Is the Canon 85mm F1.2 FD SSC Aspherical Worth $23,000?

I don’t know a single photographer who wouldn’t go crazy for an 85mm f1.2 lens. But some just seem incredibly expensive. And that’s what’s making us scratch our heads about this Canon 85mm f1.2 FD SSC Aspherical lens. Various reviews and folks online say it’s one of the best lenses ever made. Of course, Canon lens users have always loved their f1.2 lenses; it’s part of what makes the system so special. But can a lens really be worth nearly $23,000 and have so much variation?

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The Canon 85mm F1.2 L USM RF Is $901 More Than Sony’s 85 G Master

The Canon 85mm f1.2 L USM RF is officially being announced today after its development announcement.

One of things that genuinely sets the Canon RF camera system apart from others is a lens like the Canon 85mm f1.2 L USM RF. As the company’s second f1.2 aperture lens, the 85mm is more targeted to portraiture than the 50mm f1.2. Photographers who use the system and shoot portraits a lot will be inclined to spend their hard earned $2,699 on this lens, which is almost $1,000 more than Sony’s G Master. The new Canon 85mm f1.2 L USM RF includes the control ring around the lens, perhaps better weather sealing, a blue refractive element to reduce CA, and an f1.2 aperture. However, Sony’s 85mm f1.4 G Master Lens has 11 aperture blades where the Canon sports only 9. Sony’s also focuses closer.

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Battle of the High End Portrait Lenses: Canon 85mm f1.2 L vs Sigma 85mm f1.4 EX

Sigma 85mm f1.4 at f1.4 1/640th iso 125

Previously we did a quick test with the Sigma 85mm f1.4 EX and the Canon 85mm f1.2 L. Before that, we compared the Sigma lens against the more affordable option in Canon’s lineup, the 85mm f1.8. Eventually, I was able to bring the two lenses out into Central Park for a quick portrait session with Kathy. The results? You may be surprised.

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Very Quick Test: Sigma 85mm f1.4 vs Canon 85mm f1.2 L (First Impressions)

Canon 85mm f1.2 ISO 800 f2.2 1/160th


Not long ago, Sigma’s reps called me up to ask about my comparison of the Sigma 85mm f1.4 vs the Canon 85mm f1.8. While they thought the comparison to be fair and informative, they were curious to know why I didn’t compare it against the Canon 85mm f1.2; a lens that it is often compared to. After some talks, I decided to go ahead and do it.

This post is the first of a two part series and was conducted very quickly using my friend Katie in Midtown Manhattan.

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How Does the Canon RF 85mm F1.2 L Compare to Samyang 85mm F1.4?

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I’ll preface this article with saying that we didn’t do a head-to-head comparison test of the two lenses. But we’ve done our own original reviews of the two lenses and they’re both very good. Each one has something different going on with it. They’re also very different prices. I believe most people won’t be able to tell the differences between one 85mm lens vs the other. So we’re going to report on our findings based on our tests of both lenses. The Samyang 85mm f1.4 RF is a great lens. But the Canon RF 85mm f1.2 L is obviously Canon’s best of the best. So which is better? Are you ready?

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Bokeh for Days! The Canon RF 85mm F1.2 L USM DS Review

The Canon RF 85mm f1.2 L USM DS lens sports brand new Defocus Smoothing coatings to deliver even creamier bokeh than the original RF 85mm f1.2.

In an interesting move, Canon announced the RF 85mm f1.2 L USM DS less than six months after first introducing the original RF 85mm f1.2. The DS is essentially a Special Edition of the original RF 85mm f1.2 portrait lens. What sets the Canon RF 85mm f1.2 L USM DS apart is the new Defocus Smoothing coating incorporated into the new lens, and the $2,999 price tag. This lens coating is designed to reduce the amount of light passing through the lens gradually from the center towards the periphery. The resulting bokeh appears smoother and more pleasing. We found a lot to love about the original RF 85mm f1.2. Does the additional Defocus Smoothing coating deliver and help improve upon the well regarded original?

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Review: Canon RF 85mm F1.2 L USM (Canon RF Mount)

The Canon RF 85mm f1.2 L USM is a bulky, expensive lens, with superb image quality that more than justifies its price of admission.

