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Canon RF 85mm F1.2 L USM: old classic prime becomes new classic prime

The fifth lens in the RF family, the RF 85mm F1.2 L USM brings to the new mirrorless full frame cameras from Canon the classic focal length and luminous aperture from previous Canon systems.

Canon has officially announced the new portrait lens from the company: the RF 85mm F1.2 L USM, a prime lens for its RF-mount family of cameras. It costs of $2699.00 and arrives in June.

The same month that business information service BCN reveals that in April 2019 Sony sold, in Japan, more cameras – the a7 III – than Canon and Nikon together, with their EOS RP, EOS R and Nikon Z6 (the Nikon Z7 does not appear on the five top selling models list), Canon introduces a new lens presented as another vital tool for photographers using the EOS R or EOS RP cameras, in particular, those shooting portrait photography.

“Optics is at the core of Canon’s heritage. It is engrained in our DNA and the top priority when developing the EOS R Camera System around the RF mount and accompanying lenses,” said Kazuto Ogawa, president and chief operating officer, Canon U.S.A., Inc. “Canon is very enthused to now bring the lenses we shared in the RF lens development announcement, starting with the RF 85mm F1.2 L USM. We envision this product as being the quintessential workhorse lens for portrait photographers of all skill levels.”

Weighs 1,2Kg, costs $2699.00

The new lens features a bright f/1.2 aperture which, along with the 85mm focal length, encompasses an ideal lens for portrait photographers. 85mm is often the preferred focal length selected by photographers when shooting portraits because it provides an appropriate depth and perspective of the subject relative to the background, helping to capture high-quality imagery with beautiful and desirable bokeh. The focal length also allows for the photographer and subject to maintain optimum distance apart to support strong communication, while not being too close.

The most unique feature of the RF 85mm F1.2 L USM lens is Canon’s proprietary optical technology, Blue Spectrum Refractive (BR) Optics that helps to greatly reduce chromatic aberrations that could occur with large aperture lenses. The BR optical element, first introduced in the EF 35mm f/1.4L II USM, is inserted into the lens and refracts blue light between the concave and convex lenses. This enables the convergence of the entire wavelength of light to one point, resulting in higher image quality from the center to the edges of an image.

With a weight of 2.63 pounds/1,195 g, minimum focusing distance of 2.79 feet/0.85 meters, a customizable control ring that allows photographers to adjust exposure compensation, shutter speed, aperture or ISO and L-Series dust and weather resistant build with fluorine coating, the Canon RF 85mm F1.2 L USM lens is scheduled to be available June 2019 for an estimated retail price of $2699.00.


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Journalist, writer and photographer since 1979, both print and online, with a vast experience in the fields of photography, software, hardware, web, aviation, History, video games, technology, having published content in almost all Portuguese newspapers…

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