnification0.5x
Lens Construction12 elements in 11 groups
Special ElementsOne UD lens
Filter Size DiameterØ67mm
Aperture Blades9
Maximum Outer DiameterApprox. 3.07 in / 78mm
LengthApprox. 3.56 in / 90.5mm
WeightApprox. 1.10 lbs. / 500g

Pros and Cons


  • Excellent picture quality, with distinct sharpness and clarity throughout.
  • The adaptable focal length works well with both portrait and close-up photography.
  • Image stabilization is built in for use while shooting handheld.
  • A system with rapid and precise autofocus.
  • Design that is both compact and lightweight in order to maximize portability.
  • The durable structure that has been protected from the elements.


  • It’s possible that the maximum aperture of f/2 won’t be adequate for some low-light scenarios.
  • Limited macro magnification compared to specialized macro lenses.
  • Absence of a focus limiter option, which would have allowed for quicker autofocus performance in certain circumstances.

Price and Availability

The Canon RF 85mm F2 Macro IS STM lens has a price that is comparable to other lenses in its class and provides outstanding value considering its capabilities and specifications. It may be purchased from authorized Canon outlets as well as internet vendors that carry the brand.

There is a possibility that the price will change based on the location as well as any active specials or discounts. Photographers who are interested in purchasing this lens should visit the official Canon website or the websites of authorized resellers in order to obtain the most recent information on pricing and availability.


The Canon RF 85mm F2 Macro IS STM lens is a fantastic addition to Canon’s RF lens family. It offers exceptional performance, excellent picture quality, and varied shooting capabilities, all of which are hallmarks of the Canon brand. It is a beautiful choice for photographers who wish to capture breathtaking close-up details, portraits, and more, thanks to its macro capabilities, image stabilization, and fast focusing mechanism.

The high build quality of the lens, together with its user-friendly handling, contribute to an overall improvement in the shooting experience. Although it may have a few small drawbacks, the Canon RF 85mm F2 Macro IS STM lens is an exceptional alternative for both pros and fans alike due to its overall performance and pricing.

Canon RF 85mm F2 Macro IS STM FAQs

Q. Is the Canon RF 85mm F2 Macro IS STM lens suitable for portrait photography?
A. Yes, the Canon RF 85mm F2 Macro IS STM lens is well-suited for portrait photography. With its 85mm focal length and wide maximum aperture of f/2, it allows for excellent subject separation and beautiful background blur, resulting in stunning portraits with a pleasing bokeh effect.
Q. Can I use the Canon RF 85mm F2 Macro IS STM lens for macro photography?
A. Absolutely! The lens has a minimum focusing distance of 1.14 ft / 0.35m and a maximum magnification of 0.5x, making it a great choice for capturing detailed close-up shots. Whether you’re photographing small subjects like flowers or capturing intricate textures, this lens offers excellent macro capabilities.
Q. Does the Canon RF 85mm F2 Macro IS STM lens have image stabilization?
A. Yes, the Canon RF 85mm F2 Macro IS STM lens features built-in image stabilization. This allows for handheld shooting at slower shutter speeds, minimizing camera shake and producing sharper images. The 5-stop image stabilization system is particularly useful in low-light conditions or when shooting without a tripod.
Q. Can I use filters with the Canon RF 85mm F2 Macro IS STM lens?
A. Yes, the lens has a filter size diameter of Ø67mm, allowing you to attach various filters such as UV filters, polarizers, or neutral density filters. Using filters can enhance your images by reducing reflections, adjusting exposure, or adding creative effects.
Q. Is the Canon RF 85mm F2 Macro IS STM lens lightweight and compact?
A. Yes, the lens is designed to be compact and lightweight, weighing approximately 1.10 lbs. / 500g. Its smaller size and lighter weight make it easy to carry and handle during extended photography sessions, providing convenience and portability without compromising on performance.


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