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FORUMS Gear Reviews Lens Reviews 
Thread started 02 Dec 2014 (Tuesday) 12:31
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TOGGLE RATINGS BETWEEN ALL AND Bonbridge (showing now: Bonbridge)
Overall Rating9.5
Overall Image Quality9
Value for Money6.5
Bokeh9.5
Sharpness9
Contrast8
Focusing6
Must Have5.5
Suitability to Intended Use9
Got What I Expected9
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photo by Adrian
Ownership Status: "own"

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List all reviews of Canon EF 85mm f/1.2L II USM

Canon EF 85mm f/1.2L II USM, reviewed by Bonbridge

 
Bonbridge
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Post edited over 4 years ago by Bonbridge. (6 edits in all)
     
Dec 02, 2014 12:31 |  #1

This lens is a real beast! It is big, it is heavy and has a huge front element (for its relatively compact size).

The people who use this lens are probably portrait shooters or wedding photographers. This lens is one of the best portrait lenses canon offers.
It has a pretty low contrast which is not a bad thing at all. It is great for the skin tones.

The sharpness is already great at the wide open 1.2 aperture and will be getting sharper when stopped down. I think the sharpest aperture is around f/3.2. The maximum closed aperture is f/16. at 2.8 the 85LII is a tiny bit sharper then the well beloved 70-200LII.

The best thing about this lens is the part which ain't even sharp... the bokeh or the out of focus areas. This lens delivers an absolute great separation with outstanding bokeh (subjective). At 1.2 the depth of field is really thin which sets your object or person apart from everything else.

The IQ of this lens is absolutely stunning. The only part where this lens lacks in IQ is the amount of purple fringing which is pretty bad for a lens this expensive.

For some people it is quite hard to nail the focus with this lens. Focus and recomposing could end up in an out of focus photo because lens movements and the small depth of field.
The focus is extremely accurate, but also very slow. You can shoot sports with this lens, but you will probably be better of with a faster focussing lens like the cheaper 85/1.8 and 135/2.0

This lens is mostly used by portrait and professional wedding photographers who are shooting in low light or wants to create a beautiful out of focus background.

The 85LII is not for everyone. It's expensive it's slow focussing and it could be hard to nail the focus, but if you nail the focus right and you shoot at a wide aperture the results could be absolutely stunning.

Take a look at the lens photo archives of the 85LII on this forum. In my opinion one of the best threads with the most stunning photo's.

Canons alternatives for this lens are: 85/1.8, 135/2.0L, 200/2.8L, 70-200/2.8L, and the pricey 200/2.0L
Other alternatives are: Sigma 85/1.4 Zeis, Otus 85/1.4, Samyang 85/1.4

The following images are all shot at f/1.2

IMAGE: https://farm4.staticflickr.com/3904/14815434512_3a546922a0_z.jpg
IMAGE LINK: https://flic.kr/p/ozbY​w5  (external link) It's raining man (external link) by Merijn Geurts (external link), on Flickr

IMAGE: https://farm4.staticflickr.com/3717/9471568812_3bb994a0ca_z.jpg
IMAGE LINK: https://flic.kr/p/fqYg​qy  (external link) Best Friend (external link) by Merijn Geurts (external link), on Flickr

IMAGE: https://farm9.staticflickr.com/8320/8030475554_b49781bef6_z.jpg
IMAGE LINK: https://flic.kr/p/deCh​B5  (external link) One Leaf (external link) by Merijn Geurts (external link), on Flickr

IMAGE: https://farm4.staticflickr.com/3705/10156661624_cc5b1a7770_z.jpg
IMAGE LINK: https://flic.kr/p/gtvx​DA  (external link) Urban Football (external link) by Merijn Geurts (external link), on Flickr

IMAGE: https://farm9.staticflickr.com/8303/7889519262_4e7c6970f6_z.jpg
IMAGE LINK: https://flic.kr/p/d2aR​db  (external link) Classy (external link) by Merijn Geurts (external link), on Flickr


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5DII + 6D | 16-35/4.0L IS | Σ35/1.4A | 40/2.8 | Σ85/1.4A | 85/1.2L II | 70-200/2.8L IS II
iMac Retina 5k | i7 | 24Gb RAM | 512GB Flash | 4GB M295X

Website (external link) | flickr (external link) | Instagram (external link)

  
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CLCPhotography
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Jan 22, 2015 07:07 |  #2

This is my next lens for sure. I've used it a few times and immediately fell in love with it.




  
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invi2003
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Jan 22, 2015 08:22 |  #3

CLCPhotography wrote in post #17394441 (external link)
This is my next lens for sure. I've used it a few times and immediately fell in love with it.

Same here.




  
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masberg24
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Mar 01, 2015 20:59 |  #4

same here! I need this lens; Im deciding between this lens and the sig 85


http:// …http://Instagram.com/s​amsrhee (external link)

  
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Van ­ Gogh
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Mar 13, 2015 18:32 |  #5

Very very nice sample pictures !!!


Camera - 2x5Dmk3, C100 mkii, 70D, 60D
Lenses - 24-70mm f2.8L II, 70-200mm f2.8L IS ii, 85mm f1.2L II, 35mm f1.4 ART, 100mm f/2.8L Macro IS
Lighting - 3 x 600EX RT's, Printer - Epson 3880

  
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texaskev
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Mar 15, 2015 05:31 |  #6

One of 2 of the sharpest lens that I've ever used. Great IQ. Good review, thanks. But I think your low ratings are a bit unfair. Especially the low Focusing score. It is slow. But IMHO this is a studio lens. If it was a sports lens, I'd give it a 2 for focus. But a studio shoot speed isn't very important. AF is accurate and works great so I'd give it a 9 or better.

I've even used it for wedding formals and in that case or situation I'd give it maybe an 8. But the opinion of its focus speed depends on what you are using it for.

Again, thanks for the review, good info!


Canon 1DX II, 1DX, 11-24 F4 L, 100 F2.8 L, 16-35 F2.8 L II, 17-40 F4 L, 24-70 F2.8 L II, 24-105 F4 L II, 70-200 F2.8 L II

  
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TW82
Hatchling
6 posts
Joined Feb 2012
Location: Florida
     
Mar 22, 2015 20:58 |  #7

Thank you for the write up. This is my next lens purchase.




  
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loganrjacob
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Location: Milwaukee
     
Sep 01, 2015 13:29 |  #8

How does this compare to the first version? I am stuck between getting this or the first version used. I know of someone who is selling the first version for $1k or it seems the second version goes for $1.4ish on average. Is it worth the extra money to get the second version?


Product Photographer
7D - 70-200L IS II f/2.8 - 85L f/1.2 II

  
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raksphoto
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456 posts
Gallery: 9 photos
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Joined Jun 2010
Location: California
     
Sep 09, 2015 02:10 |  #9

Thanks for this post Bonbridge, what a dreamy and beautiful lens. Inhad the original 85mm f/1.2L, agree with you on care required to nail focus.


7D Mk II | 70D | 7D | 1D Mk III
EF-S 10-18mm f/3.5-5.6 IS STM | EF-S 17-55mm f/2.8 IS USM |
EF-S 15-85mm f/3.5-5.6 IS | EF-S 50-250mm f/4-5.6 IS II | EF 70-200mm f/4L |
EF 135mm f/2L | EF 100mm f/2 | EF 85mm f/1.8 | EF 50mm f/1.2L | EF 35mm f/1.4L
The main camera gear I use

  
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Canon EF 85mm f/1.2L II USM, reviewed by Bonbridge
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