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Canon EF 85mm f/1.8 USM Medium Telephoto Lens for Canon SLR Cameras
List Price: $570.00

Our Price: $379.95

You Save: $190.05 (33%)


Product Description

CANON 85mm f 1.8 Series EF USM Telephoto Lens -- A medium telephoto prime lens (not a zoom lens) with outstanding delineation and practical light weight.

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
  • 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

Customer Reviews:

  • Price vs Performance
    This is one of the best performing lenses in the entire EF line for the price. Good ambient light usage at f1.8, good color rendition, and well controlled aberrations. ...more info
  • I love it!
    Canon EF 85mm f/1.8 is my most favorite lens, I own the Canon EF 85mm f/1.2L series but I rarely use it, I am used to this lens better, it's affordable and great for portraits! I use it for all of my works. A MUST BUY LENS!...more info
  • Great portrait lens
    Excellent lens for portraits and performs at the level of an L lens, but without the cost of an L. You get a really attractive bokeh on the wide end of the aperature, and images have good color and contrast. This lens is a great value for the money, you won't be disappointed....more info
  • Tack sharp and bright
    This lens is great for portrait work as well as studio stills, with a max aperture of f1.8 it's also great for shooting indoor sports....more info
  • Canon 85mmm F/1.8 lens usm

    A very nice lens. Sharp and fast af. In a small gym or interior area you may need the 50mm 1.4 due to the crop factor. On a Canon 40D it is the equiv. of a 80mm lens in 35mm film terms.
    Still a great lens for a lot of applications. ...more info
  • As good or better than any "L" I have used!
    Canon EF 85mm f/1.8 USM Telephoto Lens for Canon SLR Cameras

    I have bought and sold several "L" lenses and I will never part with this non-"L" lens. Incredible blur and SHARP. The sharpest lens I have ever used. Did I mention it's SHARP? This lens should really have a red ring on it. It's that good. No way you will be disappointed if you buy it and once you get it, you'll probably be unloading some of your "L" lenses....more info
  • Love this lens!
    I am an amateur photographer, turning professional.

    I use this lens for portraits (although I have used it for landscape too), and it is fantastic! The images are crystal clear and sharp, focus is exactly where you want it to be. Color, image quality, contrast, etc. are all great!

    This lens is one of the best portrait lens that money can buy!

    My only con is the minimum focusing distance of almost 3 feet. If you're in tight spaces you'll need something with a closer focusing distance, but if you do portrait work and want to let your clients feel more relaxed (without you in their face) this lens will help!...more info
  • Going against the trend on this lens
    I tried this lens on a Canon Digital Rebel XT. I'm amazed at all of the positive reviews. My results were very disappointing. Maybe I had a defective lens, but I don't think so. Great Bokeh. Fast Lens. However, this lens had a VERY DIFFICULT time focusing on a subject. Auto focus was way off. Even in manual mode, getting a sharp focus was a real challenge at F1.8 or 2.8. I switched my Canon Digital XT camera to spot center focusing and still had a difficult time getting a sharp image after taking many pictures. I would recommend testing this lens out before purchasing....more info
  • $422 is not a great price
    Just fyi, this price is not a good deal. Samy's Camera and Simon's Camera have the regular retail price as $355 for the same lens. So even though Amazon says you are saving over a hundred dollars...that is based on an old retail price. The lens value has gone down. As of May 2009...more info
  • Awesome lens
    If you're a portrait photographer.. you need this lens!! In so many words, this lens is amazing in low-light situations, it's fast and images are extremely sharp. The price is incredible for such a great lens; go for it, you won't regret it....more info
  • Canon EF 85mm f/1/8 portrait lens
    I had an opportunity to borrow the EF 85mm f/1.2L II USM lens by Canon and I loved it, I wanted it; but, alas, I could not really afford it as it was always priced around $1,900.00. Then I found this lens. The reviews in Amazon convinced me to try it. I needed a lens with an f/1.8 aperture to improve my portraiture work so that I could get tight focus on my subject while making the background into fuzzy focus. This lens does that, plus makes the focus softer at the 1.8 aperture. It is not too large, nor too heavy. I hope that, some day, I will be able to get the EF 85mm f/1.2L II USM, even with its price, but this lens is providing excellent performance for me and I could afford it as well as justify my expense to my wife. The customer reviews and photographs of this lens helped me decide but I had a mental reservation that I could return it, if it did not meet my goals. Just try to wrench this lens away from me now. I leave it on the camera and then switch to my other lenses if I need to, but I try to be portrait ready and often that turns into interesting photographs for other things. I'm really pleased with my purchase of this lens....more info
  • This is what I was missing
    I recently upgraded from an old Canon G2 to the Digital Rebel XTi (with the kit lens). I thought I would see an instant improvement in my pictures, but they remained unimpressive. I wasn't able to get my subjects into sharp focus, or hold the camera steady enough for lower-light indoor shots.

