Tuesday, January 19, 2010

85mm F/1.2L II Lens Review: Bokehlicious

canon 85mm F/1.2L II prime lens
The following photos were shot with my 5D Mark II and 85mm F/1.2L II lens
wedding portait taken with the 85mm F/1.2L IIwedding photography with the canon 85mm F/1.2L II prime lenswedding photography with the 85mm F/1.2L II lens by canonI was wary of adding this lens to my lineup- both because of it's hefty $2000 price tag and because I already own the 50mm F/1.2L. I know that simply because the aperture is the same doesn't mean the bokeh will look similar. However, I didn't expect it to be this different.
Keep in mind the 50mm F/1.2L is a superb portrait lens, I used it at every 2009 wedding, and it has produced amazing results.
But my, my, my. When I compare the 50 to the 85, it's really surprising. The Canon 85mm F/1.2L II is without doubt the finest piece of glass I have ever used. It is one heavy lens, 2.5 lbs and only 3 inches tall. Better bokeh and better color replication than anything I've ever seen. I'm wondering how I ever shot a wedding without it. Is it better than my 50mm F/1.2L? Yes. Better than any Nikon lens ever? Of course. It may be the best lens ever made- it most certainly is within this focal range. It has a super shallow depth of field, razor thin even at 30 feet out. Beautiful subject isolation. The only complaint is how heavy it is. Unlike my other lenses, when I'm putting this lens on it feels like I'm putting the camera on the lens rather then putting the lens on the camera.

Keep in mind this lens is optimized for full frame bodies. If you put this lens on a Rebel, 50D or 7D, it will be a 135mm- quite an unusable focal range for a majority of shots. Gotta be full frame.

Pick up your own 85mm F/1.2L II at B and H photo.