- Good build quality
- Accurate autofocus that is reasonably quick at further distances
- Good optical image stabilization
- Excellent image sharpness across the frame
- Good bokeh
- Very good chromatic aberration control
- Excellent color and contrast
- Autofocus is slow and a bit noisy with large focus changes
- Lots of small flare ghosts with bright light in frame
- Significant vignetting at f/2
- Some pincushion distortion
- No lens hood included, and adding one is $50
The RF 85mm f/2 is a compelling lens. It’s got very good image quality, optical image stabilization, and exceptional versatility with the ability to focus down to 1:2 magnification. This versatility is the thing that really draws me to the lens, as you have the ability to shoot everything from closeups to portraits to landscapes with the same lens, while still having a fairly fast f/2 maximum aperture.
On the down side, the focus motor can be a bit slow when moving from close focus to far, though I found it plenty fast enough at more moderate distances. There’s also a bit of flare that can pop up, and distortion and vignetting are present but can be corrected with a lens profile.
At $599, the Canon RF 85mm f/2 Macro IS STM is reasonably priced for a lens with this level of optical prowess and versatility, and I think it’s going to be a very popular lens for the Canon RF system. Well done, Canon.
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3 thoughts on “Review: Canon RF 85mm f/2 Macro IS STM”
Could you compare this lens to Sony FE 85/1.8?
I can’t do a direct comparison to the Sony, as I sold my FE 85mm f/1.8 and replaced it with the Samyang 85mm f/1.4.
From looking at images I’ve taken with both, sharpness seems to be fairly similar between the two lenses. I’d give the Canon a slight edge for bokeh, mostly due to better chromatic aberration control, which avoids bokeh fringing more readily. Focus is faster on the Sony, versatility is better on the Canon. Between the two, I’d say I slightly prefer the Canon, but they’re both excellent lenses.
Another great review, backed up by some beautiful images. How your young people are growing! Love the tease of the final shot 😀