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Hope Taylor is a photographer specializing in senior portraits serving both Charleston, SC and Savannah, GA.


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Canon 85mm 1.2 Lens Review

For Photographers


This beauty of a lens had been at the top of my wish list since I attended the Katelyn James workshop back in February! That was the first time I saw the absolutely STUNNING images that the 85mm is capable of and I just HAD to get my hands on it!! However, the 85 is the most expensive prime lens on the market, so it took a little bit of saving up. I was SOOO excited when the day came that I could finally purchase it!! (I was so pumped that I even paid rush shipping!!) I cannot put into words how much I LOOOOOVE this lens!! I’m a prime lens type of girl, and the 85 is easily my new favorite-it rarely comes off my camera! If you’re in the market for a new lens, and you’re considering the 85mm, I say DO IT! I’ll break down some of the things that I LOVE about this phenomenal lens:

WEIGHT: While this may sound kind of silly, the 85mm 1.2 FEELS sooooo sturdy in your hand! Because it is a Canon L-series lens, it is made of metal (instead of plastic like some of the less expensive versions) and it’s also weather-proof! When you pick it up for the first time, it’s a BIG lens, but it’s so amazingly built!

SMOOTH FOCUS: Both the auto + manual focus on this lens are SO smooth and “creamy” (I use this word to describe the 85mm a lot…) and you’ll see what I mean when you use it for the first time! It’s like butter! Some people complain that the AF is slow on the 85mm, but I have not run into this problem personally. If you shoot fast-moving children or sports, I would maybe recommend the 70-200mm 2.8 instead, but this lens is STUNNING for portraits!

BOKEH: OH. MY. GOSH! The bokeh that this lens creates is AH-MAZING and unmatched by any of the other prime lenses I own (50mm 1.2, 35mm 1.4 and 100mm 2.8). It is SO creamy (there’s that word again!) and just phenomenal. You won’t understand until you try it out…but this is one seriously awesome piece of glass! Not only is the bokeh amazing, but the photos are always super sharp! I haven’t had any focusing issues with this lens at all! Even wide open at f/1.2, this lens is tack-sharp!

While there are many other reasons that this lens has become glued to my camera, those are definitely the top 3! If you are on the hunt for a new addition to your camera bag, the 85mm is something  you should DEFINITELY consider! Not only is it beautiful for portraits, but it gives you a little bit of extra reach for wedding ceremonies + other situations where your subjects might be farther away, while still giving you the crispness of a prime lens! Below are some of my favorite recent shots that I’ve taken with my 85mm 1.2! I hope this review was helpful + that you enjoy your 85mm as much as I do!



  1. Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS II USM Telephoto Zoom Lens | Digital Photo Lens says:

    […] read MORE […]

  2. Moritz says:

    I’m thinking of buying this lens myself – hard decision! Thanks for sharing your experience. Helped to make up my mind 🙂

hi, y'all!

I'm Hope Taylor, an international Senior Portrait and Wedding Photographer based in Charleston, SC. I'm also an educator, international speaker, and the host of multiple sold-out workshops each year!



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