Best 85mm Lenses For Canon – 2020 Complete Buyer’s Guide

You must have come across several lenses. But few lenses are good that will win your heart. Canon has excelled in facilitating its users or photographers for years. An 85mm, coupled with a great Canon model, will help you take the perfect portraits. Have a detailed look at the lenses that are compatible with your Canon camera to excel in the art of photography. 

Comparison of the Best 85mm Lenses For Canon


Canon EF 85mm f/1.8 USM Medium Telephoto Lens

  • There are 8 aperture blades in the diaphragm
  • Best 85mm 1.8 Canon lens
  • Contrast as well as saturation is very good
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Canon EF 85mm f/1.4L

  • Coated with fluorine to protect it from grease and moisture
  • First of its kind in the L-series to have image stabilization
  • The optical formula is advanced with a big diameter of the aspherical lens
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Sigma 85mm f/1.4 DG

  • 85 mm lens is big and chunky
  • Toggle switch is available for selection between the two focus modes
  • Best for the money
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Tamron AFF016C700 SP 85mm F/1.8

  • Focal length is ideal for portraiture
  • Color fringing and chromatic aberrations are reduced with it
  • Best 85mm prime lens
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Canon EF 85mm f1.2L II

  • Best Canon lens 85 mm 1.2
  • Autofocus speed is 1.8 times greater than the usual speed
  • Floating optical has an aspherical lens
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What Does an 85mm Lens Do?

85 mm is ideal for portrait-length as it can maintain the closeness to the subject without creating any distortion. It is also an important aspect because it will not make little details too big. Besides, the 85 mm lens is sharp, and the background is captured in a way that is very pleasing to the eyes. It is very important for headshots with a certain subject. It can also be used for the following purposes:

Street Photography 

Street photography is very simple, and an 85 mm lens is ideal for it. You must be wondering why? You will be far off from many subjects that might not get disturbed or get in the notice. Photographers can shoot widely for capturing environmental portraits too easily. Any expression of the face can be captured with such a telephoto lens.


It is very important to take portraits in concerts. A sharp and fast lens is equally important for it. Musicians move along every place with different facial expressions, so it is a must to capture every moment. Even capturing the energy flow of the crowd is also very important.

For Weddings

An 85 mm lens is the most important part of the kit of any wedding photographer. The versatility, lightweight, fast aperture, discreteness, and sharpness all account for its worth.

Why Did These Lenses Make Our List?

These Canon lenses are a must to have in your kits. To make sure you have only the very best kit, we chose the models on our list based on the following:

Learning Curve

The learning curve must be scaled faster. Photography must be started with a prime lens instead of using a zoom lens. It is merely because these zoom lenses are not easily available. You will also learn to move for framing. As a result, the photographs will be great and rewarding for your hard work. Prime lenses are better due to wider apertures. This will allow the mastering of selective focus quickly. Our list has both of these models, so you can choose one depending on your skill level. 

Focus Better

Nowadays, the majority relies heavily on autofocus, particularly those who are just starting out. It is very easy to miss the focus due to wide apertures. A prime lens will help you in autofocus.

Sharper Images

Zoom lenses are not sharper than prime lenses. They do not contain extra glass in it for zooming. The less diffraction will lead to good photographs. The models we’ve included on our list provide the sharpest images. 

Quick Take - Best 85mm Lenses For Canon

Before we dive into our review, here are the best 85mm lenses for Canon:

  1. Canon EF 85mm f/1.8 USM Medium Telephoto Lens
  2. Canon EF 85mm f/1.4L
  3. Sigma 85mm f/1.4 DG

Review of the Best 85mm Lenses For Canon

The market is saturated with 85mm lenses. To narrow down your choices, we’ve reviewed some of the very best models in detail. Have a look at these and choose one according to your needs!

Canon EF 85mm f/1.8 USM Medium Telephoto Lens for Canon SLR Cameras - Fixed


  • Focal length is ideal for portraits 
  • The image quality of this lens is very good
  • Budget-friendly, making it available to a wider audience 
  • USM (Ultrasonic Motor) allows the lens to focus quietly and quickly 
  • Build quality is good because it is small in size and lighter in weight


  • Lens cannot be zoomed
  • Purple fringing is too much
  • Not good for macro photography

What Recent Buyers Report

Recent buyers reported that this telephoto lens is a perfectly practical medium lens with portability and superb delineation. The apertures provide clear and sharp images. They further state it is designed for providing nice background blur through the computerized simulations.