One of Canon’s biggest strengths has always been its ability to create consistently excellent lenses targeted at professionals, and the Canon RF 85mm f1.2 L USM is no exception. With their RF Mount system, Canon has chosen to tackle the Full Frame Mirrorless market from the opposite direction of Sony. Instead of focusing on industry-leading cameras first and slowly building up a portfolio of lenses like Sony did, Canon has elected to introduce premium lenses out of the gate while they work on developing newer, more advanced Full Frame Mirrorless camera bodies. Only time will tell if their strategy will pay off, but one thing is for sure: the RF Mount lenses we’ve seen are some of the very best on the market. The Canon RF 85mm f1.2 L USM was designed with portrait photographers in mind, and boy does it create some truly stunning portraits. By virtue of being an f1.2 lens, the Canon RF 85mm f1.2 L USM is bulky and has the weight (and a US $2,699 price tag) to match. If you’ve got deep pockets and won’t settle for anything but the very best, the Canon RF 85mm f1.2 L USM will not disappoint.

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First Impressions: Canon RF 85mm F1.2 L USM (A Portrait Dream Lens)

The Canon RF 85mm f1.2 L USM helps the Canon EOS R deliver a bit of extra magic for portraiture.

When portrait photographers pick up the Canon RF 85mm f1.2 L USM, they’ll start to realize the absolute magic it’s capable of when rendering a portrait subject. Canon’s lenses haven’t always been about scoring high on DXOMark tests: they’re instead designed for the character. Canon’s RF 50mm f1.2 L USM delivers an almost medium format look that’s only possible with an 80mm f2 on a 645 body and the Canon RF 85mm f1.2 L USM isn’t anything different. Even when shooting wide open with a flash, the look you get is far unlike anything else. That’s not to say that everything else isn’t capable of delivering beautiful images, but a long focal length at f1.2 is something to really behold.

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Upcoming Canon RF 85mm F1.2L USM Promises More Pop Than an F1.4 Lens

Curious about the upcoming Canon RF 85mm f1.2L USM? Canon Europe’s interview with the company’s lens development team should answer your questions about its design, bokeh quality, and other details.

If you’re new to the Canon RF mount, or want to know more before making the switch, specifically when it comes to the Canon RF 85mm f1.2L USM lens, Canon Europe should have all the answers for you. In their insightful interview with the Canon lens development team, we learn why this f1.2 lens should be the go-to glass of portrait photographers, its bokeh quality, design features, and other interesting info.

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Review: Rokinon 85mm f1.2 SP (Canon EF Mount)

Relatively speaking, I’m sort of over the idea of super fast aperture lenses simply because most folks won’t be able to tell the difference with the photos–and that’s the case with the Rokinon 85mm f1.2 SP lens. But at the same time, I can’t argue with the fact that it’s quite a mystical marketing technique combined with the fact that so many lenses are really fantastic. Don’t get me wrong, if you’re shooting with an APS-C sensor camera then having super fast glass makes sense. But for full frame cameras, it doesn’t really matter. Most people can’t tell the difference between f1.2 and f1.4. Plus high ISO output these days is so crazy good that you arguably don’t need the extra stop. 

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Sample Images: Rokinon SP 85mm f1.2 (Canon EF)

We’re in the middle of reviewing the Rokinon SP 85mm f1.2 lens–which is one of the company’s new high end lens offerings. Rokinon’s build quality has never been the greatest in comparison to many other brands out there but with the SP line, they’re looking to change that. Not only are the optics top notch, but the build quality is too. They’re making metal exteriors with rubber rings. In some ways, you can liken them to Zeiss. Two of their first lenses are the 85mm f1.2 and the 14mm f2.4 for full frame cameras. Unfortunately, these don’t have autofocus. But that doesn’t seem to affect the image quality at all.

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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.

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Not Just 85mm! 4 Great Portrait Lenses for the Canon RF System

If you’re seriously looking at the Canon RF camera system, you’re likely considering it for portraiture. It’s fantastic for it! And we’ve reviewed nearly every Canon RF lens, so we’ve got a lot to say. The system is brilliant for portraiture. Better yet, there are tons of fantastic portrait lenses for Canon RF cameras. Whether you’re using the Canon EOS R or the Canon EOS R5, there’s something for you. So we dove into the Reviews Index to get just what you need.

