Canon 85mm f/1.4 L

Full-Frame EF IS USM

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Canon 85mm f/1.4

Canon EF 85mm f/1.4 L IS USM (77mm filters, 33.5 oz./950g, 2.8'/0.85m close focus, about $1,599) bigger. I'd get mine at Adorama or at B&H.

This ad-free website's biggest source of support is when you use those or any of these links to my personally-approved sources when you get anything, regardless of the country in which you live. Canon does not seal its boxes in any way, so never buy at retail or any other source not on my personally approved list since you'll have no way of knowing if you're missing accessories, getting a defective, damaged, returned, store demo or used lens. Get yours only from the approved sources I use myself for the best prices, service, return policies and selection. Thanks for helping me help you! Ken.

 

August 2017   Canon Reviews   Canon Lenses   Canon Flash   All Reviews

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Introduction

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This is Canon's best 85mm lens for portraiture. It adds image stabilization and fast autofocus, both lacking in the older 85mm f/1.2 L II.

This new 85 1.4 has a large-diameter high-precision glass molded aspherical element and has an ASC nano coating mostly for marketing, but reduces ghosts even further.

Just grab the ring at any time for instant manual-focus override.

As with all L lenses, it's dust and moisture resistant.

The original 85mm f/1.8 remains as a superb lens for everything at a bargain price with magnificent optics and fast autofocus, but lacks the faster f/1.4 speed and stabilization of this new lens.

The 85mm f/1.2 L II is optimized for astronomy and similar optically crazy tasks; the f/1.2 version's autofocus has always been deliberately slow to allow enough precision in focusing its huge optics precisely enough at f/1.2. This f/1.4 is a great lens for everything, while the slow autofocus of the f/1.2 has always limited its usefulness.

 

Format

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This is a full frame lens and I'm reviewing it as such.

It also works great APS-C cameras, on which you may make the usual inferences.

 

Compatibility

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This lens works flawlessly on every Canon DSLR.

It work flawlessly on every full-frame and every APS-C DSLR.

It doesn't mount to Canon's EOS-M mirrorless cameras; for these you need an adapter to use EF lenses on the EOS-M cameras.

It also works flawlessly on 35mm EOS cameras, like my Canon EOS 1V, introduced in 2000, and my original 1987 Canon EOS 620.

This isn't Nikon; with Canon, everything just works, even if the camera is thirty years old.

 

Specifications

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Specifications   Performance

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Name

Canon calls this the Canon Lens EF 85mm f/1.4 L IS USM.

    EF: Electronic Focus, as all Canon's lenses have been since 1987.

    L: Expensive as L.

    IS: Image Stabilization.

    USM: Ultrasonic Autofocus Motor.

 

Optics

Canon 85/1.4 construction

Canon 85/1.4 internal construction. Aspherical element.

14 elements in 10 groups.

1 glass-moulded aspherical element.

Air Sphere (ASC) nano multicoating.

Fluorine coatings to resist dirt and smudges.

 

Diaphragm

9 rounded blades.

Stops down to f/22.

 

Focal Length

85mm.

When used on Canon's APS-C cameras, it sees the same angle of view as a 135mm lens sees when used on a full-frame or 35mm camera.

See also Crop Factor.

 

Angle of View on Full-Frame

28.5º diagonal.

24º horizontal.

16º vertical.

 

Autofocus

Internal focus.

Ring Ultrasonic motor.

No external movement as focussed, so no air or dust is sucked in.

 

Focus Scale

Yes.

 

Depth of Field Scale

Yes, abbreviated.

 

Infrared Focus Index

No.

 

Close Focus

2.8 feet (0.85 meters).

 

Maximum Reproduction Ratio

1:8.3 (0.12×).

 

Image Stabilizer

Rated 4 stops improvement.

 

Filters

77mm filter thread.

 

Hood

ET-83E.

 

Case

LP1219.

 

Size

3.49" maximum diameter × 4.15" extension from flange.

88.6 mm maximum diameter × 105.4 mm extension from flange.

 

Weight

33.5 oz. (950g).

 

Announced

29 August 2017.

 

Promised for

17 November 2017.

 

Canon Model Number

EF8514LIS.

 

Canon Product Code

2271C002 in USA, 2271C001 in Japan.

 

JAN

4549292-091656.

 

Price, USA

$1,599, August 2017.

 

Performance

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Specifications   Performance

Recommendations

 

Canon 85 1.4 MTF

 

Recommendations

Top   Intro   Format   Compatibility

Specifications   Performance

Recommendations

 

Canon 85mm f/1.4

Canon EF 85mm f/1.4 L IS USM. bigger.

This is Canon's premium choice for a fixed 85mm lens for general photography. People used to buy the 85mm f/1.2 L II, but its slow autofocus made it an iffy choice for general use. The f/1.2 has always been intended for astronomy, not for general shooting.

The original 85mm f/1.8 is intended for general shooting, and remains a spectacular lens. It's at least as sharp stopped down and almost as sharp wide-open as this new f/1.4. The 85/1.8 remains a superb choice, and when you consider that it sells for just $369 because it's been in Canon's catalog since 1992, if price matters and you can live without image stabilization, the 85mm f/1.8 takes the same pictures for less than a quarter of the price.

The very best protective filter for this f/1.4 is the 77mm Hoya multicoated HD3 UV which uses hardened glass and repels dirt and fingerprints.

For less money, the B+W 77mm 010 is an excellent filter, as are the multicoated version and the basic multicoated Hoya filters, but the Hoya HD3 is the toughest and the best.

Filters last a lifetime, so you may as well get the best. The Hoya HD3 stays cleaner than the others since it repels oil and dirt.

I'd get my 85/1.4 at Adorama or at B&H.

This ad-free website's biggest source of support is when you use those or any of these links to approved sources when you get anything, regardless of the country in which you live. Canon does not seal its boxes in any way, so never buy at retail or any other source not on my personally approved list since you'll have no way of knowing if you're missing accessories, getting a defective, damaged, returned, store demo or used lens. I use the stores I do because they ship from secure remote warehouses where no one gets to touch your new camera before you do. Buy only from the approved sources I use myself for the best prices, service, return policies and selection.

Thanks for helping me help you!

Ken, Mrs. Rockwell, Ryan and Katie.

 

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Mr. & Mrs. Ken Rockwell, Ryan and Katie.

 

 

 

August 2017