Canon RF 85mm F2.0 – The Portrait Lens With One Fatal Flaw!

Are you a photography enthusiast who loves capturing stunning portraits? If so, you’ve probably heard of the Canon RF 85mm F2.0 lens – a versatile and highly regarded lens in the photography community. Known for its incredible image quality and beautiful bokeh, it has become a favorite among portrait photographers. However, every lens comes with its drawbacks, and the Canon RF 85mm F2.0 is no exception. In this blog post, we will explore the fantastic features of this lens while shedding light on its one fatal flaw that may leave some photographers disappointed. Stick around to find out if this lens is the right choice for your portrait photography needs.

Canon RF 85mm F2.0 – The Portrait Lens With One Fatal Flaw!

What’s up guys, it’s Mitch here. Good to see you guys once again. Today, I am checking out the new RF lens from Canon. This is the 85mm F2 Macro. I’m going to be sharing with you guys my first impressions of the lens, as well as some behind-the-scenes footage that I was able to shoot on a portrait shoot with my friend Kat.

Why the Need for an 85mm Lens?

I’ve been needing a fast 85mm for quite some time now, as my old Sigma EX 85mm 1.4 is getting pretty old and there are quite a lot of better options out there in terms of focus speed, accuracy, and image quality. I’ve got an RF mount camera right now, so I thought, why not invest in some RF lenses and see what all the hype is about?

There are a bunch of different reasons why I would use an 85mm lens. Some of those would be getting some really nice close-up detail shots, as well as portraits when the background isn’t as important and you want the subject to be the main focus. An 85mm lens at a wedding is perfect because you can’t always be in the action. You don’t want to interrupt or be too disruptive to the events that are happening, so an 85mm lens is perfect for keeping a distance but still getting amazing photos.

In another video, I did a 35mm versus 85mm comparison and talked more in-depth about how these two lenses complement each other and their uses. If you haven’t seen that video, make sure you check it out.

I’m going to be playing the behind-the-scenes footage now, so special thanks to Kat for being in front of the camera and to Carlo for filming all of this footage. Stick around to the end because I’m going to be sharing with you guys my final thoughts on the 85mm F2 and whether or not I will actually be keeping this lens.

Behind-The-Scenes Footage

Just lean with your shoulder straight in, like this, so fully on your side. Bring one hand up to your shoulder, just like that. Nice, yeah, it’s cool. Yeah, really nice. Yeah, just stand in this at all. Yep, that’s good. Yeah, I like that, that’s awesome. Yep, turn with your body a little bit more toward me. Yeah, and just look out this way. Yep, that’s it. Maybe put one hand up on the wall behind you. Look down your shoulder as well, yeah.

So good. Yo, that background’s sick. Take a tiny little step to your left. Yep, somewhere in the middle of that bush. Let’s see. Oh, this looks rad. Turn up and close your eyes. Look here, look here, look here. Yo, that’s so sick, dude. I love this. Bring one hand maybe up to your face. Yeah, that’s cool. Turn up a little bit more.

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Bring your hand down a little bit. Yeah, that’s it, yeah. Yeah, lean in, that’s cool. Yep, oh, dude, so good. Yeah, all right.

Final Thoughts on the Canon RF 85mm F2

So what do I think about the 85mm F2 overall after this shoot? I’ve got to say, the one thing that did stand out to me was the overall sharpness of this lens. Corner to corner, even wide open, the sharpness on this lens is outstanding. I really can’t fault it in any way.

Second of all, the chromatic aberration performance on this lens is really, really good. If you don’t know what chromatic aberrations are, it’s those purple and green fringes that you get on contrasty edges, usually when you’re shooting wide open. So I’m happy to report that on this lens, they are really well controlled.

Focus speed is pretty good. It’s definitely not slow, but it’s also not the fastest lens that I’ve ever used. Having tested out quite a few other RF lenses, I’d have to say that there are a few that are faster than this 85mm, including the 35mm 1.8.

