Canon 85mm 1.2 My Go-To Lens

canon 85mm 1.2 donte tidwell los angeles photographer

Why the Canon 85mm 1.2 has been my go-to lens..

Lately I’ve been lugging around my big Think Tank Airport Security bag around. It’s filled with all kind of things, Ranger Quadra, Speedlights, 70-200mm, 50mm, 35mm 16-35 and the 85mm and a bunch more including 60′ reflectors stuffed in the pockets. That gets heavy to lug around. But when it comes to shooting time, I pull out the 85mm and mount it on the Mark III. So I don’t know why I’m lugging all the crap around when I never use it. Before, I was using the 50mm 1.2 (what’s in my bag) all the time but now, it’s all about the giant 85mm of overpriced goodness.


The Reason I like and use it so much is because it’s actually pretty versatile. Sure you gotta have a lot of room to move around, unless you’re doing close up’s it being 85mm but it makes you rethink your shots but taking a step back and re-thingking you compositions.

So what makes the Canon 85mm 1.2 so special?


Getting the close-up’s without being so up and close during moments you don’t want to be.

It’s a fantastic low light lens. The Image above was shot in a dark studio with only the modeling lamp on an Elinchrom Ranger.

canon-85mm-1.2-donte-tidwell-los-angeles-wedding-photographer The depth-of-field (DOF) is amazing at f/1.2. I love the way this looks so I’ve been shooting at that aperture a lot. There’s an added texture to some of these images.

canon-85mm-1.2-donte-tidwell-los-angeles-wedding-photographer The way this lens compress the background. It just brings the background closer so my subject, while still creating the DOF. This was also shot at f/1.2 in direct sun and my subject is still sharp.

The Canon 85mm 1.2, it’s an amazing portrait lens. Enough said!

Great for low lights. BUT (I’m adding this in cause most people just leave it at that) when I had the Canon 5dMII I could never use it at its widest aperture f/1.2. my photos would look great on the back of the camera but when I’d get home and look, it was always out of focus. so if you’re using the 5dMII, gooood luck! the Canon 7D and the Mark III is your better off choice. But like I said, its a really good low light lens.
The Bokeh is so cool.
The depth of field.
Its super sharp.
Its the perfect portrait lens.

It’s Heavy. Yeah! the weight, it almost weights 2 lbs thats like as much as the 70-200mm.
The focusing is a little slow.
Its a little over priced. Yeah call me cheap but at $2199.00 you can get you a lot of other useful things. Honda Civic, LOST DVD’s, no wait! even better a plane ticket to pretty much anywhere. First class!

Get the Canon 85mm 1.2 here at B&H
West coast people get the Canon 85mm 1.2 at Samy’s

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Donte Tidwell Photography is a Los Angeles Photographer.

Donte Tidwell Photography specializes in boudoir, portrait, fashion and fine art pictures.  To see more work from Photographer Donte Tidwell, check out his website at or visit the facebook or instagram Contact Photographer Donte Tidwell by email at

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