Can This Affordable Canon Lens Keep Pace with a Legend?

Few lenses are more famous than the Canon EF 85mm f/1.2L II USM, renowned for its extreme design and insane bokeh, making it a favorite of numerous portrait and wedding photographers for many years. Now available on the used market for about the same price as the far newer RF 85mm f/2 Macro IS STM, you might wonder which is right for you. This great video comparison will help you decide. 

Coming to you from Gordon Laing takes a look at the Canon RF 85mm f/2 Macro IS STM lens and how it compares to the iconic EF 85mm f/1.2L II USM. The EF 85mm f/1.2L II USM was beloved, and it does have a direct mirrorless analog in the RF 85mm f/1.2 L USM, but at almost $3,000, that is far more than many photographers are ready or willing to spend. If Canon users want a modern RF lens, though, there is the 85mm f/2 Macro, and of course, with that 1:2 maximum magnification ratio, it looks like a particularly versatile lens, especially for wedding shooters. If you are really after that crazy bokeh, though, a used 85mm f/1.2 remains a great option (I still have mine), especially considering how flawlessly EF lenses work with an adapter. Check out the video above for Laing's full thoughts on both lenses. 

Alex Cooke's picture

Alex Cooke is a Cleveland-based portrait, events, and landscape photographer. He holds an M.S. in Applied Mathematics and a doctorate in Music Composition. He is also an avid equestrian.

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I would not let go any of our EF glass for another good while and especially the 85/1.2 ii and 50/1.2 as the price of RF models are not worth the upgrade . All of our EF prime lenses ( 24/1.4 ii, 35/1.4, 50/1.2, 85/1.2 ii, 100/2.8 IS macro, 135/2.0 and 200/2.8 ii ) came in for €5000. I am more the sure that RF 85/1.2 and 50/1.2 will be same price for those 2 lenses together. Yet I can use Canon adapter EF to R with variable drop in ND filter for video and long exposures where as in for adapter it makes switching lenses really easy compare to switching lenses with ND filter mounted on the top of the lens front element .