Canon EF 85mm f/1.8 USM Retest @ 15mp / Review
Lens Reviews - Canon EOS (APS-C)
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Review by Klaus Schroiff, published March 2009

Special thanks to Rainer Temme for providing this lens!


The Canon EF 85mm f/1.8 USM is one of Canon's classic portrait tele lenses (full format). It is part of the Canon lineup ever since 1992 so Canon is obviously still confident about its usability on digital SLRs. On APS-C DSLRs its field-of-view resembles a "136mm" in classic full format terms so it doesn't leave its primary applications such as portrait photography.

There isn't really much to talking regarding the build quality of the lens - the outer lens barrel is made of high quality plastics combined with a metal mount. The broad, rubberized focus ring operates pretty smooth. The physical length of the lens remains constant regardless of the focus setting. As you may notice in the product images below the lens itself is very compact but when attaching the optional hood the sight is more impressive.

The lens features a ring-type USM AF drive (rear-focusing type) with full-time manual focusing in one-shot AF mode. The AF is extremely fast and near silent. The AF accuracy is excellent without any significant focus shifts across the aperture range.

Equiv. focal length136 mm (full format equivalent)
Equiv. aperturef/2.9 (full format equivalent, in terms of depth-of-field)
Optical construction9 elements in 7 groups
Number of aperture blades8
min. focus distance0.85 m (max. magnification ratio ~1:8)
Dimensions75 x 72 mm
Weight425 g
Filter size58 mm (non-rotating)
Hoodoptional, barrel-shaped
Other features-

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