Canon EF 85mm f/1.8 USM

Canon's EF 85mm f/1.8 USM is compatible with Canon D-SLRs that feature EF and EF-S lens mounts.

Canon EF 85mm f/1.8 USM

Canon EF 85mm f/1.8 USM

The Canon EF 85mm f/1.8 USM offers an equivalent focal length of 136mm when coupled to Canon APS-C D-SLRs like the EOS 50D, 7D, or more recently announced EOS 600D, and features a maximum aperture of f/1.8.

This lens features an internal construction of nine glass elements in seven groups and uses Super Spectra coatings to prevent flare and ghosting ruining your shots in bright lighting conditions. It feels solid and superbly constructed and the metal lens mount at the rear gives it strong durability when coupled to your D-SLR. The manual focus ring is also pleasing to use, thanks to its refined and fluid motion.

Although the MF/AF switch is on the small side, we found no problems locating it from behind the camera, as it stands marginally proud of the barrel. AF operation is quiet and fast and features Canon’s UltraSonic Motor technology (USM). In our test, focusing was virtually silent and it locked focus on our subject in the blink of an eye without hunting. Filter users should note that this lens has a 58mm filter thread and its AF system is the internal type, meaning the front element doesn’t rotate during focusing. A lens hood isn’t included, so be prepared to pay an extra £24 for one.


  • Street price: £237 (As of July 2016)
  • Maximum aperture: f/1.8
  • Weight: 425g 
  • Mount: Canon EF
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This review was first published in the April 2011 issue of Digital Photo - download back issues here.