    After a lot of research I decided to invest in this lens... everyone just gushed about it. Right out of the box I found what I had been missing. The attributes of this lens really opened up a whole new world of photography for me. I was able to take some really special pictures within a few minutes of switching lenses. I'm not talking 'nice' pictures... I'm talking 'life-moments' pictures, where you capture your kids' faces with such clarity and sharpness that you can't stop looking at them. The fast 1.8 aperature is perfect for lower-light conditions, and gives me the shallow depth of field that I was looking for. The USM autofocus is very quick and quiet, and the build feels solid and professional.

    The 85mm on a 1.6 factor camera makes every shot a portrait shot, which is the only reason that I ever take it off and switch to a wider lens. For a family shot I have to scoot waaaaay back, or switch to another lens like the 50mm. I could never go back to the kit lens now. It makes me feel like I'm using a disposable camera. I've learned the reason why professional photographers have such a collection of nice lenses... they are more important than the camera is! In 4-5 years my Digital Rebel will be obsolete, but my lens collecion will still be worth most of its original value. And this 85mm is my favorite one of them all....more info
  • Perfect purchase
    Item is very well packed. The seller even sent a polarizer for the lens for free. This was a great buy....more info
  • tack sharp without "L" prices
    This lens is legendary. If you are after tack-sharp portraits with beautiful saturation and color, beautiful bokeh, and are on a limited budget, get this lens. It's fast, sharp, and relatively inexpensive.

    Definitely invest in the ET-65III hood, too. Consider it a required accessory of you don't like flare.

    I am using the lens on a crop body (Xti) so the effective focal length is about 135mm. This is a little long for much beside portraits, and too short for nature or outdoor sports. It might serve well in indoor sports, however.

    Another "portrait" lens you might consider if on a budget and using a crop body is the 50mm/f.18. It doesn't look sexy on the camera, but at $70 you can't go wrong and the IQ is really astonishing for the price.

    ...more info
  • Great Lens
    Wife uses this Lens for Indoor sporting events for our kids. Takes great pictures. Loves the lens....more info
  • Sharp, but not close
    This lens is extremely sharp, better than much more expensive zooms, because it is a quality Canon fixed lens. It's great for detailed portrait and nature, but the focus doesn't go to macro levels. This can however be solved with an inexpensive macro adaptor....more info
  • wow... such a treat!
    I am very new to photography... it is something that I have always been interested in... and I'm finaly in the position to start enjoying it... I got the rebel XTi with kit lense... the camera was nice, but the lense... well it left me underwelmed... what could you expect for a little kit lense... so I hit the internet and began researching lenses... this one came back time and again as a lense that would deliver... I just got it today... it arrived early... I slapped it on my rebel and went out for a few qick shots around my home... wow wow wow it is amazing! it is sharp, fantastic blur, and it blows the kit lense out of the water!! I have a few other lenses that I have picked up, mostly used, but this one lives on my camera... cannot wait to go and test out the low light ability! I'm shooting a friends concert next week... I am betting that this puppy will pull through with flying colors! get one, you will not be disapointed!...more info
  • Excellent
    I had been wanting this lens for quite sometime and after reading several reviews myself in how great it is, I am incredibly happy I made the decision to purchase! An excellent lens it is, perfect focal lenth for portraits....more info
  • Wow!
    I just used this lens for a test shoot for a model. Wow is all I can say. The results we amazing. I did the shoot with an XTI. The sharpness and color saturation are great. While having f1.8 is nice I normally shoot at f8-11 for fashion and let me tell you this lens is so sharp it blows your mind. For $350 bucks this lens is a steal. ...more info
  • Great service! Love my lens!
    I love this lens and I'm so glad I bought it. It arrived so quickly! It's way too easy to spend money on Amazon. :)...more info
  • It's a fantastic lens!
    I bought this lens to take picture my family.
    This is owesome lens, especially you want to take picture with full-shot outfocusing.
    Even though a little bit soft in 1.8, this is pretty satisfactory with its price....more info
  • Superb lens
    Others have already written reviews that reflect my opinion. If you can't get top shelf pro quality images in the studio and in the field with this lens, the blame falls on the photographer not the lens....more info
  • Must have lens...
    Chalk up another 5 star rating for this lens. I shoot portraits at charity fund raising events and this lens just BLOWS AWAY anything else I've worked with. The images are razor sharp on either my new 30D and my older 300d (dRebel) to the point of popping off the screen or paper. The images are visably superior to the kit lens that came with my 300d (easy to do) and even the 28-135mm f/3.5 IS zoom I purchased with my 30D (harder to do).

