Canon makes three solid lens choices for the 85mm prime focal length. Which is the right one for you?
Photographer David Flores recently compared Canon’s current 85mm portrait lens lineup in this video for B&H Photo. First, the 85mm f/1.8 USM may have the highest f-stop, but it’s probably the best bang for your buck out of all three. At only $349, you have to think realistically how the other two much more expensive options could possibly improve your work to make it worth it. I’ll bet that no one has ever gained or lost a client based on owning any one of these over the other, so why not save your money for other gear.
Next, Flores also talks about the $1,599 85mm f/1.4L IS USM lens. This is a newer lens from Canon and so it features the latest Air Sphere coating. It’s also two-thirds of a stop faster than the 85mm f/1.8 lens. Another benefit to this lens is the image stabilization.
Finally, there’s Canon’s beastly $1,849 85mm f/1.2L II USM lens. This is half a stop faster than the f/1.4L lens and you pay the price for it. It doesn’t have image stabilization and by all accounts is quite agonizing to autofocusing, but just think of that shallow depth of field and bokeh.
Check the video above to see comparison images and learn the strengths of each of Canon 85mm lens. What’s your favorite one?