Canon EF 85 mm f1.8 USM lens - Why I Love It - Melisa Skinner

I am a Canon user and I love my 85 mm. I love it because of its versatility. The 85 is typically used as a portrait lens. I dabble in portraiture, but my main focus is landscape and cityscape. I also love taking photos of my pets and zoo animals.

The first comparison is of the same waterfall with my 18-55 kit lens vs. the 85 mm.

Very Mini Water Fall

This photo was taken 8/13/17, 9:01 a.m., at f/5.6, 1/60 sec, ISO-100, and 55 mm focal length with my 18-55 kit lens. This is a perfectly fine photo, although not as sharp as it could have been. It also lacks the nice background blur that a shallower depth of field produces.

Balance Act

This photo was taken 3/30/2018 at, 10:12 a.m., at f/1.8, 1/800 sec, ISO-100, and 85 mm focal length with my 85 mm lens. Notice the nice blur of the small rocks at the top of the waterfall and the crispness of the overhanging rock on the lower tier. My focus was the overhanging rock. I wanted it to stand out even though it is basically the same color as its surroundings.

The second comparison is of flowers from my garden with my 50 mm f/1.8 lens vs. the 85 mm.

Pink Dreams

This photo was taken 3/24/2018 at, 2:49 p.m., at f/4, 1/400 sec, ISO-100, and 50 mm focal length with my 50 mm lens. I focused in on my wedding rings. I was practicing getting good details. Notice the background blur. At the 50 mm length, the background is still a bit distracting. Even though the focus is on the ring, my eye tends to drift up to the corner where another flower is peeking into the frame. When I took this photo, I hadn't yet bought my 85 mm.

Frozen Beauty

Two weeks after the photo with the wedding ring, it snows, in April! I hadn't had a chance to practice shooting my ring with the 85 yet. This photo was taken 4/7/2018 at, 10:04 a.m., at f/1.8, 1/4000 sec, ISO-100, and 85 mm focal length with my 85 mm lens. The focus is on the green leaf that is directly between the two flowers. With this photo, you would think that all of the white would be blown out, but when I checked the highlight clipping indicator, there was none. I was amazed, the 85 mm is a quality lens.

The third and last comparison is of birds in the "jungle" with my 75-300 kit lens vs. the 85 mm.


This photo was taken 7/13/17, 9:41 a.m., at f/4, 1/500 sec, ISO-800, and 80 mm focal length with my 75-300 kit lens. I was inside the "jungle" at the zoo. That is why the ISO was cranked beyond my normal. I couldn't use a flash. It would have scared it. I sat watching this bird for a good 10 min. before it flew off and I moved on. The blur in the background of this photo is due to the distance of the background. If you've never been there, it is absolutely huge. It has a winding path all the way through that would take you a good 5-10 min. without stopping to look at anything. (depending on how fast you walk, of course)

Jewel Toned

This photo was taken 3/30/2018 at, 10:37 a.m., at f/1.8, 1/125 sec, ISO-100, and 85 mm focal length with my 85 mm lens. Once again I was in the "jungle". Notice that I did not raise my ISO above 100 with this lens as I had to with the 75-300. I was squatting on the path and shooting through the leaves of several plants and was still able to get a good exposure, if not a slight bit dark, straight out of the camera. Since I shoot in RAW, I was able to lighten it a bit in post processing fairly easily.

I hope you enjoyed my take on these four lenses.

Until next time,