Approve the Cookies
This website uses cookies to improve your user experience. By using this site, you agree to our use of cookies and our Privacy Policy.
Index  •   • New posts  •   • RTAT  •   • 'Best of'  •   • Gallery  •   • Gear  •   • Reviews
New posts  •   • RTAT  •   • 'Best of'  •   • Gallery  •   • Gear  •   • Reviews
Register to forums    Log in

FORUMS Gear Reviews Lens Reviews 
Thread started 18 Mar 2018 (Sunday) 00:19
Search threadPrev/next
sponsored links
(this ad will go away when you log in as a registered member)
TOGGLE RATINGS BETWEEN ALL AND artsf (showing now: artsf)
Overall Rating10
Overall Image Quality10
Value for Money8
Must Have7
Suitability to Intended Use10
Got What I Expected10
Ownership Status: "own"

Click here for sample photos and more info.
Click ratings to see total averages and rating distributions.
List all reviews of Canon EF 85mm F1.4L IS USM

Canon EF 85mm F1.4L IS USM, reviewed by artsf

Senior Member
400 posts
Gallery: 73 photos
Best ofs: 1
Likes: 388
Joined Sep 2015
Post edited over 2 years ago by artsf. (4 edits in all)
Mar 18, 2018 00:19 |  #1

After using this lens for a month, I can say without a shadow of a doubt that this is the best lens I have ever used, period. I used to rate portrait lenses as 1. 200F2; 2. 85ii; 3. 135F2 with 85ii being the most versatile. I listed 85ii for sale within a day of getting my own 85L 1.4 (previously rented it for a weekend). Here is the positives:

1. Consistent sharpness at 1.4 under different light conditions. Significantly sharper than 85ii at f1.4

2. MUCH less CA than 85ii. The older lens has quite a bit of purple even on faces and eyes.

3. Very strong contrast and color saturation at f1.4. I always thought 85ii was particularly great at that but the new 85 brings it to a whole new level, must see it to beleive it - phenomenal colors.

4. Fast AF, much faster than 85ii and similar to 135L but not the fastest.

5. Phenomenal IS that is one of the best implementation for video I have seen. Second only to 70-300ii that produces tripod like results even when panning.

6. Smooth continous DPAF tracking performance in video. Simply, the best video lens with superb shallow DOF I have ever used.

7. Fantastic build, weather sealed, whereas 85ii has always been a dust magnet.

8. Improved ergonomics over 85ii - nice handling with 5div and the hood size is much more convinient.

9. The most surprising discovery is that the new 85 has better bokeh than 85ii, IMO. 85ii bokeh gets a little nervous with some ghosting away from the center of the frame, not to mention purple fringing. The new 85 is smooth throughout without any signs of ghosting or nervousness.

10. Work against bright light is very well handled. 85ii was pretty good at that too but it’s a whole new level with 85IS. And of course much better than 135l which rapidly loses contrast when shooting against bright light.

11. Improved MFD over 85ii - definately noticeable.

12. Lovin’ 77mm filter size; now all but one lens I own are 77mm.

13. Colors. colors, colors...

If I have to nitpick, here are some negatives:

1. AF motor and/or IS are picked up by 5div built-in mic, defintey on the louder side as far as lenses go (louder than 35IS). But the only lens I tried that was truly quiet is 24-70 f4 - I can use built-in mic. With every other lens (even STM ones), I have to use external mic so it’s not a big deal to me at all.

2. Small amount of purple and green fringing still show up sometimes in certain scenes but you have to magnify to see it and much easier to remove than 85ii. It is not noticeable in 4k video as shot with 5div (unlike 85ii)

3. AF is not as fast as 24-70ii or 24-70 F4 but it’s expected of wide aperture lenses.

3. I wish the price would be more accessible to more folks. It is competitive compared to the inferior (I used it) Sony 85mm GM but Canon can do better.

please log in to view hosted photos in full size.

please log in to view hosted photos in full size.

sponsored links
(this ad will go away when you log in as a registered member)
Senior Member
474 posts
Likes: 1
Joined Jul 2008
Location: Near London
May 20, 2018 15:23 |  #2

Hi, would be interested to hear your thoughts on why the Sony GM is inferior. Which body did you use it with?