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Apparently, We Could Get a Bunch of Exciting Canon f1.2 Prime Lenses

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It would make sense that we would see a ton of Canon f1.2 prime lenses. They already have two variants of the 85mm, and then there’s the 50mm option. We recently wrote about the dream of a 35mm f1.2. Sigma has done this already. But a lot of other brands haven’t even hinted that something like this could come. However, a few Canon patents are really exciting us right now. 

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This Beautiful White Canon TLB Belongs in Your Hands Shooting Film

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Some cameras are just prettier than others. To that end, some lenses just make prettier images. It’s hard to beat Canon FD mount lenses, and luckily this gorgeous Canon TLB can use them. How often have you seen them in white? It’s rare–in fact, this one is most likely a one of a kind. But quite honestly, this Canon TLB checks all the boxes of what we want in a camera. It’s available through the Rare Camera Store right now. And trust me, you’re going to be pleased.

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The Great Debate: 85mm vs 135mm for Portrait Photography

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The photographers who debate and care about this idea don’t really wonder about image quality. Indeed, if you’re wondering about 85mm vs. 135mm for portrait photography, they’re both very good. But they’re very different focal lengths. Luckily, we’ve reviewed loads of 85mm lenses over the years. And we’ve reviewed pretty much every 135mm lens made in the past decade. So we’re pooling information that we’ve written along with some selections.

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Canon Picture Styles Help You Make Your Images Less Boring

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Canon cameras are pretty great at what they do. But sometimes they stick to a very old-school idea of perfection in their images (well, their sensors do). And if you use cameras from Panasonic, Olympus, or Fujifilm, it’s easy to get spoiled with the unique image quality. But lots of folks forget you can tweak Picture Styles in the Canon menu. What’s more, that image quality will mostly translate into the RAW files. So you can tweak as much as you’d like and still enjoy what comes out. In my explorations, I’ve tried to find ways to make the images look like a film stock of some sort, and have come pretty close to Fujifilm Superia. Here’s what I did.

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These Deals Might Convince You to Buy a New Canon Camera

The Canon EOS R can come with the 35mm f1.8 IS STM for only $2,298.

Despite the Canon EOS R5 being such a great camera, there’s something to be said for the original Canon EOS R. It’s small, lightweight, and incredibly durable. But what’s even better is it can come bundled with a 35mm f1.8 IS USM for a good price. This is probably one of the best lenses for the camera. It boasts image stabilization but not weather sealing. Regardless, the lens is fantastic and that sensor is still very good. So we found a few deals from Canon you’ll want to pay attention to right now.

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Portrait Photography: You’ll Fall In Love With These 85mm Primes Instantly


85mm primes are an essential tool for portrait photographers.

Portrait photographers need a lot from the lenses they use. Lenses have to be sharp, reliable, produce great bokeh and beautiful natural skin tones. Another quality they need to have is great build quality. Like many other things in life, not all 85mm primes are created equal. However, we’re sure that you’ll love the 85mm primes we have listed after the break. If you’re in the market for a new go-to portrait lens, the five we have listed after the break will offer you everything a modern portrait photographer needs.

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50mm vs 85mm: Which Is Better for Portrait Photography?

The debate on whether to choose a 50mm vs 85mm lens for portraiture continues!

50mm vs. 85mm? That’s the question. And most often, it’s associated with portraiture. Both of these lenses have their advantages and disadvantages. And the question has to do with what you want to do with each lens. In most cases, both will do an outstanding job. Even modern lenses in these focal lengths don’t have much noticeable distortion. One can argue that it all has to do with the field of view, but that’s not really the case anymore. So we’re going to break down using them with two of our favorites.

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Canon Is Set to Flesh Out Their RF Lenses with 4 New Primes

Canon RF Mount Lenses 35mm

Canon is looking to expand their number of more affordable RF Lenses pretty quickly.

It took a while for Canon to introduce many affordable RF lenses for the EOS R, EOS RP, EOS R5, and EOS R6. Now, though, things are starting to change. We have already seen solid options like the RF 35mm f1.8 Macro, the RF 50mm f1.8, and the RF 85mm f2. Then there are lenses like the RF 600mm and RF 800mm f11 primes, and the excellent RF 24-105mm f4-7.1, and RF 24-240mm f4-6.3. These lenses have made Canon’s Full Frame Mirrorless system much more palatable to more than just top-end pros. There’s still a long way to go, but Canon is apparently busy at work on four new primes that range from f1.4 to f1.8. We’re pretty excited, and you should be too. We’ve got all the deets after the break.

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