Very unique and capable lens

Started Apr 21, 2021 | User reviews thread
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Lee Baby Simms Contributing Member • Posts: 930
Very unique and capable lens

"A close-focusing 85?"

When Canon announced they were readying an 85 Macro to bolster their RF line-up I immediately got excited that this could be a real problem-solver for my wedding photography bag. 85mm lenses (used mostly for portraits) are notoriously poor at close focusing. Meanwhile, 100mm macro lenses are often too long for interior portraits. Could this new lens replace both my EF 85L 1.4 IS and my EF 100L Macro into one value-priced close-focusing short telephoto? Answer — YES.

LOVE — pleasing images, akin to the EF100L but at ƒ2.0 offer noticeably more subject isolation. Fast AF in good light. Surprising lightweight — I’ve shot 6 weddings with this lens and my mind still is not used to how light it is. I’ve been using both the 85L and 100L for so long I predict how much resistance my fingers will receive pulling the lens out of the bag. This is so light it doesn't feel like a lens at all.

MEH — the RF lens finish is neither love or hate with me. While I prefer the look and feel of the older EF USM primes (specifically the 85 1.8) but this is ok.

BE AWARE — the much align STM autofocus is fine for personal shooting and I don’t find it to be a deal-breaker for how I shoot at events but some might. If you routinely shoot an 85 in very dark situations (drunk dance floor with no lights), you’ll be disappointed at how much this hunts and how long it takes to acquire in eye-tracking mode. I don’t reach for an 85 in super low light (prefer other focal lengths) so this is fine for me. It’s surprising as the old EF 85 1.8 was one of Canon’s fastest focusing lenses. Again, for personal shooting, travel, and decent light shooting this is an incredible value and unique problem-solver. Pros should rent/borrow first to see if they can work around low light challenges. Also, for wedding photographers you will need to crop a little when shooting rings as it's not a full 1:1 macro. A little crop on the both the R6 and R5 look fine. I can live with the compromise.

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Wedding Photographer in the Rocky Mountains of Colorado
Every great photograph was taken with a camera worse than yours

 Lee Baby Simms's gear list:Lee Baby Simms's gear list
Canon EOS 5D Mark IV Canon EOS R6 Canon EF 135mm F2L USM Canon EF 100mm F2.8L Macro IS USM Canon EF 24-70mm F2.8L II USM +10 more
Canon RF 85mm F2 Macro IS STM
Macro prime lens • Canon RF
Announced: Jul 9, 2020
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Canon EOS R5 Canon EOS R6 Canon RF 85mm F2 Macro IS STM
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