Current: 5d III | 1Ds3 | 5d II gripped | 40d | 17-40L | 24-105L | 50mm f/1.4 | 100 f/2 | 70-200L f/2.8 | 430EX |
Previously: 10d, 40d, 5d2, 14mm Tamron f/2.8, 16-35L, 100 Macro
flickr (external link)

Senior Member
400 posts
Gallery: 73 photos
Best ofs: 1
Likes: 388
Joined Sep 2015
Post edited over 2 years ago by artsf.
May 20, 2018 18:57 as a reply to  @ motoroller's post |  #3

A7rii, I found rendering to be cooler even for A7rii, it flares worse than 85IS and green fringing can even show up in eyes at f1.4 whereas 85IS purple fringing is more controlled and doesnt even show up in most scenes and definately not in vdeo. 85IS focuses much faster (maybe body dependent) and its IS is signigicantly better in video even when compared to dual IS on the Sony (Canon obviously optimized the lens for panning). They are both sharper than anyone would ever need even at f1.4 but Canon is a better value, IMO. On the Sony, I think FE 85 1.8 makes more sense ergomicaly and value wise (although I have not tried it).

1,194 posts
Gallery: 119 photos
Likes: 2397
Joined Apr 2016
May 21, 2018 04:41 |  #4

Thank you.

I was considering between the f/1,2L mark II and this f/1,4L IS earlier. :p

Canon RP | 7D2+grip | EF 70-200mm f/2,8L IS II | Tamron 24-70mm f/2,8 VC G2 | ZE 2/100mm | ZE 2/35mm | ZE 1,4/85mm | CV 3,5/20mm Skopar | CV 1,4/58mm Nokton | Micro-Nikkor 60mm f/2,8D | DC-Nikkor 105mm f/2D |
Speedlite 430EX III-RT | 600EX-RT | YN 600EX-RT |
Manfrotto BeFree Travel Tripod |

3,448 posts
Gallery: 94 photos
Likes: 1652
Joined Mar 2009
Location: Medford, Oregon
Nov 11, 2018 10:36 |  #5

I almost ordered this lens, but was waiting for one of my lenses to sell first for extra funds. Plus I have the Canon 85mm 1.2 and Tamron's 85mm 1.8 VC, both being good. But I could tell this new Canon is better than my Tamron, so I had it in mind. Then ... the EOS R came out and the RF 50mm 1.2, changing my approach to reconfiguration. The EOS R improved the performance of my 85mm 1.2 ii and the RF 50mm 1.2 has the nicest bokeh I've seen in a prime. What this boils down to, is I'm curious whether Canon comes out with an RF 85mm in the near future. Otherwise, its been challenging to hold back from ordering the Canon EF 85mm 1.4 L. (external link) . . . and . . . Coast Redwoods Main Page (external link)

Cream of the Crop
11,579 posts
Gallery: 5 photos
Likes: 1115
Joined Sep 2006
Location: St. Augustine, Florida
Nov 11, 2018 11:42 |  #6

Any more pics?

MCSquared Photography (external link) on WWW
MCSquared Photography (external link) on Flickr
MCSquared Photography (external link) on IG
My name: Manish.

Junior Member
20 posts
Joined Oct 2008
May 22, 2019 11:12 |  #7

I am not a professional, but would like to pick up 5-6 portrait jobs a year, a year or so from now. I have a 135 f2 canon but to pay for a 85mm is f1.4 I would have to sell my eos m100(really good video -sound) 22mm, 18-55, my 135mm(lens is amazing), 50mm 1.8 stm, 2x 28-70s f3.5 canons. Currently have a 6d I. Would it be worth it? After that probably next lens to get would be 35mm f2 is. Then get a 135 f2. I would keep my tamron 19-35 and 70-300 usm.
Thanks, mike

sponsored links
(this ad will go away when you log in as a registered member)

2,822 views & 10 likes for this thread
Canon EF 85mm F1.4L IS USM, reviewed by artsf
FORUMS Gear Reviews Lens Reviews 
x 1600
y 1600

Jump to forum...   •  Rules   •  Index   •  New posts   •  RTAT   •  'Best of'   •  Gallery   •  Gear   •  Reviews   •  Member list   •  Polls   •  Image rules   •  Search   •  Password reset

Not a member yet?
Register to forums
Registered members may log in to forums and access all the features: full search, image upload, follow forums, own gear list and ratings, likes, more forums, private messaging, thread follow, notifications, own gallery, all settings, view hosted photos, own reviews, see more and do more... and all is free. Don't be a stranger - register now and start posting!

COOKIES DISCLAIMER: This website uses cookies to improve your user experience. By using this site, you agree to our use of cookies and to our privacy policy.
Privacy policy and cookie usage info.

POWERED BY AMASS forum software 2.1forum software
version 2.1 /
code and design
by Pekka Saarinen ©

Latest registered member is S2kBob
870 guests, 285 members online
Simultaneous users record so far is 15144, that happened on Nov 22, 2018 Digital Photography Forums is the website for photographers and all who love great photos, camera and post processing techniques, gear talk, discussion and sharing. Professionals, hobbyists, newbies and those who don't even own a camera -- all are welcome regardless of skill, favourite brand, gear, gender or age. Registering and usage is free.