One word: ridiculous. Ridiculous how good this lens is - image quality, saturation, contrast. I don't really have words to describe it but for portraits it seems to capture a subject's special essence, and frames them in a magic moment in space and time. I've lusted after this lens for many, many years and after finally pulling the trigger - I'm not disappointed. I've got a number of other L lenses (including 10 years with the 50mm f/1.2) - and although the 85mm is for a particular purpose, it just blew everything else out of the water. Outstanding.
My favourite lens, yes it is expensive/large/heavy but the images can be so unique. A niche lens with extremely narrow depth of field and amazing bokeh, only real limitation for me is the 0.95m minimum focus distance which is almost worst-in-class.
Wow, wow, wow. I'm lucky to own a collection of L Series Canon lenses but this beauty might just become my favourite. Amazing bokeh, razor depth of field at f1.2 but the image quality is just magical, even in the hands of mere mortals like me. If you're tempted, stop wasting time and buy this stunning piece of glass. I don't usually use filters but for this one...
had it a couple of months now, it really is an amazing lens. the depth of field is razor thin. backgrounds completely blown out, if im going to give a little criticism i have to say its a nightmare to focus, not just because focus is razor thin, but its quite slow to focus......but the images are well worth it.
build quality 5/5 image quality 5/5 ease of use 3/5 taking it out of your bag and putting it onto the camera with other photographers present 5/5
First of all, this lens is relatively HUGE. With that size, goes a considerable mass. In isolation, one wonders how it could be useful, with such a large mass/weight. However, in use on my EOS 5D/BG-E4 grip, it feels remarkably 'balanced'. I wouldn't like a day's shooting with this lens without the BG-E4 though...
As to the images it produces, it's hard to explain when you first see the first 'roll' from using this lens. Initially, you almost feel slightly underwhelmed, thinking 'Is that it?', especially when the lens is bulky, heavy and extremely slow to focus (compared to other EOS lenses).
But after further use, 'the penny drops'; you have to learn to use this lens properly. This lens literally defines the meaning of 'sharp', which takes some getting used to. I think we get used to looking at images that sometimes lack clarity and 'bite'. This lens, however, is almost brutal in it's uncompromising ability to pick out every detail, AND every flaw. It's a bit like watching HDTV after a life of standard definition.
Also, the depth-of-field at f/1.2 takes some getting used to. Ever had a portrait where the DOF is so limited that a subject's pupil is in focus (as it should be for a portrait), yet the eyelashes on the outer aspect of the upper eyelid are out of focus? Me neither, until I started shooting with this lens.
Saying that, and with all of the above, this lens has produced some of the most beautiful images I have ever produced. OK, unless you learn to use this lens properly, the 'keeper ratio' might be a little low, but when you get that image that literally blows you away, you forgive all of this len's shortcomings, shortcomings that are in reality a result of the use of incredible, superlative technology and ability in the hands of a mere amateur.
So does this lens qualify as the 'holy grail' of Canon red-ringers? Well, IMHO and with my very limited experience, it may well have the potential to do just that.
Replacement for beyond repair Mk 1 version, and Amazon were best priced.
This lens gets business - the DoF separation of subject from background you can achieve is amazing. Not sure Mk II is better than Mk 1, maybe slighter quicker focus - but am glad to have an 85mm 1.2 back in service.
What a fantastic lens, it produces some beautiful images! the colour reproduction is amazing as well as it being razor sharp. It does take some getting used to, especially as the focus is slower than a lot of lenses but if you patient the results are worth it.
I did some comparisons in the studio versus other lenses and the IQ was the best on this lens followed closely by the 70-200 II IS.