Canon FD Resources - Short Telephoto lenses
New FD 85mm f/1.2
L & New FD 85mm f/1.8


Short telephoto and telephoto lenses

The perspective of short telephoto lenses (60-85mm) is closest to that of the human eye. These lenses cause very little distortions when shooting close-ups of people's faces and also secure comfortable working distance between the camera and the subject.

For these reasons, they have been dubbed "portrait lenses". Telephoto lenses are also very appealing to photographers because they not only draw subjects near and show them in sharp detail right before your eyes, but give you a refreshing view of the subject's other perspectives.

Canon EOS SLRs | Canon EF lens Resources
CanonFDn85mmf12Ld.jpg CanonFDn85mmf12Lb.jpg

The 85mm focal length bridges the gap between standard and telephoto lenses. Its 29° angle of view isn't substantially narrower than the standard lens. However, many photographers rely on the 85mm lens for a variety of photographic situations where camera-to-subject distance is relatively short and where they need tightly framed coverage of the image area. In addition, the effect of compressed perspective typical of telephoto lenses is at its minimum with the 85mm lens.

<<< --Lense on a Canon New F-1 L.A. Olympic Model, 1984.

Distortion of the image isn't a factor even when you use an extreme camera angle with the 85mm lens, making it a good choice for shooting portraits at a reasonably distance where the subject would not feel too nervous when the photographer starts the session. Image magnification and large maximum aperture make focusing the 85mm short telephoto quick and accurate.

Thank you, Mr Al Gore.jpg (56k) Loading...
Info on the OLDER Canon FD 85mm f/1.2 AL S.S.C. & the current autofocus version

< ----- Many would believe Malaysian Prime Minister, Dr. Mahathir Mohammed had sincerely meant to thank Al Gore, after the US Vice President's inappropriate remarks during the previous night's dinner hosted by the former due to his ignorance of local politics during the 1998 APEC summit held in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

Pix: © 1999, Vincent Thian, an AP photographer. (The Associated Press)

Many photographers choose it for portraiture. Because the slight distant provides with its extended focal length lessen the effect of distortion over facial features. With a 50mm lens you may have to shoot as close as three feet (or about one meter) to the subject in order to fill the frame, other than the distorting factors, it may also cause your subject to become camera conscious and that could result in less desirable or unnatural expression due to the close working distance.

Because of its very slight flattening of perspective, telephoto lenses tends to reproduce facial features in a natural way. In addition, the slightly greater camera-to-subject distance helps the subject to relax. The result is a technically more pleasing portrait that is more likely to reflect the personality of the subject. The nature of the 85mm lenses, while avoiding both extreme compressive effects and perspective, can emphasize and isolate the details in action shots or any given particular scene.

However, although the 85mm focal length is suitable to be used for half length portraits than head and shoulder shots, there is still some slight distortion at its closest distance, depending on how you pose the subject and the way you are using the lens as compared with lenses having focal lengths such as 100, 135 or 200mm. But the 85mm focal length still has other scopes of applications. Those working in the studio, stage, news and photojournalism will find it extremely easy to handle available light photography with their relatively large aperture of f1.8 or f1.2.

Older Version: Canon Lens FD 85mm f/1.2 S.S.C. Aspherical & Canon Lens FD 85mm f/1.8 S.S.C.

If you were to think the FD 85mm f1.2 L was Canon's first and only high speed lens with aspherical lens element, this older, non-'L' lens has been available since 1975/6. Click Here to the dedicated pages for these two older version of the FD telephoto lens. Another lens at this focal length is a Special Purpose lens with soft focus control (It came with FDn mount and I don't think there was any chrome ring version).

New Canon FD 85mm f/1.2 L Telephoto lens

An aspherical surface employed in the second element of this lens makes it the world's first telephoto lens to be so blessed. This lens sets another precedent in being the first telephoto to incorporate Canon's Floating System, insuring good resolution even at the closest focusing distance of 0.9 meter. Perfect for available-light portraiture, this lens is the essence of high performance and provide a high degree of detail even under extremely low light conditions with its aspherical element .


Focal length: 85mm
Aperture ratio: 1:1.2
Lens construction: 6 groups, 8 elements (including one aspherical element)
Coating: S.S.C (super spectra coating)
Angle of view: Diagonal: 28°30' Vertical: 16° Horizontal: 24°

Distance Scale: (m) 0.9 (magnification 0.12X) to l0.OO (ft) 3 to 30.oo
: Helicoid
Minimum aperture: f/16 .A
Diaphragm: Automatic
Filter Size. 72mmHood: BT-72
Cap: C-72 (CG2-0073)
Function: Auto Aperture, Full aperture metering (AE operation when used with ALL Canon automatic SLR cameras.
Length x max. diameter: 71mm x 80.8mm
Weight: 680g

New FD 85mm f/1.8 Lens

With its pleasing perspective, the 85mm has long been considered an ideal focal length for portraiture where depth of field plays an important role. Thus stress was placed on enhancing this lens' full aperture capabilities. Sharpness increases at smaller apertures should also produce overall crisp results.

Credit: Image courtesy of Laura Kornylak ® <> from shutterblade*com where the Company has a website on its own. Image copyright © 2003. All rights reserved. Please respect the visual property of the contributing photographer.

Another attractive feature of this lens is that it promises high quality images even at its closest focusing distance of 0.85 meter.


Focal length: 85mm
Aperture ratio: 1:1.8
Lens construction: 4 groups, 6 elements
Coating: S.S.C (super spectra coating)
Angle of view: Diagonal: 28°30' Vertical: 16° Horizontal: 24°

Distance Scale: (m) 0.85 (magnification 0.12X) to l0.OO (ft) 3 to 30.oo
: Helicoid
Minimum aperture: f/22 .A
Diaphragm: Automatic
Filter Size. 52mm
Hood: BT-52
Cap: C-52 (CG-2-0070)
Function: Auto Aperture, Full aperture metering (AE operation when used with ALL Canon automatic SLR cameras.
Length x max. diameter: 53.5mm x 63mm
Weight: 345g

Other Images of the Canon New F1 L.A. Olympic Model, 1984.

| Back | Main Index Page of Canon FD lenses
| Back | Main Index Page of Canon A & T Series SLR Models

85mm.jpg (12k) Loading..
| Message Board | for your Canon A-Series SLR camera(s)
| Message Board | for your Canon T-Series SLR camera(s)
| Message Board | for your Canon T90 SLR camera
| Message Board | for your Canon F-1(n) SLR camera
| Message Board | for your New Canon F-1 SLR camera

| Message Board | for your Canon Optics in a shared environment
| Message Board | Specifically for Dispose or Looking for Canon Photographic Equipment

about this Site

MIR Logo.gif

Home - Photography in Malaysia

Copyright © 2000. leofoo ®. MIR Web Development Team.

Site Maintainance Editors: Kaipin, Terry Carraway, Gerry, Winston, Tom & IRwin (Dr Strangelove); Credit: Richard Yeow, general manager of Canon Marketing for his continual support; Mr. Philip Chong, who volunteered to be a Maintainer of this site; Mr. Vincent Thian, an AP (Associated Press) photographer for contributing some of the great images appeared in this site; Mr CYLeow, photo-editor of The Star newspaper for some of his images used; my nephew EEWynFoo for helping so much of the tedious scanning works. And TO ALL THE CANON GURUS: Thank you for helping so much with the input of so much of invaluable information at the various Canon Message Boards. Site created 'unfortunately again with a PowerMac.