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Canon EF 85mm f/1.8 USM Lens Review

Canon EF 85mm f/1.8 USM Lens Review

Looking for a good value in a small, light, great performing, fast lens? Try the Canon EF 85mm f/1.8 USM Lens.

Canon EF 85mm f/1.8 USM Lens on EOS 60D - Top View

The Canon EF 85mm f/1.8 USM Lens is relatively inexpensive but yields very good image quality. It is reasonably sharp wide open, but really shines from f/2.8 on.

Wide open, vignetting will be apparent even on a 1.6x FOVCF body. Full frame body users will see some vignetting remaining at f/2.

Open the 85 f/1.8’s aperture wide and watch the background blur away. The bokeh (background blur quality) – helped by an 8-blade aperture – is very nice. Of course, taking a relatively close portrait photo at f/1.8 makes keeping both eyes in focus difficult.

Contrast and saturation are very good.

Utilizing ring USM (Ultrasonic Motor), the Canon EF 85mm f/1.8 USM Lens focuses fast and quietly.

Build quality of the 85 f/1.8 is quite good. The size is small, the weight is light. The 85 f/1.8 is a lens you can use to get great pictures while getting few stares.

Canon EF 85mm f/1.8 USM Lens on Camera Comparison

The Canon EF 85mm f/1.8 USM Lens is often compared to the Canon EF 100mm f/2.0 USM Lens These two lenses are nearly identical to each other in most facets. I suggest using the focal length as the differentiating factor between them.

Canon EF 85mm f/1.8 USM Lens Comparison

Positioned above from left to right in their fully retracted positions are the following lenses: Canon EF 50mm f/1.4 USM Lens Canon EF 85mm f/1.8 USM Lens Canon EF 100mm f/2.0 USM Lens Canon EF 135mm f/2.0L USM Lens Canon EF 24-70mm f/2.8L USM Lens

The same lenses are shown below in their fully extended states with their lens hoods in place.

Canon EF 85mm f/1.8 USM Lens Comparison with Hoods

Canon EF 85mm f/1.8 USM Lens Compared to Similar 85mm Lenses

Positioned above from left to right are the following lenses: Zeiss 85mm f/1.4 ZE Planar T* Lens Canon EF 85mm f/1.8 USM Lens Canon EF 85mm f/1.2L II USM Lens Sigma 85mm f/1.4 EX DG HSM Lens

The same lenses are shown below in their fully extended states with their lens hoods in place.

Canon EF 85mm f/1.8 USM Lens Compared to Similar 85mm Lenses with Hoods

An application where the Canon EF 85mm f/1.8 USM Lens shines is indoor and low light photography. The 85mm focal length and wide aperture make the 85 f/1.8 a great church or stage lens. With its wide aperture and fast focusing, the 85 f/1.8 works well for indoor Sports.

Canon EF 85mm f/1.8 USM Lens Product Images

This focal length is very good for portraits, and the Canon EF 85mm f/1.8 USM Lens makes a good portrait lens – excelling at head and head/shoulders portraits when mounted on a 1.3x or 1.6x FOVCF body. The wide f/1.8 aperture can create a dreamy OOF (Out of Focus) background blur.

85 f/1.8 on Canon 60D - Top View with Hood

I didn’t find myself using the 85 f/1.8 very much after getting the Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS USM Lens. Although 1 1/3 stop slower, I found the Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS USM Lens to be far more versatile.

The bottom line is that the Canon EF 85mm f/1.8 USM Lens is simply a very nice lens at a reasonable price.

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