I am now the proud owner of an Canon 85mm f1.2L II lens. I am finding this to be the ultimate portrait and wedding photography lens. The lens suits many shooting situations and is a perfect focal length for full frame portrait shooting and low light photography. Sharpness is phenomenal all the way to f1.2, although with such a narrow focal plane, one needs to be extra careful with focus. I have however found focus to be spot on the mark – which is just as well as this is critical for such a super wide aperture.
I have made up a selection of image types where this lens comes to life. The huge depth of field allows separation of subject and background in relatively confined spaces. The out of focus blur before and after the focal plane or ‘bokeh’ is soft and smooth beyond any other lens in sharpening the subject relative to the background. This lens cries out to be used in low light, as the f1.2 aperture allows many stops of extra light compared to most other professional lenses. This has the benefit of lower iso settings for less grain and / or faster shutter speeds for moving subjects. Most of all, this lens shines for reflecting the mood of the environment – many steps closer to shooting in available, natural light.