MRP : INR 30,995
Retail : INR 28,000
Date introduced : Sept 1989
Maximum format size : 35mm full frame
Focal length : 85mm
35mm equivalent focal length (APS-C) : 135 mm
When i think about this lens i can't help but feel a sense of comfort and reliability the same way one would when thinking about one's close friends. This lens has been with me for a few years now and have been using it mostly to shoot closeup portraits on my full frame 5D Mark 3 and more recently on my 5DS R and 5D Mark 4. It is a classic "portrait" focal length and produces flattering images of people.
Focusing Performance 7/10
in AF mode the 85mm f1.8 like it's smaller partner the 50mm f1.4 is quick to acquire focus in normal available light situations and studio conditions. But like on any lens with a wide aperture good eyesight and good focusing technique are needed to consistently get proper focus while shooting wide open on canon DSLRs
Keeping the best focusing lenses in Canon's lineup such as the 70-200 f2.8 L and the 300 f2.8 as a benchmark I would rate this lens as 7/10 which is quite good.
This lens produces sharp images when stopped down to f2.8 or more. And not surprisingly is very sharp between f5.6 and f8.0 the sweet spot for most lenses. Its not super sharp wide open at f1.4 but improves rapidly as it is stopped down to f2.0 and more.
The wide f1.4 Aperture allows one to create smooth background blur(BOKEH) on a full frame camera. I find the bokeh to be mostly pleasing if not as smooth on as on the more expensive primes or zoom lenses in canon's lineup.On an APS-C camera it's performance is more more like that of f2.8 lens.
Build Quality 7/10
It's well built with a metal lens mount and high quality plastic barrel. Slightly better build quality that the 50mm f1.4 EF lens and definitely a lot better than the 50mm f1.8 lens and other kit zoom lenses.
The more expensive 85mm f1.4 from Sigma's new Art Series of lenses has better build quality.
Value for Money 9/10
Considering that the other 85mm offering from Canon the 85mm f1.2L COSTS 5X more and the 85mm f1.4 Art lens from Sigma costs 3x more this lens is very good value for money. At it's street price of INR 28,000 this is great normal lens with higher optical performance and build quality than any of the kit lenses and also the 50mm f1.8 lens. It is a very good portrait lens with a full frame DSLR and can also double as a 135mm portrait lens on APS-C cameras. I would easily recommend this lens to anyone on a budget looking to buy a portrait lens for canon EF mount.