Canon EF 85mm f/1.2 L II USM Lens

Product summary


This lens the bokeh king. Ideal as a medium range telephoto lens the EF 85mm f/1.2 L II USM is compatible with Canon’s entire range of full frame, APS-C and APS-H DSLRs.

The EF 85mm f/1.2 L II USM has a ring type USM (Ultra-Sonic Motor). This ensures that the auto-focusing performance of the lens is quiet and fast. The lens construction includes 8 elements arranged in 7 groups. It also has full-time manual focusing (FTM). This means for switching from auto to manual one does not need to flick a switch. Simply turning the manual focusing ring allows the lens to switch from auto to manual. The lens has a diagonal angle of view of 28°30′.

The closest focusing distance of the lens is 3.2 feet (0.95 meters) which makes the lens not the ideal partner for close-up photography. Additionally the lens is very expensive retailing at $2200. It is also one of the heavier of the medium range tele lenses that Canon currently offers. Additionally with a lens this wide, when shooting fully wide one is bound to get a bit more problem of flares and ghosts when compared to an f/1.4 lens.

The over all lens construction is befitting its L (luxury) tag and certainly makes professional users wielding a full frame DSLR and requiring an all purpose 85mm medium zoom seriously consider buying this. The external dimensions of the lens are 3.6” x 3.3” and it weighs a hefty 1025 grams. The lens has a large filter thread specification of 72mm.

This ultra-fast lens is perfect for low light photography without having to do a trade-off between shutter speed and noise. Having said that, it is great for all other types of lighting conditions as well. If your budget is tight, the EF 85mm f/1.8 USM Lens is a excellent choice as well.

Image by EF 85mm f/1.2 L II on Flickr

Canon EF 85mm f/1.2 L II Specifications

CompatibilityFull Frame & APS-C
APS-C equivalent focal length136mm
Angle of viewH:16º,
D:28º 30′
Construction (elements/groups)8/7
No. of diaphragm blades8
Min aperture16
Closest focusing distance (m)0.95
Max magnification (x)0.11
Distance informationYes
Image stabilizerNo
AF actuatorRing USM¹
Filter Size (mm)72
Max. diameter x length (mm)91.5 x 84.0
Weight (g)1025
Magnification – Extension Tube EF12 II0.25-0.15
Magnification – Extension Tube EF25 II0.42-0.33
Lens hoodES-79 II
Soft caseLP1219
Extenders EF1.4x II and EF2x IINot compatible


Product Photos

Canon EF 85mm f:1.2L II USM-a

Canon EF 85mm f:1.2L II USM

Press Release

Amstelveen, The Netherlands, 21 February, 2006: Canon today releases its latest professional L-series prime lens: the exceptionally fast EF 85mm f/1.2 II USM. With the widest aperture of any lens in the current EF range, the new model becomes Canon’s definitive portraiture lens, offering extremely fine control over depth of field and consummate low light performance. With vastly improved auto focus speed, the lens replaces the popular EF 85mm f/1.2L USM. As with all L-series lenses, the EF 85mm f/1.2 II USM incorporates the very finest standards of precision optics.

EF 85mm f/1.2 II USM – $2,099 (€2,049)

The EF 85mm f/1.2 II USM features:
• Canon’s finest standards of image quality
• Latest Ultrasonic Motor (USM) for fast and near silent auto focus
• Full-time electronic manual focus override
• Super Spectra coatings and optimised lens element shaping to suppress flare and ghosting
• Large circular aperture diaphragm for good background bokeh and ‘removal’ of distracting backgrounds
• Distance information passed back to the new E-TTL II flash algorithm of all current model digital EOS cameras
• Lens hood and pouch included in the box

L-series construction

The L-series is Canon’s flagship professional lens range, designed and built to meet the needs of the most demanding professional photographers. The superb optics of the EF 85mm f/1.2 II USM and other L-series lenses represent the pinnacle of optical performance, enabling focal length/speed/quality combinations not readily attainable using traditional optical technologies.

Portrait photography

The combination of an almost circular aperture diaphragm for attractive bokeh (evenly graduated blurring of out-of-focus areas) and the extremely narrow depth of field at its widest aperture combine to make this an ideal portraiture and studio lens. With the lens’ aperture at f/1.2, photographers can create dramatic effects such as keeping a model’s eye sharp while blurring the eye lash ends.

Low light shooting

The maximum f/1.2 aperture is the widest in Canon’s current range and provides for shooting in low light conditions without the need for flash or slow shutter speeds. With improved auto-focus speed from Canon’s latest Ring-type Ultrasonic Motor (USM), the lens is expected to be popular with professional photographers shooting indoor sports. The USM holds the lens with precision and accuracy, the instant it arrives at the correct focus and without overshoot, and features full-time electronic manual focus override*. Super-fine control over depth of field afforded by the lens’ large aperture allows sports photographers to deliberately ‘blur out’ crowds, hoardings and other distracting backgrounds.

Aspheric element

Wide aperture lenses using traditionally manufactured elements suffer from spherical aberration which causes an overall softening and optical ‘smearing’ of the image. To ensure high corner-to-corner sharpness and contrast of in-focus subjects throughout the focus range and at wide apertures, the EF 85mm f/1.2 II USM incorporates a large aspherical lens element with precise variable curvature and a floating group construction.

Super Spectra coatings

In addition to optimised lens shaping to reduce reflections and the use of anti-reflective material inside the lens barrel, the EF 85mm f/1.2 II USM employs Canon’s patented Super Spectra lens element coatings. These suppress flare and ghosting – more prone to occur with digital cameras due to reflection off the image sensor. By increasing light absorption, coatings reduce reflections off lens element surfaces to deliver crisp, undistorted images with natural colour balance.

E-TTL II flash integration

The EF 85mm f/1.2 II USM transmits distance information to the E-TTL II flash system of all current model digital EOS cameras, improving flash exposure metering when used in conjunction with Canon’s range of EX Speedlite flash units.

The EF 85mm f/1.2 II USM comes with a cylindrical lens hood and lens pouch.In keeping with Canon’s Kyosei philosophy of living in harmony with the environment, the lens features only lead-free glass.* With P, Av, Tv and M camera modes only

canon ef 85mm f:1.2 L lensPurchase options

Canon EF 85mm f/1.2 L II USM available at Amazon | Adorama | B&H