What Is the Sharpest 85mm Lens for Canon Mirrorless Cameras?

Canon mirrorless shooters have a wide variety of fantastic lenses to choose from, but many of them are also extremely expensive. Luckily, both Canon and third parties offer more affordable options, and many of them are excellent performers. This great video review takes a look at three of the best 85mm lenses for Canon mirrorless shooters. 

Coming to you from John Gress, this excellent video comparison takes a look at the RF 85mm f/1.2L USMRF 85mm f/2 Macro IS STM, and 85mm f/1.4 DG HSM Art lenses (the Sigma is used with an EF-to-RF lens adapter). No doubt, the RF 85mm f/1.2L USM is an absolutely spectacular lens that combines top-level performance with some of the most extreme lens design out there, but it is also prohibitively expensive for a lot of us, and even for those who can afford it, it might not make economic sense. On the other hand, Sigma's Art series is highly regarded, and with Canon's RF 85mm f/2, you get 1:2 macro capabilities and built-in image stabilization, making it a highly versatile lens for a variety of applications. It all comes down to your budget and creative and technical needs. Check out the video above for a lot of great comparison images and Gress' thoughts on the lenses. 

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6 Comments

Daniel Lee's picture

Seems like a bit of a weird comparison, the Samyang RF 85mm f/1.4 really should have been included since it’s a native lens. If they are mounting EF lenses, might as well include the Canon EF 85mm f/1.4 L.

Carlos Dacosta's picture

Also should have added the EF 85mm f1.2Lii. An excellent lens

Rick Rizza's picture

Sadly people are just to lazy to write. This kind of comparison is great as a reading article, not in a click bait video.

Richard King's picture

Sharpness is not that relevant for headshots or portraiture.

All modern cameras and lenses are capable of producing mages that are often way too sharp for this sort of work

Even an d70 with a kit lens forensically shows every pore.

I have to gently soften much of my work in post, to get a result that feels natural

Mark Bohrer's picture

Everyone acts like the EF 85mm f/1.4L IS doesn't exist. Yet it was the only way to get 85mm with stabilization until the RF 85/2 IS was released recently, the reason I bought the EF 85/1.4L IS over the Sigma 856/1.4 DG HSM Art and RF 85/1.2L a couple years ago.

I'd really like to see how it stacks up against these other options in a real-world test (or as real as the studio gets). Sometimes the EF 85mm f/1.4L IS's CA / fringing annoys the c4@p out of me, but I've usually been able to correct it in Lightroom Classic. And Sigma's recently-released 85mm f/1.4 DG DN Art in L-mount doesn't seem to fringe on a Leica SL2.

Leica's subpar flash system and lack of fold-out LCD suck vs the EOS R5, so I'll be waiting for the Sigma 85mm f/1.4 DG DN Art to appear in RF mount, perhaps in 2021. It really is that much better than my EF 85/1.4L IS, and with IBIS, IS matters less.

Jim Bolen's picture

And you left out a beast of an 85- Tamron's 85 1.8 VC. This lens is really sharp with great contrast, and vibration reduction to boot.