Why it Stands Out to Us 

The focal length of this lens is ideal for portraits. It particularly excels at headshots when angled on a certain angle of 1.6x or 1.3x FOVCF body. Plus, a blurred background with dreamy out of focus can be created with this wide aperture of f/1.8.

Who Would Use This Most

This lens shines during low light as well as indoor photography. It is ideal for concerts due to its wide aperture of 85 f/1.8 and a focal length of 85mm. The fast focusing along with the wide aperture makes it ideal for indoor sports too.

Bottom Line

To sum up, this lens is a simple tool that provides quality pictures at reasonable prices. Everybody likes it because quality images are provided at nominal prices. Plus, its wide aperture makes it a good choice. 

Canon EF 85mm f/1.4L IS USM - DSLR Lens with IS Capability, Black - 2271C002


  • It is splash and dust-free.
  • Promises excellent image quality
  • Low weight and compactness make it portable 
  • Offers optical stabilization for the perfect shots
  • Image stabilization is provided on the zoom lens


  • It is a bit expensive
  • There are dim corners available at wide apertures

What Recent Buyers Report

According to the recent buyers' report, this sturdily built lens promises sharp pictures. It also has a bright design. It provides detailed, sharp, and beautiful images that are applicable for any application. Buyers find it the perfect choice for capturing their every moment.

Why it Stands Out to Us

This lens marks itself as unique among all lens due to its beautiful bokeh. The images taken with it are proof of its exceptional features. It is surely super sharp. Plus, the image stabilizer is very effective for letting the images remain sharp on all shutter speeds. Smaller objects can also be auto-focused with it. 

Who Would Use This Most

This lens proves to be ideal for the portraitures. Its focal length makes it suitable for capturing objects and blurring the other elements in the background. It is a perfect option for photographers who prefer to crop the images since it provides several options to do so.

Bottom Line

In a nutshell, this lens is highly preferred by users because of its high-quality images. Moreover, its selection for portraiture makes it further a unique choice among all. Its optical stabilization and image stabilization feature further make it a great pick. 

Best for the Money:
Sigma 85mm f/1.4 DG

Sigma 85mm f/1.4 DG HSM Art Lens for Canon EF (321954)


  • Has a bright f/1.4 aperture
  • Offers sharp images to its users
  • Gives even illumination on the objects
  • The image quality of this lens is exceptional
  • Availability for multiple systems with no distortions


  • Lacks image stabilization
  • Adjustments are required during focusing
  • Heavy and big, making its built unsatisfactory 

What Recent Buyers Report

The majority of the users reported the product to be ideal for their photography based on its material quality as well as picture quality. The value for money is also excellent, as reported by users. Plus, the images are reported to be crystal clear, and the background is a blur, making it perfect for portraits. 

Why it Stands Out to Us

This lens comes with the SIGMA USB dock, which makes it significantly different from many other units. It easily adapts to the needs of photographers with the USB dock. Moreover, SIGMA Optimisation Pro is the special software developed for this purpose. This can assist in updating the firmware of the lens easily. 

Who Would Use This Most

This lens is designed for users who are aiming for unsurpassed quality and expressiveness. It aims to serve people who are seeking high performance. This provides artistic freedom to the users. It can also serve as a great lens for sports, contemporary and Arts

Bottom Line

In a nutshell, there are no complaints regarding this lens. Its impeccable performance cannot be denied. Moreover, the images are captured with a lot of details, even when the shot is taken at f/1.8. Therefore, this is a great investment.  

Best 85mm Prime Lens:
Tamron AFF016C700 SP 85mm F/1.8

Tamron AFF016C700 SP 85mm F/1.8 Di VC USD Lens (Black)


  • Edge to edge viewfinder brightness is delivered
  • Pleasing images are produced with real life-like features 
  • Low dispersion and extra-low dispersion for reducing color fringing
  • Offers the perfect balance of the bokeh and sharpness of the object
  • Image stabilization with a fast aperture for low light performance and ease


  • The weight is quite heavy
  • Too much vignetting might not be suitable for everyone

What Recent Buyers Report

The majority of the buyers have reported the excellence of the lens. It provides very sharp and fine images. The sharpness is outstanding as per the customer review. Autofocus sensor and viewfinder image let in a good amount of light, allowing users to capture perfect pictures even in low lighting. 

Why it Stands Out to Us

The abbreviation SP in the lens denotes that it features Superior Performing Optica. Plus, vibration compensation is based on the stabilization system of the lens. This has been very helpful in shooting static subjects in low lighting conditions. The shutter speeds are also a bit lower than usual that allows blur-free photographs. Finally, quiet and quick autofocus is ensured through the Ultrasonic Silent Drive.

