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

Canon EF 85mm f/1.8 USM Medium Telephoto Lens for Canon SLR Cameras – Product Description:


Canon EF 85mm f/1.8 USM Medium Telephoto LensA 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.
Product Features :

  • 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

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


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 16×20 and 11×14 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. There are wonderful advantages to this lens which make it a keeper for me….the construction on this lens has held up very well, after years it looks brand new. I do have a UV/Haze filter that I use as a protector I got from Amazon (about $25) – great value.

There’s allot to be said for a non “L” lens which consistently winds up on my camera when I own several “L”s which cover the mm of this lens. To me, its an L: built like an L, color and saturation comparable to an L It’s my “L” lens that doesn’t have a red stripe.

Original Review:
I bought a 20D recently with the 18-55mm kit lens and to start out I bought a 50mm f/1.8 lens which really got me interested in the faster f/stops to blur backgrounds and take pictures in lower light. My kit lens was not fast enough (hard to blur background and hard to take pictures in low light) and both the kit lens and 50mm lens did not have Ultrasonic which made me miss focus more often with moving targets.

I looked quite a bit and found the 85mm f/1.8 lens. Although Amazon only had a few reviews, the photography forums I found were buzzing about how this lens should’ve been labeled an L lens. Pros might know why but 90% of the reviews I read said it was comparable to an L lens in quality and that it was very affordable.

I bought this lens and I have to tell you, I was very impressed with it right from the start. On construction, its heavier than the kit lens and the plastic 50mm II lens. It has a metal mount and very solid construction. If you look through it you can see allot of glass which tells you it has a wide aperture and consequently its much heavier than the kit lens or 50mm lens. But…its heavy in a good way. It balances the camera and makes it look like a real camera.

So what’s good about this lens? For one, you can take great pictures in low light with the f/1.8. I photographed a stage play handheld with this lens and no flash (non allowed) and I got tremendous results. Ultrasonic helped with every picture in focus and all very sharp with vibrant colors, very nice saturation, and I used ISO 400 and I could even freeze the action on stage.

As a portrait lens, it really can blow the backgrounds into a very nice buttery blokeh and with the Ultrasonic – I haven’t missed focus once. Its also wonderful for inside pictures with no flash. The F/1.8 is really versatile.

A few notes. If you’re going to get a 70-200 L zoom lens, you might wind up not using this lens as much but for parties, its allot less intimidating than a big white lens. I hear this lens was designed a long time ago and not really designed for digital and that some strange effects can be seen with it on digitals. I have not gone looking nor experienced any of these. Its just a tremendous value at $350. I was not able to use this lens as a macro as it was not designed as such but I have thought of putting an extension tube on it to see what I get but haven’t done so yet.

Constructed Solid. Solid feel, smooth focusing ring, distance window, autofocus with a real Ring USM. Five Stars! Amazon shipped fast on this for me – Great store.



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