Canon EF 85mm F1.2 L II USM Review

Canon EF 85mm F1.2 L II USMCanon EF 85mm F1.2 L II USM

Canon EF 85mm F1.2 L II USM – Overview

The Canon EF 85mm F/1.2 L II USM is currently the widest aperture lens from Canon. This lens is excellent for amateurs and can capture clear images in darkened conditions.

As opposed to its predecessor, this lens has a significantly faster-focusing speed. The USM (ultrasonic motor) technology makes it possible for almost silent and swift auto-focusing. This lens offers as much as 1.6x times faster-focusing mechanism than its predecessor.

Let’s take a closer look at some of the major features and specifications of the Canon EF 85mm F/1.2 L II USM lens.

Pros of Canon EF 85mm F1.2 L II USM

  • Excellently sharp images with high contrast, in wide open, in corners and full-frame
  • Effectively robust lens construction
  • Suitable for amateurs and professionals alike

Cons of Canon EF 85mm F1.2 L II USM

  • Comparatively slower autofocus
  • Bulky manual focusing
  • Prevent focusing on objects less than 3.2 cm (0.95 m)
  • Slightly more flare than Canon 85mm F/1.8 lens

Specifications of Canon EF 85mm F/1.2 L II USM

Here’s a quick look at the main specifications of the Canon EF 85mm F/1.2 L II USM lens:


This lens comes with a complex lens configuration containing 8 elements arranged in 7 groups. The lens glass is a high-quality modified double-Gauss.

One of the lens elements is an expensive ground and polished non-spherical element. This accurate element prevents the aberrations that are commonly seen with conventional spherical high-speed optics.

Focal Length

The focal length of this lens is 85 mm. When used with a 1.3x camera, this lens provides an angle of view that is similar to what a 107 mm lens fixed to a 35mm film camera provides. Using it on a 1.6x camera, this lens gives an angle of view similar to that offered when used with a 35mm film camera.


The diaphragm consists of 8 blades. It provides a stopping down to F/16. It can round to F/2.0 whereas it can get octagonal from F/4 and upwards.

Filter Size

The Canon EF 85 mm F/1.2 L II USM lens has a filter size of 72 mm.

Close Focus

This lens offers a close minimum focus range of 3.2’, or 0.95 meters from the image plane (back of the camera), and is marked clearly on the lens barrel.

Maximum Reproduction Ratio

The Canon EF 85mm F/1.2 L II USM has a max reproduction ratio of 1:9.1 only.

Infrared Focus Index

This lens is equipped with an infrared focus index of 800 nm IR.


The Canon EF 85mm F/1.2 L II USM is significantly large, almost as big as a grapefruit. It is around 3.6” in diameter and 3.3” extended from the flange (or 91.44mm x 83.97mm) at infinity. Fully extended, the lens measures around 3.8” (96.9 mm) at a close focus stop.


The lens is comparatively heavier than its predecessors and can even feel heavier with smaller cameras. Overall, the naked weight of this lens measures around 34.2 oz. (970 grams).


The lens can be fitted with an ES-7911 snap-on flocked plastic hood which is included in the lens kit. It can be easily rotated during manual focusing and stored on the lens reversed.


An LP 1219 pouch is included in the lens kit.

Performance of Canon EF 85mm F/1.2 L II USM lens

Now that you know the major specifications of the lens, it’s time to take a quick look at some of the performance parameters of the Canon EF 85mm F/1.2 L II USM lens:


The Canon EF 85mm F/1.2 L II USM lens is significantly bulky and comparatively heavier. It might feel weird when attached to smaller cameras.

Overall, it weighs around 36% more than the 70-200mm F/4L lens but is significantly short, making the camera front-heavy when equipped with this lens.

Overall, the Canon EF 85mm F/1.2 L II USM lens is supreme in quality and precision with extremely good quality images.


As compared to other inexpensive lenses, such as the 85mm F/1.8 lens, the focus on the Canon EF 85mm F/1.2 L II USM lens is slower and clunky. The front group is movable but cannot be rotated. The rear lens elements are fixed.

You can fix the lens hood on the manual focus ring easily, which can be rotated effortlessly during manual focusing.

The auto-focus is slower than other lenses, such as compared to the 85mm F/1.8 lens. The reason behind this is that the autofocus (AF) system of this lens needs to be extra-precise, as compared to other lenses in its class, especially to capture crystal-clear images at F/1.2.

The depth of field at F/1.2 is short, around 5 cm at 100 feet (or 30 meters). This makes it pertinent for this lens to provide autofocus accuracy if you want to use any of the F/1.2 apertures.

Additionally, the lens needs to be positioned manually within distances measured in wavelengths of light, which takes longer than the less precise and slower F/stop lenses.

Applications of Canon EF 85mm F/1.2 L II USM Lens

The Canon EF 85mm F/1.2 L II USM lens is most suited for indoor action or sports photography as it can capture the subject crisply with a blurred background, which is remarkably better than other lenses in its class.

In addition, this lens is also an excellent choice for portrait photography and capturing candid photos as well.


These are the specifications and features of the Canon EF 85mm L II USM lens. The slower autofocus allows you to capture stunningly clear images at close range, making it excellent for indoor sports and portrait photography.

See Also

Canon EF 50mm F1.2 L USM

Canon EF 24-70mm f2.8 L II USM

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