    Shooting with a COATED U/V filter to avoid green tint coming off the anti-glare coating on the lens front element - and with a lens hood - be it rubber or the snap-on Canon - the colors are true-and the medium telephoto slightly compresses noses and blurs backgrounds perfectly.

    My 300D and 30D both have hand straps and battery grips (BG-E1 for the 300D and BG-E2 for the 30D). The BGs give great balance for this big expanse of lens and the hand strap helps guide a slightly bulky camera package to precision. The weight WILL tell during long photo shoots - the hand strap helping as your arm tires...

    The price from Amazon was competitive - the free shipping when I purchased made my choice (Amazon) easy.

    Working through two days later ...

    - I find it hard to fault the lens...
    - slightly softer images from f/1.8 to 2.8 and then tack sharp all the way up the scale.
    - U/V protection with a front filter is a must - as this is a large expanse of glass you do not want to expose to the elements. Coated U/V avoids any possible green tint refracted off the front element of the lens which has been a problem for other users.
    - Canon lens hood is going to be somewhat of a problem - as it's "snap-on" attachment method also allows easy snap off as it encounters any side pressure - accidental or otherwise.

    While not an ideal lens for macro work because of a large minimal focus distance - I found the blurred background ideal for some outdoor object work - edited and magnified in photoshop - gave very passable results...

    I vote with the majority. 5 stars for less than $350. Buy this with no regrets...more info
  • This lens is amazing and versatile
    I am an amateur photographer, but I recently purchased the pricey 135mm F2.8 Canon L lens for my Rebel XTI. As much as I like that lens, I find very limited use for it. Too long in most situations and not long enough for the times I need a telephoto. The quality of the EF 85mm f1.8 is just as good only it's much more versatile and much less expensive. I leave it on my camera all the time and I use it under most conditions. I've created some beautiful family and individual portraits, as well as sports action shots. I'm in the food business and with proper lighting, I've been able to take some amazing food shots as well. You won't be sorry you bought this lens....more info
  • Canon 85 mm 1.8 Lens
    Nothing to say but Canon makes great lenses. The first portrait I shot was right as advertised. Great focal length and great depth of field. It is the reason I have been using canon cameras for the last 30 years. Great lenses and a great product....more info
  • Amazing prime
    My first telephoto prime, this lens focuses quickly and silently. Great bang for the buck, you'll get amazing headshots and low-light event shots. The (not included) lens hood is the non-bayonet style, which is flimsy and can get knocked off without much effort. I've noticed a little bit of ghosting if there are bright lights in the frame (i.e. christmas lights in one corner, ghosted reflections of these lights in the opposite corner). But, I think that's typical of non-L len$es....more info
  • Great lens for indoor sports
    Got this lens for high school indoor volleyball and basketball games. I love it so far. The focus is fast, f1.8 is great for some of the poorly lit gyms we play in, and the 85mm length is just right for taking pictures from the stands. The only con I can think of is that working with a prime lens takes some getting used to - You have to think ahead about where to position yourself for different types of shots since you can't just zoom in and out. Also as others have noted on this and other lenses the focus can be a little soft when it's wide open at f1.8. At f2.0 and f2.2 I could still use a fast shutter and get really sharp pics. ...more info
  • Canon EF 85mm f/1.8 Lens
    This is absolutely the best lens I have ever purchased. I don't know what I did without it. It was a little hard getting use to not having a zoom but once you see the final product you'll forget all about not having that zoom. I do have other lenses that have the zoom but if you are looking for a portrait lens you've got to have this one. Pictures are absolutely stunning! GREAT PRODUCT and YES I would HIGHLY recommend this lens....more info
  • AMAZING IQ! best portrait lens under $1K
    fast focus, amazing bokeh, razor sharp focus! available light portraits like a pro studio would generate!...more info
  • One of Canon's best for price/performance
    The Canon EF 85mm f/1.8 II USM lens is a moderate weight (15 oz), very well built lens. It does not come with the appropriate hood, the Canon ET-65 III. You get both a lens cap and a mount cap, all packed inside tight conformal foam to protect the lens during shipping. There's also a very brief manual and the usual warranty paperwork.