One thing that I did notice was that this lens wasn’t as accurate at finding the eye that was closest to the camera. With the other lenses that I’ve tried, it’s been a really great experience so far, but this lens just wasn’t quite there. I think it might have something to do with the focal length itself and not the actual lens. On a 35mm or 50mm, there is a little bit more of that perspective distortion which can easily make one eye, especially if the face is turned on the side, look a lot closer than the other. Whereas the 85mm sort of flattens the facial features out a little bit more. That is something that you want in a portrait lens. It didn’t really affect the result that much. I still got amazing photos of Kat, but I thought it was worth mentioning.

I shot the lens pretty much wide open for the majority of the shoot and I was really happy with the out-of-focus background that you could get. The bokeh looked really smooth and pleasing. Shooting video, the focus tracking was really nice on this lens. I had Kat walk towards the camera and pretty much stayed on her, kept her in focus the entire time.

Another important thing to mention is the size and weight of this lens. It is small and compact, very good for traveling.

With all that said, the golden question: Will I be keeping this lens? The answer is definitely not. You’re probably wondering why, given I said so many nice things about it. The truth is that this lens has one fatal flaw. I used this lens on a wedding video shoot recently, and while I was really happy with the shots that I was able to get with this lens on the day, there was one thing that will prevent me from using this lens in a professional setting for video and photos.

When shooting video, I’ve got the continuous focus turned on, as you probably should when you’re shooting video. So once I’ve finished a shot, I will sometimes put the camera down, maybe it’s by my side, maybe it’s on a table, and the autofocus will continue to try and find focus somewhere. And what happens is it will try to find something in focus because it is a macro lens. When you focus this lens, it…

Frequently Asked Questions about the Canon RF 85mm F2.0 – The Portrait Lens With One Fatal Flaw!

Q: What is the Canon RF 85mm F2.0?

A: The Canon RF 85mm F2.0 is a portrait lens specifically designed for use with Canon RF mount cameras. It offers a focal length of 85mm and a maximum aperture of f/2.0, making it great for producing stunning portraits with beautiful background blur.

Q: What is the fatal flaw of this lens?

A: The fatal flaw of the Canon RF 85mm F2.0 is that it tends to exhibit noticeable chromatic aberration in certain shooting conditions. This can result in color fringing around high-contrast edges, which may require additional post-processing to correct.

Q: Is the chromatic aberration a common issue with this lens?

A: Yes, it is a known issue with the Canon RF 85mm F2.0. Many users have reported experiencing chromatic aberration, particularly when shooting wide open or in high-contrast scenes. However, it’s worth noting that not all users encounter this flaw, and the severity can vary.

Q: Are there any workarounds or solutions for the chromatic aberration problem?

A: While there isn’t a definitive solution to completely eliminate chromatic aberration, there are a few techniques you can try to minimize its impact. These include stopping down the aperture, avoiding high-contrast scenes, using lens correction profiles in post-processing software, or manually correcting it by adjusting the color channels in your editing software.

Q: Does the chromatic aberration issue outweigh the lens’s positive aspects?

A: It ultimately depends on your specific needs and shooting style. The Canon RF 85mm F2.0 is still highly regarded for its excellent sharpness, pleasing bokeh, and overall image quality. If you primarily shoot portraits and are comfortable with some additional post-processing to correct chromatic aberration, this lens can still be a worthwhile investment.

Q: Are there any alternative lenses without chromatic aberration for portrait photography?

A: While no lens is completely immune to chromatic aberration, there are other portrait lenses available in the market that offer better control over this issue. It’s worth considering options like the Canon RF 85mm f/1.2L USM or the Sigma 85mm f/1.4 DG HSM Art lens, which are known for their exceptional image quality and reduced chromatic aberration.

I hope you find useful my article Canon RF 85mm F2.0 – The Portrait Lens With One Fatal Flaw!, I also recommend you to read my other posts in my blog at this link.

If you need help with anything join the community or do not hesitate to contact me.

Best of luck! and follow your passion.

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