I have gotten myself in trouble recently, as I have been watching way too many lens review videos. I knew I wanted something new, something a bit different. While I had just gotten my Tamron, it was just a direct replacement for something I already had. Just like when I got the T4i, it wasn't anything different, just new. I wanted that feeling like I got with the new flash I bought, a sense of new things I can do and of new ideas that come from having something new and different. I knew I had to get another prime also, as I love the 50mm f/1.8. Sprinkle on a current rebate about to expire, and my brain decide it was time to get the Canon EF 85mm f/1.8. After just one day shooting with it at the Dallas Zoo, all I can say is wow, just wow.
First some photos of the new guy for those who like that kind of thing.First up, we have the box itself. I gotta say, the box for the Tamron was way nicer, and much beefier cardboard.The lens surprised me with its size, and being heavier than it looks like it should be. Just look at that front element...
Right away I did notice one build issue; the manual focusing ring was loose in the front to back direction. It is nice and tight, with some good resistance in the direction you actually turn it, but it moves forwards and backwards a bit like its loose. I thought at first it was just a bad lens, but sure enough every one they had in the store was like that. It didn't impact the function of the lens, but seriously was expecting better from Canon. The focus speed is pretty good with the lens, it seemed to snap onto things quite quickly, and the only time I missed focus with it was user stupidity. Of course I now demand full time manual focus of all my future lenses, and of course this has it and the nice focus distance window which makes things like focusing to infinity at night so much easier.
Now of course we have to talk about what makes this lens so great, its optical quality. I bought this lens right before heading to the Dallas Zoo, so I got to run it through its paces when I was able to get up close with the animals.
The first thing I shot with it at the zoo that day were some Lorikeets; the zoo had a nice enclosure you could go into and feed the birds. Even on my cameras screen the color saturation just instantly blew me away. I don't have it set high in my camera, and yet the colors were vibrant and just popped off the screen. Then once I zoomed in, the sharpness was just mind blowing.
This first photo is unedited, just a slight rotation and crop, no color adjustments or added sharpness or saturation. Even with the low quality of this export (an accident, will update with higher quality once I am home), this photo just blows me away.
I also used the lens the whole time I was inside the Reptile building, as I needed the low light performance. In that regard it was about the same as the 50mm f/1.8, but I swear it was just a bit better at gathering more light, I want to test them side by side in controlled conditions to find out. The camera was pushing the ISO to around 1600 just about the whole time, and yet the photos still had good detail and colors, for how horrid the conditions I shot in were.
Again this photo is without edits, or any added sharpness.
I have to say with just one day with this lens I am downright impressed. For $360, this thing is a massive upgrade to my kit. The focal length on my cropped sensor camera is just wonderful (its about a 136mm effective focal length), and let me get right inside the cages of the animals, especially with the reptiles. The sharpness is like nothing I have gotten to use before, the same with the saturation, color rendition, and just overall optical quality. And of course, that bokeh is just drop dead gorgeous, so creamy and delicious. If you are a Canon user, and you don't have this lens, quit reading this and go buy the damn thing. You will not regret it.
Even normal standard subjects seem to stand out in this Deviants Gallery, everything from little insects to beautiful water drops. It was one of those lucky little finds that makes stumbling through the forums all worth it.