Canon: 85mm f1.2 vs 85mm f1.8

Is there a difference and can you spot it?

I took 20 min tonight and shot some photos with my Canon 5d Mark IV and swapped between the 85mm F1.8 and the F1.2.

F1.2 and a f1.8 have a huge price gap but can you spot the difference?

Canon f1.2 L II – MSRP $2199        Canon f1.8 – MSRP $430


Left: F1.2                                            Right: F1.8

Left: F1.2                                             Right: F1.8

These are very basic examples and wish I had a better chance to do a more in detail comparison but it’s raining out so I am stuck inside.

Left: f1.2                                                    Right: 1.8

Here in these last two, I took both photos in manual focus and racked them out of focus to get the “Bokeh ball” look here. Here you can really see the difference between f1.2 and f1.8 at 85mm.

I think the biggest benefit would be the f1.2 in low light conditions but is it really that much of a benefit from f1.8? Maybe I will do a low light test and see if it’s really worth the $$$.

Until next time.


Published by dereklivingston9

I am a freelance photographer and full-time videographer.

5 thoughts on “Canon: 85mm f1.2 vs 85mm f1.8

    1. I wouldn’t say it’s worth it really unless you just need that extra light and can’t go higher on the ISO due to a cheap camera body. I recently actually just watched a new video showing that the f1.8 autofocus is much faster than the f1.2.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Ya I used to have the 1.8 and I found it to be a wonderful lens. But after I got a 135mm f/2 I stopped using it. I’m shooting Sony these days, but I think I’m going to try and buy that 135 again and use an adapter because it was amazing.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. I plan on getting a 135mm so good to hear that! 85mm is the longest prime ive had.. well Canon that is. I once had a 300mm f4 which was an old Nikon so I don’t count that because it was rough.


      3. Haha that sucks about the Nikon. I had a Canon 300mm f/2.8 and that was pretty awesome. But it was just so damn big and heavy I rarely took it out so I ended up selling it. I have since replaced it with an old Tamron 300mm 2.8 that is still big and heavy, but not AS big, but I still dont use it as much as I’d like because of the size. I’m more quick to grab my 70-300mm IS DO because I like the size. Anyhow, let me know when you get your 135mm, I’ll be interested to hear how you like it.

        Liked by 1 person

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