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Canon EF 85mm f/1.2L II USM 35mm Primes
Product DescriptionRetaining 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.
Submitted by DEvianT a Professional
Date Reviewed: July 4, 2007
Strengths: Amazing image quality
f/1.2 aperture. (I know I said already but it's so good I'm saying it twice!)
Beautiful isolation of subject from background.
Beautiful smooth unbeatable bokeh.
Solid weather sealed build.
Superb lens flare control especially for a lens of this aperture.
Superb sharpness even wide open is good.
Superb contrast, colour, chromatic abberation control and distortion control.
Lens Hood and pouch included.
Weaknesses: Slow focus compared to L lenses or 50mm f/1.4 & 85mm f/1.8.
72mm Filter not standard size for L lenses (Except 135 and 180 I suppose).
Cost is huge compared to 85mm f/1.8 which is a d*** fine lens also.
This has been on my wish list for portraiture since the original version was released. So when I had the chance to grab the MkII version at a bargain price I could not resist.
It's the perfect focal length for a portrait with the perspective being very flattering to the subject and the working distance being ideal at around 2 Metres for a head and shoulders shot. It has an 8 blade circular aperture with and f/ number of a staggering f/1.2. In real terms this means you can easily take pictures in near darkness with no flash. It also means it creates the best bokeh (background blur) I have seen on any lens thus far.
To give an idea just how shallow the depth of field can be on this lens you can photograph a person and focus on the eyes and at f/1.2 it'll leave the tip of the nose and their ears out of focus! The creative possibilities this affords are limited only by your own imagination.
However the benefits of this lens don't stop there. Stop this lens down and it becomes so sharp it is astonishing. I really can't praise it enough on that front. Primes are generally sharper than zooms anyway but this is sharp when compared to lenses like the 135mm f/2 L which is renowned for it's sharpness. Also the colour and contrast from this lens are fabulous. Very neutral and clean images result.
Is there any bad news you ask? Well there is some. It blows away the competition because it is in fact like having a bazooka on the front of your camera. Used on a 5D I actually fit the battery grip just to balance the camera. Used on an EOS 1 series Canon I use a handstrap also as it's so heavy.
Also the focus though faster than the 85mm f/1.2 MKI is still slow and even on manual it's a powered focus so you can't alter when the camera is switched off. It's acceptably fast in the MKII though and to it's credit on auto it's also fantasticly accurate. A plus with the MKII is if you are using an ETTL-II flash gun it passes distance information to the flash making for very accurate flash exposures.
The camera also takes 72mm filters which is annoying when all my other L glass use 77mm. That said a 72mm Skylight/UV filter won't break the bank if you bought this lens. It does come with a lens hood and carry pouch also so you save on the lens hood.
Duration Product Used: 6-10 years
Price Paid: $1800.00
Purchased At: Calumet
Similar Products Used: Canon 85mm f/1.8 USM
Canon 85mm f/1.2 L MKI
Canon 50mm f/1.4 USM
Canon 50mm f/1.8
Zukio 50mm f/1.8 (Olympus)
Sigma 50mm f/2.8 EX Macro
Nikon 85mm f/1.8
Nikon 50mm f/1.4
Type of photography: People