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Interview with Developers of Canon RF 85mm f/1.2L USM Lens

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Canon Europe has just posted an interview about the new Canon RF 85mm f/1.2L USM Lens (B&H Photo Video/Adorama/Amazon). The developers of this lens answered 10 questions including aperture, sharpness, AF, comparison with EF mount, durable and more.

The lens is the first in the RF-Mount family to incorporate Blue Spectrum Refractive (BR) Optics, which greatly reduce the chromatic aberrations which are typical of large aperture lenses.

The fast prime optic for Canon full frame mirrorless cameras will start shipping from June 20th, 2019. The US price for this lens is $2,699.00 and available for pre-order at B&H Photo Video/Adorama/Amazon.

You can take a look at details below:

Why did you choose an f/1.2 aperture rather than f/1.4?

Satoshi: A half stop difference may not seem like much, but when designing large aperture lenses such as f/1.2 and f/1.4, this half stop makes a huge difference in terms of difficulty of design.

How is the bokeh different from that of its EF-mount cousin?

Kaishi: “In terms of bokeh, a key point is that the minimum focusing distance is closer than that of the Canon EF 85mm f/1.2L II USM. The strong bokeh created by f/1.2 can be used to create new types of imaging expressions such as close-ups of areas decorated with jewels.”

Why is the Canon RF 85mm f/1.2L USM longer than its EF mount counterpart?

Satoshi: “In terms of optical design, the total length is measured from the focal plane (the position of the imaging sensor or film). If you compare the EF and RF mounts, the lens mount is closer to the sensor on the RF mount than is the case with the EF mount.

How durable is the RF 85mm F1.2L USM?

Kaishi: We want professionals and enthusiasts to be able to hold on to this lens and use it for a long time without worry. The very front and rear of the lens surfaces are coated with fluorine, making maintenance easier than on the Canon EF 85mm f/1.2L II USM. Oil and moisture are repelled, and oil can be easily wiped off with a dry cloth without using solvents.

How sharp is the lens, really?

Kaishi: When we were developing this lens, many performance tests were carried out repeatedly on a prototype. When shooting at the widest aperture setting using Eye Detection AF in portrait photography, our test photographers spontaneously let out cries of excitement when they saw how sharp the photos were.

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