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Additional Information on Canon EF lenses
Canon EF 85mm f/1.8 USM Medium Telephoto lens

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Portrait by Joe MaMa (56k Jpeg) Loading ...
Background & Version History: The earlier Canon lense around the 85mm focal length that I can traced was a Canon rangefinder long focus lens with a universal threaded mount, a simple 5 elements in 4 groups Canon 85mm f/1.8. It followed with an all chrome finish SERENAR 85mm f/1.9 introduced back probably during the Canonflex days. The FL-mount generation also has a Canon 85mm f/1.8 which was actually lighter than the earlier version for the rangefinder, but optically seemed similar in its 5/4 combination - the main difference during this era was the automatic aperture mechanism built-in the lens. The FD bayonet mount version of the Canon FD 85mm f/1.8 S.S.C. was first surfaced in 1974/5 and followed up with the new FD mount version, Canon FDN 85mm f/1.8 in 1979 (Canon actually also has a soft focus Canon FDn 85mm f/2.8 SOFT FOCUS introduced in 1982, I think). Both the new and older FD-mount 85mm f/1.8 shared similar optical design in its 6 elements in 4 groups formula but with some minor differences in, such as filter attachment size, closer focuses and weight.

Low ambient light portraiture? no issue.. Credit: Image courtesy of JOE (JoeMaMA). whose PORTFOLIO can be accessed at PBase. Image copyright © 2006. All rights reserved. Please respect the visual property of the contributing photographer.
Canon SERENAR 85mm f/1.9
Credit: Image courtesy of Allan Detrich ®. Image copyright © 2003. All rights reserved. Please respect the visual property of the contributing photographer.

Canon FL 85mm f/1.8 Canon FD 85mm f/1.8 S.S.C. Canon FDn 85mm f/1.8

Last three generations of the Canon lenses: FL, FD
S.S.C and FDN. Credit: Image at far left courtesy of camera$@EBAY®. He also operates a simple and nice, yet popular EBAY STORE where he often lists many used RARE pieces of Nikon, Leica and other old classic photo equipment, Images are also well taken for visual confirmation for buyers - he is also one of my favorite bookmark Ebay dealer. Credit: Image at center, FD 85mm f/1.8 S.S.C. courtesy of Mr. John Hoffman from Columbus Camera Group ® where his Company also has a very popular EBAY STORE on their own. Image(s) copyright © 2006. All rights reserved. Please respect the visual property of the contributing photographer.


Canon EF 85mm f/1.8 USM
Marketed 1992, current model (as at 2006)

The above outlines some fact where Canon is no stranger in providing solutions for photographers at this medium tele range focal length. The wealth of previous knowledge and the related experience such as ability in bringing the world's fastest medium tele with their
EF/FD 85mm f/1.2L seemingly makes the slower 85mm f/1.8 lens an easier task in designing a secondary/alternate top class medium telephoto lens for Canon folks as consideration. But strangely, this Canon EF 85mm f/1.8 actually was only introduced quite late in 1992 i.e. after the 85mm f/1.2L which saw its debut much earlier in 1989. Well, sometimes late means you will get more... as Canon bundled it as an USM lens and other updated lens configuration.

Canon EF 85mm f/1.8 by Microglobe
This lens's most prominent feature is its portability (425g versus 1,025g) and affordability (USD300-350-00 versus USD1,200-1,500-00 indicative BUY-IT-NOW price as at 03.2006 )* which makes Canon photographers have an easier entry into 85mm fixed focal length telephoto. It uses a rear focus system and an efficient quiet, accurate autofocusing (much faster than the f/1.2L - someone told me that it takes 0.2 to 0.4 secís to focus from infinity to its closest shooting distance of 0.85m ) complemented by a full-time manual focus for subtle adjustments during AF operation creating a subtle yet definite changes in the subject you intend to capture. The optical design, comprised of a 9 Elements in 7 Groups - which Canon claimed has been optimized with this new optical arrangement specifically for this short-telephoto lenses which disperses and compensates aberrations via the two single-element lens groups - a convex and a concave element.

Credit: Image courtesy of Laura Kornylak ® <shutterblade@comcast.net> 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.

