Abstract: Canon EF 85/1.2L II

Photography - Canon EOS, digital, nature

Canon EF 85/1.2L II


Here is a copy of the Canon press release on the new EF 85/1.2L II. It's very similar to the original version, except that it now transmits distance information to the camera to support E-TTL II flash and AF speed has been much improved.

The lens is expected to be available in March at an estimated price of around $2100. If the price is right, it makes the current EF 85/1.2L quite a bargain, since it's currently selling for around $1500!

21 February, 2006: Canon today releases its latest professional L-series prime lens: the exceptionally fast EF 85mm f/1.2 II USM. With the widest aperture of any lens in the current EF range, the new model becomes Canon's definitive portraiture lens, offering extremely fine control over depth of field and consummate low light performance. With vastly improved auto focus speed, the lens replaces the popular EF 85mm f/1.2L USM. As with all L-series lenses, the EF 85mm f/1.2 II USM incorporates the very finest standards of precision optics.

The EF 85mm f/1.2 II USM features:

  • Canon's finest standards of image quality
  • Latest Ultrasonic Motor (USM) for fast and near silent auto focus
  • Full-time electronic manual focus override
  • Super Spectra coatings and optimised lens element shaping to suppress flare and ghosting
  • Large circular aperture diaphragm for good background bokeh and ‘removal' of distracting backgrounds
  • Distance information passed back to the new E-TTL II flash algorithm of all current model digital EOS cameras
  • Lens hood and pouch included in the box

L-series construction

The L-series is Canon's flagship professional lens range, designed and built to meet the needs of the most demanding professional photographers. The superb optics of the EF 85mm f/1.2 II USM and other L-series lenses represent the pinnacle of optical performance, enabling focal length/speed/quality combinations not readily attainable using traditional optical technologies.

Portrait photography

The combination of an almost circular aperture diaphragm for attractive bokeh (evenly graduated blurring of out-of-focus areas) and the extremely narrow depth of field at its widest aperture combine to make this an ideal portraiture and studio lens. With the lens' aperture at f/1.2, photographers can create dramatic effects such as keeping a model's eye sharp while blurring the eye lash ends.

Low light shooting

The maximum f/1.2 aperture is the widest in Canon's current range and provides for shooting in low light conditions without the need for flash or slow shutter speeds. With improved auto-focus speed from Canon's latest Ring-type Ultrasonic Motor (USM), the lens is expected to be popular with professional photographers shooting indoor sports. The USM holds the lens with precision and accuracy, the instant it arrives at the correct focus and without overshoot, and features full-time electronic manual focus override*. Super-fine control over depth of field afforded by the lens' large aperture allows sports photographers to deliberately ‘blur out' crowds, hoardings and other distracting backgrounds.

Aspheric element

Wide aperture lenses using traditionally manufactured elements suffer from spherical aberration which causes an overall softening and optical ‘smearing' of the image. To ensure high corner-to-corner sharpness and contrast of in-focus subjects throughout the focus range and at wide apertures, the

EF 85mm f/1.2 II USM incorporates a large aspherical lens element with precise variable curvature and a floating group construction.

Super Spectra coatings

In addition to optimised lens shaping to reduce reflections and the use of anti-reflective material inside the lens barrel, the EF 85mm f/1.2 II USM employs Canon's patented Super Spectra lens element coatings. These suppress flare and ghosting – more prone to occur with digital cameras due to reflection off the image sensor. By increasing light absorption, coatings reduce reflections off lens element surfaces to deliver crisp, undistorted images with natural colour balance.

E-TTL II flash integration

The EF 85mm f/1.2 II USM transmits distance information to the E-TTL II flash system of all current model digital EOS cameras, improving flash exposure metering when used in conjunction with Canon's range of EX Speedlite flash units.

The EF 85mm f/1.2 II USM comes with a cylindrical lens hood and lens pouch.

In keeping with Canon's Kyosei philosophy of living in harmony with the environment, the lens features only lead-free glass.

* With P, Av, Tv and M camera modes only

Canon EF 85 mm F1.2 II L specifications

Angle of view (horizontal, vertical, diagonal) 16°, 24°, 28° 30'
Lens construction (elements/groups) 8/7
No. of diaphragm blades 8
Minimum aperture 16
Closest focussing distance (m) 0.95
Maximum magnification (x) 0.11
Distance information Yes
Image stabilizer No
AF actuator Ring USM
Filter diameter (mm) 72
Max. diameter x length (mm) 91.5 x 84.0
Weight (g) 1025
Magnification with Extension Tube EF12 II 0.25-.015
Magnification with Extension Tube EF25 II 0.42-0.33
Lens hood ES-79 II
Soft case LP1219

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