Canon 85mm review
The Canon 85mm f1.8 lens is one of my favourite street photography and travel lenses. I have found myself using this lens numerous times whilst travelling. From portraits of the locals, to compressed landscape shots, to street photography. I think this is due to its lovely bokeh and great image quality. For many of my street shots and candid window shots (see at the bottom of the page) this Canon 85mm 1.8 has saved the day on several occasions. This is a near-perfect portrait lens too, although on APS-C bodies the resulting 136mm is rather too close. But on a full frame body this lens is perfect. In this review I will give you more personal results and thoughts rather than technical results.
Build quality of the Canon 85mm 1.8
Another advantage of this lens is that it is quite small and light. The Canon 85mm 1.8 weighs in at a light 425g, due to being made of solid plastic. Its dimensions are 75×71.5mm, which means it fits easily into an already crammed kit bag. I also feel the it is less conspicuous when out and about than say my Canon 24-70mm, which is a good thing when not wanting to arouse the suspicions of the locals.
Stunning Image Quality
This Canon lens has great colour and contrast rendition. I hardly need to correct any photos in post processing due to this fact. The 8 aperture blades in this 85mm 1.8 lens results in creamy bokeh that I absolutely love. Especially when used for nighttime through window shots. The bokeh is very pleasing to the eye, and create really nice bokeh balls with the out of focus light sources in the bars of restaurants. When used for more staged portraits it throws the background out of focus nicely. As you would expect this lens is very sharp, especially after around f2.8. At 1.8 the images are a tad softer, but nothing I would ever worry about.
The Canon 85mm 1.8 lens has another very useful ability when it come to using for street photography – its very accurate and fast autofocus ability. This lens never lets me down in the field. Even in difficult lighting conditions at night, back-lit conditions and harsh lighting, this lens seems to be very fast and accurate indeed. This certainly is faster than the sluggish and much more expensive Canon 85mm 1.2.
Canon 85mm 1. review conclusion
For its very reasonable pricing, its light weigh and size and top notch image quality, this lens is essential in my opinion. The Canon 85mm 1.8 can be used in so many situations and for me has helped improve my photography technique. It very wide aperture has helped me out on numerous difficult situations and always resulted in photos that were pleasing to my eye. The Canon 85mm 1.8 is one of my all time favourite lenses that I have owned.
sample photos taken by this lens
Here are a couple of examples of shots taken with the Canon 85mm. Please click them to enlarge.
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