Canon RF 85mm F2 Macro IS STM Image Gallery
January 15th, 2021
Canon clearly has new life and momentum since developing the new EOS R5 (my review here) and EOS R6 (my review here), as these models are truly innovative and finally feel like cameras that can unleash the potential of Canon’s acclaimed RF-mount lenses. There have been a number of truly exceptional Canon RF lenses released in the past few years, but as I’ve reviewed the majority of those lenses, I’ve had one consistent complaint: in many cases the lenses for the EOS R cameras have been priced higher than the cameras themselves, with few lenses under $1000 USD and the majority over $2000. Canon has finally started to address this with a new spate of lens releases including some more affordable options. I’ve been looking at two of those lenses – Canon RF 85mm F2 IS STM and the Canon RF 50mm F1.8 STM. Today we are focusing on the former lens, a reasonably priced 85mm lens with one unusual characteristic; it is a 1:2 (half life size) macro lens. That makes the Canon RF 85mm F2 Macro IS STM a potentially very interesting lens.
85mm lenses are typically notoriously poor lenses for maximum magnification. The typical range for magnification is 0.11-0.13x, so the RF85M’s 0.50x is a true anomaly. Some will debate whether a 1:2 lens qualifies as a true “macro” lens, or if a true macro lenses is at least 1:1 magnification. Debate aside, however, there’s no question that the high level of magnification on this lens definitely increases its usefulness. It also has an effective image stabilizer which adds to its usefulness for handheld macro shots (and photography/video in general).
The RF 85mm F2 IS STM is somewhat of a paradox. It has tremendous strengths that bely its reasonable price tag of $599 USD, but it is also crippled by a glaring flaw. The end result is a lens with certain compromises that potential owners must be willing to accept in order to benefit from its strengths. One of those strengths is excellent image quality. You can get a sense of the excellent performance of the lens by checking out the images in the galleries below.
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Thanks to Camera Canada for getting me a loaner of the RF 85M. If you’re in Canada, check them out for a reliable online retailer.
Images of the Canon RF 85mm F2 Macro IS STM
Images Taken with the Canon RF 85mm F2 Macro IS STM
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