Canon 85mm f-1.8 Prime Lens - Still Crazy After All These Years

Canon 85mm f-1.8 Prime Lens

I bought my Canon 85mm f/1.8 EF USM lens for wedding work well over a decade ago. At the time, I was shooting film with an EOS Elan. The 85mm was only my second Canon prime lens, after the 50mm f/1.8.

Cameras have changed a lot since my wedding days. Most of my DSLR work is with the 5D Mark II or 60D. And yet that $350 investment I made so many years ago is still helping me produce some of my favorite images.

The 85mm f/1.8 is affordable. Right now, it's available for $358 at B&H. The focusing is so quiet and fast that you would think it uses the latest in micro motor technology. It's sharp. Very sharp. And when wide open, the bokeh is very pleasing.

Girl on Scooter - Washington DC

"Girl on Scooter" by Derrick Story. Click on image for larger size.

One of the SizzlPix I have hanging in the studio gallery was taken in Washington DC with the 85mm at f/2 on the 5D Mark II. The image has the characteristics of this lens all over it. It's sharp, yet the background is pleasingly soft. And it has a feeling to it that I don't seem to get with other lenses.

When you're thinking about investing in glass, keep in mind, that your favorite lenses will serve you for years. As for me, yes, I'm still crazy about the Canon 85mm f/1.8 prime.

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i recently bought an 85mm 1.8 my self and i'm starting to love it. i wanted a step up from the 50mm 1.8 which is a excellent lens but it kind of feels awkward on a crop sensor camera for my style of shooting.

for me the 85mm is the perfect focal length with wonderful bokeh, wide aperture and more than adequate focusing speed for portraiture.

If I shot Canon I would definitely want an 85mm 1.8
Wonderful photo there Derrick - jimmy

Hey Derrick,

I am now seriously looking at this lens after reading your review.
I have a nifty 50 and the even more so 28mm so this seems like a logical choice for my 5dmkii body.

Have a fab xmas and new year

What a great lens. I spent an entire year shooting with nothing but that and the 20-35 back in the film days.