Canon RF 85mm f/1.2L USM Lens

Canon RF 85mm


  • Focal length: 85mm
  • Maximum aperture: f/1.2
  • Minimum aperture: f/16
  • Lens mount: Canon RF
  • Optical design: 13 elements in 9 groups
  • Diaphragm blades: 9 rounded
  • Filter size: 82mm
  • Dimensions: 4.06 x 4.62″
  • Weight: 2.6 lbs

Image Quality

You can probably guess what I’m going to say here. What are the chances that Canon is going to release an RF mount “L” lens that isn’t basically optically perfect. The RF 85 f/1.2L doesn’t disappoint. It’s really close to perfect. The images this lens produces are simply beautiful. From color rendition to sharpness to bokeh, this lens is not going to disappoint you. In fact, it’ll probably leave your jaw dropped more often than not.

This lens also has character. The images it produces have that certain pop that you’ve come to expect from Canon “L” lenses.


The Canon RF 85 f/1.2L USM is incredibly sharp throughout the entire aperture range. At f/1.2 it’s tack sharp in the center and plenty sharp toward the edges. It’s the sharpest 85mm I’ve ever used. Compared to the EF 85 f/1.2L USM II, the RF 85 is sharper in the center and towards the edges. Above f/4.0, this lens is razor sharp.

Let’s look at some examples:

100%  Crop Comparison – Center


100% Crop Comparison – Bottom Left Edge

Color & Contrast

The RF 85 1.2L produces rich, true to life colors with the right amount of contrast and detail. And in the words of Forrest Gump, “that’s all I have to say about that.”

Canon RF 85 f/1.2L USM | f/1.2 | 1/200 | ISO 100 | SOOC
Canon RF 85 f/1.2L USM | f/1.6 | 1/1600 | ISO 800 | SOOC

Build Quality

The Canon RF 85 1.2L USM is built like a tank. It’s long, heavy and bulky. At 2.6 lb, it weighs more than the new RF 70-200 f/2.8L (2.36 lb). That said, pretty much all of the new extremely sharp, bokehlicious lenses are huge. The Sigma 85 1.4 Art weighs a comparable 2.49 lb. While the new trend toward big lenses might be bad for the wrists, it’s good for optical quality. Physics is physics after all.

The size and weight notwithstanding, this lens is well built and beautiful. I can’t say enough positive things about the aesthetics of the new RF line of lenses. After years of lenses that looked like they were from the 80’s, Canon has moved us solidly into the modern world in terms of design. It also features weather-sealing, a metal mount ring, and a plastic outer body that reduces weight. As with all the other RF lenses, it also features a control ring that you can use to control ISO, aperture, or pretty much whatever else you want.


[Related Reading: Face Tracking and Eye AF Dramatically Improved with Latest Canon EOS R Firmware 1.4]

Bokeh & Depth of Field

The whole reason one buys an 85mm 1.2 is for bokeh and depth of field, right? The RF 85 1.2 L USM doesn’t disappoint. In fact it’s probably the queen of bokeh. Out of focus elements are smooth and creamy with soft beautiful edges. Even at f/5.0 (see the image below), the out of focus elements are beautiful. At f/1.2, the bokeh is smooth and dreamlike.

Canon RF 85 f/1.2L USM | f/5.0 | 1/400 | ISO 4000 | Edited in LR
Canon RF 85 f/1.2L USM | f/1.2 | 1/500 | ISO 400 | Edited in LR

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