Australian ProPhoto


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In case you hadn’t noticed, the interchang­eable camera world is now dominated by mirrorless models and they’re generating the bulk of our heads, including the latest RF mount lens from Canon, the first telezoom for Fujifilm’s GFX medium format system, a new Lumix G series body from Panasonic and Sigma’s plans for no fewer than 11 lenses in the L mount. And in this year’s TIPA World Awards, mirrorless cameras collect just about all the ILC category prizes (and a few for lenses too). For the latest news in imaging products visit

At the time it unveiled its second RF mount mirrorless camera body, the EOS RP, Canon also revealed its plans for six new lenses all scheduled for launch sometime this year. The first of these, the RF 85mm f1.2L USM, arrives on the market about now, and is the first additional lens since Canon’s full-35mm mirrorless system made its debut in September 2018.

The new 85mm f1.2 L series prime is designed to make the most of the mirrorless camera configurat­ion, so its optical constructi­on employs Canon’s new ‘Blue Spectrum Refractive Optics’ (BR) element – as introduced with the EF 35mm f1.4L II USM – which is designed to deliver, among other things, superior correction for chromatic aberration­s. The BR optical element is located in the lens so that it refracts blue light between the concave and convex lenses. Canon says that this arrangemen­t enables the convergenc­e of the entire wavelength of light to one point, resulting in higher image quality from the centre to the edges of an image.

The 13-elements optical constructi­on (in nine groups) also includes one aspherical type and one with ultra-low dispersion characteri­stics (UD) to further assist with correcting aberration­s and distortion. It also features Canon’s advanced ‘Air Sphere Coating’ (ASC) anti-reflection multi-coatings for reducing both ghosting and flare.

As is becoming a characteri­stic of the RF mount fast primes, the 85mm f1.2 is a big lens, weighing in at 1195 grams with a diameter of 103.2 millimetre­s and a length of 117.3 millimetre­s. It has a fully weather-proofed constructi­on which includes fluorine coatings on the external surfaces of both the front and rear elements. As with all RF mount lenses, there’s a customisab­le control ring which can be set to adjust exposure compensati­on, apertures, shutter speeds or ISO values.

The minimum focusing distance is 85 centimetre­s and autofocusi­ng is via a ring-type USM ultrasonic drive with a full-time manual override.

The 85mm f1.2 has a nine-blade diaphragm to give smoother out-of-focus effects, and the minimum aperture is f16.

The other new RF lenses planned for launch by the end of 2019 (which will bring the system up to ten models) are the RF 24-70mm f2.8L IS USM, RF 15-35mm f2.8L IS USM, RF 70-200mm f2.8L IS USM and RF 24-240mm f4-6.3 IS USM plus a ‘DS’ of the 85mm f1.2L USM which employs a ‘Defocus Smoothing coating designed to only soften the out-of-focus elements in the foreground and background, but not the plane of focus.

The new RF 85mm f1.2L USM is priced at $3799. For more informatio­n visit

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