Canon EF 85mm f/1.8 USM lens review

A new lens - for two weeks (270/366)
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Photodoto announced that BorrowLenses would hold a lens rental giveaway for a free 2-week lens rental. I wrote:

I think I’d want to try a Canon EF 85mm f/1.8 because I’m very much into street photography right now and my 50mm is too close for comfort. 🙂

Max at BorrowLenses chose me! As a cool ego boost, he liked this photo blog, too. How awesome is that?

In the course of two weeks, I took over 600 photos. As of now, 67 of them are uploaded to Flickr.

My simple review

My expectations were already high. The Canon EF-S 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 is slow. While the Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 II is an inexpensive, fast prime lens, it takes a long time to focus in low-light situations. It’s pretty noisy, too. (For the price, it’s still really good, though.)

When I received the Canon EF 85mm f/1.8 USM lens, I was very pleased with the build and feel of the lens. I immediately took a self-portrait [above] to test it out. Awesome. Of course, since the Canon EOS 40D has 1.6x field of view crop factor, it’s like a 136mm focal length.

I don’t pixel peep, so don’t expect that analysis here. Just know that for basically all the photos I took with it, I loved the quality and bokeh it produced. At 19% the cost of the Canon EF 85mm f1.2L II USM, I wouldn’t even hesitate.

My picks from the two weeks using the 85mm lens

James, our drummer
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You did well
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Kate (273/366)
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All that matters after a long day
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Kristina from The Breakup
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Extended rush (281/366)
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You can view all the photos I took with the Canon 85mm f/1.8 USM lens at this Flickr photoset.

Thanks to John at Photodoto and Max at!