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Canon EF 85mm f/1.2L II Lens

Canon EF 85mm f/1.2L II

Canon EF 85mm f/1.2L II

Specification (in order of importance to me)

Focal length: 85mm
Maximum aperture: f/1.2
Weight: 1025g
Closest focusing distance: 950mm
Filter thread: 72mm
Focusing: auto/manual

Once my most prized lens, the 85mm f1.2 excels at low light photography due to it's excellent light gathering capabilities.  The background blur achievable at f/1.2 is truly outstanding, allowing excellent separation between subject & surroundings, as can be seen in this image, made possible by the large aperture creating extremely shallow depth of field.  Notice how the Scots Pine appears very sharp against a soft background.

The wide aperture is useful for low light scenes where you don't want to show subject movement possible during long exposures, such as stars moving across the night sky, or ripples appearing in an otherwise glass-like surface of a still lake.  In other scenarios, it can allow a shot to be taken handheld, rather than tripod mounted, as shutter speeds are higher, reducing the chances of camera shake blurring the image and spoiling the shot.

Unfortunately, due to it's necessarily large lens elements, it weighs in at over one kilo!  A high price to pay if you're on foot. Because I tend not to use this focal length in my landscapes very often, preferring the wider view, if I'm in the mountains it usually stays at home & if I think I might need a similar focal length I'll take my Tamron SP Di 90mm Macro lens, which is less then half the weight, yet still produces good results.