Canon EF 85mm f/1.8 USM - Review / Test Report
Lens Reviews - Canon EOS (APS-C)

Review by Klaus Schroiff, published June 2005

Special thanks to Markus Stamm for providing this lens!


The Canon EF 85mm f/1.8 USM is one of Canon's classic portrait tele lenses. In the APS-C DSLR scope the field-of-view resembles a 136mm lens here.
The lens features a ring-type USM AF drive (rear focusing) with full-time manual focusing in one-shot AF mode. AF speed feels extremely fast with this lens. The minimal focus distance is 0.85m resulting in a max. magnification of 0.13x (~1:8). Manual focusing feels very smooth. The optical construction is made of 9 elements in 7 groups without any special elements. This may sounds as a drawback but at 85mm a conventional design is still fine as we'll see later during this review. The lens features 8 aperture blades. The filter size is 58mm.
At 425g it is still a very light-weight lens and with a dimension of 75x71.5mm it's also quite compact - at least when used without the (optional) hood. The outer barrel is made of solid plastic. There's no wobbling whatsoever.

As hinted above the lens itself is compact but when attaching the optional hood the sight is quite impressive.

The following image illustrates that you get quite a bit of glass for your money - this is a LARGE aperture lens!

Disclosure: When you click on links to various merchants on this site and make a purchase, this can result in this site earning a commission. Affiliate programs and affiliations include, but are not limited to, the eBay Partner Network and Google Adsense.