It’s hard to imagine a lens more adored by portrait photographers these days than the 85mm, and for good reason. It’s generally a good focal length for headshots and portraits, is small, typically fast and sharp, and of course being a prime it is usually well priced. Canon’s 85mm lenses have been dominated by the 85mm 1.2 L, a lens that delivers surreal subject isolation the likes of which Nikon has not produced at that range. The older Canon 85 1.4, however, may have been respected by never really lusted after. Now though, there’s a new one, the Canon 85 1.4L IS USM, and it’s been one of the most anticipated lens releases this year.

[REWIND: Canon’s Newest 85mm 1.4, Tilt-Shift Lenses, & G1 X | Hands On]


  • EF-Mount Lens/Full-Frame Format
  • Aperture Range: f/1.4 to f/22
  • One GMo Aspherical Element
  • Air Sphere and Fluorine Coatings
  • Ring-Type Ultrasonic Motor AF System
  • Optical Image Stabilization
  • Dust- and Water-Resistant Construction
  • Rounded 9-Blade Diaphragm

We were able to spend some time with one of the few pre-production units in the United States when it was released in October, and will have a full review coming out shortly. However, the lens availability has been less than optimal up to this point, but is now in stock at major retailers like B&H.

Coming in at $1599 it’s $400 less than the 1.2L, with a significant saving in size, as well as being faster to focus, and Many would have undoubtedly been gifted a new camera for the holidays and if it’s a Canon then this would be a helluva choice to pair with it for a lovely portrait set-up.

Complementing the optical attributes, this lens also incorporates a 4-stop optical image stabilization system for sharper handheld shooting, and a ring-type Ultrasonic Motor (USM) also allows quick and accurate autofocus performance, along with full-time manual focus override for fine-tuned control. Additionally, as with all L-series lenses, this 85mm f/1.4 has a dust- and weather-resistant construction, as well as a fluorine coating on exposed elements, to benefit its use in harsh environmental conditions.

Last but not least B&H is currently running free expedited shipping on this lens for a limited time, meaning if you order it now it’ll ship either today or tomorrow and should be in hand within 2 days.

Get it here