    The lens offers AF and manual focus, and allows manual focus even when AF is set to on, a very useful feature for low-light and other challenging focus situations. This is a USM lens, and as a direct consequence focus is fast and precise, just as you'd expect.

    The AF/Manual switch is in a reasonable location, close to the camera body. There is a range indication on the barrel of the lens behind a transparent window which serves to keep dust and debris out of the workings of the lens. Manual focus is controlled with a broad, easy to manage textured ring about mid-body on the lens. During focus, nothing external on the lens body moves or rotates, so there are no complications for using polarizing filters, and no concerns about the lens "pumping" air and so causing dust contamination in either the lens or camera with use.

    The lens lacks any form of image stabilization. IS is showing up in more and more lenses, though for the price... perhaps this is one of the justifications for building IS into the camera body. I'm sure that this design wouldn't be anywhere near its current price point with IS added to the build. One last point is that since the lens is a fairly fast design, perhaps there is less overall need for IS (though that argument falls completely apart the first time you *do* need it!)

    It takes a 58mm filter, though I highly recommend the use of the ET-65 III hood rather than a filter; filter use should be limited to polarizers, neutral density filters and so on, rather than keeping a filter on the lens with the idea of protecting it. Here's why: filters create a flat surface over the end of the lens that can (and often does) create low-level reflections. These are most apparent in low-light shots, but they are almost always there. In the case of a UV filter, no other benefit is gained (UV can't get through the lens system anyway) other than physical protection. The hood, however, keeps the lens out of harms way quite effectively, and it increases contrast and reduces flare at the same time by preventing light from entering the lens at high angles of attack. I have shot with both hoods and filters, and after decades of experience, I have to come down firmly on the side of hood technique. It only takes one shot ruined by a filter reflection to wake up to this reality; and hoods never, ever compromise an image. They're simply the best way to go. Finally, the hood for this lens is inexpensive, well worth the extra few dollars it costs.

    Aperture is controlled by an 8-blade system. The available f-stops range from f/1.8 wide open to f/22.0 fully stopped down. MTF (sharpness) peaks at f/5.6, and vignetting is almost gone by that setting.

    On my camera, an EOS 50D, resolution loss from diffraction effects begin at f/7.6, so in many ways, the "sweet spot" for this lens for me lands naturally at f/5.6. On a camera with a lesser sensel density such as the 40D, diffraction doesn't set in until higher f-stops, but you're beginning to lose sharpness from other effects, so I'd still call the sweet spot as f/5.6 (which also provides a fairly extensive depth of field) for shots where detail is the primary consideration.

    For portraits, you'll want to go right for f/1.8 if lighting conditions allow in order to take advantage of the shallow and pleasing DOF isolation this lens is famous for; background blur is very soft yet very strong, while the in focus region remains deep enough to keep the important features of the face in focus from ear to nose. The loss of MTF at f/1.8 is noticeable, especially once you get a feel for how the lens performs at f/5.6, but in my opinion, the compromise is perfectly acceptable in a portrait context. There's another benefit as well; at 85mm, and especially on a crop body like the 40D or 50D, this lens allows you to get some distance from your subject which tends to make them more comfortable, while giving you the modest compression that is the hallmark of any telephoto lens. Portraits "pop" and backgrounds blur away with commendable speed. Head-and-shoulders work will put you at about eight feet, and as the lens can focus down to just under three feet, this gives you considerable control over framing without ever running into a limit imposed by the lens design.

