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EF85mm f/1.8 USM – Medium Telephoto Prime Lens with Large Bokeh and Speedy AF

In this series of articles, we will go through one by one, the recommended lens for all APS-C users. With it as a guide, you will be able to start building your own lens system. In this article, we will learn more about the medium telephoto prime lens EF85mm f/1.8 USM. (Reported by: Ryosuke Takahashi)

Medium telephoto prime lens with large bokeh and high-speed AF

This is a fast, medium telephoto prime lens that has been well-loved by professional portrait photographers ever since the film camera era. When attached to APS-C size camera, the angle of view is equivalent to about 136mm in the 35mm format. Besides 85mm, 135mm is another focal length that is most commonly employed for portrait shots. Using the 135mm focal length in portrait photography allows you to stand slightly further away from the model, thus making it easier to bring out the portrait subject naturally. On top of that, the bright maximum aperture can be combined with the long focal length for sports photography, which requires a fast shutter speed. With the adoption of a ring USM and a rear focusing system, AF operation is speedy for a large-diameter lens, so you can establish focus almost immediately after the shutter button is half-pressed.

At a Glance!

  1. Large and beautiful bokeh effect
  2. Speedy AF operation

f/2

FL: 85mm/ Aperture-priority AE (1/160 sec., f/2, +0.7EV)/ ISO 250/ WB: Auto

While a charming depiction can also be obtained at the maximum aperture, stopping down to f/2 creates perfectly round bokeh effects, while sharpening the plane in focus.

f/11

FL: 85mm/ Aperture-priority AE (1/500 sec., f/11)/ ISO 100/ WB: Auto

When the aperture is stopped down, it becomes a medium telephoto lens with sharp depiction performance. Although I was standing several tens of meters away from the stone statues, the depiction is so realistic as if they could move at any moment.

EF85mm f/1.8 USM

Lens construction: 9 elements 7 groups
Closest focusing distance: Approx. 0.85m
Max. magnification: Approx. 0.13x
Filter size:φ58mm
Size: Approx. φ75×71.5mm
Weight: Approx. 425g

Click here to see details of the EF85mm f/1.8 USM

Ryosuke Takahashi

Born in Aichi in 1960, Takahashi started his freelance career in 1987 after working with an advertising photo studio and a publishing house. Photographing for major magazines, he has travelled to many parts of the world from his bases in Japan and China. Takahashi is a member of the Japan Professional Photographers Society (JPS).