The Canon RF 85mm f2 is a fairly affordable short telephoto lens for the EOS R mirrorless system that performs double-duty for portraits and close-ups. The f2 focal ratio may not deliver as much background blur as faster models, but there’s still plenty of potential for shallow depth-of-field effects, while the face and eye detection on the EOS R bodies makes it easy to grab focused portraits wherever the subject is on the frame.
Like the RF 35mm f1.8 before it, there’s no weather sealing, the lens hood is not included and the macro capabilities may be limited to 1:2 magnification – or half actual size – but that’s still sufficient for most people and the results can look great from a more practical distance than the 35. Throw in optical stabilisation that benefits bodies with or without IBIS and you have a very compelling lens for the money.
The biggest issue is the wealth of alternative 85s to choose from, including a bunch from Canon, but the RF 85mm f2 represents a step-up in overall quality, close focusing and potential burst speed over the old EF 85 1.8 and is a lot more affordable than the faster 85s in Canon’s range.
If you’re desperate for an 85 1.4 at a more affordable price, look to Samyang or Sigma, but the combination of great quality optics even wide-open, attractive rendering, useful close-ups and optical IS make the RF 85mm f2 a no-brainer for EOS R owners. I’m also pleased Canon’s introducing more affordable models in the native line-up. So like the RF 35mm f1.8, it comes Highly Recommended.Check prices on the Canon RF 85mm f2 at B&H, Adorama or WEX! Alternatively get yourself a copy of my In Camera book or treat me to a coffee! Thanks!