The new Canon RF 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.

Photo: Canon

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 to help repel moisture and grease. As with all RF mount lenses, there’s a customisable control ring which can be set to adjust apertures, shutter speeds, ISO values or exposure compensation.

Illustration: Canon

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 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 which is 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 will be available in Australia from June and is priced at $3799 (estimated average street price). For more information visit