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Canon EF 85mm f/1.8 USM Medium Telephoto Lens for Canon SLR Cameras

by Canon
| 85 answered questions

Price: $419.00 & FREE Shipping. Details
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  • 85mm standard lens with f/1.8 maximum aperture for Canon SLR cameras
  • Ring-type ultra-sonic monitor (USM) brings subject quickly into focus
  • Natural angle of view and perspective is ideal for portraits and natural images
  • Designed to produce beautiful background blur; weighs 15 ounces
  • Measures 3 inches in diameter and 2.8 inches long; 1-year warranty

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18 new from $419.00 12 used from $324.50 1 refurbished from $611.27

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Canon EF 85mm f/1.8 USM Medium Telephoto Lens for Canon SLR Cameras + Tiffen 58mm UV Protection Filter
Price for both: $424.99

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Technical Details

  • all-glass-optical
  • interchangeable-lens
  • zoom

Read about our customers' top-rated lenses and cameras on our review pages: Lenses, Digital SLR Cameras, Compact System Cameras

Product Details

  • Product Dimensions: 5.4 x 4.3 x 4.3 inches ; 1 pounds
  • Shipping Weight: 2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Shipping: This item is also available for shipping to select countries outside the U.S.
  • ASIN: B00007GQLU
  • Item model number: 2519A003
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (514 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank:
  • Date first available at Amazon.com: November 14, 2002

Product Description

From the Manufacturer

A highly practical medium telephoto lens with superb delineation and portability, the Canon EF 85mm lens produces sharp and clear images at all apertures. Through computer simulations, the lens has been designed to give beautiful background blur, thereby bringing your subject into crisp view. The ring-type ultra-sonic monitor (USM) and fast f/1.8 aperture, meanwhile, helps the subject zip into focus in the viewfinder. And because the front lens group does not rotate during focusing, special filter effects are not affected. Best of all, the standard zoom lens--with its natural angle of view and perspective--captures the subject plainly, making it excellent for portraits and images that require a natural depth of field. As with all Canon lenses, the lens carries a one-year warranty.

  • Focal length: 85mm
  • Maximum aperture: 1:1.8
  • Lens construction: 9 elements in 7 groups
  • Diagonal angle of view: 28 degrees (at 30 feet)
  • Focus adjustment: Rear focusing system with USM
  • Closest focusing distance: 2.8 feet
  • Filter size: 58mm
  • Dimensions: 3 inches in diameter, 2.8 inches long
  • Weight: 15 ounces
A highly practical medium telephoto lens with superb delineation and portability. Images are sharp and clear at all apertures. Through computer simulations, the lens has been designed to give beautiful background blur. Since the front lens group does not rotate during focusing special filter effects are not affected.

Sharp. Lightweight. Responsive. These are just a few adjectives that describe this terrific portrait-length telephoto lens. With a powerful ring-type USM and fast f/1.8 aperture, subjects zip into focus in the viewfinder. It's great for all types of work calling for moderate telephoto power, but comes into its own in low-light situations, and offers a 1/3-stop speed advantage over the 100mm f/2 USM lens.

A medium telephoto lens with a large aperture brings the subject closer, creates excellent background blur, gives a longer flash range, and affords a faster shutter speed to freeze the action. A standard zoom lens, with its natural angle of view and perspective, captures the subject plainly, with no special effects. However, you can use standard lenses in creative ways by varying the subject distance, aperture, and angle.

Product Description


A highly practical medium telephoto lens with superb delineation and portability. Images are sharp and clear at all apertures. Through computer simulations, the lens has been designed to give beautiful background blur. Since the front lens group does not rotate during focusing special filter effects are not affected.

Sharp. Lightweight. Responsive. These are just a few adjectives that describe this terrific portrait-length telephoto lens. With a powerful ring-type USM and fast f/1.8 aperture, subjects zip into focus in the viewfinder. It's great for all types of work calling for moderate telephoto power, but comes into its own in low-light situations, and offers a 1/3-stop speed advantage over the 100mm f/2 USM lens.

A medium telephoto lens with a large aperture brings the subject closer, creates excellent background blur, gives a longer flash range, and affords a faster shutter speed to freeze the action. A standard zoom lens, with its natural angle of view and perspective, captures the subject plainly, with no special effects. However, you can use standard lenses in creative ways by varying the subject distance, aperture, and angle.