    This is also a truly excellent lens for not-very-wide field astrophotography, although at critical focus and maximum aperture, chromatic aberration will make itself felt on the brightest stars, which you will then have to compensate for. I have successfully used this lens to capture the the Orion nebula, Andromeda galaxy, Triangulum galaxy, and a number of other astro objects that range from the easy to the difficult, all using no more than a standard (non-tracking) tripod, this lens, and the EOS 50D. On a crop body, 85mm (136mm effective FOV) is definitely the place to be to compromise between star trailing and magnification, and the f/1.8 aperture allows fast enough exposures to eliminate trailing at ISO 1600 and above.

    I carry this lens nested in a large camera bag (a Tamrac 5612 Pro 12, *highly* recommended); I rarely put the lens on the camera until I am ready to use it, and when I am done, I take it right back off, cap it, and bag it without wasting any time or motion. I do both the assembly and disassembly "blind" in the bag, using the bag top to shield the camera and lens from the wind and environment as best I can manage. The lens has a raised alignment dot that makes blind assembly practical. It's the size of the overall investment that drives this behavior, of course; both the camera and a lens like this deserves -- demands -- good care and that is just what I try to provide.

    Physically speaking, this lens isn't as large as you might think. Canon did a great job of packing a lot of glass (nine elements in seven groups) into a decent form factor of 3" diameter by 2.8" long; even with the hood mounted, this lens provides a fraction of the intimidation factor of, for instance, the 70-200mm f/2.8L. But at 85mm, it can still "get in there" and catch a lot of action without forcing you to crop to extremes. It's light enough that you can shoot for quite a while before fatigue sets in, an issue that will rear its head in any situation that goes on a while, like a wedding or a play (and that low-light capability is great for stage work, where a flash annoys literally everyone.) Plus it is black, and so looks more like it is designed as part of the same camera system, unlike the L's with the white bodies. That's also less distracting in a dark theater.

    I can honestly say that this is definitely one of my favorite lenses. I have a fair collection of primes to compare it to, some of which are L glass, and I've got some great L zooms as well; yet for portraits, I inevitably turn to this specific lens as it outperforms everything else I own in the successful shooting methodologies I find myself returning to over and over. Frankly, at the price, I think it is perfectly fair to characterize this lens as a "must-have"; if you're ever going to shoot a portrait, trust me, this is the lens you want (even over the 85mm f/1.2L, which has far too narrow a depth of field for most reasonable portraiture, though you can't beat it for light-gathering.) Like Canon's 100mm f/2.8 macro lens, the 85mm f/1.8 is one of those where you're left scratching your head as to why it doesn't have an "L" designation. It is an outstanding performer.

    If Canon were to re-do this lens, I'd like to see them add image stabilization, and perhaps some modern anti-CA elements, as this is the one area where this lens occasionally bites the photographer in high-contrast situations. Until that day, though, this lens is unmatched by anything else in Canon's line for price/performance, and I can't imagine anyone ever regretting its purchase.

    ...more info
  • Awasome ambient light portait lens
    I've had this lens a little over a year and have really enjoyed it. I doesn't see a lot of action, but when it shines, it SHINES! On a crop frame body, it is really only well suited for head shots, which I consider a good thing. In my opinion, 50mm is too wide, even on a crop body, for serious portraits.

    With some close-up filters, it makes a decent macro lens. Most of the images taken outside have been mediocre, but under ambient artificial light inside, I've never been let down. Certainly one of the best buys out there. ...more info
  • Love the 85mm/ f1.8 lens !!!
    Loved this lens! Bought for shooting basketball. Low gym lighting NO problem with this fabulous lens! Don't need to use flash at all! Use the 1600 ISO and in some gyms, can even use 800 ISO with terrific results! the f/1.8 ap is fantastic at capturing action all over the court. Best thing about shooting basketball, can shoot WITHOUT flash that can be distracting to players. 75mm is just fine for basketball if you can shoot from the floor. Can't get great shots from high up in the stands. Can't really get action at opposite end of court, because it is not a zoom. However, for the money it can't be beat! Let's face it, you get best shots from half court and in the lanes anyway. Off the court, beautiful BOKAH! Gives you fabulous portrait with the buttery 'blur'. Truely a most have for flexibility. Highly recommend this lens!...more info