Although the out of focus is not as prominent as the f/1.2 equivalent, the use of a 8 blades diaphragm helps to portray natural soft blur effect. The no frills simple, straight forward design provides an excellent operability, as with its constant lens length as well as a non-rotating front lens group to facilitate use of accessories such as circular polarizing filters easier for other potential creative effect. One way or another, I think the lense is also partly aimed to response to the Canon photographer's demand for a portrait lens with a compromise moderate size and price as to the 85/f/1.2
L. If you take application for portraiture as it sole purpose, the EF 85mm f/1.8 USM may face some problem with other Canon EF mid-telephoto options such as the Canon EF 100mm as well as EF 135mm focal length lenses as its contender. Naturally, its advantage over the rest is its price, compactness and permits the use of a wider f/1.8 aperture or for some reasons, a shorter focal length is preferred. Although it is not as versatile as with any of the modern days high performance, large aperture EF zoom lenses which also usually has this specific focal length well covered within the zoom range; but again - for those who still hold the strong belief in optically, simpler is better kind of philosophy and with its extremely compact, lightweight and highly portable package as compared to usually more pricey large aperture zoom - it may still be able to find a room on its own, patiently awaiting those who appreciates its value and strength, surviving through onslaught of zoom lenses in the EF lens family.

H2o Reflection by  William Bremen (86k) Image Loading ......
H20 Reflection...

Credit: Image courtesy of William Brennan, from USA. whose all round photography can be found via his PORTFOLIO at Pbase. Image copyright © 1996-2005. All rights reserved. Please respect the visual property of the contributing photographer.

Front lens element of Canon EF 85mm f/1.8 Rear lens mount  of the Canon EF 85mm f/1.8
Credit: Two lovely Images courtesy of SWKIM@EBAY®. He also operates a popular Ebay Store and that was where I found his pictures of this EF 85mm f/1.8. Image copyright © 2006. All rights reserved. Please respect the visual property of the contributing photographer.

Portrait by Joe MaMa (56k Jpeg) Loading ...
Technical Specification for Canon EF 85mm f/1.8 USM Telephoto: -

Type: - Autofocus lens type with manual focusing mechanism
Focal Length: Fixed focal length 85mm
Focus Adjustment:- Autofocus ; Ring-type USM with Inner and rear focus design
Manual Focusing:- possible via AF/M switch and electronic full-time manual focusing possible during autofocus
Zoom Adjustment:- Nil. Fixed Focal Length Lens
Closest Focusing Distance:- 0.85m (2.8ft)
Maximum Magnification:- 0.13X
Drive System:- ring-type USM with full-time manual focusing
Distance Scales: Provided via window on metres/feet.
Angle of View:- 24°
16° 28° 30' (horizontal, vertical and diagonal)
Aperture range:- f/1.8 - f/22
Number of Diaphragm Blades: - 8 blades
Minimum Aperture: - f/22
Filter rotation: No

The shallow depth of field is well illustrated via another portrait shot by Joe. Credit: Image courtesy of JOE (JoeMaMA). whose PORTFOLIO can be accessed at PBase. Image copyright © 2006. All rights reserved. Please respect the visual property of the contributing photographer.

Optical construction EF 85mm f/1.8 MTF publsihed gragh by Canon

Lens construction:- 9 Elements in 7 Groups
Filter Attachment Size:- 58mm front mounting
Extenders: possible but not advisable
Others: - Extension Tube EF12 (II) 0.27X~0.15X; EF25 (II) 0.44X~0.32X
Diameter:- 75mm x 71.5mm (3" x 2.8"); Weight:- 425g (15 ozs)

Accessories:- Lens hood ET-65III; Hard case LH-B12; Soft case ES-C13/LP1014 ; G.F.Holder III (hood III*), G.F.Holder IV (hood IV*) (4)
Status: Current model (as at 2006)

Depth of Filed Chart for EF 85mm f/1.8
Depth of field chart of the Canon EF 85mm f/1.8 for various apertures on distances.
* A Quick Ebay Price Search for EF 85mm f/1.2L or EF 85mm f/1.8

Birds on the Wire ...   by CL CHICK from Texas, USA (56k Jpeg) Loading ...
Birds on the wire... Photo Credit: Image courtesy of CL CHICK from Texas, whose PORTFOLIO can be accessed at PBase. Image copyright © 2006. All rights reserved. Please respect the visual property of the contributing photographer.



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Canon 85mm f/1.8 EF telephoto lens
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Credit: Two lovely Images courtesy of SWKIM@EBAY®. He also operates a popular Ebay Store and that was where I found his pictures of this EF 85mm f/1.8. Image copyright © 2006. All rights reserved. Please respect the visual property of the contributing photographer.
Canon EF 85mm f1.8 side view
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