Features
  • EF mount; telephoto lens
  • Inner focusing; full-time manual focus
  • 85mm focal length
  • f/1.8 maximum aperture
  • Ring-type UltraSonic Motor (USM)

Customer Questions & Answers

Customer Reviews

This lens produces very sharp pictures.
Abdulrahman Aljabri
I have several of L series lenses and love them dearly but this lens is a better dollar for dollar value.
D. Ohnemus
This lens is one of the best portrait lens that money can buy!
NIS350ZTT

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

628 of 645 people found the following review helpful By Just Anonymous TOP 1000 REVIEWER on July 24, 2005
Verified Purchase
October 2006 Update:
I thought I owed this Lens review an update after shooting with it for almost a couple of years and having the pleasure of shooting with a variety of L Lenses: 70-200L, 16-35L, Fisheye, 50mm and the Kit lens. This is what I've found:

1) Bar none, the best "portrait" lens I own. There's just something about this 85mm focal length + f/1.8 that brings out detail....faces have so much dimension with this lens, they look 3 dimensional. When I want to get shots of my daughter that amaze, I use this lens. When I look at my picture archive on my computer, I can easily spot the ones taken with this 85mm. My friends, some of which who don't know much about photography, pick pictures taken with this lens as their favorites - they ask wow how did you get that picture? I have a few blown up pictures to 16x20 and 11x14 of my daughter for my parents from this lens which are magnificent.

2) I thought that when I bought my 70-200L I would never use my 85mm again, I was wrong. I routinely find myself putting on the 85mm and shooting pictures with it. Also, Its much lighter and less imposing than my 70-200L so when I just want amazing portraits, don't need the higher 200mm and don't want the weight, and want a real shallow depth of feel and out of focus backgrounds, I go for the 85mm.

3) I also have a 16-35mm L which I use quite a bit for inside shots and panoramas which stays on my camera most of the time but there's just a special look to the longer mm rating that you get which makes portraits just work better with the 85mm - so when I take off the 16-35, I usually mount this 85mm.

4) I really thought that between the 16-35mm L and the 70-200L, I'd never ever use the 85mm, I was wrong.
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386 of 401 people found the following review helpful By Abdulrahman Aljabri on April 3, 2006
The answer is most likely yes; since its price make it the best value for a fast canon prime lens. But before you make the $350 plunge here are few useful things to know about how it can be used. Keep in mind that I use this lens on the Rebel XT (1.6 factor), which means it provides me with an angel of view similar to 135mm on film cameras.

SHARPNESS: Yes that's one feature you can count on when buying this lens. This lens produces very sharp pictures. So much so that it will blow away your 18-55 kit lens (if you have one) and all other zoom lenses. Exception to that are the L-series zooms. The sharpness difference will be obvious even in the smallest of prints (4 by 6). If you can't envision such difference then consider this. Sharpness can be viewed as contrast between the edges of different color objects. Hence, the sharper an image the greater the contrast in the edges between such groups of color. This lens captures the contrast in such setting better than most other lenses.

SPEED: This lens is blazingly fast. As such you will have the opportunity to shoot at higher shutter speeds wide open (remember the inverse relation between aperture and shutter speed). More importantly you gain the ability to shoot in low light situations (concert for example) and still maintain a decent shutter speed for handholding. Here's the best part, if you're like most new people to photography, you probably plan to take self portraits. This lens will give you that ability, as you will be able to buy few clamp on lights coupled with 100-150W bulbs and start shooting at medium ISO speeds wide open.

ANGEL OF VIEW: Assuming you will be using this lens on a 1.6 digital format consider that you will be having a tight crop, more like that of a 135mm lens on a film camera (1.6*85=136).
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160 of 170 people found the following review helpful By R. Taira on January 12, 2007
Verified Purchase
I hang out with friends a lot and up to this point, most of our photos together have been under flash conditions. Mostly because we hang out in the evenings, in someone's home. I bought this for my Rebel XT mainly for the great reviews and the impressive entry price! Although the reviews were already mostly positive, I took some time playing with the lens to get used to its characteristics. Since this forum is replete with technical reviews, I would like to share my impressions instead. I primarily rely on reviews, myself, to help me make purchasing decisions, so here are my thoughts on the EF 85mm f/1.8 USM lens.

PROS:
1)I'm a fan of Steven Soderbergh and love how he made it look like he shot Ocean's Eleven with natural light. I wanted the same effects for my get-together photographs and boy did I get them! I shoot mainly in RAW now and apply the Tungsten filter when I import them into CS2 and they look phenomenal!

2)After correction, skin tones look very natural and the lighting makes the captured moment look like a captured moment. Not a forced moment like when a blazingly bright flash is involved. (Sorry I don't know how else to illustrate it...)

3)The bokeh on this lens is dramatic, not distracting. My friends love the photos I take with this lens but the just can't put their finger on why...

4)The 85mm is solid. Compared to my XT kit lens, the 85mm feels like a 'real' lens with solid movement and loads of glass inside (which you can see when you peer into its very large front lens).

5)The shooting distance is very comfortable for your subjects, as they do not feel like you're crowding them with your camera. (More on this below in Con).

CON(just one!
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