Canon announced a new lens to their RF line up, the new Canon RF85mm f/1.2L USM lens. In February 2019, I shared about upcoming Canon RF lenses in the year 2019, inside my Canon EOS RP announcement article. As the new Canon RF lenses are scheduled being announced and released over time in year 2019, Canon EOS R and Canon EOS RP users can look forward to have more Canon RF lenses available for them to use in their professional or leisure photography.

The Canon 85mm series of lenses have been well liked by professionals and leisure photographers alike, for their portraiture photography. Having used and tried the Canon EF85mm f/1.2L USM and Canon EF85mm f/1.4L IS USM previously, I personally know about its quality and sharpness (and of course the silky bokeh!) that comes with using the Canon 85mm series lenses. From the sample photographs shot with the new Canon RF85mm f/1.2L USM lens, this new lens would be in the same class of the Canon 85mm series of lenses. Therefore, the new Canon RF85mm f/1.2L USM lens is perfect and ideal for those shooting portraiture photography works with their Canon EOS R and EOS RP full-frame mirrorless cameras.

Let me share more information on the new Canon RF85mm f/1.2L USM lens below

Canon announced the launch of the new RF85mm f/1.2L USM portrait prime lens. Prime lenses with an 85mm focal length are sought after by professionals and advanced amateurs for their optimal distance to provide perspective, depth and the ability to capture beautiful bokeh effect. Now, the new RF85mm f/1.2L USM redefines what an 85mm lens can achieve on Canon’s new EOS R system. 

As a L series RF lens developed for professional photographers using the EOS R system, the RF85mm f/1.2L USM utilises the wide diameter and short back focus distance of the RF mount to achieve an 85mm lens with a bright aperture of f/1.2, ultra-high resolution and autofocus function. 

“The new RF85mm f/1.2L USM is an exciting addition to Canon’s expanding range of RF lenses. It embodies the latest Canon proprietary technology distilled into an improved version of the 85mm f/1.2 lens, which has been the go-to choice of professional portrait and wedding photographers for the past forty years,” said Edwin Teoh, Head of Marketing, Singapore Operations, Canon Singapore. “The RF system has taken us into a new era and Canon is committed to continuously innovating and striving to deliver the optical excellence that is synonymous with the brand.” 

All About Light 

From a soft diffused glow to a spectacularly lit skylight, the mastery of light makes a vital difference to photography. With its large aperture of f/1.2, the RF85mm f/1.2L USM allows more light to enable photographers to control light exposure and its 9- blade circular aperture also delivers amazingly beautiful and soft bokeh effect. The f/1.2 aperture enables the capturing of sharp and crisp images in low light environments with a higher shutter speed. 

The 85mm focal length has been the ideal choice for portrait photographers, allowing them to create natural-looking portraits and producing beautiful bokeh in conjunction with large-aperture lenses. 

The lens achieves a minimum focusing distance of 0.85m and 0.12x maximum magnification, expanding the shooting capability from close-ups of people to shooting small objects. 

This lens is newly developed with 13 elements in 9 groups, including Blue Spectrum Refractive (BR) optical element in one location, one UD and one ground aspherical lens element to achieve superior image quality from centre to periphery even at the maximum aperture of f/1.2. 

The RF85mm f/1.2L USM also features Canon’s Air Sphere Coating (ASC) to reduce lens flare and ghosting caused by reflections and improve image clarity and contrast when shooting into backlight. 

A New Sensory Experience with RF Mount & Control Ring 

The RF85mm f/1.2L USM also features a new control ring found in new RF lens series. Users can assign settings including aperture value, shutter speed, ISO sensitivity and exposure compensation. The control ring provides an accurate tactile feedback in the form of soft click-stops to the user as they make adjustments. 

When the control ring is operated alongside the main dial and quick control dial on the EOS R camera, the user will have three dials to set the aperture, shutter speed and ISO sensitivity respectively, it reduces the difficulty of operations that formerly required several steps. 

It is recommended that users try assigning exposure compensation to the control ring during portrait shooting. For example, when shooting portraits outdoors and the lighting conditions change unexpectedly, users may use their left hand to operate the control ring and adjust exposure compensation while simultaneously focusing on using the shutter button with their right hand. The dust and drip resistance ensures high durability even when shooting outdoors. 

Availability & Pricing 

The RF85mm f/1.2L USM is available at all authorised Canon dealers from June 2019. Pricing will be advised at a later date. 

Specifications Angle of View (Diagonal)  28°30′ 
Angle of View (Horizontal)  24°00 
Angle of View (Vertical)  16°00′ 
Closest Focusing Distance (m, ft)  0.85 / 2.79 
Construction (groups elements)  9-13 
Diameter x Length (mm) (Max.)  103.2 x 117.3 
Distance Scale   
Drive System  Ring USM 
Filter Size (mm)  82 
Max. Magnification (x)  0.12 
Min. Aperture  16 
No. of Diaphragm Blades  9 
Anti-dust and Moisture  Provided 
Weight (g) (Approx.)  1195 
Accessories (Lens Cap)  E-82 II 
Accessories (Lens Hood)  ET-89 
Accessories (Lens Bag)  LP1424 

* Information and photo courtesy of Canon Singapore and Ogilvy *

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