12 Rewarding Features of the Canon EF 85mm f/1.2L II USM Lens for Portrait, Wedding and Indoor Sports Photographers
The Canon EF 85mm f/1.2L II USM is the company’s fastest lens (in addition to the 50mm f/1.2), which makes it equally versatile for the portrait, wedding and indoor sports photographer who must stop action where the light is low.
Read real customer reviews of the Canon EF 85mm f/1.2L II USM Lens here.
A rewarding and, slightly counter-intuitive, factor of this lens is that its short length (3.6” or 91.5mm), wide girth (3.3” or 84mm) and substantial weight (36.2 ounces or 1,025g) helps to steady shooting, for example, in the lesser light of a sports arena, where you may need to use a slower shutter speed.
A lens with this speed requires plenty of glass elements and the Canon EF 85mm is packed with 8 elements in 7 groups.
What attracts many photographers who must shoot indoors where the light is dim is the focusing speed of this updated 85mm f/1.2 compared to the original. The newer 85mm includes Canon’s most advanced UltraSonic Motor (USM), which produces virtually no noise during auto-focus. It’s reported to be approximately 1.8 times faster than the older 85mm f/1.2.
Photographers also praise the incredibly smooth movement of the focus ring on the Canon EF 85mm f1.2L II USM Lensand its significantly less focus lag compared to the original.
As excellent as the image quality of the first 85mm is, Canon has made the newer 85mm even better. The company added its Super Spectra coatings to the glass elements and reflection-reducing technology within the lens barrel.
The II version of the Canon 85mm f/1.2 also improves any vignetting in the I version, which was already spectacular. The II is approximately 1 stop of vignetting better than the I lens, which mean vignetting is essentially absent at f/2 and beyond.
Chromatic aberrations (CA) are visible in the Canon 85mm f/1.2L II, but only at the widest aperture, which is unlikely to be used in many shooting situations. Plus, whatever chromatic aberrations occur can be easily edited during post-production.
One of the most outstanding features of the Canon EF 85mm f/1.2L II is the quality of its bokeh. The superb background blur is created with the 8-blade circular diaphragm working with the wide f/1.2 aperture in perfect harmony. Together, they give outdoor portraits and indoor sports images tremendous dimensionality, causing the background to become a smooth palette on which to feature your primary subject.
The super-wide aperture of the Canon EF 85mm f/1.2L II rewards photographers with much more light, so they can shoot at lower ISO settings. The exposure equation of a fast lens also allows photographers to select faster shutter speeds, which freezes the action while shooting hand-held.
Wedding photographers are also rewarded when shooting with the Canon 85mm f/1.2 II. The E-TTL II flash algorithm receives distance information from the lens, which improves the accuracy of flash exposure calculations.
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Sports photographer will particularly like how this lens blurs the crowd in the background, so the basketball, hockey and other indoor sports action immediately capture the attention of viewers, without any confusion.
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