Who Would Use This Most

It has been a favorable option for portrait photography because of the wide maximum aperture and maximum focal length of short telephoto. It is also favorable for shooting news events and weddings too. Even some certain sports are also captured in low light conditions, and this one will excel at that too.

Bottom Line

Thus Tamron lens is known to be one of the greatest prime lenses. Overall, sharpness is delivered with excellence and accuracy. Along with that, edge to edge uniformness is provided at every aperture setting. Excellent features combined with high-quality images, mark the uniqueness of the lens.

Best Canon Lens 85mm 1.2:
Canon EF 85mm f1.2L II

Canon EF 85mm f1.2L II USM Lens for Canon DSLR Cameras - Fixed


  • Build quality is excellent
  • Focus ring is very smooth
  • The resolution is high of this lens
  • Images are sharp at all of the apertures
  • Provides beautiful bokeh, contrast, and color


  • The lens is heavy
  • Autofocus is slow
  • No weather sealing is present

What Recent Buyers Report

According to the recent buyers’ report, this lens has good autofocus. While a few think that its focus is slow, the majority finds its focus to be really quick and very sharp. It also provides great bokeh, making your photography experience really amazing.

Why it Stands Out To Us

The focus is not only fast but is also very sharp, with the ability to capture the hair, the lips, the eyes, or any minor details perfectly. Every image that needs retouching can be easily retouched. This will save you time in touch-ups and post-production.

Who Would Use This Most

Anyone who is involved in portrait photography of any type will be very glad to add this lens in their kit. It is a good option for wedding photographers whose clients deserve and want the best quality photographs. 

Bottom Line

To sum it up, this photography lens is admirable and pleasant for all of its users. It’s a high-quality 85mm lens that successfully provides beautiful photographs. All of your events can be beautifully captured with this lens.

Advantages and Disadvantages of 85mm Lenses

Like all lenses, 85mm lenses also come with their fair share of benefits and drawbacks. It’s essential to know both sides of the story so that you can make the right buying decision. 


An 85 mm lens not only delivers sharp and colorful portraits but also makes the photographs look alive. Here are some advantages of using an 85 mm lens:

Gives Sharp Portraits

As compared to the 50mm lens, an 85 mm lens gives out sharp portraits and gives a great bokeh effect, highlighting the subject and making it stand out.


For functions like weddings and concerts, a good lens is one of the necessary tools to make the event successful and enjoyable. Since the singer moves around and continuously changes his facial expressions, it is necessary to choose a lens that can sharply focus on the subject. It can be done by using an 85 mm lens paired with a great Canon camera

Street Photography

An 85 mm lens can be used to focus on faraway subjects. It is great for street photography with such a lens, the subject would not be disturbed, and the photographer would easily be able to capture the beautiful moments on the streets.


There are some disadvantages too of using an 85 mm lens in a camera. The disadvantages are as follows:

Needs More Space

The biggest con of using an 85 mm lens is the requirement for a large space like a 127 mm focal length. If you do not have enough space, you would not be able to capture the background perfectly.


All in all, you can use an 85mm lens for high-quality portrait photography. You can use it to capture special events like weddings, birthday parties, and family events. It also produces less distortion and color aberrations. So if you are looking for a perfect fixed focal length lens, then the 85mm lens is the ideal choice for you.

People Also Ask

Photography is gaining a lot of importance these days. For high-quality pictures, you should have the latest and most amazing photography tools. Many questions might be confusing you. So to help you out, we are answering some of the most asked questions.

Which is Better For Portraits 50mm or 85mm?

An 85mm lens forms a blurry bokeh because the least possible focusing distance for this lens is 2.8ft. Meanwhile, the least focusing distance for a 50mm lens is 1.15ft. It has much better bokeh. With an 85mm lens, you can focus the object more than you can with a 50mm lens. Thus, the 85mm lens is better for portrait photography.

Do Prime Lenses Take Better Photos?

Prime lenses offer better focus because of the wide apertures. You can set the frame. They produce sharper and brighter photographs. There is no glass inside the lens for zooming in and out. Prime lenses capture amazing bokeh by blurring out the background. You can use them to take better photographs.

Should I Buy a Prime Lens or Zoom Lens?

A prime lens provides better results than a zoom lens. It has excellent bokeh and picture quality. It delivers bright, sharp, and vibrant photographs. You can blur the background more. You can also use it for low light places. There are fewer distortions in fixed focal length lenses.