DuyTom’s evaluation: Pretty good
Price of Canon EF 85mm f/1.8 USM:
6 - 7 million, second-hand models (2015)
Manufactured year: 1992
Target: amateur, normal photographer, student, pupil.
Suitable for portraits, landscapes, architecture, narrow sports stadium.
First launched in 1992, the Canon EF 85mm f/1.8 USM is an ultra-durable soldier. Although the lens is not an advanced lens, no vibration! Even 23 years already, Canon has not intended to halt production. Quality and technology haven’t been old or outdated, even though it was produced since 1992. What made Canon EF 85mm f/1.8 USM reached such a top level like that?
The first point to mention is the top-notch quality of Canon EF 85mm photo f/1.8 USM. In the price range of $300 (2015), the Canon EF 85mm f/1.8 USM creates really good results in most of the areas: portrait, landscape, architecture, sports, macro... With general people, buying L lens price with thousands dollar is not a SMALL problem. Therefore, the low-range lenses which have good quality like Canon EF 85mm f/1.8 USM are very useful. Probably, the Canon EF 85mm f/1.8 USM lens is one of the most camera frequently used today. Just search online, you will find countless works which are very impressive taken by Canon EF 85mm f/1.8 USM.
Strong points of this lens:
- Beautiful colors, good contrast
- The sharpness is quite good
- Focus quickly and accurately
- Reselling is hardly at a loss
- Distortion rarely appear
- Compact Size
- Price is so reasonable with the quality.
- Chrome Vibration
Price of Canon EF 85mm f/1.8 USM
8.5 points - Price is very reasonable for the majority of users, including students.
$300, second-hand model (2015)
USM: Ultrasonic Motor
68 x 49mm
Photographs of people/ portraits: 7 x 3 points
Canon EF 85mm f/1.8 USM was born for portraits: good sharpness, beautiful & fresh colors, good contrast. It can blur background well and photos are easy to edit... All of those advantages make the Canon EF 85mm f / 1.8 USM popular in all over the world, especially with the youth, students, amateur photographers ... Definitely in that price range, there aren't many rivals which can compare with Canon EF 85mm f/1.8 USM in taking portraits. Even newest multi-purpose lens 24-105 f/3.5-5.6 STM which has the same price but the quality of portraits isn't equal.
However, for those who used L Canon such as Canon EF 35mm f/1.4 L; Canon EF 50 f/1.2, or Sigma Art 35 f/1.4, Canon EF 85mm f/1.8 USM produces poorer color, less sharp and detail. Furthermore, Canon EF 85mm f / 1.8 USM has chrome vibration. Fortunately, we can eliminate relatively easy with Photoshop. However, if you take macro or astronomy, then chrome vibration can be a big problem. Even the advanced camera like 6D can’t eliminate this error.
Canon EF 85mm f/1.8 USM has chrome vibration, even using new full frame model such as Canon 6D camera
A small part is magnified from the above photo; purple, blue borders appear so much
Purple & blue fringes
Canon EF 85mm f / 1.8 USM also has the ghost.
Due to the above problems, Canon EF 85mm f / 1.8 USM is impossible to create the delicate images like many other top lenses. The postproduction will be much harder. However, in its price range, the Canon EF 85mm f / 1.8 USM is very good in compared with other lenses.
Lens' boker is smooth, the blur background job is also very good.
Boker illustration, the cut is magnified from the above photo.
Architecture/ Landscape: 6 points
Canon EF 85mm f/1.8 USM takes landscape photos very well, more beautiful than specialized lens Canon 24mm f/2.8 (released in 1988 with the same price). The image quality is equal to Canon 24-105 f/3.5-5.6 STM. However, if comparing to those superwide landscape lens like 17-40mm, 16-35mm, 35mm f/4, Sigma Art 35mm... there’s a very long distance to reach.
When the aperture is f/8 and smaller, Canon EF 85mm f / 1.8 USM creates 8 point sun-stars with the light sources like streetlights, headlights. The lens almost has no distortion. This is really impressive!
The detail of the image is very good for an old lens.
An enlarged image portion cutting from the image above, the detail and sharpness are very good
Sport/High speed: 6 points
Canon EF 85mm f/1.8 USM can be used to shoot sports: table tennis, badminton, tennis... In the range of 20, 30 meters, Canon EF 85mm f/1.8 USM is perfectly fit. The focus is very fast and accurate. Although there is no image vibration, but it is not a big deal. You can shoot handheld absolutely in almost conditions.
Macro: not scoring
Taking a macro photo isn’t the strength of Canon EF 85mm f/1.8 USM. Detail and sharpness are not well. Plus chrome vibration, 85mm Canon EF f / 1.8 USM has a limitation in this segment.
Canon EF 85mm f/1.8 USM weighs only 400g, and it’s very compact and easy to carry everywhere. The control feeling and the focus is very good. There are two focus modes: automatic and manual. In automatic mode, you simply rotate the focus ring to override the control. Canon EF 85mm f / 1.8 USM is pretty solid. However, with such an old lens, you need to check carefully before buying in case of errors
Canon EF 85mm f/1.8 USM is much smaller and lighter than the brother 85mm f/1.2
Canon EF 85mm f/1.8 USM was launched in 1992, however, the technology is never outdated. The photos are beautiful, bright, high-contrast, sharp and easy to edit. Canon EF 85mm f / 1.8 USM is very versatile and is capable in many fields. So it has been in Canon's catalog for 23 years and Canon has no intention to stop until now. This lens is one of the most widely used. If you're a student, amateur photography with a limited cash, the Canon EF 85mm f / 1.8 USM is a very worthy investment.
You will not buy Canon EF 85mm f/1.8 USM in the following cases:
- Requiring the strict quality of portraits and have money. Then you can choose the 24-105mm f/4 L or Sigma 35mm Art with outstanding quality.
- Specializing in landscape photos and also have money: 17-40mm f/4 L would be a great choice.
- Specializing in portraits, sports: spend 100$ more, and you will have the more advanced lens 70-200mm f/4 L, with better focal length, better color, better sharpness