No, The Canon 85mm f1.4 L IS USM Isn’t Replacing the f1.2 Lens

The new Canon 85mm f1.4 L IS USM does not replace the Canon 85mm f1.2 L USM II–and to be honest I’m not exactly sure why not. It’s been a really, really long time since Canon announced a new 85mm lens but today we’re getting something that Canon says lives in between the 85mm f1.8 (which is complete crap by today’s standards) and their well loved 85mm f1.2 L USM II. In fact, Canon is saying that the newCanon 85mm f1.4 L IS USM is supposed to have better or equal resolution than the f1.2. Additionally, it has Four stops of IS according to CIPA standards, a high speed autofocus system, weather sealing, dust resistance and USM–so you’ll most likely get much quieter and faster focusing than the f1.2 variant.

The new Canon 85mm f1.4 L IS USM is being targeted at portrait photographers–and it’s seriously about time that Canon delivered an update to their lineup of 85mm lenses. Their f1.8 really started to show its flaws by the time that the Canon 5D Mk II came around. It’s got some very nice colors but shows off fringing that only a DPReview forum troll would love to complain about. Can that be used creatively? Yes; but with difficulty and it perhaps would be best regulated to being used as a video lens due to the fact that that look is heavily embraced in cinema and television. Besides, it’s a vintage lens at this point.

Tech specs and important tidbits from the press release are below.

Canon 85mm f1.4 L IS USM Tech Specs


Focal Length & Maximum Aperture

85mm f/1.4

Lens Construction

14 elements in 10 groups

Diagonal Angle of View


Focus Adjustment

AF with full-time manual

Closest Focusing Distance

2.79 ft. / 0.85m

Filter Size


Max. Diameter x Length, Weight

Ø3.5 x 4.1 in., approx. 33.5 oz. / Ø88.6 x 105.4mm, approx. 950g

Canon EF 85mm f1.4L IS USM Lens

According to press release

Canon EF 85mm focal-length lenses are traditionally very sought-after options for portrait photographers. With that in mind, Canon is expanding its EF 85mm line up with the introduction of the new Canon EF 85mm f/1.4L IS USM; the first Canon EF 85mm lens to feature image stabilization, providing up to four stops* of shake correction for smooth and crisp imagery.

The EF 85mm utilizes one large diameter, high-precision molded glass aspherical lens and features an ASC coating. The large f/1.4 aperture produces shallow depth-of-field, fast shutter speeds and a bright image inside the viewfinder, allowing photographers to focus and compose their image reliably. In addition, a circular aperture with 9-blade iris allows for beautiful bokeh.

The New Canon EF 85mm f/.4 L IS USM is scheduled to be available November 2017 for an estimated retail price of $1599.00††.

I’m extremely eager to get my hands on this one.

Chris Gampat

Chris Gampat is the Editor in Chief, Founder, and Publisher of the Phoblographer. He also likes pizza.