Canon 85mm f/1.4 | Lens Review

The Canon 85mm f/1.4 is the lens on my camera about 90% of the time! If you are looking for a new addition to your lens collection, this is a must have! It provides the ultimate beauty, sharpness, bokeh and blur!

1. Clarity

The Canon EF 85mm f/1.4 IS USM is one of the best lens for portrait photography. This is a prime lens, which are the only types of lenses I shoot with. It’s a fixed focal length designed with less glass than a zoom lens, which results in giving you a sharper image. You can dive more into the difference between prime lenses and zoom lenses. The 85mm also has image stabilization, which the Canon 50mm f/1.2 and Canon 35mm f/1.4 don’t have. This is helpful when using a lower shutter speed or when my arms are getting tired from holding my Canon EOS 5D Mark IV.

2. Focal Length

The 85mm focal length creates the appearance of the background being closer and larger to your subject, which creates a gorgeous blurry background, making your subject stand out more. A 50mm will reveal how we see the scene with our eyes, and a 35mm will show more of the environment around the subject.

3. Build

The build of the Canon 85mm f/1.4 is certainly made to last. The cost is about $1600, an investment for sure. The quality the lens and the image it creates, is worth every penny. I use this lens for family portraits, seniors, headshots and cake smashes. After several years, and lot of use, it’s still looking brand new. Canon prime lenses hold their value so you can be sure of reselling at a higher price with no problems.

4. Aperture

Another plus with the Canon EF 85mm f/1.4 IS USM, is the aperture of 1.4. Prime lenses allow you to go wider and allow more light in. This is extremely helpful with low light situations. It will also allow you to create more of a blurry background. When shooting wide open, make sure your focal point is set properly and when shooting more than one person, they are all on the same focal plane.

senior photo taken with canon 85mm f/1.4
family photo taken with canon 85mm f/1.4

To conclude, between the Canon 35mm f/1.4, Canon 50mm f/1.2 and Canon 85mm f/1.4, the 85mm is by far the best to me and the line of portraits that I do. There are times I switch to my 35mm to show more of the environment and have a different effect to add to a gallery. The clarity of the glass, the sharpness with image stabilization, the focal length, and the beautiful blur it creates, you will definitely step up your portrait photography game with this lens!

Before you go check out some more blogs on camera gear and photo sessions!

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