|Diameter x Length
|80.8 x 71 mm
|680 gr (1.5 lb)
I don't want to give a technical review of the lens. Those are ten a penny and can be found elsewhere. What interests me - having owned hundreds of various lenses (from FD to Zeiss to no-brand Russian oddities) is the character of a lens, the usability, how enticing it is to pick-up and ultimately if the resulting pictures help to capture magic.
For me, my taste, and my use: this lens is magical, I'm drawn to it, I use it for stills photography (variously t90, FTb, A7riii) and for cinema (bmpcc4k [with speedbooster] and Alexa Mini LF) and of all the 85mm I've used this lens renders almost every shot with a stunning depth and beauty that I've rarely found elsewhere. The perfect balance of softness and sharpness it catches light and holds it just the right way to soften highlights without losing depth in the shadows.
For stills: its large and heavy, but even if I'm going somewhere involving a long walk, squeezing through public transport or risking damage or theft, I frequently prefer to grab a bag for the camera - rather than grabbing a smaller lens, or a smaller camera - and struggle my way through the day because I know that I'll come home with a picture that I love rather than many that are so so.
For cinema/video: get a copy
Did I mention that when I bought mine, I thought I was being ripped off because when it arrived the front element was covered in scratches and plenty of internal dust (which wasnt listed on the advert, and the f***ers wouldn't grace me with a partial refund to have the camera CLA'd?) [Carmarthen cameras: avoid] - well having begrudgingly used it, immediately, on a short film set I quickly realised it didn't matter at all! My copy of this lens is a total beauty. I'd buy another if I could afford it.
I own both of the FD 1.2/85mm variants as well as previously owning the second EF successor - I had sold the latter to fund the manual lenses and couldn't be happier. Both of these lenses are sharp wide-open, particularly in the center of frame and get very sharp when stopped down - amazingly, the EF wasn't any sharper even though it was released decades later. There have been definite improvements in coatings in the EF versions, but all the 1.2/85mm's still have their fair share of fringing. Some say the bokeh is legendary on these 85's, I wouldn't disagree. Many people have said the FD 85's share the same lens design, possibly, but there is definitely a difference in how the lenses were polished as the out-of-focus points of lights on the nFD contain concentric rings (similar to the EF versions) while the original breach-lock does not have these rings. The nFD also seems to have a warmer look versus a bluer/cooler tone about it. Other differences include the number of aperture blades, the nFD has 8 where the breach-lock has 9, not that they get used that often. The breach-lock version is heavier and feels more sturdy, but I wouldn't say either of them are light, both are well built. The nFD 85 has plastic hood that is easily worn and no longer fits tightly. The nFD version is definitely the more-affordable of the two, but one could expect to pay $600 or more for a good copy. The older version is rarer and has seemingly picked up a cult status as of late and I've seen prices exceed $2000 on eBay, nuts. I have dedicated Flickr albums to both of these and other classic Canon lenses. Enjoy!
Canon nFD 85mm f/1.2L
Canon FD 85mm f/1.2 S.S.C.
Check out my full review (comparison) against the 1.8 : http://www.jeroenterlingen.com/blog/2015/8/24/canon-nfd-85mm-lens-comparison
The 85 f/1.2 L holds up amazingly well compared to new lenses when mounted on a Sony A7II. At f/1.2 there just a little loss in sharpness. Stopping down to f/2.0 it is super sharp. I love the build quality and smooth focusing action. It's heavy, but I don't count that against it because that's just physics.
Yet another jewel from the Canon FD Line up. I use this on my Sony A7 series cameras and it has so far never let me down. This lens is an amazing portrait lens and its great to make tight portraits, especially of headshots. But it can also be a very useful telephoto portrait lens, where the subject can be captured in sharp focus and the background disappears magically in the form of a very creamy bokeh. Often this gives an effect of an almost 3D effect for the main subject. Focusing using the Sony A7 series is very easy, thanks to the focus peaking. The build quality is almost perfect, while the image quality is definitely perfect. A used one in MINT condition can be found for about US$ 1000, which is a bargain for the quality this lens offers. rnrnSample photo can be found here - https://instagram.com/p/3ZI_4GHttw/
Used it on NEX7, As good as any Leica lens (I have one R and three M-mount in this range) but none of them have f1.2. I use the Leica 90mm f2.8 for travelling because it is super small. But this Canon is much more powerful especially when it's cloudy. Otherwise, use a polorizer to keep it wide open.
Das 1,2/85 L ist scharf, ja . . .
Aber die Unschärfekreise sind schon ganz leicht abgeblendet dahin . . .
Ich halte es für überbewertet . . . !
I bought this lens 2 years ago & replaced the newFD mount with a chipped EF mount that I made & now use it on my 1d4 for portraiture. Just fabulous results.
You can see the conversion here. Also mount converted a newFD 50 f1.2L.
nFD 85L pics here: http://goo.gl/Qah7Y
nFD 50L pics here: http://goo.gl/KE7oy
I have owned two of these over the years, and both have been superb performers. I like to shoot short telephoto, and this is the first lens I put in my bag for a shoot.
Fantastic light gathering power.
Extremely impressive looks.
This is my absolute number one FD lens.
I bought this lens in New Zealand on Ebay for $ 450.
One drawback is that the shade is loose and comes off easily.
I use this lens also for macro photography with 100mm of extension tubes, at F 1.2. Then you get a magnification of a bit more than 1:1, with razor thin DOF, which makes for unique results you cannot possibly get with any other lens. The bokeh is just perfect, then.
This is the best FD lens there is, I have owned two over the years since I dropped one from a great height. This lens is a joy to use and is easily my favourite FD lens. The DOF is amazing and the build quality much higher than the EF replacement. THe only flaw with this lens is the lens hood - it cannot be reversed for transport and the plastic is fairly soft so the guide slot eventually become worn. Unfortunatly you really need to use the hood to see what this lens is capable of. I have also used this lens on the micro 4/3 Panasonic G1 body and the result were also outstanding
Very sharp, great color rendition, incredible bokeh, mechanically so much better than most of the non-L FD(n) lenses. A lot of glass but very well balanced on a T-90.
Unbelieveable reults. My favorite lens. I've had it for 23 years( I paid $600 in 1986; well worth the money). The best for portraits but can be used as an all around lens for sharp pictures & excellent IQ. Just have to be careful with focus(shallow depth of field).
I use these Canon lenses on a 35mm lens adaptor on a video camera. The advantage is the thin DOF is very cinematic versus the ...